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Professional Webmaster Business Issues Forum

Requests For Advertising
How do you go about handle requests...

 1:31 am on May 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I run an online magazine website and often get requests to advertise on my site.

Most are bogus, but I've received a few from reputable businesses that are looking for exposure to my readers.

Does anyone have experience with this?

These businesses don't have affiliate programs, so I'm thinking about a contract type situation where I charge them a certain amount per month.



 9:31 am on May 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

One big site in my arena charges $50 per 10,000 impressions, have you considered doing that?


 12:35 pm on May 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

No I haven't, but it does sound like a plan. I've never hosted an advertiser on a contract basis.


 1:36 pm on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you don't want to do all the backend stuff yourself, you could sign up for adbrite. The only disadvantage is that they hold your money for awhile.


 2:38 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was actually thinking about Adbrite yesterday, but I've never looked at the process.

I'll check it out to see if it's worth it.



 3:22 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you have an ad server, there isn't a whole lot of "back end" stuff to do to sell ads to advertisers who find you. You set your prices and usually sign an I/O (which stands for insertion order -it's the advertising industry equivalent of a purchase order.)

Sometimes the advertiser or agency initiates the I/O and you sign it and return it to them. A few of them want you to initiate it and send it to them. Either way all it does is state who will be billed, what kind of ads will be run, how many, what the cost is, when billing will be done, and any restrictions you have on the creative (size of the ads, file size for image ads, placement of ads, etc.)

Then you run the ads you promised on the schedule and in the quantity you promised. At the end of the month you send an invoice.

You can save time responding to advertising inquiries by preparing a rate card and sending it in response to ad inquiries. A "rate card" is a word doc or text file that tells a little about the site, who uses it, what you charge for various size ads.

From what I've been seeing in the past 6 months or so, there are more advertisers - and their agencies- looking for good niche sites to advertise on. And, there's a lot less of the competitive RFP/ spreadsheet stuff to fill in than there was back in 1998-2000. Or, at least the advertisers an agencies we've been seeing have a lot less red tape now than those of a few years back.

I'm not sure what AdBrite pays, but just in general its been my experience over the years that I've made a lot more money dealing one on one with advertisers and agencies placing ads for a single advertiser at a time than I make getting ads through ad networks. The only exception to that is (sometimes) AdSense.

Sometimes AdSense pays off better for the use of a certain size ad block than individual advertisers will pay.

If you aren't sure what to charge for ads, AdSense can be a good way to determine your pricing. Just charge advertisers more than you'd get by running the same size AdSense ad block in any space.


 3:26 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

One other thing. Ads that aren't sold on a pay per click or perfomance (pay if a sale is made) are usually quoted as CPM - cost per thousand ad impressions.

If you charge $15 CPM for a skyscraper ad (120 x 600) and can expect to display the ad 100,000 times in a month, you'd charge 100 x $15 or $1500.


 5:42 pm on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks attard... that's a lot of useful information!


 10:18 pm on May 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was thinking about starting an "ad sales bureau" for just this type of situation.

Something for webmasters/publishers that is in between Adsense, etc. and having your own sales staff (or selling your own ads).

Sites are reviewed individually by human beings and you have to have a certain level of quality content and traffic to be allowed into the system.

If done properly, should be higher revenues for the publisher and better leads for the advertiser.

(Yes, I know this is also what John Batelle is doing at FM Publishing and there are a couple other "networks" out there).



 10:39 pm on May 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you have Adsense, you can do one thing I do: look at what my CPM for Adsense ads are, double that, and charge that to the advertiser. I may also look at how much I have made per month on that particular section of the site, double that, and charge them a flat monthly rate.

(Actually, I tend to go for the flat monthly rate just because it's easier for me to keep track of. Pay me, ad goes up, one calendar month later, you get a payment reminder, and the ad comes down.)

If you have other advertising, a similar thing applies: compare what you make from it and price your other advertising accordingly.

People will say that the days of $10.00 CPM are gone, but that has not been my experience on my sites.



 4:27 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Depending on what type of site you have and the type of advertiser, you might do different things.

One of the website I run is a community website, so everything has to be pretty easy to do and understand. No CPM, CPC, etc. Just plans you can buy.

I create a 2 page rate sheet with two types of advertising, banner and directory.

- 1 month
- 6 month
- 12 month

- Free (name, address)
- Bronze (description, etc)
- Silver (logo, top level)
- Gold (everything)

I have a form people fill out and I send them back the rate sheet and walk them through any issues or questions.

So far, so good.



 7:12 am on May 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

CPC, as a second choice you could try CPC, if that doesn't work I would suggest CPC. If all of the above fail then I would suggest your only possible course of action would be CPC.

Now you should be laughing at this point;), if not let me make a joke you can't resist!

If it works for Google & Yahoo, MSN, why is it such a bad solution for you? Yeah, because they can sell it and you can't!

Sorry, you need to fix that issue, or quit right now....the choice is yours!


 4:48 pm on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

(Actually, I tend to go for the flat monthly rate just because it's easier for me to keep track of. Pay me, ad goes up, one calendar month later, you get a payment reminder, and the ad comes down.)

One of the website I run is a community website, so everything has to be pretty easy to do and understand. No CPM, CPC, etc. Just plans you can buy.

I'm starting to see that this may be the approach I have to take for hosting advertising. The businesses in my niche seem to contact me directly about advertising space, and they all seem to be looking for simple plans.

Thanks for the info.

Now, I have to figure out a way provide simple transactions between the payer and the payee!


 10:19 pm on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

We also charge a flat rate, just because it is easiest on us. Put the ad up and then shoot the advertiser an email reminder about renewal 5 months later (our minimum run is for six months). I'd say 60% of our advertisers renew. We base the rate on the previous six months' worth of traffic: number of pageviews x average AdSense clickthrough rate x .30 or whatever is the going rate is for clicks.


 1:30 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

(Our minimum run is for six months)

I'm thinking about making my minimum 1-month, but I need to figure out a good way to track ad performance.


 11:45 pm on Jun 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

go for flat monthly rate. I'm doing websites for vary clients too, and when it's came for paying for advertising, 90% of my clients are scared when I say to buy CPM. Or make a plan containing both variants, then analyse the results.


 5:25 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah when you are reaching out to advertisers who are not big internet advertisers and may have smaller budgets, the idea of cpc or cpm may seem a bit scary and unwieldy.

I am also about to implement a pretty nice flat-rate fee for my site, although I am actually going to have maximum terms of advertising for now, as I want to be able to raise rates as the site grows.

If you sell it as more of a partnership and associatation and not just a straight eyeball to webpage kind of deal , I think you can do well with a flat-rate plan. Especially if you are targetting smaller niche advertisers. There is value beyond clickthroughs for advertising, and that cant be dismissed. So you need to work with them and make sure you properly allow them to be recognized as branded sponsors of your site.


 4:02 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

How are you determining your asking price for flat-rate ads?

I'm in the same situation - starting to get valid inquiries about running ads on one of my sites and trying to figure out how best to respond.


 10:08 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Possibly you can determine it by calculating the actual cost to you and or how long it take to perform a task and thereupon on averrage you can be able to set a flat rate.

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