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Old 09-09-2004, 06:44 AM   #1
1EightT
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Default Advertising consultant

I hope this is in the right forum. Basically I run a network of a several fairly large websites in a niche market. The larger ones get about 100,000 uniques per month and a fair amount of traffic. I spend so much time running the sites that I don't have the time to make as much ad revenue as I believe I "could". Is there anyone out there that does actual advertising consulting, or will market and sell my ad space for a percentage off the top? If not there should be. I use several cpm and cpc programs and make good money, but there is always room for improvement. I believe I could make more selling my ad space outright to individual advertisers, but again don't have the time to follow through with most of that. Any info or input is appreciated.
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Old 09-09-2004, 08:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Advertising consultant

Quote:
Originally posted by 1EightT
Is there anyone out there that does actual advertising consulting, or will market and sell my ad space for a percentage off the top? If not there should be.
That is precidely the role that online media reps aim to fulfill. The FastClicks, Bursts, Tribals and Googles of the world have been designed to bridge the gap that exists between no representation and the commissioning of an in-house dedicated sales rep.

As for basic consulting work, the free advice that may be gleaned from this BB's archives, IMHO, is at least as solid in its fundamentals as the advice that you are likely to receive from a commercial consultant.
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Old 09-09-2004, 01:31 PM   #3
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I use most of those comapnies already (google, blue*******, fastclick, and several others). I guess I just need to take the time to sell my own ad space (I think I can make more that way). Maybe i'll hire someone on one of my forums to go around a drum up clients.
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Old 09-09-2004, 02:25 PM   #4
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This is the situation I am trying to remedy. I have decided to go out on a limb, cut all outside ad networks, and sell my own ads. Of course the problem is time - time to sell the ads, time to manage an adserver, and on and on. I want to build websites full time, not manage ads. I am trying an automated adserving program to run ads across my small network. I can't tell you if it will work out yet, I just started building it. In theory it will allow users to purchase ads with little or no intervention on my part. You may look at what I'm trying at http://www.japan-ads.com but keep in mind it is a shell at this point. I have high hopes.
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Old 09-09-2004, 03:57 PM   #5
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If your sites are popular enough, just putting up a buy an ad link should drive some customers Depending on the site, we sell a decent amount of inhouse ads.

Chet
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Old 09-09-2004, 07:37 PM   #6
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Great points and at times I certainly share the very same problems.

It can be a profitable niche. See:

http://www.benzworld.org/marketplace/advertisers.asp

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/zeroforum?id=56

I really don't think one method fits every kind of site but I would be inclined to start by building your very own media kit and do this first. Youre the owner and the best party suited for the job. For gosh sake, KIS and don't assume a potential sale has 1 hour to read all the gory details. Let them hop around and get to the meat and potatoes fast

Next you might want to consider freeing up more time for you to sell adverts by outsourcing the maintenance/updates of your sites to others. Thats an easier postion to fill as opposed to a free lance advertising rep.

I don't know an agency for representation but the good ones take about 40% off the top and Ive never used one.

Some of these sales can get VERY time consuming and others are a slam dunk. Just today I made a bobo in an email and the advertiser was also a bit confused which is understandable. Rather than another 6 emails back and forth and 2 more FAXed IO's, I just picked up the phone and called them. Thats was SO MUCH easier and it's a done deal in less than 5 minutes.

Other tips to try which may work

I "boiler plate" my responce and just change the cost based on demand.

I "boiler plate" the your Campaign is launched email and it's got all the relavent data plus more inside of it.

I do not respond to some emails. They are a waste of my time and I hardly get any sleep as it is. Like these for example:

DUDE!

How much top

<sent from an ISP like AOL or a free email address with no sig or even a hint of who they are>

Myself, Chet, Doug, and Commander Czar all use different scripts to handle adverts. The one you choose must be advertiser friendly. Let the advertiser log in and get their own stats. I have better things to do with my time. Some will log in frequently which is dandy and others just measure results on their site and don't have a need to look at the impressions and or clicks. Either way is fine with me.

HTH
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Old 09-09-2004, 11:37 PM   #7
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Very good advice there. I think what I need to do is have a feature freeze on my sites, get everything updated, then take time to do a media kit and start selling my own space. I have dozens of sites, and tons of traffic, just no time to sell it properly. DougM, that is almost the exact same thing I was getting ready to setup on my network as well. Something fairly automated so advertisers can log in, sign up, and maintain their account across my entire network.

I have a magazine that is going to feature my main sites monthly for the next year, so I need to get the ball rolling since there will likely be some comapnies watching soon.
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Old 09-10-2004, 02:40 AM   #8
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Greta 1EightT

Please keep us posted and let us help with your media kit.

