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Published April 12th 2013

Digital Ad Publishing: What’s in it For You?

For many website or blog owners, selling ad space isn’t a top priority. They see the possibilities of selling ad space and collecting recurring payments from a wide range of advertisers, but getting from point A to point B is often a mystery.

How do you get started? What ad networks are trustworthy and effective? What does it really take to become a profitable ad banner publisher? In this post, I’ll aim to answer those questions and more, as you take – or at least consider taking – the leap into the world of digital ad publishing.

Banner ad networks: To join, or not to join?

Arguably, the best and quickest way to get started in ad publishing is by joining an ad network. But before you go and register with just any ad network, there are a few things you should know:

  • Ad networks are picky
    The cold, hard truth is that there are way more websites than there are platforms to host and publish their banner ads. This is why many ad networks often have rigid requirements that sites need to meet before they’re accepted into an ad network. This usually includes anything from organic traffic, to “link juice”, to user engagement.
  • Time to pull-up Google Analytics
    Before you start settling on an ad network, you may need to take a look at their rigid or not-so-rigid requirements to see if your site fits the bill. To put this into perspective, a lot of the larger banner ad networks require you to have upwards of 250 visitors per month, and more than 100,000 monthly impressions. Fortunately, many networks leave you with some wiggle room. That is, they have tiered options for sites based on their monthly visitors.
  • CPMs versus click-through networks
    Again, this comes back to how much traffic juice you can offer the network. If you have a larger site with hundreds of thousands of impressions each month, you should have no problem getting into a large CPM (cost per impression) network. If you’re still growing and developing your brand, a click-through network will probably end up being more beneficial for your site.

DIY ad publishing

So, what if you completely forego the ad network route and host banner ads yourself? It’s not a foreign concept.

An exceptionally large chunk of the world’s banner-hosting sites handle their ad publishing without the help of an ad network. The main benefit of hosting ads yourself has to do with the sheer amount of control you can have over the whole process.

The challenge is attracting the right kinds of advertisers to your site – advertisers with a decent banner ad budget. In order to do this, you’ll need to have a pretty impressive web presence that can attract paying, high-quality advertisers.

Get some help

Whether you want to go the ad network route or host banner ads yourself, it can be a lot to navigate if you don’t know what you’re doing or what to look for.

On the ad network side, you’ll need to know all the ins and outs of CPM and click-through options. If you plan to host ads yourself, you’ll need to have a solid grasp on the day-to-day aspects of managing those ad campaigns.

Some of this may include looking into site or search retargeting solutions to get the most out of your advertising dollars.


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Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.