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Originally published on BuildYourBlogConference on February 20, 2015.

Publishers who are invested in their websites often wonder when (and if) they should start advertising, and if so, what kind of advertising. While there are many different options for website monetization, this piece will focus on one of the most manageable and widely used method: display sovrn advertising.

First off, what is display advertising? At it’s most basic level, display advertising is graphical advertising that appears next to content on web pages. These ads, often referred to as banners, come in standardized ad sizes that include text, logos, pictures or rich media. Publishers use display advertising as a means to earn revenue for the amount and quality of traffic they attract to their site.

How much traffic do I need to make money from ads?

Some of the larger ad networks have higher traffic qualifications for entering their network, but overall the general traffic number is likely more attainable than you think. A solid minimum traffic number is around 1,000 daily pageviews. At that pace, if you are garnering a $1.00 CPM for a single ad, or $1.00 for every 1,000 views of that ad, in one month’s time you can earn around $30!, By adding a few more zones, or areas on your site for more ads, you can multiple that income pretty fast.

By implementing display advertising on your website you add a low maintenance, passive revenue stream. Now $30 dollars may not seem like a giant chunk of change, but it may very well offset monthly hosting fees, stock photos purchases and a myriad of other costs that add up over the course of a year. As you begin to grow your readership and thus, traffic to your site, that monthly check starts to grow along with it. Many publishers will reinvest their monthly ad revenue into paid channels like social media promotions to help boost their traffic. As their traffic continues to grow, more and more of that ad revenue ends up in their pocket.

So I have the traffic, now what?

Site quality is extremely important for success with display advertising. Advertisers are looking to get the most impact out of their ad spend as possible; they want to get their brand in front of engaged readers on desirable domains. As a result, most ad networks have imposed strict standards for publishers to help ensure that advertisers get the most for their dollar.

First, each publisher’s website is reviewed to confirm that it has a positive user experience and a clean site design. Sometimes site performance factors like page load time are considered as well. User engagement metrics including social media sharing and comments are also important. Finally, the site is compared against the following list of restrictions:

  • Malware/Adware
  • Adult content
  • Hate speech
  • Illegal downloads and piracy
  • Illegal drugs
  • Violence
  • Offensive language

No time like the present.

At the end of the day, you’re the only one that can determine whether or not your website is ready for display advertising. By all means, use the 1K daily pageview threshold as a goal to strive towards, but you do not need to feel limited by it. If you want to start running ads on your site, getting started is simple. The most important advice for those looking into display advertising is patience. If you only make $30 in your first month advertising, imagine how that money can impact your costs and multiple in the future. We have seen many publishers start with that same $30 check, only to end up making their entire income from display advertising alone just a year or two later.

Once you’ve got your new display ads up and running, you can return your focus to doing what you do best: creating content, increasing traffic and growing your online influence.

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