A guide to selling ad space for soaring profits in 2024 [4 best tactics included]

Last updated: March 6, 2024 | by Aleesha Jacob

This post was most recently updated on March 6th, 2024

Are you a publisher struggling to sell ad space on your website? You’re not alone. Most publishers find it difficult to get ad inventory sold, but there are a few ways to make the process a little bit easier.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to sell ad space on your website. We’ll also provide tips for how to make your website more attractive to potential advertisers. So, if you’re looking for ways to monetize your website, keep reading!

What do I need for selling ad space?

Selling ad space can be a lucrative aspect, but it requires careful planning and the right tools. Whether you’re a seasoned publisher or just starting out, understanding the essentials for selling ad space is crucial. It’s not just about having space to sell; it’s about making that space attractive to advertisers and ensuring it aligns with your audience. Here’s what you need to effectively sell ad space:

High Quality & Bot-Free Traffic

A guide to selling ad space for soaring profits in 2024 [4 best tactics included] MonitizeMore

High-quality traffic is a must to attract advertisers and ad networks. The more monthly traffic & page views your site has, the more interested advertisers will be in buying your ad space.

Few affiliate networks have certain thresholds however, there are no minimum traffic requirements when it comes to selling ad inventory on your website if you’re heading straight to advertisers or brands.

If you want to start with the OG Google AdX qualifications, you’ll need to have around 5 million page views monthly traffic & a revamped adx.txt file with details of inventory buyers. Some ad networks look for a low bounce rate (below 50%) and around 1 million visitors daily.

Just keep up with their policies & low ad viewability concerns and stray away from showing R-rated content.

Optimizing Ad Placements

Optimizing ad placements and formats to enhance user experience while maintaining ad visibility and effectiveness is a balancing act. Here’s how different ad types can be optimized:

  1. Banner Ads: Commonly placed at the top or bottom of pages, banner ads should be designed to blend with the site’s content without being intrusive. Ensure they are visually appealing and relevant to the site’s audience.
  2. Interstitial Ads: These full-page ads appear at natural transition points, like between pages or after completing an action. They should be used sparingly and allow easy closure to avoid frustrating users.
  3. Native Ads: Designed to mimic the look and feel of the site’s content, native ads provide a seamless user experience. They should be clearly labeled as ads but made relevant and engaging to encourage user interaction.
  4. Video Ads: These can be autoplay (without sound) or user-initiated. They should be placed at points where users are likely to engage with content, like in the middle of an article or at the end of a video.
  5. Sidebar Ads: Often used on blogs or news websites, sidebar ads should be relevant and not overwhelm the content. The size and design of these ads should complement the website layout.

The accompanying chart shows our rating (out of 10) for each ad type in terms of user experience, ad visibility, and ad effectiveness. This visualization helps in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each ad format, guiding you all on which formats might be best suited for your websites based on their specific goals and audience preferences.

A guide to selling ad space for soaring profits in 2024 [4 best tactics included] MonitizeMore

High-Quality Content

Premium content on your blog posts is what keeps your users coming back for more so always publish high-quality digital content regularly to keep the monthly views seven-figure steady.

Don’t expect to get anywhere with advertising if your site’s got any banned categories like pornography, controversial topics, illegal drug topics, etc.

Smooth UI and UX

A guide to selling ad space for soaring profits in 2024 [4 best tactics included] MonitizeMore

Designing websites so they’re easy to use and visually appealing helps attract advertisers who want their ads to be seen by people who’ll click through them. In addition to an aesthetically pleasing design, easy navigation is crucial for user experience.

If you’re planning to include advertisements on your websites, then you’ll want to ensure that load speed and latencies aren’t negatively impacting user experience. Optimize your web pages in mobile mode as well since 80% of the users are on their phones most of the time.

In addition to these recommendations, Google AdSense also suggests adding unintrusive features like comment sections and aesthetically pleasing visuals. You’ll need to keep up with these requirements to reduce that bounce rate and boost engagement to ads.

