Make money with baby ads

Written by Stacey Welsh and Jenna Yaeger

Having trouble keeping down the costs for your yearbook? Want to give parents a fun way to show off how cute their teenager was as a baby? Sell eighth grade baby ads!

Baby ads have been a great way for our school to offset the cost of the yearbook for everyone. Our ads pair a 25-word-maximum message and a baby picture.

Usually, we set the ads to be 1/15th of one page, in three columns of five.  About half of the parents of the eighth graders send in ads, so we try to set aside enough pages to have 1/15th per student. In case we miscount or have more than expected, we hold off on completing the full spread right after the ads for use as overflow. If fewer ads come in than expected, the ad size can be increased to 1/12th of a page.

If you use Online Design to create your book, the ads are easy to put together.  The templates under Ad Index are manipulated to best fit our yearbook.  We use a picture and two text boxes for each ad — one text box for the student’s name and one for the message. After the templates are made, we copy and paste them onto all of the pages reserved for baby ads. Now, they are ready for completion.

baby ad
Baby ads help Bourbonnais Upper Grade Center in 
Bourbonnais, Ill., earn one-fifth of their annual revenue. The simplicity of the format makes it easy for parents to submit a photo and text, and easy to create on the page.

One of the most challenging aspects has been making sure the pictures sent in by parents are scanned at 150-300 dpi. If they are not scanned at this level or above, the pictures are blurry. Once they are scanned, rename the image file with the student’s first and last names. This will make it easier once you upload them on to Online Design.

Typing out the baby ads beforehand and saving them in a Word document has saved us ample time when completing the baby ad spreads. Once the text for each ad is typed and the pictures are uploaded, the ad messages can be easily copied and pasted into the text boxes in Online Design.

To make all of this happen in an organized manner, order forms are mailed home to all eighth grade parents. Another reminder is sent about two weeks later via email. Parents have the option of purchasing a baby ad, a yearbook or both on this form.

The baby ads are secret, even for the eighth grade yearbook staff, in order for students to be surprised once they receive their yearbook in May. Students love looking for the embarrassing and cute picture that their parents included with their message.

The baby ads in our yearbook are a fun and popular item that bring in about 20% of our revenue. With a little organization, they are simple to create, and can make your program some money while preserving memories for parents and students.

  • Valerie Tanke

    Congratulations on a great article! I am so proud of both of you for working so hard to make the yearbook at Bourbonnais Upper Grade Center a great success. Thanks for writing this informative article–you are the BEST!

  • Joshua Dantzler

    Hi,
    I really enjoyed the article! I’m interested in doing baby ads for my middle school yearbook this year. I was wondering if you could send me the documents you send home pertaining the ads.

    Thanks in advance,

    Joshua Dantzler
    Editior-in-chief, paw print

    REPLY

  • Deborah

    can I design an ad for my daughter’s yearbook on your website or do I need to contact the school and take that to the school and give it to the yearbook staff ?

  • Deena Ladd

    One of our middle schools used to do this, but I never received any sales material as a parent.
    Can you forward me any documents that you use for sales. An example could help me jumpstart this at our junior high next year.

    Thanks,
    Deena Ladd

Stacey Welsh and Jenna Yaeger