Direct Ad Sales on Websites

Direct advertising sales can be the greatest source of revenue for a website. Instead of relying on Adsense or other advertising network where you are paid per click, it generally makes sense to seek out advertisers based on the target audience for your website. You can usually sell advertising at a monthly rate, which will yield much more than Adsense ever could, as you can set the price higher than your monthly Adsense revenue.
Having a great domain name is very important to your ad sales, especially for up and coming websites, as it adds instant credibility for first time visitors. Additionally, advertisers in that niche can usually determine the target audience based on the domain name, and are happy to sponsor a website that covers their industry. Because of the vast difference between Adwords and Adsense bids and pay per click rates , advertisers tend to pay much more than publishers receive, making it a better deal for both parties. Once the website is developed and has a following, the domain name is less important, as the content will be key and trust is already established.
For local websites, it is fairly easy to add specific categories and seek out exclusive deals with a single business for each industry. While most people I know will build content on a page and allow an advertiser to sponsor it with a banner ad or branded wallpaper, some people allow the advertiser to create his own page. On one of my websites, I worked with a local photographer and traded her a page on the website for use of her images throughout the site. This is a mutually beneficial deal as my site looks much better with top quality images, and she gets great publicity.

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. I believe in my gut google will soon stop allowing adsense on sites…and make their money on adwords and other projects…they have too many headaches on the domain side of things and it’s a small % of their $ anyway…
    So sites selling direct ads will become the new leaders over the parked guys within a few years…imho

  2. My best websites all use direct ad sales, and I do it on a per click basis. After I got a ton of search traffic I called up the top 5 bidders on google for my product and said “i’ll sell you clicks for 1/3 the price you are paying on google”. Almost all of them buy since my traffic all comes from google anyway.
    This is also better than adsense, because you can focus attention onto these links with commands like “Click below to Buy Widgets”. It works out for everyone involved.

  3. Hi Elliot, great blog!
    Question with respect to allowing an advertiser to create his/her own page on your website in exchange for services – how long do you allow the advertiser to have their page on your site? As in the case of your photographer, how long will you ‘give’her a full page on your site for the services she provided? Thanks!

  4. Andrew – Yup, adsense wouldn’t allow that, but my customers love it because my sites are very product focused. I write about widgets and then show people where they can buy them.
    @Tim Davids – Have to disagree with you on this one, Adsense makes up at least 25% of the google revs, and i think even more. Can’t kill that golden goose.

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