Ad servers

An ad server collects data from visitors’ browsers and provides reports so publishers can learn about their site’s traffic patterns. Ad servers like MonetizeMore and Mediavine play a crucial role in programmatic advertising, especially for publishers looking to sell ad space. Here’s why and when these ad servers are particularly needed:

Efficient Ad Management

Ad servers offer a centralized platform for managing all aspects of advertising, from placement and scheduling to targeting and tracking, essential for publishers juggling multiple ad campaigns.

Optimized Ad Delivery

Sophisticated algorithms in ad servers ensure the most effective and relevant ads are displayed to the right audience, enhancing click-through rates and campaign success.

Detailed Analytics and Reporting

These tools provide crucial insights into ad performance, helping publishers understand effectiveness and inform future strategies.

Increased Revenue Opportunities

Ad servers maximize ad effectiveness and open up a wider range of advertiser opportunities, including access to premium and niche markets.

Improved User Experience

Balancing monetization with a positive user experience, ad servers help in strategically placing less intrusive, more engaging ads.

When to get Ad Servers?

A guide to selling ad space for soaring profits in 2024 [4 best tactics included] MonitizeMore

The above chart visually represents the importance of ad servers for publishers in various scenarios, each rated on a scale from 1 (Low) to 5 (High). The ratings are:

  1. High-Traffic Websites: Rated 5, indicating that ad servers are extremely important for efficiently handling large volumes of ad requests on high-traffic sites.
  2. Diverse Ad Inventory: Rated 4, showing the significance of ad servers in managing the complexity of various ad types and formats.
  3. Targeted Advertising Needs: Also rated 4, emphasizing the role of ad servers in delivering ads to specific demographics, locations, or behaviors.
  4. Programmatic Advertising: Rated 5, highlighting the critical role of ad servers in facilitating real-time bidding and exchanges for automated and efficient ad space selling.
  5. Scaling Operations: Another rating of 5, points out the necessity of ad servers in managing increased volume and complexity as publishers grow and expand.
  6. Compliance and Security: Rated 5, underscoring the importance of ad servers in ensuring a secure and compliant framework in the era of data privacy and regulations like GDPR.

Solid User Base

Fear nothing if you have that loyal audience user base who’ll keep coming back to your site for your valuable content. Even limited-traffic websites can sell ad inventory (No biggie!).

Engagement can be measured by how often people visit your site, click through links, share content, etc., but it’s not always easy to determine if someone has engaged because they just came across your ad or clicked on one of your ads.

Advertisers may be willing to spend more if they know that an ad campaign will reach people who are already interested in them.

Advertisers can see how well their ads perform by looking at these metrics:

-email clicks

-response rates

-comment section

These metrics will show how valuable your ad inventory is to brands who are looking to buy ad space. 

Establishing Trust

Transparency is the core foundation to establish trust with your audience despite the niche. Always have your Contact Us page and About Us page up to date to establish credibility.

Online advertising is filled with spam content these days with cyber fraud and domain spoofing on the rise. As advertisers become increasingly careful of wasting money on spammy websites, they’re turning away from them altogether.

To mitigate this, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) recommends publishers host ads.txt (aka Authorised Digital Sellers) & is a directory with publisher inventory verified sellers.

The objective is to enable publishers to take control of their own ad space by shifting programmatic media spend away from unauthorized sources and towards legitimate ones.

Keep it real with advertisers by showing off your engagement metrics, quality content, etc.

Selling your ad inventory the right way:

A guide to selling ad space for soaring profits in 2024 [4 best tactics included] MonitizeMore

1. Programmatic media buying

Programmatic media buying or programmatic ad buying involves automated platforms for selling ads online. Real-time auctions allow advertisers to compete for impressions and publishers to get maximum ad revenue.

In programmatic advertising, advertisers bid on individual impressions. Publishers can then earn more money from their loyal user base and receive real market value from their ad placements.

