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Three Ways Publishers Make More Money

  • January 6th, 2012

So far 2012 is off to a wonderful start. Over the last two days I’ve issued just over to $200,000 in cashouts to our publishers – and the requests keep coming in. Our publishers are on fire, but the fire could be bigger.

While processing payments I often glance over publisher websites to get a feel for their overall monetization strategy. Often times, it only takes a very small adjustment for a publisher to make more money. Here are three simple things to consider as you work toward your goals in 2012:

1. List Your Best Inventory for Sale

If you’re providing the second best inventory through the BSA Marketplace you should expect to sell ads at a second rate. It’s that simple.

If you’re running a sidebar banner, selling it in a location below an Adsense banner, you should cut your ad price in half. You’re placing Adsense, a remnant ad unit by nature, above a direct sold ad unit that commands more money, more attention, and more brand value for your blog.

2. Stick to Standard Ad Sizes

When you’re working with advertisers they sometimes have an art director, or someone to whip up graphics in house. It’s safest to assume, however, that most advertisers are walking into our inventory with a bag full of prepared banners that are IAB standard sizes.

If you provide standard sizes then you aren’t asking someone to make a custom banner, which requires additional time and resources on the advertiser’s end. Remember, this additional time and resources will be considered as part of the cost when making an ad buy. By sticking to standard ad sizes you are making your ad inventory more buyable.

3. Focus on Quality Traffic Not Quantity

Your first instinct after browsing our inventory may be to raise traffic. More impressions = more money, right? Not all traffic is equal. For example Stumble Upon traffic, a very attainable source of traffic in the niches we work with, is often worth very little. The visitors can be personified easily as someone who comes to a website, expects to spend 5 to 15 seconds on the site, then hop to the next article that makes their jaw drop. While this traffic may give you impressive numbers, and give you more impressions to sell, you can be sure that advertisers will notice the low quality / low converting traffic. This pattern, and an excess of low quality traffic will lead to a high turn-over rate with your advertisers and less recurring revenue.

I run a site, UX Booth, a publication about User Experience that fits into the larger niche of web design and development. We often hover around 100,000 impressions each month. Sure, we could mass promote our articles across sources we know will inflate our numbers. However, this wouldn’t be quality traffic. Even though our numbers are modest we are still able to command a $6 to $8 CPM since we have high quality traffic.

You shouldn’t be here for a quick one month sale. Value truly comes with building a positive relationship and expectation with an advertiser. That’s how you sell ads for multiple months in a row. It’s a more sustainable income.

Let’s Grow the Fire Together

Have a question specific to your website? Drop us an email in support or leave a comment here. Let’s help each other build a bigger fire.