How To Sell Ad Space On Your WordPress Site

Monetizing a website can be a tricky task, especially through ad space selling. Although this is one of the most common ways of turning a website into a money-making asset, the main challenge lies in figuring out the best ad types to place on your website and leveraging them to generate revenue without compromising good user experience.

In this article, we will walk you through the essentials you need to know about selling ad space on a website, the most effective ways to sell ad space on your own website, and the best tactics and practices that you can use to boost website ad revenue.

Let’s dive right in!

What is Ad Space?

First things first, what is an Ad space?

Put simply, an ad space is a portion of a web page that is reserved for promoting advertisers’ products and placing affiliate links. This space can be placed at the top, bottom, or on the sides of a website. Ad space can also be present in the middle of the page content. Note that a single web page can contain multiple ad spaces.

Another notion to consider is the ad space group. This is a group of spaces within a website that have the same characteristics. It allows an ad purchase to be made for the group of spaces.

Types of Ads You Can Sell On Your Website

Website ads can take different shapes and sizes, including but not limited to:

  • Banner ads: This is the most popular form of online advertisement. Banner ads — also called display ads — are rectangular display advertising formats that direct visitors to a landing page when clicked. Despite their popularity, display ads are not the most effective type of ad conversion-wise.
  • Native ads: Native ads are paid ads that fit seamlessly with a website’s content and design. They match the feel and look of the platform they appear on, thus the term “native”. Native ads are much less disruptive and thus more user-friendly compared to pop-up or banner ads.
  • Video ads: Another ad format that’s growing in popularity is the video ad. In general, video ads might convert better than static ads as they’re considered more engaging and captivating. That said, video ads must be used smartly to avoid interrupting the user experience.
  • Pop-up ads: As their name implies, pop-up ads are ads that display in a new window while browsing a website. They can appear anytime on top of the content that the visitor is viewing. As you might have guessed, pop-up ads can be a double-edged sword. While they can be highly effective in increasing conversion rates, they might also be a big turn-off if not integrated correctly with the website design. This is mainly because pop-up ads can annoy website visitors and cause them to leave the site.

Note that most firewalls and browsers have a pop-up block setting that prevents pop-ups from appearing. Ad blockers are also widely used among internet users and it can be a bit challenging to convince your website visitors to turn them off. These are all considerations you need to keep in mind when using pop-up ads.

How Does Selling Ad Space Work?

Selling ad space means designating blank areas of your website for ad hosting. Ads are sold either programmatically via several demand-side platforms (DSPs), which are automated ad buying platforms, or through direct sales. Keep in mind that you only earn revenue when visitors engage with the ads displayed on your website, typically by generating clicks, impressions, or engagements. If, for example, an advertiser pays you 25 cents per click, you can expect to make $50 per day if their ad generates 200 clicks daily.

What Are The Main Requirements For Selling Ad Space On Your Website?

At this point, you must be wondering if there are any prerequisites for selling ad space on your website. The answer is yes.

For your ads to generate maximum conversions, the following requirements must be met:

  • Large, high-quality traffic: This goes without saying, but having a large and very targeted audience is an absolute must to be able to generate ad revenue. The relevance of your audience is crucial because companies advertising their products and services on your website want to make sure that you’ll help them reach customers who are likely to buy those products/services.
  • Quality content: Again, it’s no secret that the quality of your content is of utmost importance for advertisers and search engines alike. So make sure you’re only publishing high-quality, original, and valuable content on your website
  • Smooth UI and UX: Believe it or not, but even in 2023, UX is still being overlooked by many website owners. The importance of having a website that’s visually appealing and easily navigable can’t be stressed enough as it helps attract advertisers and retain website visitors.
  • A loyal audience: Audience loyalty is a valuable asset to advertisers because loyalty usually translates into repeat sales. In fact, even with a low-traffic website, you can still sell ad space if your audience is highly engaged and loyal. Many advertisers are willing to pay more to get their message in front of an audience that keeps returning for more content.

The Most Effective Ways To Sell Ad Space On Your Website

Now that you understand the basics of ad space selling, let’s look at the best ways to sell ads on your website.

Ad networks

Ad networks serve as intermediaries between advertisers and publishers or website owners. They also allow for data and creative management.

Ad networks are the easiest way to sell ads on your website. While you might earn less from ad networks than from direct sales, you can get access to larger communities of potential advertisers and secure buyers for unsold ad space.

Some examples of ad networks include Ezoid, Mediavine, and Google AdSense.

Affiliate marketing

Another great, fast, and easy way to monetize your website or blog with ads is through affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing works as follows: A promoter (yourself) joins an affiliate program and places an affiliate link on their website. When a visitor takes an action, the promoter earns a commission (all is based on the conversion goal). Commissions could be fixed or recurring depending on the company’s product/service,

It’s worth noting that 81% of advertisers rely on affiliate programs, this is just how popular and convenient affiliate marketing is. If you’re still scratching your head about what affiliate marketing involves, we have a detailed blog post that covers everything you need to know about affiliate marketing, including its pros and cons.

Direct Ad selling

Selling ad space directly to advertisers, meaning without an ad network or SSPs, can be the best and most lucrative option, especially if you’re still growing your traffic. It allows you to establish direct relationships with businesses. Other benefits of direct ad space selling include:

Selling ad space directly might seem like a complicated process. However, with the help of a beginner-friendly ad management tool, you can build a process right into your site.

  • Programmatic advertising: Automation makes processes faster, easier, and more efficient, and this applies to advertising as well. Programmatic advertising allows you to sell ad inventory, in real-time auctions, through automated platforms. It leverages automated technology and complex algorithms to match relevant audiences with appropriate ads. This helps you save time and effort as it eliminates the need to wait for a suitable affiliate program,  search for media buyers, or conduct manual negotiations.
    • Programmatic advertising also offers a variety of control options for both publishers and advertisers.

Tactics and Best Practices To Boost Your Website Ad Revenue

If you’re keen to make the most out of your ad space-selling efforts, consider the following best practices:

  • Manage your ads effectively: Make sure to have a robust ad manager in place to keep track of ads and placements. You can read more about our ad management plugin, AdSanity, and how it makes ad management a breeze.
  • Optimize your user experience: Better UX design increases a website’s conversion rates by up to 200%. 38% of users will stop interacting with a poorly designed mobile app or website. 
  • Make sure your ads aren’t affecting your website loading speed: This is essential for both your website’s user experience and SEO performance.
  • Boost engagement on your website. 

Wrapping up

Monetizing your website through ads is a great way to earn a recurring passive income. Having the right tools and strategies in place can help you boost your ad earnings. The key is to avoid disrupting website integrity or hurting the user experience.

AdSanity is built with your website’s performance in mind, but why take our word for it? Try AdSanity today and see all that it has to offer.

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