Attracting advertisers with little traffic.

March 2nd, 2006 by Shawn

Here goes, my first blog post. Leave your comments.

With most new sites I build my objective is to make money off of private advertisers, with CPC and affiliate programs supplementing my revenue — not being the primary source of my income. Getting checks each month from private advertisers is much more stable than fluctuating CPC revenue. With CPC and affiliate programs, the amount of income you can generate is strictly limited by the amount of traffic you receive. On the other hand, you can attract and keep private advertisers regardless of the amount of people visiting your website and generate much more money than CPC.

Most webmasters assume that private advertisers are solely concerned with traffic — but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Online advertisers, regardless of size, are also looking to be associated with other professional, trustworthy, good looking websites that can display their sales pitch. Obviously, the rates that you can charge to an advertiser are limited by the industry you’re involved with and your advertising rates, but you could still easily make a few hundred bucks a month per advertiser in a relatively tame, but vibrant market.  That’s nothing for good-sized advertising budgets.

Little traffic will give little ROI.

Assuming your advertising rates aren’t outrageous, most advertisers will stay onboard advertising on your site while receiving a negative ROI. If your website possesses all of the characteristics listed above, advertisers will come to the conclusion that your traffic is going to grow steadily over time. You should confirm these beliefs on a regular basis and make it known that you are looking for a long-term advertising relationship by calling and checking up with your private advertisers.

Keep your advertisers informed with changes and additions to the site, the direction the site is moving in, and let them know that you’re easily available to answer with any questions or concerns. You’ll gain their confidence.

And their business.

7 Responses to “Attracting advertisers with little traffic.”

  1. Mark  Says:

    From past experience, I would also advise publishers to look at other ways of ‘paying back’ their loyal advertisers with perhaps an extra spot banner now and then, or think of some other way of extending their advertising on your site. Say it’s to ‘test new methods’, while it’s actually giving them additional value, and more trust in your website.

    Shawn, very fine first post.

  2. Ethan Poole  Says:

    I use this method all the time and I actually make more money with private advertisers. While my website’s traffic is not too high, I can guarantee targeted traffic and bonus spots (such as in our newsletter or on the forums) for no cost.

  3. Amit Gupta  Says:

    But then, private advertisers don’t come to new websites, do they(unless it has a known name etc. attached to it)? so for sites that are yet to place their footing properly, CPC etc. are the only way to go, right?

    or am I mistaken?

  4. Shawn Weeks  Says:

    They’ll find you by searching for a keyword in their industry.

    Most private advertisers found me by searching for their actual company name and discovered my website in the process (it was a directory).

  5. Tye  Says:

    I was thining about ‘private advertisers’ for a site I am about to build… I was planning to approach selected private advertisers, have you ever done this?

    Also how do you calculate your advertising rates?

  6. Paul Woods  Says:

    When you’re starting out, how much information do you provide on your site about your rates and traffic? I currently do not post either of these on my site, but I’m wondering if I should at least post some rates, because I think people would find them to be extremely reasonable and perhaps I’d get more inquiries.

  7. Westech  Says:

    When selling direct advertising I generally set the rates above what I make for the same spot from my ad networks, but below what the advertiser would have to pay the network for the same ad. (Basically somewhere between the CPM and eCPM from the networks.) This takes out the middle-man and both the advertiser and the publisher benefit.

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