Advertising Firesale (experimentation)

Firesales are a form of marketing that Mike Filsaime is probably best noted for, where you make an offer so compelling, it is pretty hard to refuse.

Normally it is also very important to add something special to the sales message, a compelling reason why you are offering a special offer on the products. There are all kinds of psychological reasons why you would do this, which I am not going to delve into, but if you Google for Mike’s free guide “FireSale Secrets” you will pick up some good tips.

Meet Timothy


For the last couple of weeks I have been visiting him with my wife every few days, 8 hour round trips, and he should be coming to live with us within the next 2 weeks. Final adoption paperwork will take a little longer.

I am not going to write a long story of desperation, my wife and I moved into a new house just before Christmas, and rushing the completion was primarily due to the progress in our adoption. That does leave the coffers a little empty.

This is something I have been planning doing for a couple of months though a few other pans on the fire were preventing me make a decision.

I have no intention of making this a 20 page sales letter, so this is how this will work.

Advertising Firesale Details

I am not going to totally abandon affiliate marketing – on this blog I have been keeping it to offers I highly recommend or thought would be interesting to my readers, and earnings were less important.

This however will be an interesting experiment… unlimited advertising slots in equal rotation

I have set up just a single zone, although advertising will rotate in various places on the blog.

The final layout will be different to how it is currently.

125×125 Banners

Current layout:

12 125×125 slots on the front page and archives
6 125×125 slots on single permalink pages

Future Layout:

4 or 6 125×125 slots on the front page
12 125×125 slots for archives
12 125×125 slots on single permalink pages
0 slots on pages that might be used as landing or squeeze pages for PPC or products
4 ads within the RSS feed

With the current design it would be a little difficult with 12 adverts on the single pages, as the sidebars are almost empty. With the planned new design I am hoping there will be a lot of useful content there, so it will fit in much better – it will fit in much better than for example the 12 ads that Techcrunch are currently running.

I am going to reserve 4 slots for myself, and expect to sell maybe 30 or 40 slots initially, though I am not going to place any limit.

Here are some accurate traffic stats as I am a quantified publisher.

Those are unique visitors, there was a bit of a slump over December, not just due to the season, but also because I wasn’t posting due to moving house and connection problems.

Traffic is picking up again, and I expect it to grow

The aim is for each 125×125 advert to be displayed at least 20,000 per month here on the site, and I also intend to include them in my feed currently to 3500 subscribers.

The math is fairly easy

60,000 page views / (approx 36 adverts / 12) = 20,000

Articles are typically read by 1500 to 2000 people (based on current subscriber numbers) and based on previous posting schedules that could amount to 5000 to 10000 additional impressions, though those will be hard to track.

The traffic I receive is 35 – 37% search, 30% social media (Stumbleupon + Sphinn) and the remainder is referral though that varies and is highly knowledgeable and engaged, just look at the comments when browsing through my archives.

My subscribers have a high percentage of influencers.

Other Stats If They Are Worth Anything

Technorati Top1000 blog (currently 666 – the devil)
Alexa typically below 20K (slightly above currently – has been below 12K)
Links will all be nofollow on site (but not in feed) , but potentially PageRank 6 if/when restored

Current ranked by Advertising Age as one of the top 20 marketing blogs in the world


This is a firesale, so it is going to start off low and increase over time

Also significant is that these are the prices that you can lock in so even when my traffic grows, you continue to pay the same amount should you decide to continue.

Due to software limitations, I set the duration to 100 days, but the pricing will effectively be for 3 months, and I am throwing in a few extra days as a bonus – the advertising will run until the end of May 2008

$60 – From now until 3pm PST Feb 21st 2008 or for the first 10 units
70 – 3pm PST Feb 21st 2008 until 3pm PST Feb 22nd 2008 or for 10 to 20 units
$80 – 3pm PST Feb 22nd 2008 until 3pm PST Feb 23rd 2008 or for 20 to 30 units
$90 – 3pm PST Feb 24th 2008 until 3pm PST Feb 25th 2008 or for 30 to 40 units
$100 thereafter

I haven’t got things automated to switch at a particular time, so there may be a little leeway on the timing, and especially on the quantity, but if this is something that would interest you, I suggest you grab it at the lowest price possible.

