make-money-selling-online-adsMany people think they’ll throw up a website, a little bit of content, some banners ads, and the advertising dollars will flood through the door.

(I know many people think this because my husband still intends to employ this simple strategy for himself.)

Of course it’s not so simple. If it were, we’d all be rolling in Bentleys. Alas, there’s more to online ad revenue than that.

If you’re looking to accept advertisers on your website, here are a few things you should know.

1. Paid links should be nofollow The search gods do not look kindly on companies paying for links. If you are approached by a company looking to place an ad on your site or sponsor a post, you need to be sure they’re ok with nofollow links. If they’re not, what they’re doing is called blackhat SEO. This can hurt their site and yours.

2. Ads should be tagged as such on social media Is a company sponsoring a post on your site or asking you to tweet about their services? Then you need to use the hashtag #ad or #sponsored when you post on social media. This is a legal necessity so that anyone who clicks on your link automatically knows they’re going to see content that you were paid to promote.

3. Ad networks There are plenty of ad networks out there that will place ads on your site for a monthly fee. Before agreeing to work with an ad network, you should see whether they are reputable. You also need to understand their fee structure – is it based on pageviews, clicks, or sales? Like with anything, this is an important place to stand on principle rather than jumping on the bandwagon with a firm that seems somewhat shady. These factors can have a big impact on your site and which network you may choose to work with.

4. Selling ads If you don’t want to work with an ad network, you can choose to sell ads independently. To do this, you’ll need a media kit and a pricing structure. This pricing structure will likely be based on your pageviews. You should target companies that relate to your core content. You’ll also likely have an easier time targeting small business than larger retailers like Target or Home Depot.

Do you have any questions about ads on your site? How do you typically handle ad pitches?

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