The real bonus here lies in the ad buying and selling process going automated. You don’t need to find media buyers to place relevant advertisements or wait for an ideal affiliate program; instead, programmatic ad placement matches appropriate ads with relevant audiences automatically.

Benefits for publishers in programmatic advertising are:

– Ad space sales optimization

-Streamlined process

-Maximum ad revenue

-Greater yield.

In addition, they can get real-time statistics about their winning pages and flop pages. In this way, publishers can realize the value of their ad inventories so they can tailor them better for the highly competitive programmatic advertising ecosystem.

A guide to selling ad space for soaring profits in 2024 [4 best tactics included] MonitizeMore

Why try programmatic advertising?

Open real-time bidding (RTB) is the auction process which publishers usually prefer to sell ad space where ad impressions for a specific audience are traded. Advertisers place bids instantly in real-time bidding.

Auctions are conducted on ad exchanges where the publishers are connected to exchanges via SSPs while advertisers are connected to ad exchanges through DSPs (demand-side platforms).

SSPs (supply-side platforms) manage and sell your ad inventory through real-time bidding or programmatic deals. Ad tags let an SSP know which ads to serve up for visitors coming from a certain source (e.g., Google).

Publishers sell ad space to advertisers who want their ads placed there. By using the platform, publishers can connect to multiple sources of monetization, receive bids from all kinds of DSPs, and tap into transactions directly, so they can earn maximum ad revenue.

While selling through SSPs, you have control over setting the floor price, so that you can get greater yield and more revenue ultimately.

Related Read: https://www.monetizemore.com/blog/what-is-header-bidding-guide/

2. Ad networks

Publishers who want to control the whole auction while selling advertising space to brand-safe advertisers should go for an advertising network or ad servers.

Ad networks are platforms that take care of data management & creative management. Ad exchanges and SSPs cover the basics of media trading, while ad networks specialize in more premium ad inventory and target niche market & niche blogs. Publishers like the Business Insider & Bloomberg trade through ad networks.

How do ad networks work?

A guide to selling ad space for soaring profits in 2024 [4 best tactics included] MonitizeMore

Ad networks handle campaigns on behalf of the associated advertisers. It is different from Google AdSense where programmatic agencies and brands take care of the target market, optimization, bidding, etc.

Ad networks mediate audience targets, impressions, the average cost per impression (CPMs), etc. Ad networks deliver ads to publishers through their servers using the publisher’s web pages’ HTML codes that call for an ad.

Performance metrics are then tracked via tracking pixels embedded in the landing page. (For Instance: downloading a case study).

3. Selling ad space directly

A guide to selling ad space for soaring profits in 2024 [4 best tactics included] MonitizeMore

Publishers can sell ad space directly without SSPs or an ad network. In this case, they have more control over the whole programmatic ad-buying process.

You can easily get in touch with advertisers and brands and build long-term relationships with them. That way, you get to reserve ad space blocks for the highest-paying advertisers in the long term.

Try sourcing prospects manually, bargain costs & terms, & build sustainable relationships. Otherwise, you can set your ad space pricing terms and decide how much you can charge programmatic media buyers.‍

What are the benefits and considerations of selling ad space directly to advertisers?

Selling ad space directly to advertisers offers several potential benefits, but it’s important to weigh those against some key considerations to determine if this approach is right for you.

Benefits of Selling Ad Space Directly

  • Higher Revenue Potential: Cut out the middleman (ad networks, etc.) and you keep 100% of the ad revenue earned.
  • More Control: You decide exactly which ads run on your site, ensuring brand alignment and the best user experience. You can also negotiate terms and pricing directly.
  • Relationship Building: Direct contact fosters strong relationships with advertisers, potentially leading to repeat business, larger campaigns, or even collaborations.
  • Flexibility: You’re not tied to an ad network’s rules or inventory restrictions. Set your own pricing, and format options, and target your ideal advertisers.

