Ad Revenue?

Well, looks like another weekend of nothing but coding for me as there is much to build yet and little time. Fortunately, the weather is supposed to be pretty crappy this weekend so that should cut down on outside cravings and permit me to sit in my cave guilt free.

I have a question for all you web developers/business owners/advertisers out there. What advertising model has worked best for you? A good chunk of my income (perhaps all of it) from the appetizer app. will come from advertisers, and although I’ve been trying to push most issues of business and money to the side for now, this has been on my mind quite a bit the last few days so I thought I’d post about it. I am debating whether to:

A. Set up my own pay-per-click system
B. Charge a set fee (regardless of clicks)
C. Use Google/Amazon ads
D. All of the above

I’m leaning towards using a mix of B and C, but curious what your thoughts are?

Web Developers/Business Owners: How do you go about selling ads on your site and how do you accept payments? Do you provide advertisers with a request form and have them contact you that way? Or do you have an automated system that allows them to provide credit card information and be added to the queue on the fly? Do you have them use PayPal or do you accept other methods of payment? How much do you generally charge?

Advertisers: Which methods do you find most attractive in list above? How do you prefer to pay? How long do you generally run your ads for? What do you look for in a site and how much do you generally pay?

These are all questions I have running through my head right now that I will need to find answers to fairly soon. But for now, I will just add them to the rapidly growing list of future Zack’s problems and focus on building this thing. After all, without a finished product I don’t have any of these other issues.

To the cave…



Ryan Williams

Good question, I’ll be interested to see the feedback you get.

A. The most work, but the potential for more targeted ads is nice. I’d put that off until traffic is good enough to justify the work.

B. For a site publisher B is definitely preferred, but you run the risk of running off your advertisers if they aren’t getting a good return. Might be good to have minimum views/clicks for the money, with some program for refunding or extending ad runs.

C. Easiest to do but has the lowest return. If traffic is doing well, it’s worth trying out while pondering A and finding advertisers for C.

Another popular method is CPM, or cost per 1000 impressions.


Thanks for the feedback Ryan!

I’ll have to consider CPM as I look into this more. As you pointed out, B is very appealing to me at this point. Guaranteed payment and, as you said, no complex pay-per-click system with fraud protection to worry about (I wonder if there is some good open source software out there for this though, I’ll have to look into it).

Starting out, I’m sure it will be difficult convincing advertisers that my site is worth a straight fee. But once I have a good google ranking and traffic (fingers crossed), this will just make good sense. It’s not necessarily about clicks afterall, it’s also about upping your ranking and raising product awareness. So I think B is where it’s at, but who knows, I suppose it depends on the site and how targeted it is. I may attempt all three to a degree and see what happens.

Perhaps I can have several different options for the advertiser and tweak the agreement as you mentioned to ensure they get their money’s worth.


I would have to go with starting with C then move to B if you get the traffic, and then when you have the free time you can go to A. I just think you would be bringing on added headache at this time to start your own ad program, but I am not you so I can’t speak completely for you.

One of my friends runs a great online web hosting business he set it all up himself and he might be able to give you some advice, Web Space Solutions


Thanks for the comment Josh! It’s more of a headache for sure, although potentially worth the pain. I haven’t had much luck with C in the past but then I haven’t built a web app with commercial intentions either. So we’ll see what happens.

I agree with you though, regarding unnecessary headaches and that’s why in all actuality I’m not giving this a whole lot of thought, just throwing it out there. First things first, I need to build a quality product that people will use!

I’ll have to look into your friends hosting services since that’s one of the next items on my todo list. Right now, Dreamhost is looking pretty tempting to me.

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