Direct Ad Sales is The Way to Go

I read an interesting article in the New York Times a couple of days ago, and I want to share it with you. It seems that many large websites are creating their own ad “networks” to sell remnant space on their websites.  Instead of the teeth  whitening  and belly  flattening  ads you are accustomed to seeing on large websites, you may actually begin to see some better targeted advertising.

The publishers  are able to accomplish a few things when starting their own advertising networks. First, they are able to eliminate the middle man from their ad sales. Instead of paying an outside ad network to aggregate advertising, the websites are able to work directly with their advertisers.

Secondly, the publishers are able to offer more targeted (and more relevant) advertisements to their visitors. This should encourage higher click throughs and better conversion rates for advertisers. Again, this will help increase the CPM for publishers who find that advertisers are able to offer more money for their remnant positions.

Finally, publishers can keep all of the valuable consumer and visitor data that is usually taken by the advertising networks.  This information is valuable for the publishers, and it prevents third party networks from doing funky things with it.

To me, the most surprising thing is that it seems that these publishers are just starting to do this. I am sure selling advertising across a huge network is a big challenge, but smaller websites (like this blog) have been successfully selling direct ads. I don’t have to generally worry about receiving payments and there’s no middle man to take a big cut.

The NYT article is an interesting read if you have a few moments.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Interesting – just curious if you initiate the contact with the advertiser or if they tend to come to you because your blog is known in the industry. Pricing would understandably be a function of traffic and the potential value of a visitor to the advertiser’s business. However, would you have any rough guidelines? Thus far I’ve had no luck with ad sales but perhaps the issue is traffic / ranking and being known in a particular niche.

  2. I had a similar idea for one of my sites. Well, I built a site for a smaller city near me but realized people weren’t ready to advertise on it yet and they were complaining how my site doesn’t get enough exposure.

    So, I tough about adding a few more smaller sites about different local topics and offer a advertising bundle for a slightly higher price.

  3. Hello, I visited your lowell page,… Why don’t you use adsense on the business directory pages till direct advertisers sign up , Ex: Lawyers in lowell , That sounds pretty targeted to me, and if you broke the lawyers section into subsections like injury, bankruptcy, etc Even more targeted. Higher ctr Higher Paying ads. make sub sections for doctors and other sections using your discretion.

    What about ad managers like google ad manager, That way you can display ads by google and easily replace them with your direct advertisers. You can charge Direct advertisers by ppc, cpm, display and google gives you all the tools to give them reports etc. for free. You don’t even have to display adsense if you don’t want to.

    AND ! you can assign salespeople their own accounts to manage inventory etc. KOOL right ?

  4. Speaking of direct advertising. Can you share with us how it is do you price your ad, did you solicit sponsors, how do you track its performance, etc. Would you possible consider writing a post about it to share with us some insights.

    I am under the impression that it is probably more expensive to place ads on your blog versus some other blogs that may have similar traffic. Yous seems more professional in terms of its layout, presentation, and down to the text fonts. And of course your content is always well written. Your blog is like your purple tie in your PR photo…that little something extra that most people don’t bother to do. You the man. 🙂

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