Your website or blog can become a source of stable revenues — if handled properly, that is. It can complement your book with highly targeted, relevant ads. With digital advertising opportunities, publishers earn thousands of dollars by simply displaying ads to targeted audiences at the right time and in the right context.
But how do you actually become an electronic publisher? And what is the best way to sell ads? In this article, we will discuss how to begin online advertising and will take a look at the three most effective procedures to sell ads.
Let us begin with initial guidelines for all publishers. Before you actually start selling advertising space on your website, make sure you fulfill all the requirements as an electronic publisher.
TRAFFIC. To be eligible, your site or website has to be active for at least six months and generate a sufficient amount of traffic. To apply for Google AdSense, publishers must attract around 250 unique visitors per day to complete the necessary conversions. The majority of the website’s traffic must come from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and European countries. An invalid click action, use of malicious malware and creation of fake impressions is strictly prohibited.
CONTENT. The digital content has to be original, relevant, and useful for users. Advertisers prefer theme-based, market content that highlights specific topics like traveling, lifestyle, sports, cars, etc.. The website must offer rich content and have a sensible number of pages (at least 20 to 30 pages, articles or blog posts).
Bear in mind that websites that feature prohibited content categories — porn, hate speech, and explicit violence, weapons and ammunition, illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco, gaming and online casinos, spyware, malware or hacking software — will be rejected.
DESIGN. Next, think about the design and navigability of your website. It has to be easily navigated and easily structured and provide a flawless user experience. If you want to fill your web page with ads, load time and latency are important parameters. Ensure that your web page is mobile and tablet compatible.
TRANSPARENCY. Make it simple for visitors to find your contact information and to reach you whenever necessary.
If your website already has a solid traffic flow, a dedicated niche audience, and high conversion rates, it is time to consider different sales methods. Below you’ll find the three most popular methods to sell ad spaces by publishers.
1. Affiliate Marketing
The quickest, and possibly easiest, way to start earning money with your website would be to become an affiliate publisher by joining an affiliate program. Affiliate advertising is when a website publisher, blog owner or a business entity agrees to market a product or service in exchange for a commission.
Minimum requirements for publishers to join affiliate programs include:
- Having a single domain name;
- at least one email account linked to that domain name;
- a website design that supports ads of various formats;
Additionally, you need to have a responsible person who monitors emails, ads and is able to customize the website when necessary. You only have to become a member of an affiliate network, such as Clickbank, Amazon Associates, eBay or Commission Junction. Affiliate networks connect publishers and advertisers and supply thousands of affiliate programs. As a rule, these networks charge advertisers using a setup and permit fee. However, it is free of charge for publishers.
Affiliate marketing strategies and methods to approach the audience change greatly, and it is not merely about adding affiliate links. By way of example, in order to advertise a merchant’s product, the publisher may write a product review, rank the item or compare prices of two similar products. In case you have a base following or faithful audiences who trust your selection, you can also show people how to use the item, try on new clothes, test after-shaving cream or take a new car for a test drive.
This type of digital advertising is performance-based since the publisher gains come from generating clicks, leads or sales. As a rule, 80 percent of affiliate publishers are compensated on a PPS foundation (pay-per-sale), 18 percent on CPA (pay-per-action), and the remaining programs use CPC (cost-per-click) and CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) as compensation methods. Learn more about pricing versions: CPC, PPC, CPM, CPI, CPA, CPL: Which Online Ad Models Are Best?
It is worth mentioning that affiliate advertising can turn a website or blog into a real cash cow. The commission for a user clicking on the affiliate link and purchasing a product could be somewhere around 30 to 50 percent. That means if the merchant’s product is $50, a publisher can earn $25 just for referring the buyer.
2. Programmatic Advertising
One of the best ways to sell ads is to display advertising. Whether you are a blogger who only started gaining an audience or a respectable publisher, programmatic advertising has something to offer. The key is in the automation of the buying and selling processes. No need to search for media buyers or await the suitable affiliate program, display advertising will match appropriate ads with relevant audiences. A lot more information about programmatic advertising technology you can find here.
It’s very easy to start using automated advertising. Then, you have limitless opportunities to sell ads online. Publishers may choose to sell ad space through open real-time bidding auctions (more information about the importance of RTB read on here), engage in private marketplace direct deals, establish one-to-one relationships with buyers via preferred deals or enjoy capabilities of programmatic direct. Programmatic advertising enables publishers to optimize sales, streamline operations, maximize revenue and get powerful insights from real time statistics that allow better customization of the ad space in the future.
Because of opportunities presented by display advertising, publishers finally use data and technology to improve sales. You’ll have the ability to understand your audience better, and machine-learning algorithms will provide highly targeted ads that perfectly match your audience’s interests. With programmatic buying (read about things you will need to learn about programmatic buying), publishers are instantly linked to the demand sources locally and globally. Additionally, publishers understand the value of the inventory better when putting it into a highly competitive bidding environment.
With display advertising, publishers choose how many ads appear on the page, select the ad formats (text, banner, video, pop-ups, interactive, etc.), the content of the ads and even colors. When you become an electronic publisher and sell through the SSP, you always place price floors; therefore, you can’t lose. The ad serving ecosystem allows publishers to sell ads for maximum gain and get 100 percent fill rates. Depending on your objectives, you can choose to work with local brands or with global brands.
Display advertising is the most effective advertising method for publishers because it requires a minimal investment, it’s easy to begin and it is fully automated. Therefore, over half of the manual work — finding media buyers, negotiating prices — is minimized and performed by machines.
3. Selling Ad Space Directly
Finally, a publisher searching for the very best way to market their website might consider direct ad sales. This method excludes the middleman (ad networks, ad exchanges, affiliate networks) and allows publishers to make direct contact with media buyers, earning significantly more money. That said, this method is more time consuming and requires a lot of effort and patience.
When selling space directly, publishers market a merchant’s product or service, receiving 100 percent of the advertising revenue. Furthermore, publishers set their own pricing and stay in control over decisions about how to charge buyers and which payment method is most desirable.
Finally, publishers choose which brands to work with, establishing unique business partnerships that are both long-lasting and lucrative. With direct sales, media owners guarantee stable revenue streams and never have headaches due to clicks, conversions, and sales.
The secret is that selling ad slots directly means finding advertisers manually and negotiating terms together. This process may be daunting, particularly for small and medium websites with average traffic.
So, how can you find those who want to advertise on your website? First, you can create an”Advertise” landing page and a media kit. Secondly, you can check similar market sites or competitor’s websites and see what brands host those platforms. Next, you can try contacting those brands and give a partnership on your terms. You may also check the forums or chatrooms where website publishers share their experiences and offer useful advice on how to advertise directly.
Selling ad space directly involves direct contact with retailers and direct discussions and agreement between two parties. Before offering space on your website, you must know the real value of your target audiences and be able to estimate the possible revenues. Also, you may read this article – A quick guide to website and website traffic monetization.
Where Do I Start?
Digital publishers face an important choice when it comes to advertising. In this article, we covered three major procedures to selling ad space online, and each has their own advantages and disadvantages. When picking a way to advertise, consider whether you fit the requirements. Also, consider your objectives:
- Do you wish to have a separate page for ads?
- Do you prefer to obtain maximum revenues with programmatic?
- Do you need a particular brand to host you with direct sales?
Become a digital publisher, and unleash your audience’s potential. Showcase ads, receive revenues and consider how to market them even more