Although ad networks will fill the ad inventory for your website, they take a percentage (up to 60%) of the CPM the advertisers are paying to advertise on your site. Remove the middle man and receive 100% of the CPM, and find advertisers more relevant to your users.
To determine what to charge:
Take a look at your competitors’ media kits and see what they offer
- How does your traffic compare to theirs (how much and where from)?
- How does your content compare to theirs (quality and quantity)?
- How does your design compare to theirs?
- That should give you somewhere to start from.
Take a look at your AdSense earnings:
- What is your current eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions)?
- For most sites I would double your AdSense eCPM as a guide of what to charge.
- Different ad sizes would give different CPMs, with larger formats worth more.
- Ads above the fold are generally worth more than those below the fold.
Your Media Kit
- Don’t make it too complicated with too many options
- Show your stats (possibly with graphs)
- Show your rates for each ad size
- Show any discounts you have for bulk buys
- Show all your contact details (email/phone/address)
Things to look for when doing a direct ad deal:
Research the advertiser
- Try to make sure they are legitimate and reliable
- Get some good contact info on them (phone/email/physical address)
- Make sure you know which individual you are dealing with for the advertiser
- Maintain good relations with the advertiser throughout the deal and after it for the chance of future deals.
Check the ads
- You don’t want them to offend your users
- You most likely want them to fit your site’s niche to get a good ROI for the advertiser for a future relationship.
- Take a look at the ads in the sizes you are running to make sure you like them
- Impressions/Uniques/Targeting/Time-frame/Ad Serving/Ad Reporting)
- An advertiser is less likely not to pay you with a signed contract (although that still won’t guarantee payment)
- A good contract won’t cost that much and can be used over and over again
- The only way to guarantee payment is to get it upfront
- Ask for at least 50% of the payment of the ad deal up front as a guarantee