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 wouldnt 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).
Here's to your success!
As president of Pomona, N.Y.-based marketing-advantage and founder of WomenCentric, Pattie Simone empowers ambitious women, companies and entrepreneurs worldwide, sharing smart new media, client engagement, entrepreneurial and communications expertise as a techpreneur, consultant, speaker and video blogger.