WebRef Update: Featured Article: Selling Advertising on Your Site
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.
Revised: July 28, 2000