Membership Sites Made Easy

July 15th, 2010 by - Posted in How To Make Money

How to Sell Ads Directly or Through a Network

Whether you choose to handle your own advertising or alternatively join a large advertising network, make sure that you are aware of the pros and cons that each option presents.

Here is an outline of the different ways that you can sell advertising on your website or blog:

 

Selling Directly

If you choose to sell your advertising directly, make sure to use a program that will take some of the weight off your shoulders, such as:

  • OpenX: OpenX is an open-source ad server, licensed under the GNU General Public License
  • OIO Publisher: A standalone ad manager which also has a WordPress plugin
  • mySimpleAds: Simple yet powerful standalone ad manager
  • Easy Ad-Manager: A standalone ad manger

An important point to remember, is that while handling your own ad sales will generate the largest profit, it also requires the most work. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

  • Start small and simple: Begin by offering just one advertising slot, and then increase the slots as you sell them. Nothing looks more offputting than a site with lots of empty “Advertise Here” boxes
  • Partner with other websites or blogs in your niche: If your traffic is too low to attract the kind of advertisers you’re interested in, partner up. Consider starting your own micro-network, offering advertisers the opportunity to pay one price to advertise on multiple websites
  • Get social: By using social network websites, such as Twitter and Facebook you can spread the word that you have advertising spots available. Be careful not to spam your followers!
  • Begin with a promotion: Be prepared that you may have to give away ad spots for very little or even free, when you first start out. Don’t worry though. If you’re delivering high quality traffic, these advertisers will stay with you and pay for the pleasure, once your promotion ends. Remember to track outbound traffic on your ads, as it will contain valuable information that you can use when dealing with future advertisers.

 

 Selling Via Ad Networks

The benefit of using an ad networks is that you can target many more advertisers, but be aware that they also take more of your profit. Some large networks may also not wish to deal with you if you don’t have enough traffic.

Here are a couple of networks worth trying out:

  • BuySellAds.com: Though a relatively new to the advertising scene, BuySellAds.com has achieved great market penetration, although it focuses on websites and blogs related to web design, developments and other net related activities. If your website doesn’t match this category, you will want to look elsewhere
  • Chitika: Chitika works differently to other ad networks, by scanning the search strings of people who are directed to your website and serving ads that match those search strings. Worth looking at

Here are some additional ad networks:

  • AdBrite
  • Adify
  • Google AdSense
  • ValueClick Media
  • Yahoo! Publisher Network

If you do choose to sell through an ad network, make sure it pays ‘per click’ (CPC), rather than ‘per thousand views’ (CPM).

Choosing the Right Advertiser

It’s important to bear in mind that some advertisers will not be a good fit for your website or blog. If your site is about baseball, it probably wouldn’t make much sense to run ads on hair products.

Here’s some questions worth asking yourself before deciding to run an ad:

– Does this ad fit with my content?
– Will this ad offend my visitors?
– Will this ad distract visitors from my content?
– Will this ad have a negative impact on my own standing with my visitors?

Summary

Hopefully, you now realize that it is possible to sell advertising on a low traffic website.

If you follow the tips i’ve given, you’re well on your way to landing your first advertiser. Don’t be afraid to try out multiple approaches and create a strategy that works for you, making sure you track your results. Remember, advertising is an organic process that can take time to perfect.

Please feel free to add your own tips or success stories below.

Read How to Sell Advertising on a Low Traffic Website or Blog – Part 1 here.


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