Considerations Before Selling Directly

  • Effort and Time Commitment: This is the big one. You become your own sales team. Finding advertisers, negotiating, and managing campaigns is time-consuming.
  • Audience Size and Value: Advertisers want a sizable, engaged audience. If yours is smaller or niche, they may prefer ad networks for scale and targeting efficiency.
  • Technical Expertise: Integrating ads without a network often requires technical knowledge or third-party tools for seamless ad serving.
  • Unsold Inventory: You bear the risk if you can’t fill all your ad slots, directly impacting your income.

Who is This Best Suited For?

Selling ad space directly makes the most sense if:

  • You have a sizable, well-defined audience attractive to advertisers.
  • Your content has a clear niche or aligns strongly with specific industries.
  • You’re willing to invest time and resources into sales and relationship management.
  • You seek maximum control and the highest potential earnings.

The search for advertisers deserving of your ad space

Don’t underestimate how much work is involved in selling ads directly. It requires generating leads, converting clients, and building long-term relationships. Selling ads directly is easier for publishers who work in a content niche and have a dedicated niche audience.

The best approach is to research media in the same content categories and seek brands and companies that advertise with them. Publishers can create a media kit to entice advertisers and prove the value of their ad space.

The kit needs to include site analytics & insights such as page views and bounce rate, user segments, reach, and engagement – all the information that advertisers want to know if they are considering putting ads on your website.

Selling ad space directly obviously involves direct contact with buyers, establishing unique business partnerships, as well as negotiations and agreements between the two parties. So, before offering ad space on your website, take some time to understand the real value of your target audiences.

4. Affiliate Advertising & Networks

A guide to selling ad space for soaring profits in 2024 [4 best tactics included] MonitizeMore

You can sell ads space by using affiliate programs as well. Affiliates are promoters or publishers who add affiliate links on their blog posts, youtube, social media platforms, etc.

Affiliates cover a diverse range of influencers, brands, small and medium-sized bloggers, and digital content platforms. They directly talk or post about content regarding the product they are promoting on their blogs.

Affiliate advertising looks less ‘salesy‘ as the niche market & the brand’s target audience are more or less the same.

Related Read: https://www.monetizemore.com/blog/best-affiliate-networks/

What are the different affiliate advertising models available, and how do they operate in terms of performance-based goals?

Different affiliate advertising models are available, each with specific performance-based goals. These models vary depending on the advertiser’s objectives, which could revolve around installs, leads, or specific actions taken by the visitor.

Common Affiliate Advertising Models

  • Pay-Per-Sale (PPS): This is the classic model. Affiliates earn a commission when their referred traffic converts into a paying customer. It’s great for driving direct sales.
  • Pay-Per-Lead (PPL): Affiliates get paid when referred traffic fills out a form, signs up for a newsletter, or completes a similar lead-generation action. This is ideal for building email lists or generating potential customer interest.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Less common, but here the affiliate earns a small amount for each click their unique link generates. This focuses on driving traffic volume.
  • Pay-Per-Install (PPI): Affiliates earn a commission when their referrals download and install an app or software. This works well for promoting mobile apps and software trials.
  • Recurring Commission: Affiliates receive a percentage of recurring subscription payments from the customers they’ve referred. This model fosters long-term revenue for both affiliates and advertisers.

How Performance Aligns with Goals

The key thing is that advertisers set very specific goals within each of these models, tailoring the desired “action” that triggers the affiliate’s commission:

  • PPS: The exact product or service purchased might matter, not just any sale.
  • PPL: The type of lead matters – a newsletter signup is different from a sales consultation request.
  • PPC: Sites where the clicks originate might be specified (high-quality sites vs. anywhere).
  • PPI: Sometimes, the user must interact with the app beyond just installation to trigger the commission.

How can AI help in selling ad space beyond header bidding?

