How to Sell Ad Space on Your Blog or Website – A Guide
Whether you got into the blogging or website creation game in order to make money or not, you probably wouldn’t say no to cashing in on the visitors your site is receiving. The online advertising market is growing all the time as companies switch from more traditional mediums to the world of tablets, laptops and smartphones we currently live in. The online ad space marketplace is worth billions of dollars every single year, and you dont have to be a huge site like Mashable to grab your share of the revenue. I’ve seen loads of smaller sites cash in on their presence, through advertising networks or private ad sales on their webspace. Here’s my guide on how you can do the same.
Firstly, a few provisos. If your site is only getting a few visitors a week, then the chances are that your efforts would be best focused elsewhere, building backlinks, gaining social clout and improving your site before trying to cash in. If you started your blog or site purely for profits then the chances are you’re destined for failure, create your site out of passion and love for your niche and you’re set for success.
There are loads of ways you can monetize your website, and the term ‘selling ad space’ is rather loose. I’m going to talk about a few ways in which you can sell your space, and some top tips I’ve picked up doing the same.
This can be one of the most profitable ways to make money out of your site. Private ads are those sold directly by you to the advertiser, with no middle man. They’re harder to come by at times, and you have to do a lot of the legwork yourself, but nobody will be dipping their hand in taking a chunk of your profits. There are a few ways of trying to gain clients to pay you for a slice of your site. The easiest one is to create an advert yourself and put it on your site. A sitewide banner making it clear that ad space on your site is available will make it clear to your readers, some of whom might be in a position to advertise a service or product on your site. The banner should lead to a page that outlines your advertising rates, policy and any more information you think a potential advertiser might be interested in. You can also try cold calling and cold emailing people with your site and rates, but this can be a difficult and often fruitless endeavour.
Using a Middle Man
This is similar to Private advertising in that people will see your niche and decide on whether to advertise, except this time you’re going through a middle man. The benefits of this are that your ads will be sold on a marketplace, which can skip the difficult process of finding people to buy your ads. There is of course a price to pay to do this, but it’s worth it considering the money that can be made out of selling advertising space. My personal favourites, BuySellAds.com are awesome at matching up publishers (that’s you) and advertisers (that’s the people who want to put their money in your account). BuySellAds take 25% – by no means extortionate, and in return they showcase your site to hundreds of potential advertisers. Seems fair to me.
Using a Network/Program
This is the most common, and the easiest way of setting up some form of advertising on your site. I guess you’re technically not ‘selling’ it yourself, but it is making you money by being on your site. The most popular of all of these type of programs is Google’s very own Adsense, which works on a ‘Per Click’ basis. Advertisers effectively set a price they are willing to pay for clicks on an advert. They’re placed on your site based on relevance, and when somebody clicks on it, most of it goes in your pocket. There are other programs that do similar things, such as media.net and Adbrite. If you want to go the in-text road and have ads appear as keywords in your content, you can use infolinks or Chitika.
Notable mention goes to affiliate schemes, but I didn’t want to talk about them in the context of ‘selling ads’, as you’re effectively selling products as an affiliate. That said, they’re another brilliant way to monetize your site.
Unless your traffic is pretty sizeable, dont expect to be able to quit your job on your earnings, but it isn’t impossible by any means in the right niche and with the right community you can definitely turn blogging into a profitable exercise. It goes without saying that some niches will pay you more to advertise even with the same or less traffic than others. A site about mortgages can demand more money than a humour site for instance.
In summary, if you build a great site and get a good amount of traffic coming to your site on a day to day basis, you can definitely find ways to sell ad space, and there are agencies and companies out there that will help you to turn your site into cash.