Banner ads are one form of monetisation for websites that really don’t get enough publicity. Most webmasters who want to quickly generate cash will attempt to do so by using Google AdSense simply because it’s quicker and easier to set up and means earning passive income while they sleep. Otherwise will attempt to make money from other methods which allow them to take home a greater ‘cut’ of the pie – by selling affiliate products for instance or by selling their own products and keeping 100% of the profits.
But banner ads certainly have their place and it’s a big mistake to ignore them. Not only are they more reliable than many other forms of advertising – giving you a monthly revenue that you can then invest into other things – but they are also simple and easy to set up and potentially very profitable.
Knowing What You’ve Got
The reason I know this is that I originally came from the publishing industry. Here, selling advertising space is one of the main ways that magazines make money and this is something that can be highly profitable. Say you have a magazine with a ‘circulation’ of around 3,000 (meaning that 3-5,000 people will read it a month) – now you will be able to sell advertising space to companies for hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month and all they get in return is a single page or a small corner at the back.
Now if you get at least 100 unique visitors a day, then that means that you’ll have probably a similar kind of exposure as that magazine. Better yet, you’ll be able to offer adverts that are clickable, that can be animated and that will likely be viewed multiple times by the same people. You can offer site wide ads, pop-up ads and more, all of which will be seen by thousands of eyes. If you can explain that to companies, then you can get them to invest a similar amount or more in advertising your site.
The problem is that most site owners don’t realise what they have and don’t realise that there’s a demand for it out there. Likewise, many site owners and bloggers are afraid to pick up the phone and don’t consider themselves as ‘serious’ enough to speak to ‘real’ businesses. This of course is a hugely limiting mistake – if you can just bring yourself to pick up the phone and start selling then you’ll find that you have just as much right to do so as any other publishing company. And while it might be awkward at first, you have nothing to lose and you’ll only get better with time.
Tips and Strategies
For this to work though you need to offer a professional advertising opportunity. That means you need to know your figures, you need to know the demographics that read your site, and you need to make your site professional enough that companies want to be associated with it. Create some brand power and you will greatly increase the value of your offering.
Another tip is to offer a versatile deal that companies can tailor to their specific needs. For instance, many of the companies you approach won’t have banners already and as such it’s smart to offer to build them for them. Best of all, you can charge a premium for this service and make more out of them in the long run.
Publishing companies will have marketing departments to handle this, and will keep a database of their advertisers. This allows them to keep track of who is currently paying for advertising, whose contracts are up for renewal and what each companies aims are. This can be a good strategy, and making notes of things like holidays can be useful for you to win over your advertisers and get them to place more orders.
It’s also important of course to target the right kinds of advertisers. The best options will be companies that are relevant to your niche, that have a website that has a high conversion rate and that perhaps aren’t already doing their own online marketing.
All this can be learned on the job though, the real moral here is to dip your toe in and have a go at picking up the phone. You might be surprised at what people are willing to pay to be associated with you.