Selling ad space on a website may seem like it’s a challenge, but in reality, it can be much easier than you might think. You’re missing a big opportunity if you have a website or blog that gets a fair amount of organic traffic and you’re not selling advertising space on your web pages. With a reasonable amount of traffic, there are several monetization options available. Selling online ads directly, using high-quality ad networks, offering guest posts, and affiliate marketing are just a few of the ways website owners and bloggers can turn their traffic into revenue.
Spending on digital ads continues to increase. Analysts forecast that $602.2 billion will be spent in 2022 on digital advertising, representing 66.4% of total media dollars. While more than half of all the digital ad dollars go to two companies — Google and Meta (Facebook) — there’s an opportunity for publishers and bloggers to share in some of those ad dollars, too, through their ad networks.
In this article, we’ll take a look at each of the different monetization strategies for selling ad space on your website and how you can get your share of ad revenues.
What is Ad Space?
Ad space is the part of your website or blog which is reserved for online ads. Most commonly, digital advertising placements are at the top, bottom, sides, or sometimes between paragraphs of a website. There are many different shapes, sizes, and types of ads, including:
- Banner ads
- Video ads
- Text ads
- Display Ads
- Pop-up ads
- Native ads
If you are using an ad network, you can add a small snippet of code to your site, and the ads will display automatically. A site or blog built on WordPress can be as easy as dropping the code into a widget or plugin.
If you are using Newor Media to display ads from the Google Ad Network, you’ll have several choices for sizes and shapes. Some of the more common formats that Google provides are:
- 250 x 250 Square
- 200 x 200 Small Square
- 468 x 60 Banner
- 728 x 90 Leaderboard
- 300 x 250 Inline Rectangle
- 336 x 280 Large Rectangle
- 120 x 600 Skyscraper
- 160 x 600 Wide Skyscraper
- 300 x 600 Large Skyscraper
- 970 x 90 Large Leaderboard
Most ad units today are responsive, meaning they will adjust to the device so they will scale appropriately for mobile devices as well.
Website publishers and bloggers do need to be careful about how and where they place ads. For example, pop-up ads and ads placed between paragraphs can be considered intrusive by the user and hurt the user experience.
Too many ads can also detract from the quality of your site. You can’t afford to provide a poor experience for your site visitors. This will, in turn, hurt your traffic and return visits and negatively impact your monetization strategy.
Selling Ad Space: How it Works
When it comes to finding potential advertisers to sell advertising space, there are three basic approaches:
- Sell ads directly to advertisers – This often produces the best rates, but there’s also a cost to find, attract, negotiate, and handle the ads.
- Use an ad exchange – This virtual marketplace lets ad buyers and sellers negotiate for buys. Ad exchanges may also provide ads to multiple ad networks for fulfillment.
- Use an ad network – Ad networks work with the ad exchanges and handle the entire transaction, including serving relevant ads for you. It’s as close to passive income as you can get.
There can also be a blurring of the lines between ad networks and ad exchanges. In many cases, they work together to transact a sale. However, using ad networks is by far the easiest way to sell online advertising because they open up publishers to large communities of potential advertisers that they would otherwise never have access to. Ad networks pair advertiser targets to what websites and blogs offer in the way of traffic and match ads to audience interests.
Ad networks are more than just facilitators, though. They typically manage the quality of advertisers to help protect brands and publishers from poor quality placements. While ad exchanges and supply-side platforms (SSPs) provide advertising, ad networks generally concentrate on more premium inventory and higher-paying ad requests.
Through ad networks, publishers sell ads using programmatic auctions. Programmatic advertising uses automated technology for buying and selling digital media to manage and facilitate sales.
Real-time bidding (RTB) takes place when a user visits a website. It sends an ad call to the ad exchange, which auctions it off to the highest available bidder. The winning bidder’s ad is served and appears on the webpage. This all happens in milliseconds.
Header bidding is an advanced advertising technique. Also called pre-bidding or advance the bidding, it allows publishers a way to offer advertising space to multiple SSPs at the same time. This is different than the traditional waterfall method, where ads are offered first to one exchange, and whatever isn’t sold then passes to the next. With header bidding, all potential advertisers are bidding at the same time, which generally leads to higher rates and higher fill rates. As of Q1 2022, about 70% of online publishers were using header bidding.
Header bidding also gives website owners more control. Publishers can choose which SSPs or advertisers to prioritize.
Newor Media has partnerships with all major networks and SSPs, so your website will have access to the market’s most diverse and quality-driven demand. This allows you to maximize the revenue from your online advertisements using header bidding.
Requirements for Selling Ad Space on a Website
The requirements for selling ad space on a website will vary depending on the ad network. Generally, the more traffic you have, the bigger the opportunity you have to generate page views and attract advertising revenue.
Several key items will come into place, including:
- Traffic requirements
- Quality content & user experience
- Consistent audience
Not every ad network has a requirement for the monthly traffic or unique visitors your website has. It can range from no minimum to a large number of unique visitors a month. For example, Google AdSense does not have a minimum traffic requirement, but Google Ad Exchange (Google AdX) requires at least five million monthly page views.
A general rule of thumb is that if your site attracts 30,000 visitors or more, there are significant opportunities to get paid per visitor.
The metrics around your visitors, such as the demographics and user behavior, also play a role for advertisers as they target specific users and segments and determine what price to put on bidding, such as cost per thousand (CPM) impressions.
Quality Content & User Experience
The quality of your site’s content will play a big role in attracting and retaining an audience. It will also impact your ability to attract advertisers that match the purpose of your website.
