What do you wish you had known when you started direct advertising on your blog?
August 11, 2008 7:00 AM   Subscribe

What do you wish you had known when you started direct advertising on your blog/website?

I'm using OpenX to serve my Google and affiliate ads, and I think I'm ready to start direct advertising. What do I need to know? I have a pretty good idea what to charge, but I'm wondering about other policies regarding ad hosting, changes/corrections to ads, whether to allow animated .gifs, contract renewal, cancellation policies. What else do I need to consider?

Also, is it a good idea to have your rate sheet available to download, or should I require people to email me first?
posted by kmel to Computers & Internet (1 answer total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Here are some tips I've learned over the years:

1. Be prepared to go through several iterations of your rate card. No matter how cleanly you think you're explaining everything, no matter how good you think your marketing text is, you'll need to tweak it over and over again before you get to a "good place" with it.

2. Animated .gifs and Flash files - usually this isn't a huge problem, but I've found (for my company, anyway) that animation, by and large, usually lowers click through rates. A lot depends on the quality of the animation, which in turn is often determined by the design savvy/depth of pockets of the company buying the advertising. Are you targeting large or small companies? Design savvy (web industry, for example) or not-so-design-savvy? If the former(s), then animation's probably OK. The latters, probably less so. You can always put a policy in place that you need to approve all ads for "design savviness" before allowing them up on your site - but expect some clunkers regardless.

3. I always avoided contract renewal and demanded payment up front and first-come-first-serve payment. Larger companies might have the wherewithal for Accounts Receivable; I don't have the time or resources for it.

4. Giving your advertisers access to their own statistics is really useful.

5. Make sure you clearly offer full specs for your ads - file size, dimensions, file types, etc. But expect at least some of your potential advertisers won't know what those numbers mean and you'll have to explain them.

6. If you're not a designer, consider partnering up with a good one who might offer discounted banner design services for companies who contact you but don't have their own designer. If you do know how to design, consider adding banner design services to your own rate card as an "a la carte" option.

Good luck!
posted by twiki at 8:09 AM on August 11, 2008 [2 favorites]

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