I've had websites since 1997, and have always relied on companies like Tribal Fusion, BurstMedia, FastClick, and used affilate programs for defaults. I've done fairly well.
Over the years, various companies have contacted me to ask for rate sheets or more info on advertising on my sites. I've referred them to TF or Burst, without any luck. I'm not sure if they wanted too much or what. I also cringed at the thought of handing over half of any revenue.
So now I'd like to learn more about how to handle selling adspace in addition to what I already have going.
1) Is there a method to determining rates?
2) Is phpAdsNew acceptable? Would advertisers expect to have a login to check stats, or would I simply invoice them for impressions and/or clicks?
3) What determines an appropriate media kit? I've looked at media kits all over the net and they seem to vary quite a bit.
4) Is there such a thing as a consultant/representative for selling ad space that works for a smaller percentage than the big networks?
What a great place to be. Premium inventory can definately demand more than smaller inventory, but the problem for some advertisers, especially if they are Niche to your site is they cannot afford the buy. Many networks have a $10K or $20K buy for advertising, so you may be able to tap into something very lucrative for your site.
Many advertisers (obviously not the big ones) are not familiar with how to judge the success of a campaign, so having them be able to login is probably a feature they don't need, unless you are planning on handling dozens of diferent clients. PHPAdsNew works well for many people, there are other free solutions out there as well.
I would look at your premium inventory now. What rates are you getting for frequency 1-4/US impressions? If you can run reports for that information, get it to help you determine what to charge. Your overall CPM will not be a good indicator, especially if you have non-us or high frequency traffic. That is paid at much lower rates, so use your premium stuff to judge.
I don't know about a media kit, but I have seen one that talk about CTR, web stats, etc. Remember, the people you are selling to are not necessarily web-savvy, so keep it simple and easy to understand. For the advertiser, the ultimate question is what kind of ROI will they get. They will have to help you determine that. If you know you have a 1%CTR on your primo inventory,you can help them calculate what a click means for them. For example: For every 10 clicks, someone makes a purchase, for every 10 purchases, we get 5 repeat customers, a repeat customer is worth $x to them so to get 5 repeat customers they would need to have #X of impressions, hopefully you get the idea. Then you can maybe figure out CPM. Once you have done that a few times, you can get a feel for rates on your site.
There are consultants that sell ad space. I only know of one, and I think he does decent volume only, but from what I understand they are hard to find. If you want to PM me we can talk about volume and I can give you the referral if you want (I don't know him, but I have referred him to a couple of pubs), he works with our co.
Check with the networks that also offer direct site options. Advertising.com, Accelertor Media, Gorilla Nation, RealTechNetwork, and EuroClick come to mind. All have offered me direct deals for my sites. Though it has been over a year since I worked on a direct deal with Gorilla Nation and Advertising.com. Still good companies though.