Creating and maintaining a website while continually becoming an easier process, still has many pitfalls. Have you purchased a domain with great intentions, but never even created the site? Maybe you created a blog or a site but have not been consistently updating the content. Let’s just assume for a moment that you have your site created and content delivery schedule set and now are considering ways to monetize you site (i.e. get paid).
When we created the company Alcance Media Group we needed to have a site up quickly. While the initial plan was something quick and temporary, we ended up maintaining the site until our second year. Along with finalizing the design we are working on the content for the site but as any website owner knows, time flies.
Additionally, the company is in the process of developing proprietary sites to add into their proprietary media network. The base sites focused on the cultural activities of key cities in the U.S. and internationally that have significant Hispanic populations. While there is limited content as we continue to test, content sectors, as well as multiple advertising platforms these sites are an excellent showcase and testing platform in the short term, but will continue to be a focus.
CIUDAD is the term for City in spanish and as anyone knows who has searched for a domain name, adjustments are sometimes necessary. CIU SF focusing on San Francisco events, CIU Havana focusing on Cuba, and CIU Santiago are the three pilot sites. Each one is also testing everything from rich media, to skins, to co-registration to make sure that each of our solutions are scalable for our network partners.
For those of you who are developing your sites, one key requirement is the use of IAB standard banner sizes if you have any intention of working with major agencies and advertisers. The top three sizes are 160×600, 300×250, and 728×90 are in many cases the only ones used by major agencies. Yes this means that that small space due to the design is not going to be easy to sell on its own.
As you decide on advertising rates and sales, it is important to note that sales is difficult. Regardless of how great your site is, how much traffic you have or how great it looks, it takes time. One solution that you should look into are of course paid search options (Google , Yahoo), and also ad networks. As you will read, ad networks have many detractors, however they are also used by most major publications as a way to supplement their ad sales.
I have worked in 3 different ad networks and to be honest they all varied in their benefits and costs, however as a site owner there is very little downside as long as you monitor the networks. Yes, a 50/50 revenue share is pretty standard, and the more you try to sell the more you realize that it is costly to drive in ad sales. Many networks demand exclusivity and this is something that in many cases is negotiable. I recommend testing a few ad networks for a few months to see not only who is generating the most revenue, but who is working with advertisers that are appropriate to your site. If you have a bi-lingual or spanish site a quick application at Alcance Media Group will have you up and running within days.