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((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) July 27, 2000

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http://www.webreference.com http://www.webreference.com/new/ http://www.webreference.com/new/submit.html New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. CONTEST: Subscribe & Win! 2. FEATURED ARTICLE: Selling Advertising on Your Site 3. NET NEWS: * Court Nixes Napster * U.S. Senators Propose Web Privacy Legislation * NSI Accused by Rivals of Hoarding Domain Names

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. CONTEST: Submit & Win XMetaL 2.0 - Last Chance!

>Submit & Win!

Every Thursday the Update features a new article contributed by our readers through our Open Publishing Initiative. We encourage you to submit your own article ideas. Your words could be here! And for one last week, you've got a chance to win the hot new XML editor from SoftQuad, XMetaL 2.0. Just get your article published in the Webreference Update, and you'll walk away with your very own copy.

http://www.webreference.com/new/submit.html

This week, writer Adam Laitt takes a look at selling advertising on your site. If you're ready to start advertising, you need to consider what you are selling, how you're serving it up, how much you're charging and how you're going to find someone to pay for it. Thanks for the article Adam, and enjoy XMetal 2.0!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. FEATURED ARTICLE: Selling Advertising on Your Site

To successfully sell advertising on your Web site, your site has to be interesting, unique, well-designed and have a reasonably high traffic rate. If you're ready to set out on this path, this week's feature article contains all you need to know to get started.

>Create a MediaKit

The first step in getting advertisers to buy space from you is to convince them that you have the right demographics, traffic rates and prices, and that advertising with you will bring a good ROI (return on investment) for the advertiser. To do this, you need to create a media kit, which states all of these figures plus any additional information the advertiser may wish to know, such as success of previous banners and click through rates. Basically, your success in the independent advertising world is reliant on this very important page. For an example, take a look at the Internet.com Media Kit at www.internet.com/mediakit/.

>How to Start Receiving a Return on Your Investment

You have several options for selling advertising on your Web site. Your first option is to sell the advertising yourself. This can be done by either actively contacting companies that you think may wish to advertise on your site, or by simply posting an extensive media kit on your site and waiting for advertisers to contact you. At any rate, a media kit is a necessity (as mentioned previously). If you decide to actively promote and sell your advertising slots, always remember to be courteous, and make a list of the reasons for the company to advertise on your site before you begin. If you can convince yourself, you can convince them! If you do decide to simply let the advertisers come to you, be prepared for mixed results until you have quite a high traffic rate.

A second option for your site is to hire an advertising sales rep. This is pointless for sites that get a low number of unique visitors per month, as these representatives often require huge fees and commissions that make profits for small sites a virtual impossibility. If you choose either of these two options, you will need an ad serving/hosting solution. If you're on a low budget, one good option is phpAds, which is free, and is a php/ mysql-powered script with many options. (www.htmlwizard.net/phpAds/)

If your site has a reasonable amount of traffic, then you should probably look at an ad server like Virtual Spinbox, and if you expect impressions to be in the millions, then consider a dedicated hardware solution. (www.spinbox.com) For additional links to ad servers and management services, head to: webreference.com/promotion/banners/.

A final option, well worth considering, is joining a large CPM advertising network such as BURSTmedia or Flycast Technologies. These networks sell your advertising for you, at a price, which leaves you with much more free time and time to expand your site's content, thus growing traffic rates. These ad networks often require minimum traffic levels that can be difficult to attain when your site first launches, depending on your target audience and publicity levels.

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-=GOT QUESTIONS? WANT ANSWERS?=- Adventive discussion lists are communities of Internet and technology professionals dedicated to helping you develop and acquire the knowledge that sets you apart. With digests like I-Search, I-Design and I-Wireless, you can learn from others and keep on top of recent developments in your field. SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE FREE! http://www.adventive.com

