Generating Revenue by Advertising on your Free Site

by Andrea Butterworth

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Summary : So you want to make some money by selling advertising on your site? Well keep in mind that there are some pretty large hurdles to leap over before a site is ready to host advertising.

Sure you may think it’s easy because when you’re browsing around in cyberspace you see little ads on some really poorly designed sites that have nothing interesting or attractive about them. Of course these people aren’t making enough money to pay for the cup of coffee they drank while putting that ad up on their site.

Things you have to consider if you want to make some money by selling advertising on your Site involve maximum exposure. You will want to make time to ensure you have your site above par. In order for advertising to be effective you need traffic to your site. In order to get good traffic coming to your site you need to be providing information or services that people want.

A well designed site with quality content is going to win out every time over those ugly, boring sites we talked about earlier. In addition, you will want to consider providing “sticky content”, that is, content that people will want to return to, refer others to, bookmark, talk about – whatever. We’re talking about developing a community of users who will (hopefully) click on those ads.

OK -go build that super site and we’ll see you in a couple of months! 🙂

Click through ads are not the only kind of ad return out there – there are many. Let’s have a look at the different types of online advertising, and some terminology.

CPC is one type of advertising and stands for “Cost Per Click”. In a CPC campaign you get paid every time a user clicks on the ad and visits the advertiser’s site also called the “Click Through Rate” (CTR).

CPM stands for “Cost Per Thousand” and refers to the number of times the page is viewed by your site visitors. Each ‘Page View’ is also called an ‘Impression’.

CPA stands for “Cost Per Action” and is similar to CPC except that the user must complete some action upon arriving at the advertisers site i.e. buy a product or subscribe to a newsletter.

Interstitial ads are those ads that are like flash intros ie- you’ve got to sit through them until the site you are trying to access loads.

Rich Media refers to ads created with such technologies as flash, java applets, streaming video etc.

Ads come in different formats and standard sizes as well. Here is a list of different industry standard ad sizes:
468×60 – banner ad
120×600 -skyscraper
234×60 – half banner
125×125 – square
120×90 – button
120 x 60 -button
88 x 31 -button
120 x 240 vertical banner
400 x 400 large block
300 x 250 block

The next thing you will want to know about is ad-serving. Advertisers need proof, usually in the form of statistics, in order to pay out. This means you need to either purchase some type of ad-serving software or build some yourself. There are lots of tutorials on the Web about doing this very thing and it generally involves building a rotator to cycle ads around your site but also tracks impressions and clicks.

Now, how to you charge for ad spots on your site. Check out the competition and see if you can find out how much they are charging. Look for a media-kit or call or email them and pose as an interested advertiser. Conversely, you could also call the company providing the advertisements and ask what they have been paying.

You will have to do some analyzing of your facts and figures, taking into account how much you spend on hosting and other tid-bits, as well as a reasonable and conservative estimate of how much real estate you will successfully be able to sell on your site. Tack on a bit of profit and cross your fingers that you are in line with what your competition is charging.

All you have left to do is convince advertisers that your site will give them good exposure and a reasonable ROI (return on investment). Put on your salesman cap and sell yourself. Build a persuasive media-kit to help convince those advertisers that your site will be worth it for them.

Now go get em’…

Want some help? Visit the Bravenet Media Network!


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