The year is gearing up, and chances are, you’re right back into your biz by now (if you even took a break!)

You might be looking at advertising your business on relevant blogs as a way to increase your sales and audience – and if so, there’s some research you should do to make sure you’re getting the right ‘bang for your buck’.

There are a lot of awesome handmade and design blogs out there that we could choose to advertise our work on, with varied levels of traffic – and varied advertising costs, too.

It can be really hard to choose which one/s to approach – you only have limited advertising dollars, after all! Where are you going to get the most pageviews for your money?

Well, here’s a little trick I use to compare sites – it’s called Compete.

You can enter the URLs of up to 3 sites for free, and compare all sorts of metrics – the main ones being visits and unique visitors.

There are a heap more features as well – but you have to be a paid member to use them. For our purposes, the tools available for free will do the job.

If you look at the graphic at the beginning of the post, you’ll see an example. I’ve compared my main blog – Epheriell Designs – against two other fabulous blogs in the same niche. To see the full report, have a look here.

This graph shows unique visitors (i.e. how many different individuals are visiting each blog) and you can also choose to see visits (the number of times each blog is visited).

Using this tool, you can compare as many sites as you want to (3 at a time in the free version) and then compare the ad rates/specs of those sites to see where you will be getting the most value for money.

On another note, if you have a popular blog of your own, it can be a way to see what those in the same niche are charging for their ads, which could help you price your own. For example, after looking at these figures, and knowing what the other blogs charge for ad spots, I’m giving some serious thought to drastically increasing my ad rates on Epheriell Designs sometime in the near future!

I do this myself when I consider which blogs to advertise on, and it’s paid off for me! Give it a go, and if you know of any other neat tools like this, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Edit – after some info from friends, and a bit of research, it seems that this tool doesn’t work with blogger-hosted blogs. Basically, the blog needs to be self-hosted (a .com or .net etc) for this to work. And the issues in traffic reporting can also affect blogs that are hosted on blogger, but have a .com domain that redirects to the blogspot blog. Also, the traffic is based on US stats – if a site is hosted and gets most of its traffic from outside the US, the stats will be inaccurate.