If managed properly, a successful niche website can be one of the best possible sources of passive income. This is accomplished by populating the website with relevant advertising, which will then generate income when your visitors either follow the ads to an advertiser’s website or buy a product. But just how do you sell advertising on your website? In this article, we’ll take a look at 4 different methods for generating advertising revenue with your website.
Start With the Basics
Before you really start selling advertising on your website, there are a few things you must do. The first is, of course, to build your website and create enough content that it will be valuable to visitors. There is almost nothing worse than a website that is clearly designed only to display ads and make its owner money. Rather, you should be sure that the ads will only be a small part of your site’s content.
Next, you will need to get traffic to your site. There are any number of ways of doing this, including enhanced search engine optimization and social media marketing. However you accomplish it, you want to have a steady flow of organic traffic coming to your site before you start worrying about selling advertising space. Conventional wisdom has it that your site should have 50 or more pieces of relevant content and receive 100-200 visitors a day before you should even begin to think about selling advertising.
Probably the most basic and beginner friendly way to sell advertising space on a website, Google’s Adsense program allows you to construct ad units that will come in various sizes and colors to match your website. An HTML code is then provided for you to apply to your website. Once this is done, the ad unit will appear in your web page, and will display advertisements relevant to your page’s content or to the viewer’s recent Google search history.
Easy though it is, Adsense is far from being the highest earning method of selling website advertisement. Adsense ads pay you whenever a visitor from your site clicks on them. While this is convenient, the payouts can be very low. The amount any given ad will generate will depend on the topic and the amount the advertiser is paying, but most advertisements will bring in $1 or less per click. If you are going to use Adsense, it is important to research your keywords carefully using Google Adwords to find higher paying keywords.
Selling Advertising Space Through a Platform
There now exist many websites that are specifically intended to connect website owners and advertisers willing to pay for a semi-permanent advertising space. While there are others, the 800 pound gorilla in this market is a website called BuySellAds. BuySellAds can help you connect with advertisers willing to pay good sums of money for space on your site.
Unlike Adsense, these ads are paid for on a flat monthly basis. This can be very good for you, because you get paid regardless of how high or low the conversion rate is in a given month. This can also lead to much greater profits, as advertisers using these programs are often willing to pay several hundred dollars per month for space on your site, and you can sell ads in more than one space. The drawback, however, is the fact that you have to have much higher traffic to make use of this method. Often, advertisers are looking for websites that have hundreds, if not thousands, of unique views per day.
Selling Advertising Space Directly
You can, of course, attempt to sell advertising space on your website directly to companies that are relevant to the type of content you publish. This method can be difficult, but often yields the best results. To sell your advertising space directly, you will need to find several websites, each in a niche similar to your own, and find contact information for them. Next, you will need to email each one and ask if they would be interested in advertising on your site. Be sure to display what you have to offer: providing traffic reports, recurring visitor statistics, and data on the conversion rates of other advertisements you have run in the past may help to interest them. You will probably receive a few rejections, and many website owners simply won’t get back to you at all, but if you can find one who is interested, you have the ability to make a deal on your own terms.
Because this type of advertisement sale requires negotiation between two parties, there are no hard and fast rules for the terms you will get. Payment, ad type, and all other details will be dependent on what each of you feels comfortable with.
While a much different type, affiliate marketing is still a form of advertising. In this case, you pick products specifically to promote to your visitors, and then receive a commission when a visitor from your site buys the product you are promoting. Much like Google Adsense, this will require you to put advertising units into your content. You can also put links to affiliate products directly into the text on your website. To find companies that offer affiliate deals, check out Clickbank.com or CJ.com. Amazon.com also offers an affiliate program, allowing you to promote Amazon products for a 6% commission.
This type of advertising, much like Adsense, requires a lot of traffic to really be successful, but you can implement ad units on your page regardless of your existing traffic levels. Commission rates will vary by the company you are working with, but are typically between 5-15%. This can, of course, be very remunerative, but it takes a lot of sales to add up to serious money. For this reason, you should build traffic up to a very significant level if you intend to use affiliate advertising.
These are 4 of the most common ways to sell advertising on your website. As to which is best, it is difficult to say, because every website is different. For most sites, using an ad selling platform or dealing directly with advertisers will yield the highest profits. There are, however, many sites which make their owners a great deal of money using affiliate marketing or even Google Adsense.
Whichever method you decide to use, be sure to integrate it into a site that provides great value and content to your readers. By doing this, you can not only increase the amount of traffic you will get, but also make the ads you put on your site seem more trustworthy. You can also play around with the color scheme, size, and positioning of your advertisements. Finding ways to make ads seem to be more visually blended with the overall design of your website can help to increase their conversion rates, which will help to make you more money.