Selling advertising space on a website or blog is an enormous sign of success for bloggers and webmasters. Most of the bloggers consider that getting approval and running Google Adsense or ads of other premium advertising networks is the success. But selling an ad space of the website to a direct advertiser is what is considered the genuine success. Speaking about ad space, it’s like selling direct banner ads. Selling links to sponsors or connecting affiliate networks for partnership is something different and easier.
Usually, advertisers do not wish to advertise their products and services directly on a website for some reason(s). They will advertise only on high-quality websites with good content and branding. If you can able to attract direct advertisers and sell your first ad space, that is the day of genuine success in your blogging career. In this article, I will discuss my experience in selling ad space(s) of my website to direct advertisers and explain how to sell banner ads space on your website.
What is Direct Online Advertising?
Selling an ad space/ad inventory/ directly to an advertiser is direct advertising. With direct advertising, no middle agent will involve in the process.
Types of Direct Advertising:
1. Selling direct banner ads:
This type is considered as the hardest part compared to other types mentioned below. In this type, selling the ad space that fits banner ads like 300 x 250, 728 x 90, 468 x 60 to an advertiser for a fixed cost or based on CPM.
The advertiser will pay you money to place their banner in one of the ad space(s) available on the website like header part, sidebar, footer, etc.
You can charge the advertiser on a monthly basis or based on conversions. It’s wise to go with a fixed monthly budget instead of a conversion based contract since a low conversion rate might hurt the earnings.
2. Selling Sponsored post or links:
The advertiser will ask you to write a review about their product like a blog post or place a link of their product in the existing post that provides value to their brand.
You may charge the advertisers based on the authority and branding of your website.
3. Affiliate Partnerships:
This is the most common type of advertising where the affiliate manager or the network official will contact you directly to make you the part of their network.
You may be asked to promote relevant programs of the advertisers to generate lead or sale to the advertiser on behalf of the affiliate network.
Affiliate marketing is a vast topic. You may read this if you want to learn the basics of affiliate marketing.
Direct Ads vs Ad Networks:
Usually, bloggers prefer ad networks to monetize their websites. The ad networks will automatically fill the ad spaces of the publisher’s website with relevant ads. For every valid interaction, the advertiser will pay the publisher. And for managing the activities, automating ad delivery, and connecting the advertisers to the publishers, the ad networks will take a share from the publisher’s revenue. For example, Google Adsense share 68% of revenue for the publishers and takes 32% from overall revenue.
So, the publishers lose a part of the revenue generated by them if they go with ad networks. With direct advertising, the whole will come to your pocket and you have full control over the ads displayed on your website.
Check out – Best PPL affiliate networks.
Who should go for Direct Advertising to Sell Banner ads?
- Not everyone could sell their ad spaces to a direct advertiser. The potential advertisers will look into several factors before they advertise on a website.
- If you have a website that is very familiar in a specific category or a super brand website that targets multi-category, you have chances to attract direct advertisers.
- Websites with low traffic are not fit for direct advertising. But they can try direct ad selling sites to attract direct advertisers.
Few Basic requirements to sell banner ads on your website:
- These are some of the basic requirements if you’re looking on to sell ad spaces on your website to the direct advertisers.
- For selling ad space on your website, the first requirement is traffic. Your site must generate high traffic to attract potential advertisers.
- The website must receive a high volume of traffic from the search engines. Referral traffic is usually considered low-quality traffic.
- Previously, Alexa ranking was considered as an important metrics even though it’s not accurate. Since Alexa has shut down their services, it’s time to improve other recognised metrics such as the Moz Domain Authority.
- You must have a site with high-quality design and ad inventories with high viewability. Poor layout design and color setting will give a poor impression on your website.
- The age of the website is one of the important factors that direct advertisers will consider. The website should be old enough to build trust among internet users.
- Webmasters should concentrate on branding if they wish to sell advertising space on the website.
- The website must have a high-quality unique content for selling banner ads. Unlike ad networks, the advertisers will advertise only on sites with high quality, unique content.
- Direct advertisers don’t prefer general category sites that have mixed content. Instead, they prefer category-specific sites.
Refer – Top 10 Pop Under ad networks.
How to Sell Ad Space or Banner ads to Direct Advertisers:
- The first rule to sell ad space on a website is letting the advertisers know that ad space(s) are available for direct advertising. This can be done by adding an Advertise page on your website. Put a link to the Advertise page at the top or bottom of your site.
- The “Advertise page” should contain all the information about your website. Summarize your website, traffic stats, rank, etc.
- Tell the reason the advertiser should buy the ad space(s) of your website.
- If possible, add a downloadable media kit to make it more professional.
Adding Sample Screenshots of the Ad Spaces with Banner ad examples:
- To let the advertisers know how the ad will appear on your site after purchase, add the screenshot of your web page highlighting the ad space(s). This will help the advertisers to visualize how their ad will appear on your site.
- Do not add too many ad spaces because it might reduce the site value. Limit the ad spaces to two and maximum three.
- Advertisers prefer ad inventories above the fold for maximum viewability. So, sell the ad space(s) above the fold.
