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Several ways to sell advertisements and to make money on your website

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Several ways to sell advertisements and to make money on your website

If you want to make some money with advertisements you can choose from several possibilities. The Internet is a huge market; new ways to advertise will keep emerging.

Banners

The most common way is using banners. Banners are small advertisements, often in a size of 468 x 60 pixels.
The space for a banner is reserved in your page and filled in by the advertiser.
There are some alternatives for banners: buttons, actually small banners but also sponsored links; just a normal link but one that’s paid for.

Payment options

There are two payment options for banners.
CPM. Cost Per 1000 views (M is the Latin cypher for 1000). You are paid for displaying the banner and the rate is based on 1000 views.
CPC. Cost Per Click. You’re only paid if someone clicks on the banner and is transferred to the site of the advertiser.

Which option is most interesting depends on the CTR (Click Through Rate), the percentage of visitors that click on the banner.

Using advertising networks

You can try to sell your advertising space. But unless you’re site is about as popular as Yahoo that’s not a good idea.
A better alternative is using advertising networks to do the work for you.
They’ll keep a substantial part of your advertising money. But they’ll find much more advertisers than you could find yourself.

Banners and buttons

Banners come in different sizes. A very small banner is often called a button.
Typical sizes are :

  • 468 x 60 pixels for a fulls ized banner
  • 120 x 40 pixels for a vertical banner
  • 120 x 60 or 120 x 90 pixels for a button
  • 88 x 31 pixels for a micro button

How a banner works

If you want to use a banner, you add some HTML-code to your page.
With this code, an image is looked up from the site of the advertiser or advertising agent.
Together with the definition of the image, some parameters are sent to identify you as the site where the banner will be put.

Position of the banner

The position of the banner has great effect on the CTR (Click Through Rate). In general it’s important to make sure the banner is visible without he need to scroll.

Disadvantages

You don’t know how a banner will look like. You don’t create them yourself; the advertiser does.
A banner tends to be colorful, striking and probably is animated. This might interfere with your well designed web site.
The content of the banner could also conflict with your web site. It could be an advertisement from a competitor. It could be an advertisement from an organization you don’t want to be involved with. There are some restrictions possible. Most advertising networks refuse adult content. And often you can put some restrictions on the type of banner content you want on your web site.

CPM, another acronym

CPM means : Cost Per Thousand.
Replace the word ‘Thousand’ by the Latin number for thousand: ‘M’. You’ll get CPM.

Impressions

If you sell space to advertisers you can choose between the CPC (Cost Per Click) model and the CPM Model.
CPM Means you’re paid for showing the banner.
It doesn’t matter how many people click on the banner. You even don’t have to worry about the number of visitors that actually look at the banner.
It just has to show up.

Advantages of CPM

If you know how many page views you get, it’s easy to calculate your revenues
Your payments don’t depend on the design of the banner or the attractiveness of the advertising message

Disadvantages of CPM

Most advertisers prefer CPC, it’s not an easy job to sell inventory if you’re using CPM
If your site has a very targeted audience, your banners will receive more clicks. With CPM you don’t benefit from the extra clicks.

CPC, Cost Per Click

CPC means : Cost Per Click.
If you’re selling advertising space on a CPC base, you’ll get paid for each visitor that clicks on a banner..

Number of clicks

The number of clicks defines how high your revenues are.
You’ll have to multiply the number of page views with the percentage of visitors that click on a specific banner (the Click Through Rate of CTR . The result is the number of clicks.

Advantages of CPC

CPC is the most common model for advertising. It will be less difficult to sell your inventory if you use CPC.
You can benefit form high click through rates.

Disadvantages of CPC

Your revenues depend on the quality of banners that are created by others.
Your revenues will vary strongly, depending on the Click Through Rate

CTR, the effectiveness of banners

CTR is the Click Through Rate. It’s the percentage of of visitors that click on a banner.
The CTR is important for CPC based and for CPM based advertising.
If you use CPC, revenues depend directly on the CTR. And if you use CPM, advertisers will check the CTR to define if they want to advertise on your site.

CTR on the decline

Let’s face it, banners are not popular. People don’t click often on advertising’s. The CTR is low, about 0.5%
Real banner-haters buy software to get rid of banners. In general, the CTR will tend to be even lower.

Improving the CTR

If you sell advertising inventory, you’ll need a high CTR.
The quality of the supplied banners is beyond your control. But you still can improve the CTR, we’ll show you how:
Make sure the banner is visible if the page shows up. Avoid scrolling to see the banner
Limit the number of banners. People can click only on one banner. If you show numerous advertisements, none of them will catch the eye.
Look for advertising agents that support targeted advertising. If you have a page about astronomy, banners for telescopes will have an above average CTR
Give the banner some space. Don’t place graphics in strong colors close to the banner. They will distract the attention of the visitor.

Selling your inventory

Your inventory _ the available space for banners – has to be sold. It’s difficult to find advertisers on your own. It’s easier to find an advertising network

Advertising networks

Advertising networks sell the combined inventory of numerous sites. Many sites make a large inventory and that’s what advertisers like. Advertising networks will keep part of the advertising money and hopefully pay you the remaining revenues.

How to qualify

Each advertising network has it’s own policies. If your site qualifies depends on:
number of page views. Often a minimum of 10.000 page views a month is required. But this minimum is 1.000.000 page views a month for some advertising networks.
Having your own domain. Most advertising networks don’t do business with sites like www.freeserver.com/homepages/johnny/index.html
Not providing offending material, typical pornography, racism or illegal material (i.e. illegal software or MP3).

Finding a network

Selecting a network is difficult. Quite some of them have a reputation of paying late of not paying at all. Be sure to check our links for sites that review advertising networks. Some important criteria:

  • Reliability
  • Support for CPC and/or CPM
  • Supported formats for banners

Are guarantees given that the whole inventory will be sold?

Is the contract exclusive or are you allowed to sell also to other advertising networks?
The number of allowed banners on one page
Your revenues: how much do you get paid

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