View Full Version : Running a Banner Exchange worth it?

05-10-2003, 11:01 AM
Has anyone here had successes with running a banner exchange? Is it even worth the trouble?

05-10-2003, 11:26 AM
I'll be launching a niche-content exchange within the month, and feel that there remains room for others to do the same.

Competing with the bCentral LinkExchange's of the world seems a rather futile endeavour, especially given the low rates that broad exposure like that is likely to attract, unless substantial investments into targeting and reporting tech are made. Sticking to the service of a specific geographical or content group, though, could help to differentiate yours from the hundreds of other exchanges in existence, and to increase your appeal to advertisers working within the industry or area targeted.

Best of luck if you do go ahead with the project. :)

05-12-2003, 08:33 AM
It’s definitely worth it, but you must have a clear idea of how MUCH trouble that is.
I’ll take a liberty to outline what an exchange needs to have to become successful and try to point-out the consequences of each of them.

1. Exchange rate – you must definitely be looking on at least 3/4, or even more lucrative to webmasters if you can afford it. Add some necessary promo stuff (like sign-up bonuses, and other imaginable giveaways, that will actually turn your commission to zero for at least a year or so)

2. Moderation of sites and banners. Not only will you have to walk a fine line between participants quality and overall network reach (which is quite a taxing task as it is), but you’ll also need to provide support for your participants in the most honest, kindly and speedy manner possible (You’re soon to find-out that it takes almost as much time as a 9 till 5 job does)

3. Technical issues – not only will you need software that can provide sophisticated targeting capabilities, real-time and aggregate reporting, campaign management, cheat attempts monitoring etc., you also need to be able (and capable) to alter it to better meet your participants expectations – for if you’re not responsive at all to their customization requests they are more than likely to leave you for good. Free scripts don’t have what it takes, while the paid ones might lack the customization capability…

4. Prepare to invest some money for disk space. Detailed logging of every banner request, user action and system response is a MUST for network owner supporter, and a costly one at that. And you also need to serve all the ads from your own server – otherwise the quality control in your network will be nothing more than a declaration

5. Cheaters can never be dealt with by software alone. So get yourself ready to invest your time and effort into possible chat monitoring (and that comes in addition to aforementioned support, moderation and customization jobs).

6. Calculate. The more advanced features and controls you’re giving away to your participants, the more it will cost you. Every degree of freedom that you provide them with comes at a cost of the entire network unbalancing. And it can be balanced back only at a cost of your own commission, which is quite limited. And any attempt to be stingy on balancing or even a thought of overdrawing is a sure way to the doom of entire project.

7. Promotion. Theoretically, you could have promoted from your commission share. In fact, when you’ll need it most this share will only exist THEORETICALLY. And your promo actions will once again call for time and yet again call for money.

It’s getting a bit long already, and I’ve only just started… In brief, if you’re ready to work like a dog and keep investing for a year at the very least, in the long run you have a very good chance to find-out that your effort, time and money were well spent and paid off. If you were thinking for a quick and easy profit – try your luck elsewhere.

Nothing personal ;)

05-12-2003, 05:53 PM
Great response! The level of detail presented above is commendable, and is sincerely appreciated.

Sounds demanding; rather like every other online marketing/community project with which I've ever had the pleasure of being involved. :D

11-03-2003, 10:25 AM
Czar, It seems like your opinion is of high value when it comes to IT recruiting. :)

Starting tonight, I work as Head of Customer support/Technical Consultant for what I always considered to be the most advanced exchange on the market. And yes, they’ve seen this tread before approaching me