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>What to Charge

What to charge is always the biggest question most first time ad sellers confront. Consider pricing on a sliding scale, rewarding big advertising buyers (i.e., the more impressions they buy, the less the cost is per 1000 impressions). If you have a lower trafficked site (between 10K-30k unique visitors per month), then you are unlikely to get more than between 5-10$ CPM (per thousand impressions). If you have a medium amount of traffic (30000- 600000 unique visitors per month), you are probably looking at 10- 30$ CPM. Anything above that can be charged at whatever rate you feel the market will bear, depending on the uniqueness of your site, the quality of your design and content, the amount of targeting available, the banner rotating software you use and a host of other variables. (Please note that visitors are NOT Page views - they are unique people coming to your site)

>What to Sell

What kind of advertising you sell on your Web site is limited only by your imagination. Traditionally a Web site will have one or two 468*60 banners as well as perhaps 2-3 micro 88*31 buttons which can be rented to an advertiser. If you have an ezine or mailing list that has a reasonable (750+) subscriber base you can also sell positions there, usually a top position and a bottom or middle position, though this varies.

Recently however, the effects of traditional forms of Web advertising, such as banners, have been significantly blunted as surfers have become more and more net savvy and have become accustomed to simply ignoring banners on a page. Advertisers usually want something more, which has lead to the development of content sponsorships, one of the most effective ways of getting an advertiser's name out there and drawing clicks. A prime example of this is Clickz.com which promotes a content sponsor by adding a little "sponsored by..." line after the link on the navigation bar as well as two or three side ads and the advertisers name everywhere in the section. This makes a lot of money for Clickz as well as making the advertiser very happy, as there is generally a very good amount of branding and click-throughs.

Other options for effective advertising include pop-up windows, also known as daughter windows, which have a high click rate because of their relative newness and the content and types of ads usually found in this format. [ed. note - Be aware that some viewers find pop-up windows to be very annoying.] Another regularly used option is interstitial ads, which work like a television commercial, filling the page in between one page and the next.

The moment you begin to sell advertising, your Web site stops being a hobby and begins to be a small business. Your advertisers are clients, treat them courteously and with respect and if you follow all of the tips outlined above and think creatively with regards to the types of advertising you sell, you will have a successful Web site.

>Additional Information and Links:

Advertising Networks Links http://webreference.com/promotion/banners/networks.html

Ad Management Software Links http://webreference.com/promotion/banners/software.html

Banner Ad Placement Study http://webreference.com/dev/banners/

Ad Management Software Roundup http://www.webdevelopersjournal.com/software/ad_packages_1.html

Internet Ad Types http://www.webdevelopersjournal.com/columns/types_of_ads.html

The Basics of Web Site Promotion http://www.wdvl.com/Location/Promotion/Basics.html

Ad Resource - Advertising and promotion services for the Web http://adres.internet.com/

Turbo Ads - Resources for Rich Media Advertising http://www.turboads.com/

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***********************************************************adv.*** About the author:

Adam Laitt runs the soon-to-launch AdsSuite.com - you can sign up now for launch notification. In addition, he works as a full-time Web consultant, specializing in advertising strategies and techniques for internet startups at reasonable rates. Adam can be contacted at adam@staindnet.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. NET NEWS: Court Nixes Napster, U.S. Senators Propose Web Privacy Legislation, NSI Accused by Rivals of Hoarding Domain Names

>Court Nixes Napster

A federal judge on Wednesday issued an injunction temporarily shutting down Napster, siding with recording industry arguments that the song-swapping service facilitated piracy and copyright infringement. http://www.internetnews.com/streaming-news/article/0,2171,8161_424191,00.html InternetNews.com, 000727

>U.S. Senators Propose Web Privacy Legislation

Responding to a groundswell of public concern about privacy on the Internet, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators Wednesday proposed a bill that would require Web sites to post clear and concise information about their privacy practices. http://www.idg.net/ic_205214_1794_9-10000.html IDG.net, 000726

>NSI Accused by Rivals of Hoarding Domain Names

Competitors of Network Solutions are furious over what they say is the Virginia company's refusal to put least 1 million expired or unpaid names back into the "pool" for others to register. http://www.news.com/Perspectives/Column/0,176,465,00.html News.com, 000721

That's it for this week, see you next time.

Andrew King Managing Editor, WebReference.com update@webreference.com

Eric Cook Assistant Editor, WebReference.com ecook@internet.com

Catherine Levy Assistant Editor, WebReference.com clevy@internet.com

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