It is my belief that the $100 price is still very good value for 3 months of advertising, and a continued locked in rate


  • You are allowed to buy multiple slots, but different artwork needs to be used in each one
  • Advertising cannot be resold
  • The slots are not for affiliate links – I would much prefer to be dealing with product owners, though tracking links are fine
  • If less than 20 slots are sold, then I reserve the right to add some of my own banners until the total reaches 24
  • Only family friendly legal & relevant links

I will be wearing my advertising manager hat rather than editorial hat when judging adverts, so advertising will not be an editorial decision one way or the other.
I will quite happily display advertising from Google next to adverts from link sellers

No payment will be charged until adverts are accepted
No refunds will be accepted, including, but not limited to click-through rates, traffic numbers or short term technical problems
The only remedy that will be considered, at my sole discretion would be an extension of the display period which in no event would exceed 6 days.
If you are crazy enough to take me to court over it, it would be great linkbait, but jurisdiction would be Poland or elsewhere at my convenience and discretion.

Additional Avertising

My own products, though that would displace widgets, not advertising

I intend to continue displaying the Strategic Profits widget and other widgets as currently, and may at my own discretion change what is displayed as part of my core content is discussion of such blog widgets.

I will also be offering the opportunity to become a “premium sponsor” for the blog, which would allow for extensive branding and livery decisions at the time of redesign. I expect that to be in the region of $3-4000 for a 3 month period, with up to half that money invested in what I hope will be a notable custom redesign.

I am going to be working hard to boost subscribers, traffic and attention for your advertising, grab a discount rate while you can.


I am aware that currently a single advert is being displayed in all slots.

I had to actually hack the plugin a little to start with, as it isn’t designed to sell advertising quite in this way. I have contacted the programmer, and between us I am sure it will be sorted out fairly soon.

Note about the purchase process: it is a little confusing, as you are sent a payment link before your advertising has been accepted. Please wait until you receive an acceptance email before attempting payment. It won’t break things, but I know it has caused a little confusion.

Thanks to all the advertisers so far

Update 2

This is a Firesale, and we have now had the first price increase to $70. A couple of lucky readers squeezed in at the last minute, and I did sell a few more slots at $60 than planned.

Also of note Simon Emery whose OIOPublisher plugin I am using for advertising management was remarkable. He got home late from his new job, but still found time to help me fix the advertising rotation problems.

I should point out that all I am doing is reducing the discount for early adopters. If you compare my advertising prices with many blogs even the $100 price point for over 3 months of advertising is extremely attractive, especially considering the influential readers I frequently attract and have as subscribers.

Grab a discount rate while you can.

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  1. says

    Hi Andy, I’m one of your feed readers and don’t think I’ve ever posted here before but i wanted to say congratulations on your upcoming adoption. I myself adopted three children in 2003 and run a blog and forum for adoptive and waiting parents. He’s an adorable child and I wish you all the best. :-)

  2. says

    Andy, I just wanted to say fingers crossed that all goes smoothly with your adoption of Timothy. His smile would melt any heart :)

    • says

      Scott this is selling off 3 months of inventory in display advertising with all 125×125 adverts displayed prominently and on equal rotation.

      I might sell only 15 or 20 slots, or I might sell 50

      My estimates were that I would eventually sell around 30, though some of those will no doubt be at the higher price.

      Ultimately readers who read my blog on a regular basis are going to pick up the cheaper slots, which I think is great.

  3. says

    He is adorable. Congratulations!!! Our youngest shares the same name. :) What an exciting time for you all.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment on my blog. It meant a lot. I hope you saw my follow up comment.

  4. says

    If you are willing to accept credit card please let me know. I know that paypal accept credit card but in order to being accepted I need to be in a country that paypal supports, in this case I am not able. :)

  5. says

    Way to go Andy! Will I see you in Orlando this weekend?

    Mike Filsaime

    PS – I hope I am not best know for FireSales (anymore at least) but cool if Firesales are best associated with me!

    Did that make sense, LOL?

    • says

      Mike is is a little like word association games

      When I think “Firesale” I automatically think “Mike Filsaime”, even though it has probably been years since you last had one. Ultimately anyone who has created a Firesale in the last 2 years is most likely to be basing their strategy at least partially on your methods.

      When I think “Mike Filsaime” the association is different – 7 Figure Code, Butterfly Marketing, InstantBuzz, PayDotCom plus a host of more recent products, and your Internet Marketing conferences.

  6. says

    Hope everything works out well on the adoption, Andy. Timothy looks like an absolute diamond.

    I laughed out loud when I checked DomainTools and saw that you’d already registered the domain name! It got me thinking about whether in years to come parents will dispense with the traditional baby names books and simply do a whois search…

  7. says

    isnt it exciting being able to adopt a little child? i remember the first time me and my husband did it; i dont know if we had ever been happier, except for all the paperwork that came with it. gL to you with that! :)

  8. says

    isnt it exciting being able to adopt a little child? i remember the first time me and my husband did it; i dont know if we had ever been happier, except for all the paperwork that came with it. gL to you with that.