For the most part here on AdBalance we discuss how best to monetise your website through online display advertising networks – but there are other options to improve how you monetise your website. Te start of a new year is the perfect time to re-evaluate your current income streams and find others to use as alternatives or in combination – here’s a checklist of a few options:
1. Look Beyond CPM and CPC
CPC and CPM advertising networks such as Casale Media and ValueClick offer web publishers a great way to monetise their sites with little effort – you just add the tags to your site and you are ready to earn. However there are other options to investigate using in combination with these networks including CPA/affiliate networks such as LinkShare (UK), CJ, Trade Doubler or even selling text links through Text-Link-Ads. It is always worth diversifying your revenue streams no matter what your focus, so that you are always ready when things change – something that happens rapidly in the field of digital advertising.
2. Be Flexible
Advertisers are always looking for new ways to gain customers, and they may be interested to look beyond traditional banners in advertising on your site. Some will be looking for text links, and others may be looking for site or article sponsorships. Advertorials may not be for you, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t offer an advertiser sponsorship of a series of articles you will write on a relevant topic, or even have a section of your site dedicated to their products. Offering advertisers co-branding of your content could allow you to spend more time on generating the content, and allow them better exposure – all without compromising the independence and integrity of the site if it is done well. You do not have to sell them positive coverage, but you can offer them genuine exposure – something which can be very lucrative.
3. Focus On User Experience And Quality Content/Services
Users will not return to your site if all they see is advertorials and advertising in general. Do not oversaturate your site with ads and do not compromise the integrity of your content – they will decrease your site’s value over time. A happy medium can be reached between quality content and generating revenue – keep the content unique and of a high quality, and then sell the value of that content to advertisers. Keep a barrier between content production and sponsorship deals – this will increase your site’s value to potential advertisers in the future as people learn to respect and trust your site.
4. Look For Long term Relationships
When you are running advertising or sponsorship for a advertiser or agency directly, then always look to strengthen that relationship by over-achieving and out-performing expectations. If you have sold ten million impressions or just a text-link – look to maintain and nurture that relationship. Make sure you meet the deadlines ahead of schedule, and always keep in touch with your contact throughout the campaign – making sure it is converting for them. This way the advertiser will come back to you with further campaigns when they have the budget, and meaning you can spend less time actively selling to new advertisers and more time focusing on content.
You also need to focus on building relationships with your users – always reply quickly and accurately to comments, emails, tweets and other social interaction from users. Repeat visitors are the lifeblood of websites, as they both generate revenue for you directly but also can work as great organic traffic generators as they tell their friends and colleagues about the service you have provided.
Do you have any tips to offer on how web publishers can generate additional revenue in 2012? Let us know in the comments.