- The ad sizes must be the most commonly used sizes like 300 x 250, 728 x 90, 125 x 125, 468 x 60
Fixing Price for the Ad Inventories:
- The most challenging part of selling advertising space to direct advertisers is fixing the price for the ad space. By fixing high you make the advertisers run and by fixing low you give some free ad impressions.
- If you want to sell ads to direct advertisers and make more profit compared to the ad units of the ad networks, you must analyze the performance of the ad space(s).
- You can use the banner ad unit of the ad networks or affiliate ad banner to test the primary factors like CTR, CR, etc.
- After analyzing the clicks, sales, and leads, fix a profitable rate for the ad space. Do not copy the ad rates from other sites that can outperform or underperform.
- You can mention the ad price on the advertising page or you can tell them to the advertisers when they enquire.
Recommended article – List of CPA affiliate networks that pay weekly.
Handling the Inquires from the Direct Advertisers:
- When the direct advertisers inquire about the ad space(s), you must handle them carefully.
- Apart from the details given on the Advertise page and the media kit, the advertisers might question you more about the advertising policies.
- If you did not mention the ad rate on the Advertise page. Send the price for the ad space.
- Ask the Advertiser to send the ad creatives and the landing page URL. Only accept high-quality category relevant ads.
- Here are some inquiries I’ve received regarding the direct ad sale. I hid a few words to protect their privacy.
Direct Advertising Inquiry – 1:
Direct Advertising Inquiry – 2:
Selling Banner ads Inquiry – 3:
Advertising Partnership Inquiry – 4:
Sharing My Experience on Selling the First Ad Space of My Website for $100 to a Direct Advertiser:
- I’ve sold the ad space(s) of my website many times to different advertisers. This is the first one in my history.
- I received an inquiry from a direct advertiser through e-mail as shown below:
- We had a deep discussion about advertising. I made sure that the creatives used for advertising are of high quality.
- I’ve sent the rates for the leaderboard ad format and the rectangle sidebar ad format. He then confirmed that he wants to advertise on sidebar 300 x 250 above the fold.
- Based on the ad space performance and the impressions, I’ve fixed the price of $150 to advertise on the sidebar.
- The advertiser said $150 is a good price for the ad space, but he asked me to reduce the price further. Since that was my first direct ad sale, I thought not to miss the opportunity.
- I accepted to sell banner ads space for $100. Both of us are happy with the deal.
- As a part of direct advertising, both advertisers and the publisher should sign the contract to prevent fraudulent acts. We both signed the IO before starting the direct advertising campaign.
- I’ve scanned a part of the IO (for your reference) which contains the terms of the advertising campaign.
- After agreeing to the terms, I’ve placed the ad code on my site. After a review with satisfaction, he paid me through PayPal.
- This is the first time I’ve sold the ad space to a direct advertiser. I’ve learned more about selling direct ads after the first sale. Then after I’ve sold the banner ad space(s) many times.
Selling Ad Spaces through Third Party Sites:
- If you’re struggling to sell banner ads space on your sites directly, you can go with third party direct advertising networks to sell ad space.
- The third-party ad networks will help you showcase your site and its ad spaces in front of potential advertisers. The advertisers will easily find your site to advertise.
- For helping you to sell ad space on your website, the direct ad selling network will take a share as commission, which will vary based on their terms.
- I’ve sold ads through these networks many times. The advantage is you can sell impressions to multiple advertisers or you can sell on a fixed monthly basis to a specific advertiser.
- The best sites to sell banner ads space are Buysellads and Adclerks. Read my review about Adclerks.
- These sites only accept high-quality sites with good traffic volume.
Advantages of Selling Banner Ads to Direct Advertisers:
- Selling ad space directly to an advertiser can be profitable compared to using ad networks.
- By selling ads, the brand value of your website increases.
- Your website will get special attention among bloggers.
- Your love for blogging increases if you sell the ad space to a direct advertiser.
- Increase the revenue of your website by installing ads of CPC networks, CPM networks and by selling ad space at the same time.
Disadvantages of Selling Direct Banner Ads to the Advertisers:
- Selling ad space on your website is very hard unless there are quality content, high traffic, and consistent branding.
- Finding potential direct advertisers is a hell. You might end up in failure even if you have a high-quality website.
- Maintaining the sold ads is a headache.
- Direct advertisers might opt-out of the advertising campaign if they don’t get results.
- Satisfying direct advertisers is a tough job.
- Direct advertisers prefer the US, AU, CA, UK, and European traffic. They consider traffic from other countries as low-quality traffic.
- There are high chances of getting cheated on either side.
How to Find Direct Advertisers to Sell Banner Ads:
- If you’re struggling to sell ad space on your website. The reason might be that the potential advertisers had no opportunity to find your website. In such cases, you must let the advertisers know about your website.
- The first option is you can sign up in a direct ad selling site which is explained above. There they will feature your website in front of tons of potential advertisers. You have the chance to sell the ad space within the first month.
- If you don’t wish to pay commissions to the direct ad-serving sites, you can join the site and verify the accounts of other publishers to find the advertisers.
- Use Google AdWords and ads of other ad networks to find the advertisers in your website category.
I hope now you’ve got an idea about how to sell advertising space. I wish you to succeed by selling the first ad space of your website.