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A banner ad rotating system that counts impressions and stores them in a web viewable database.
A secure form with a cc proccessor to accept credit card payments.
Organized results of poll questions from my site.
And I'm designing a media kit now.
Besides finding the advertisers, what else am I missing to sell CPM's on my own?
Nothing, that's the primary infrastructure. But I've found that a couple of detailed "sales scenario" pages where I walk them through examples of the reports and cite examples relevant to their industry (I cover 2 primary markets) helps.
Also, get as much demographic info about your traffic as you can. Advertisers need that.
<added>Also, figure out your exit pages. Those might be the biggest money-makers if you ever switch to CPC.</added>
None that I know of.
>some sites charge as much as $35/CPM and others about $15/CPM.
Rate cards, even in the offline world, are bogus. Expect steeeeeep discounts in the range of 50% or more to derive "the going rate."
I get $8 - $15 CPM on mine (depends on the level of targeting). IMO, you're likely to find many independents selling in the $3 - $8 range.
i think this question is relevant to this thread. how do you exclude non-human traffic from your impression and click-thru stats? do your advertisers trust you to exclude them or do you provide them with some sort of i.p. analysis? i get a heck of a lot of non-human traffic.
i hope you don't have to use java script to overcome this. (i don't like JS)
Nope, if they're buying impressions it's a raw number, bots and all. Some understand the dynamics, some don't. Most of my clients, since they tend to want to be long-term, want some sort of flatrate or minimum clicks guarantee.
1) Let advertisers find you by putting links for advertising info on your site.
2) Check any other websites, print publications, etc., in your field - they might give you some good leads.
3) Once you identify some advertisers, look at their competitors as possible advertisers, too.
4) This is pretty obvious, but a site like yours sounds like a natural for an Amazon or B&N affiliate relationship. I assume you are doing this already.
(well more than at present, if you have no advertisers!)
A site about African American authors is bound to attract people who read about an author or a book and want to buy a copy. If your sales are zero, you need to revamp your approach. Check your Amazon traffic reports for starters and see how many clicks you are getting and what kind of links they are coming from, and which items they are clicking on (assuming you link to individual books).
I'd recommend checking some of their web services-based offerings. One nifty link type is a "Buy at Amazon" button you can put next to the item on your page. It will pop open a little "add to cart" window showing the book's price. This will have a higher conversion rate than a normal link.
You are ideally positioned with your book-oriented topic and good traffic level - I really think a little work on your offerings will net you more than a rock-bottom CPM or CPC deal.