How much traffic do I need to start selling direct advertisements?
My site is still rather new and it has a specific niche in targeting only college/university students. Currently I'm running Google AdSense as well as a few affiliate networks and am also using the Right Media Exchange to place and rotate relevant ads. It's working OK, but the payouts are rather low. I have the time to sell directly (over the phone), but I'm wondering whether my traffic is too low to appeal to local advertisers. I get 350 unique visits per day and 10 page views per visit (targeted audience). Are my numbers too low to sell direct, and should I just concentrate more on growing traffic?
New sites sell ads all the time, so I'd recommend putting together a bunch of options and special introductory rates. Then get the word out about your site so you can improve your site traffic quickly. Use as many well-visited portals as possible--especially via university sites, popular blogs, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
The idea is to generate buzz, so in addition to busy online portals, don't neglect some traditional sales processes: networking, cold calling and PR (along with select face-to-face time with major movers at online marketing conferences). It wouldn’t hurt to work with a professional online marketing strategist, do ongoing site improvements (great content, relevant metadata) and work with online inbound marketing specialists (check out www.TenGoldenRules.com).