A Brave, New Revenue Stream

A Brave, New Revenue Stream

Could allowing advertising on your website be your most stable revenue stream?

By Daniel Kidd

How do I attract companies to advertise on my website?

In order to profit from advertising on your website, it’s important to have the basics; a site with high quality content and decent traffic that companies are happy to be associated with. Boosting your SEO rankings is really important to ensure you’ve the visibility expected to advertise.

Remember, when it comes to attracting companies to advertise, don’t be shy. It’s more than acceptable to directly approach companies and offer your services. In particular, approach sites that offer similar products or target the same audience as you; complimentary business relationships are beneficial to all involved. Just be professional, honest and direct and make sure they’ve a good reputation.

How do I find companies to put their advertising banners on my website?

If you want to generate revenue for your site through banner advertising, there are several methods you can employ to find advertisers. If your site is very well-known in your particular field, simply placing an “advertise with us” link in your sidebar, or a place holder banner ad offering the chance to “advertise here”. This ad displayed on your site may be enough to attract companies wishing to advertise with you.

Alternatively, if your site is less well-known, you have the option of signing up with an advertising exchange, such as AdBrite or Google AdWords. These can place appropriate adverts on your site, and many offer pay per click payments, whereby you’re paid according to the number of people who click through to the advertiser’s website from your site.

Finally, you could contact potential advertisers directly. If you notice that a particular company advertises on other sites similar to yours, for example, it may be worth emailing their advertising department and offering your site as a further space for banner advertising. This direct approach may be the most effective, as it involves immediately engaging potential advertisers.

How do I decide a competitive rate for companies to advertise on my website?

When you start offering advertising space on your website, there are three main things to consider when setting your rates.

  1. What sort of advertising are you going to offer? Large placement ads generally cost more than discreet text adverts, but you must consider what best suits your site’s style.
  2. What are your peers charging? Do your homework on what your competitors charge for similar advertising. You can opt to mirror their rates, or undercut them to make yourself more competitive.
  3. What’s the value of advertising on your site? Newer sites with less traffic can’t usually charge as much as established alternatives with lots of visitors.

Weigh up the options and set a rate that’s profitable but realistic, you can always increase the price as your reputation grows.

Is there a traffic benchmark needed to start selling direct ads?

There is no traffic benchmark needed to start selling direct ads. The most important thing is that your website has enough content and traffic is starting to increase. If your website has hardly any content and lots of ads, it will look spammy to visitors and probably result in decreased traffic.

Ideally, once you’ve sufficient content you should focus on increasing traffic through online marketing (such as using social media, updating content frequently, and ensuring your site is search engine optimised). Once your traffic is increasing comfortably, and you’re getting return visitors and good feedback, you’ll find it easier to persuade businesses to advertise on your site.

How can I sell advertising space to a niche magazine?

A niche magazine will only be distributed to a relatively low number of readers in a specialist marketplace. Often, these individuals are already enthusiasts in the area it covers. However, there will also be a number of potential readers amongst those people who’ll currently have a lower level of interest – perhaps just taking up a hobby, or new to a specific field of study.

To persuade such a niche magazine to advertise means that you’ll need to prove to them, both through statistical evidence and your current activities, that you have the means of reaching and talking to both their current, and especially their potential, readers.