The other little tip I forgot to mention is not to try and "oversell" with a dozens different ways to advertise and a huge number of zones/regions on a given page.

Yes, I realize that portals and multi-sites might require more than 2 options but the more you create the more complex it becomes to not only manage but to make the sale.

I was recently trying to help a really nice site (just a single site with a narrow focus) who wondered why they had very few advert sales. DUH! 12 or so different regions and Campaigns was just to manny for any advertisers to digest let alone purchase let alone understand.

Good lucck
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Old 09-10-2004, 08:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
The other little tip I forgot to mention is not to try and "oversell" with a dozens different ways to advertise and a huge number of zones/regions on a given page.
Thanks for the reminder. Very timely.
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Old 09-10-2004, 12:00 PM   #10
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I think I will make the advertising simple and just make it global instead of advertising for the individual sites. Does that sound like a decent approach? Keep the rates reasonable and just make it simple.

In your experience does flat monthly rate advertising work better, or cpm type of deals. I'm guessing flat rate, again to make it simple.

I'll be calling on you experts to help with the media kit for sure though. Remind me to donate when I make that first sale
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Old 09-11-2004, 11:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by 1EightT
I think I will make the advertising simple and just make it global instead of advertising for the individual sites. Does that sound like a decent approach? Keep the rates reasonable and just make it simple.

In your experience does flat monthly rate advertising work better, or cpm type of deals. I'm guessing flat rate, again to make it simple.

I'll be calling on you experts to help with the media kit for sure though. Remind me to donate when I make that first sale
To some exstent it depends on the demographic and how desirable your site is. I prefer a "blend" where they pay for a given period of time and during this period of time I guarantee xx number of impressions. Thus it's pure CPM plus it helps the advertiser compute thier cost per 1K and gives them piece of mind that if my site goes south for the winter for a few weeks I'm going to do a make good.

On the back end I'm trying to insure that the weighting and traffic produces more impressions than what I "guaranteed" which enhances future business. The "Kill date" when the Campaign expires helps both parties with budget and such.

Remember who I'm selling to! The mover and shakers of the Affiliate space 3 person shops and 100 person shops with a long chain of command and some with an inhouse creative department that requires multi-sign offs and other smaller shops who just do it themselves. You need to be "flexible" in the sence that you can work with all kinds of folks and that makes it fun.

I also like other sites that just sell CPM for a given period of time and provide a range number for estimated impressions which I think is the way for you. Start at a CPM of 6.00 and see how it goes

CPC is so fraught with abuse and PR issues I avoid it like the plague and frankly why bother if you can sell CPM

Check this out. I just found it. It's the very best PDF Media Kit I have ever seen and gave me lots of fresh ideas:

http://www.webhostingtalk.com/mediakit/whtmediakit.pdf

HTH
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Old 09-11-2004, 03:16 PM   #12
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WHT has an amazing media kit for a very large site (I'm actually shocked at how low their traffic is given their user levels). Another good one to look at is SitePoint.com's which is a little better focused for time based campaigns and something "simple" but really, both kits work well. I've been working on redoing a media kit for one of my sites and with Steve's help it is coming along well.

Although I actually manage ad campaigns for some client sites I would recommend that if you can do it yourself you give it a shot. At worest you have to move to an agency after a few months but even if you only get 75% of the campaigns/payout you will still take home more money then if you are paying 40% to another person. Of course if you can't find the time or get the results you want it may be wise to find an agency, just make sure they care about your specific site and not just their "network". Any good niche site deserves a specific push, not just a general inclusion to a bunch of "hit the monkey" campaigns.
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Old 09-12-2004, 05:39 PM   #13
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Those media kits are great, definitely give me a great place to start. (I had no idea it cost that much to advertise on sitepoint)

Do you think 6.00 cmp is a good rate for my network? I honestly had no idea where to start. It is good targeted traffic though.

I'll work on this some more and leep you guys posted on my results.
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Old 11-11-2004, 02:32 AM   #14
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I have a question for Czar and Steve. Since Czar bought GV, this site is sort of Australian-based now. I noticed in the GV media kit that the payment method is sending a check to Australia.

Do the American advertisers agree to do this? Send checks to Australia? I am assuming some of GV's clients have existed from Steve's time.
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Old 11-11-2004, 08:55 AM   #15
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They do, yes. These days, the postal delay is minimal in comparison to standard domestic US mail and I can't fathom any other factor as to why this would limit advertiser interest.
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