28 September 2007

Sell your own Ad space on your site?

I was involved in an interesting discussion on an AdSense related forum recently about the issue of selling and managing Advertising space directly on your own site.
Now to be honest my first thought was that if you are getting people wanting to buy ad space directly from you that this must be a good thing and you should jump at the chance to directly sell and manage your own Advertising space.

But just how do you calculate what this advertising space is worth? As I hadn't done any direct self management of ad space like this before I had no immediate answer to this. What struck me was that it might be possible to work out a rate by calculating what the space would generate assuming typical CTR and payment per click from AdSense being on that space. This would give you a value for what the space was potentially worth - or actually worth if you are already using AdSense on it. So just use this figure - add a bit more and hey presto you have calculated what your Ad space is worth for direct sale.

Hmmm. But then someone rightly pointed out that if this is really what the space is worth doesn't it just make more sense to simply put up Google AdSense and let AdSense take care of all the hassle of managing the advertisers, setting advertising rates and rotating ads etc? And of course they were right. It does make more sense often not to go through all the hassle of managing your own ad space and selling this space directly yourself.

In fact that is the whole point of programs like AdSense and Bidvertiser and all these other ad providers. they take the hassle out of selling your Ad space. Of course maybe ( a big maybe) you could earn more by selling it directly yourself. but think of the time that this would take. This is time that often would be better spent developing your site.

So are there any arguments for directly selling and managing your own ad space? Well it may be that you want much finer control over the advertisers that will appear on your site or that you have specific partner advertisers in mind. Possibly there are some situations like this where directly selling your own space makes sense - particularly if you can get a premium rate for the space. In most case though it probably makes sense to use AdSense or one of the other alternatives to manage this for you.

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