Advertising has long been a potential source of revenue to publishers. With the advent of the Internet, websites became an ideal platform to market products.
The current ease of data availability and high-speed bandwidth for data transfer have increased the scope of advertising to greater heights. Most advertisers and traders believe that ‘seeing is buying.’ The probability of sales increases proportionally to the number of views that the ads receive.
Moreover, online marketing can greatly influence the mobile and tab Internet-glued community.
These days, bloggers can generate meaningful revenue by selling ad space. If my blog has a consistent count of visitors, then there are effectively three options for selling ad space on my blogging site. They are:
- Ad Networks
- Programmatic advertising
- Sell ads directly from the blog site.
All three methods have pros and cons. However, we need to choose one that best suits our context. To determine the best option, we need answers with statistics to the questions below.
- Does my blog generate traffic?
- Do I have a target audience?
- Do I have good contacts and social media relevance?
If it is a big yes to all of the above, then selling ads directly on our blog is probably the best choice. Let us discuss this method in detail, though
Ad networks are middlemen that facilitate a publisher to place an ad from an advertiser on the blog. For example, Google Adsense, DoubleClick Ad Exchange (ADX), ELeavers, etc. are popular ad networks.
Ad placement can be of different types like banner ads, text ads, pop-ups, etc. The ad networks control the ad placement on our blogs and charge us a huge sum as commision.
This is an automated process of buying and selling using software processing. This sort of advertising uses Programmatic Ad platform tools, which are algorithms that execute ad buying and placements.
We add such a piece of code on the site, thereby letting advertisers know that the ad space is available for sale.
A real-time bid (RTB) makes advertisers display ads in the ad spaces. The automated tools handle the billing process as well.
Selling ad space directly
Selling ad space to the advertisers directly keeps out the middlemen or network agencies. Nevertheless, it allows us to contact media buyers directly and therefore increase our revenue. I would prefer this method of selling ad space directly for the following reasons:
We can retain hundred percent of the revenue earned as we wean off the ad networks. Although it could be a long and hard process to find advertisers directly, it helps us make more money.
As long as we have a good number of visitors and constant traffic on the site, we can contact the advertisers directly to publish ads.
In CPM, every 1000 impression generate income. In pay-per-sale, every sale on the ad fetches some revenue for us.
Overcome ad network restrictions
There are more sites that want to sell ads than the sites that want to buy them. Hence, the ad networks can be choosy about the publishers they recruit by setting a fairly high traffic rate.
Additionally, the networks can put restrictions on the publisher’s site content as well. If we have fairly good traffic numbers and demographic data, we could impress the advertisers to sell the ad space directly.
There are a lot of tools on the market like Google Analytics that help us analyze the traffic on the website by looking at the web stats.
We can also negotiate the payment model like CPC or CPM when we contact the advertisers directly.
If our blog has specialized content that has a target audience, it is easier to find advertisers. Sometimes, ad networks tend to pay us less, though the site generates a valuable audience with a common interest.
For example, a recipe blog or a gaming site has target viewers who could visit the site again and again. In this case, advertisers with products catering to the cooking mass and game lovers or teens will benefit more if they actively spend on promotion.
Such correlative ads tend to further increase the public interest in our site. As a result, the viewership, income and fame of our blog can go up.
Our site — our control
We can set our own pricing method, negotiation terms and have major control over the deal. Besides, we can develop strong trustful relationships with the advertisers that would help us in the long run.
Placing attractive examples to showcase the ad space will be more appealing to the advertisers.
It is transparent to us what type of ads get displayed on our blog. If our blogs are mostly visited by children, then it is important to know upfront what goes into our sites.
We need not be anxious about any undesired or erroneous work by the ad network. In short, it frees us from third-party intervention and helps us own our blog completely.
Potentially valuable contacts can be made via LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Creating direct contacts not only helps us in selling ad space but also enhances our overall social networking skills. In general, it could help us in many different aspects of life.
Since we don’t use a network when we sell ad space directly, we need to add processes to track the traffic, billing, payment from advertisers, etc.
Approaching advertisers and marketing our site to sell the ad space directly can be challenging, but the payoff is worth the endeavor.
Our success does not depend on the ad network’s popularity or its ability to recruit advertisers, nor do we need to anticipate success in any bidding strategy.
To summarize, if there is interesting and specialized content on our blogs that is appealing to the public, then selling ad space directly would benefit us.
We could get better returns, maintain better control over our blogs and enhance our list of contacts. It is worth the effort to jump into the water and learn to swim.