Selling advertising space will be difficult to do when you start a website. To sell advertising space on your website you'll need to have a history of traffic to your website. This obviously won't be the case when you first make a website.
Why would I cover this topic then? I figured it's a good idea to at least talk about this option because down the road you will know what to expect and it allows for you to make plans in your web design process for allotting space for future advertisements to sell advertising space on your website.
As I mentioned above you'll really only be able to sell advertising space on your website once you've maintained a fair amount of traffic to your website.
How Selling Advertising Space Works
There are a few different options that you should consider. Do you want to sell banner ads or do you want to stick with text links? Banner ads are the animated banners you see on websites and text links are simply a link from your website to the advertisers website.
You simply place the banner or text link on your website and generally charge per month for that exclusive space. It's a common practice to offer a discount to anyone that prepays for advertising on your space such as 6 month or annual commitments.
At that point you simply link to their website. Some advertisers will want you to just link directly to a page on their website like their homepage. Others will provide you with a custom link so that they can track the clicks that come from your website.
How Pricing Is Determined
Pricing the advertising space on your website can be determined a few different ways. There is really no right or wrong way to determine this cost. It's about educating yourself on the options and deciding what works best for you.
One method is to charge a flat rate, this is saying that you're going to charge someone $100 per month regardless of the results. The results being how often it's displayed or how often it's clicked on.
Another method is CPM or cost per 1000 impressions. This is determined by the number of times that their banner is displayed on your website. This is generally reserved for websites that receive thousands of hits per day. A way to bill such a method is $5 cpm, this is saying that you are charging the advertiser $5 for every 1000 times that their banner displays.
For demonstration purposes consider your website receives 50,000 hits per day and the advertisers banner displays 6,000 times on that day. The customer would owe you $30 worth of advertising that day.
Another popular method is CPC or cost per click. This is the practice of paying only when a website visitor clicks on an add on your website. For example, you charge $0.50 per click. The banner may be displayed 5,000 times that day but if it's only clicked on 50 times the customer would owe you $25.00.
How To Manage Your Advertising Campaigns
If you're simply selling advertising at a fixed rate it's easy to setup a Pay Pal subscription and each advertiser is automatically billed each month. Where you will run to problems if you should decide on CPC or a CPM method.
Thankfully there is software out there to make this task easier. You will find that there are free options along with applications that you'll need to pay for. The difference is the bells and whistles that come with the paid applications.
I have used a free option for one of my sites and it works great. The limitation that I have with it is billing. I have to bill the advertisers separately from the advertising software so it's extremely time consuming plus every once in a while someone will cancel their Pay Pal subscription and I forget to cancel their ad campaign so they are getting free advertising.
Now this is a rare occasion and if you're very organized, unlike me, you'll have no problems with the free options. The free option that I would recommend is Publish To Profit, it's an internet based software and it works great. Rather than getting into all of the details, take a look at the features at the Publish 2 Profit website.
I invite you to visit my webmaster forum, it's a great place to discuss websites and ask questions to fellow webmasters regarding topics that you may still have questions on.