Top Strategies for Selling Ad Space on Website


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Selling ad space entails designating specific areas of the website for ad hosting. These advertisements take many forms, including banner ads, sponsored content, and videos.

Digital platforms offer publishers significant opportunities for marketing of ads and content.

Depending on the website’s size and niche, publishers can add to their revenues by selling the right advertisements and banners, or content- to their captive audience.

Here are some strategies on how publishers can sell ad and content space   on their website.

Best Ways to Sell Ad Space on a Website

If the website already has a steady flow of traffic, a sizable audience, and high-quality content, it’s time to think about how to sell advertising space. Publishers have several options for selling ad space on their websites.

Here are few revenue-generating strategies for selling ad spaces on website:

Programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising is the process of selling advertisements online using automated platforms.

Ad spaces are traded in real-time auctions, in which advertisers compete for impressions and publishers maximize revenue.

Advertisers bid on individual impressions rather than large blocks of advertising. Website owners then receive market value for their placements. They can earn more for in-demand audiences.

The advantage lies in the automation of the purchasing and selling processes. It eliminates the need to search for media buyers to place relevant ads. Marketers do not have to wait for the right affiliate program because programmatic advertising will match appropriate ads to relevant audiences.

It enables publishers to optimize sales, streamline processes, and increase revenue. At the same time, they can gain valuable insights from real-time statistics and better understand the value of their inventory, allowing them to tailor it better, to the highly competitive bidding environment.

How programmatic advertising works? 

Publishers typically sell ads through open real-time bidding (RTB), an auction process for purchasing and selling advertising impressions for a specific audience. Advertisers place bids through software, and transactions are completed in less than a second.

  • The bidding process happens on ad exchanges, with buyer-represented agencies and advertisers connected via the Demand Side Platform (DSP) and publishers connected via the Supply Side Platform (SSP).
  • The SSP manages and sells the website owner’s digital ad inventory through real-time bidding or programmatic deals.
  • When a user visits the publisher’s website, the ad tag sends the ad request to the SSP.
  • Advertisers are matched with relevant ad spaces based on user characteristics.
  • The spaces are then auctioned programmatically.
  • The platform’s benefits include the ability for website owners to connect to various monetization sources, receive bids from multiple DSPs, and enter into transactions directly, allowing them to maximize profit.

Firms can set price floors when selling through the SSP to ensure they never lose profit. Furthermore, brands can work with local or global brands depending on their goals.

Ad Network

Publishers looking for more control over the process and the ability to sell narrow audience segments to more brand-safe advertisers should consider using an ad network or server.

Ad networks are platforms that enable data management and creative control.

Ad exchanges and SSPs cover the fundamentals of the media trading market, whereas ad networks focus on higher-quality inventory and typically specialize in specific content topics or audiences.

How Ad Networks Work

Google AdSense allows advertisers and agencies to manage targeting, optimization, and bidding. Ad networks, on the other hand, manage campaigns on behalf of their advertisers.

  • The ad network and buyer negotiate an ad’s terms, such as audience targets, impressions, and average cost per impression (CPM).
  • The ad network then implements targeting, optimization, and reporting. Advertisements are sent to publishers through the ad network’s ad server and the website code of the publisher that requests the ad.
  • The advertisements’ effectiveness is monitored using a tracking pixel on the advertiser’s conversion page.

Direct Selling of Ad Space

Directly selling ads gives you the most control over the advertising process. This is a good option for publishers who are still working at increasing their traffic.

Brands do not require an ad network or SSP if they sell ad space directly. Users form direct relationships with the brand or business that is advertising. Selling ad spaces allows you to invest in long-term partnerships and reserve ad space for specific advertisers.

However, selling ad space takes time and effort. Advertisers must manually source potential advertisers, negotiate terms and costs, and establish relationships.

Brands can set their pricing and control how they charge media buyers.

How to Find Direct Advertisers?

It is important  to consider the amount of work involved in selling ads directly. It requires generating leads, converting customers, and developing long-term relationships.

Selling ads is easier for publishers specializing in a specific topic and having a dedicated niche audience.

The best strategy is to research the various media options in the same content categories and look for brands and companies that advertise  there.

  • Website publishers create a media kit to appeal advertisers and establish the value of ad space.
  • The kit must include all the information advertisers want to know before placing ads on your website. It can be site analytics such as user segments, reach, page views, bounce rate, and engagement.
  • Selling ad space entails making direct contact with buyers, forming unique business partnerships, and negotiating and reaching an agreement between the two parties.
  • So, before brands offer ad space on the website, spend some time determining the true value of the target audience.

Affiliate advertising

An affiliate is a promoter or publisher who includes an affiliate link on their website, blog, or social media pages. Affiliates may include individual influencers, large corporations, small and medium-sized websites, and content platforms.

Ideally, the affiliate publishes content about the industry directly related to the advertised product. The promotion feels more natural and appropriate because the content audience and the advertiser’s target audience are the same.

Affiliate marketing is expanding, and according to  Influencer Marketing Hub,

“By 2023, business spending on affiliate ad campaigns will exceed USD 8.2 billion in the United States alone.”

How do Affiliate Models Work?

The website owner must join an affiliate network. Numerous affiliate networks connect publishers and advertisers, providing thousands of affiliate programs with varying goals.

These networks generate revenue by charging advertisers a setup and license fee. Publishers can join for free.

For publishers to join affiliate programs, they must have:

  • Requirements for a website include an individual domain name, an email account, and support for multiple ad formats.
  • Each affiliate advertising campaign is unique. For example, to promote a retailer’s product, the publisher may need to rank it, write a product review, or compare two similar products.
  • This is extremely beneficial for advertisers on websites with a loyal audience that trusts the advice and information provided.
  • Affiliate programs are generally performance-based, with varying conversion goals. The models differ depending on the advertisers’ objectives; they may be based on installs, leads, or actions.
  • An affiliate is paid or commissioned only when a visitor completes the desired action based on the conversion goal.
  • Affiliates can also earn commissions from sales made through their referral links, regardless of the product or service. In this model, the affiliate is paid for every click, regardless of whether it results in a lead or a sale.

However, many advertisers do not favor this model as it does not guarantee leads every time a click is made.

With affiliate advertising, a website or blog can become a lucrative source of income. High sales commissions mean a good return on investment of time and effort.


Digital publishers who want to sell ad space should carefully consider their options. There are four popular ways to sell ad space.

Each method of selling, whether direct, programmatic, affiliate or through ad networks, has advantages and disadvantages. Selecting a website type depends on the level of control and its alignment with the website niche.

The objectives and the time invested, both upfront and ongoing, should be duly considered before making a selection. Ultimately, the correct decision can result in considerable advertising revenue.

Swapnil Mishra
Swapnil Mishra
Swapnil Mishra is a global news correspondent at OnDot media, with over six years of experience in the field. Specializing in technology journalism encompassing enterprise tech, marketig automation, and marketing technologies, Swapnil has established herself as a trusted voice in the industry. Having collaborated with various media outlets, she has honed her skills in content strategy, executive leadership, business strategy, industry insights, best practices, and thought leadership. As a journalism graduate, Swapnil possesses a keen eye for editorial detail and a mastery of language, enabling her to deliver compelling and informative news stories. She has a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex technical concepts into easy-to-understand language.


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