Buy Me, Sell Me
May 25, 2005 8:34 PM   Subscribe

How do you sell ads on a website?

I've got an advocacy/activism site that's about to go nonprofit. It's taken off a little quicker than I ever expected. I'm clueless and in just a little bit over my head. I'm also unemployed (long story) and trying to make a living off the site.

Traffic is good enough to sell ads, but I have no idea how to do it.

How do you go about getting major corporations -- in my case, probably broadcasters and left-leaning magazines -- to purchase ads on your site? What are the going rates? Is it even kosher to do it on your own, or do they only take you seriously if you have agency representation? Is it necessary to do some sort of offiical demographic survey of my readership? I have a pretty good idea of who they are, but can't document it.

All help is much appreciated.
posted by mudpuppie to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
 
Man, I thought for sure that there'd be some good input here.

My only personal experience comes from Google's Adwords, which is de rigueur for any semi-popular site these days.

Sites with crazy traffic like BoingBoing have non-Google ads, but I'm pretty sure they just stuck up an "advertise here" link and they came running.

I don't know about agencies and the like.

Out of curiosity, if you don't mind sharing, how much traffic are you getting that you feel it's time to sell ad space?
posted by o2b at 9:03 AM on May 26, 2005


I would also recommend Google's Adwords. Much less hassle than elsewhere, a reliable company, and the payment is directly related to how well the ads perform on your site, so it motivates you to produce good content, to continue to promote the site, and write/create more professionally. Also, they're not completely fugly like many ads.

I second the request for your traffic numbers. I'm always interested in what the point is that people believe they can begin to make money with a web site; usually the number they decide on as the money-making barrier is far lower than it should be.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:40 AM on May 26, 2005


Thanks for the ideas. Had already been planning to go with Google, but was thinking that targeting specific advertisers would be a good idea for my particular situation. Still need to figure out how to get to them.

As for the traffic, well, I'd rather not say. Sorry.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:58 AM on May 26, 2005


Once you're a non-profit, ask corporations for a donation and tell them you'll give them ads of a specific size with a specific number of impressions. Don't sell them, ask for donations and give them away. That's how I'd do it. Pick your price, see how the market reacts then change the prices after six months if necessary.
posted by pwb503 at 12:35 PM on May 26, 2005


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