10 mil pageviews, 200k abs uniq / mo... but a major problem

My site is pretty much forums based, and our forums are weapons related. As such, Adsense wants nothing to do with us. Weapons related content is a no-go for a couple other advertising networks.

I can keep ads within the industry itself; I’ve had a couple large companies approach us asking to purchase advertising space, but quite frankly I’ve never priced advertising before as a publisher. Our site has zero banners on it now.

We’re doing 10,000,000 page views a month, with 700,000 visitors and 200,000 absolute unique visitors. That breaks down to around 350k page views a day.

At the very least I should be monetizing the people who are not paid subscribers to our site. Any suggestions on where I should start?

I would definitely go with charging them.

The way it works is that you can ask them about their budget! And after that, you can decide on how you want to advertise with your space.

So for example, if they say their budget is $500/month, then you’d say “okay… we’ll do 300x200 banner”

if he is asking for the exact space he wants then honestly… just charge him what you feel it’s worth! if you feel that he’s getting a lot of visitors with his ad being there or if it’s real visible, charge him like $500 a month mabye? or start at a high price and see if he’s willing to pay or go down with the price.

As opposed to giving them the ad space for free? That’s not very helpful advice.

I have never had anyone just tell me their budget when they wanted to purchase ad space. Generally, I would do some research and see what market prices are, and then make an offer accordingly. Also, did you see the number of visitors that the site gets per day? He should be asking for closer to $500 per day than $500 per month.

To the OP, at 350,000 page views per day, you can easily offer an advertiser 1 million ad impressions per day from a highly targeted audience without annoying your visitors too much. Companies in these industries should be begging you for placement on your website, assuming it is as targeted as you claim. On top of that, you can offer sponsored posts, messages that are sent out to your members, product reviews, and so on if you want to maximize your revenue.

Besides direct advertisers, another option is to go with a general CPM ad network, assuming your visitors are not from China, India, or some other place that is harder to monetize. Many networks should be willing to work with you because of the large number of impressions you can deliver despite the topic of the content (as long as it’s not illegal or disturbing), and if you are able to get $0.50 CPM per page view (which is very conservative), that’s $175 per day in revenue. Any targeted advertiser should be willing to pay a good bit more than that, but you can use it as a point of reference.

Alternatively, you could place relevant CPA ads on the site and see how they do, or try to enter some sort of partnership with an advertiser where you get paid a percentage of their revenue from purchases made by your members.

Congratulations on building such a successful site. I’m pretty curious about it now, so if you want any more specific advice, feel free to PM me with some more details or post the info here. Keep in mind, even though Google doesn’t like this topic, there are plenty of people who are interested in weapons and willing to spend money on them, so there are plenty of other opportunities to make money as an ad publisher.

benitez17 - I’ll PM you with the site name in a bit.

I’ve had multiple requests for advertising info, but I’ve liked keeping my site banner ad free. What I’ll probably wind up doing is reskinning the site and having a separate skin for non-registered users loaded with banners.

Here’s what google analytics reported for pageviews for the last week:
Sunday, February 21, 2010
3.58% (367,929)
Monday, February 22, 2010
3.57% (366,827)
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
3.64% (373,793)
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
3.43% (352,979)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
3.46% (355,935)
Friday, February 26, 2010
3.46% (355,858)
Saturday, February 27, 2010
3.25% (334,041)

Anyhow, I’m an utter novice to banner advertising so any tips would be greatly appreciated.

I was in your position once with a forum site… and it was hard to break the “NO banner” policy but i found that members didn’t mind if the banner content was similar to their interests or your existing site content…

Here’s what i would do

  1. Find your competeing sites and look at their traffic stats using http://www.alexa.com or http://www.compete.com

1a. If you aint sure what similar/competing sites exist then simply use the following sites
http://www.similarsites.com/ or http://www.xmarks.com/

  1. Request ad prices or media kits from these sites using anonymouse email of course

  2. If their stats are similar to yours then cut your price by %20 to be competitive cuz the listed price is never the actual price

  3. depending on the forum you use… there’s some tips on banner placement that is not intrusive… what forum you have? Here’s an overview of a link http://www.vbseo.com/f160/11-top-vbulletin-adsense-resources-34644/ there’s a better link that i can’t find right now…

Damn good advice from stryka.

Look into ad networks. If you want a list of the most popular ones, that experienced advertisers use, let me know.

Also, look into sites similar as yours, and contact THEIR advertisers. Many are looking for more places to advertise in.

Do a search on certain keywords, and then contact the ones who are using Adwords.

There is a huge list of potential advertisers you can contact.

Example: I did a search on target shooting, and there are some Adword advertisers you could contact.

Also, look into subjects that you think such potential customers may also be interested in. Do a search on such sites, and on such keywords, and contact the advertisers on the sites and the ones using Adwords.

Check out big-boards.com for even more advertisers.

Well, maybe.

You can at least ask the question over there.

It’s easy to find advertisers.