The same can be said for the user experience (UX). Your website needs an intuitive way for users to interact and find their way around. Too many ads, the wrong type of ads, or intrusive formats can impact the bounce rate and conversions and lessen the value of the online ads.
A consistent audience means that they like and enjoy the content you’re adding to the site. It’s also key to generating consistent revenue from ad exchanges and ad networks.
Strategies for Selling Ad Space
As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of ways to sell the ad space on your site, like selling directly to advertisers or joining an ad network that can help broker those connections.
But not all sales have to involve those more obvious ad placements. Native advertising opportunities include turning an entire web page into ad space by selling the spot as a guest post and getting involved with affiliate marketing to promote other products.
Sell Ads on Your Own
Publishers who sell their own ads directly to advertisers can set their own pricing. You can customize ad packages and include other options as well. Typically, you can earn publishers more money because you are avoiding middle-man fees that will take a portion of your proceeds to facilitate the buy and serve of the ads.
Another advantage is you can offer discounts to regular customers or provide flexibility in pricing depending on volume or partnerships.
However, you will need to fund and support a sales team to make direct connections with advertisers and build relationships. Your ad sales efforts can be time-consuming to prospect and pursue advertisers and generate the collateral material necessary. You’ll likely need to review Google Analytics, provide website traffic metrics, develop media kits, negotiate rates, collect the media, and implement the code or other code on your website. You will also have to generate invoices and handle fee collections.
While selling directly can generate higher rates and revenue, the cost of procuring and handling the advertising is also significantly more expensive. Plus, your efforts to sell advertising aren’t always successful, and you don’t always get paid promptly.
Join an Ad Network
By comparison, an ad network costs you very little. User header bidding or real-time bidding (RTB) through a program like Google Ads or Google AdSense, you can instantly connect with hundreds or thousands of advertisers that are looking to buy ads at no cost to you.
Ad networks such as Newor Media will match advertisers and their ads with your website content. Algorithms find the highest-paying ad bids to maximize your revenue. Machine learning provides continual optimization to improve performance over time and provide valuable ad space for advertisers.
There’s no upfront cost to fund a sales team. The cost of the sale is built into the price advertisers are willing to pay — whether it’s a CPM (cost per thousand) impression model or a CPC (cost per click) model that delivers ads from the ad server.
Publish Guest Posts
You can also sell guest posts. Publishing articles or blogs can turn an entire web page into ad space. This is a form of native advertising published on an advertiser’s behalf. It might be an article they write or something you create that positions them as an authority on a topic.
Publishers earn money when they sell advertising space as guest posts. Since these sales are not reliant on clicks or conversions, publishers get paid just for providing the space and facilitating the placement. Some publishers will offer flat fees for guest posts, while others will use a sliding scale where advertisers pay more depending on the level of traffic it produces.
The best guests provide readers with valuable information. They typically blend into a site seamlessly and have a consistent look and feel like the rest of the site. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), publishers must disclose when they have any financial relationship with a brand, so guest posts, native advertising, promotional content, and sponsored content need to be identified.
Website owners and bloggers can solicit brands to place guest posts or advertorials on their sites or work with companies that look for placements. Many publishers form online advertising partnerships with companies to publish a series of guest posts on engaging topics over time.
Use Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another way to generate money from your website. Affiliate marketing programs differ from display advertising by providing opportunities that pay publishers when someone clicks on an ad or link on a site and places an order.
While affiliate marketers don’t pay publishers upfront for the advertising space, publishers receive a commission on the sale. While this is not a traditional type of advertising, each affiliate marketing link that gets clicks and conversion brings in revenue.
Some of the most effective affiliate marketing incorporates links and ads into editorial content that is contextually relevant to your target audience. For example, someone reading an article about the best ski resorts in Colorado might be interested in buying skis. This operates similarly to publishing a guest post but allows you to maintain your own voice, writing style, and editorial control over the content.
Some affiliate programs do have specific requirements. For example, you may be required to write a product review, compare products, or showcase an ad or link in a specific way. Payments may also be conditioned on purchases, lead generation, app or software installs, or other specific actions.
However, you do need to disclose any financial relationship by letting readers know that you may earn commissions from sales. Not only does this have legal ramifications, but it also helps establish trust and transparency with your website visitors.
You can work directly with advertisers or work through affiliate networks, which act as a broker to help facilitate placements. Publishers can choose who they want to work with and can also use social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn to highlight their promotional relationships.
It’s estimated that affiliate marketing revenue will reach $8.2 billion by the end of 2022.
If your website or blog generates a fair amount of organic traffic, there are plenty of money-making opportunities. There are different ways to sell your ad space, whether you want to handle sales and fulfillment yourself, use affiliate marketing, or work with an ad network.
While different solutions work for different publishers and bloggers, many website owners use a combination of approaches to maximize their monetization options.
Joining an ad network like Newor Media is one of the easiest methods to monetize your website and generate significant revenue. Publishers still get insight and control over their ad space options, like ad placements, what content will be featured, and how ads integrate with their site. And, they get mostly passive revenue without having to bear the burden of paying for an expensive sales team.
Ad networks handle selling ad space, collecting the data, and serving the ads on your web page.
If you’d like to learn more about how Newor Media can help monetize your website and turn your organic visitors into revenue, chat with the ad revenue optimization experts at Newor Media today.
Want to know how much money you can earn from working with Newor Media? Try our free Website Earning Calculator and see how much your website might be worth.