get rich on rock'n'roll?
April 12, 2006 9:03 AM   Subscribe

I run a regional music calendar/forum/photo gallery site that works mostly with punk, metal, and indie type bands in Chattanooga, TN. I know my audience really well and evidently Adsense does not and I have the dismal click-through rate to prove it. so why can't I just contact labels, artists, distros, etc. that I know my visitors are interested in directly and work something out?

I've seen ads on other sites that I think would be a good match for mine but I can never find any information on signing up to be an affiliate. do I just e-mail whoever is listed as "webmaster" and hope for a response? or do they have to contact me? what sort of price should I quote? according to my logs, I get about 11,000 hits per day from about 1,000 unique that considered busy or high-traffic, or too low to trouble anyone with?
posted by mcsweetie to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
so why can't I just contact labels, artists, distros, etc. that I know my visitors are interested in directly and work something out?

Go for it! Email/call the labels and ask to speak to someone who deals in advertising, marketing, or website stuff.

Have a one-sheet handy with all of your stats (hits, pageviews, demographics, etc. Anything you think would help you sell your site to the potential advertiser.) and offer to email/fax it.

Adsense sounds like it's not the best method, since your audience is quite targeted.

I run a similar site in Columbia, MO, and I found the best advertisers were local, FWIW.
posted by nitsuj at 9:10 AM on April 12, 2006

Oh, and feel free to shoot me an email (in profile) and I'd be happy to duscuss the types of numbers my site pulls in, and what we charge for ads.
posted by nitsuj at 9:13 AM on April 12, 2006

Regarding your traffic numbers: they're quite low. Also, "hits" means nothing useful to an advertiser so don't include them when seeking advertising (no matter how many advertising network sites use the term—they're wrong to do so and they should stop). Same for "visits" unless you know exactly how they are calculated, and even then they're not worth much until you start calculating return visits. The main two numbers to include are page views and unique IPs. Make sure to include RSS feed numbers, if you have them, and if you don't sign up with Feedburner. You might also include a selection of the more popular search terms that bring people to your site.

Otherwise, I totally think cold-calling to get advertisers is a good idea. It's hard work, though.

In coming up with prices, don't be greedy. Also try to avoid guarantees of traffic, click-throughs, uptime, or make-goods. They're administrative headaches. Talk a lot about image and branding, and about long-term market building. Your pitch should be about the advertiser keeping good company—meaning that by advertising on your site, they're showing how they support good music, local bands, whatever.
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:38 PM on April 12, 2006

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