AI can assist in several ways including:

  1. Predictive Analysis for Ad Placement: AI can analyze user behavior and site engagement patterns to predict the most effective ad placements, potentially increasing click-through rates and ad revenue.
  2. Dynamic Pricing Models: AI can dynamically adjust ad pricing based on demand, advertiser preferences, and user engagement, ensuring the best possible revenue from each ad slot.
  3. Audience Segmentation and Targeting: Advanced AI algorithms can segment audiences more accurately based on various parameters like browsing habits, interests, and demographics, allowing for more targeted and effective ad placements.
  4. Content Optimization for Ad Integration: AI can suggest content adjustments or placements that can integrate ads more seamlessly, enhancing user experience while maintaining ad visibility.
  5. Fraud Detection and Security: AI can detect unusual patterns that might indicate fraudulent activity, helping to maintain the integrity of ad campaigns and protect both publishers and advertisers.

Legal and Compliance Considerations Include:

  1. Data Privacy Laws: Compliance with data privacy regulations (like GDPR in the EU, CCPA in California) is crucial. AI systems dealing with user data must ensure privacy protection and user consent management.
  2. Advertising Standards and Regulations: Publishers must adhere to advertising standards (like those set by the IAB) and avoid deceptive practices. AI should be used to enhance transparency and fairness in ad delivery.
  3. Intellectual Property Rights: When using AI to suggest content changes or ad placements, it’s important to respect intellectual property rights, ensuring that content or ads don’t inadvertently infringe upon someone else’s rights.
  4. Consumer Protection Laws: Ensure that the use of AI in ad placements doesn’t lead to misleading or unethical advertising practices, staying in line with consumer protection laws.
  5. Accessibility Standards: Ad placements should not compromise website accessibility. AI can help ensure that ads are placed in a manner that is compliant with web accessibility standards.
  6. Compliance Monitoring: Regular audits and monitoring for compliance are essential. AI can assist in tracking compliance across various jurisdictions, especially for publishers with a global audience.

Wrap Up

In this blog post, we went through some result-driven tactics that can help you sell your ads space efficiently.

If you want to sell ad space, there are three options. You can either go direct with one-on-one sales which means you’ll need more time and resources than the two other methods; or affiliate marketing; or SSPs (supply-side platforms). However, each of these approaches has its pros and cons. Carefully speculate each option before locking in one of them.

What you choose depends on how much control you want, and which type is most suitable for your blog’s niche.

The good news is that our team is here to help figure out what approach might work best for your business goals with a digital advertising plan tailored just for you!

Generate maximum ad revenue from your website today

At MonetizeMore, we can help you monetize your app or website by serving high-quality ads without compromising on user experience. Get in touch with us now for a free one-on-one consultation with our AdOps experts who have been in the programmatic advertising game for over a decade now.

Don’t miss out on that ad revenue increase- contact us today.


How can digital publishers maximize advertising revenue by selecting the right method for selling ad space?

By choosing the method that best suits their objectives and niche, digital publishers can maximize advertising revenue. Selecting the right method can lead to increased control, efficiency, and ultimately better revenue outcomes.

What considerations should digital publishers keep in mind regarding their objectives and time investment when choosing a method for selling ad space?

Publishers should carefully consider their objectives and the amount of time they are willing to invest both upfront and ongoing. This assessment is essential in selecting a method that aligns with their goals and resources.

What role does the website niche play in determining the best method for selling ad space?

The website niche is crucial in determining the best method for selling ad space as different methods may be more effective or suitable for specific niches. Publishers should consider how well each method aligns with their niche to maximize results.

How do the pros and cons of each method impact the decision-making process for digital publishers?

The pros and cons of each method influence the level of control a publisher can have over the ad space selling process and the potential revenue generation. Publishers need to weigh these factors when deciding on the best method for their objectives.

What are the four popular methods for selling ad space?

The four popular methods for selling ad space are selling direct, programmatic advertising, affiliate marketing, and through ad networks.

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