One of the most overlooked sources of traffic is buying ads directly with smaller websites in your market. These ads will often be underpriced, with CPMs far lower than you could get from professional webmasters or from buying them from a network like Google AdSense.
How do you find these sites to advertise on? How do you negotiate your ad deals?
==> Locating Potential Sites to Do Deals With
Start with a Google search. Search using your main keyword, then as many long tail keywords as you can think of.
Look through the first page, the second page and the third page. Remember, we’re not looking for the “big players” who land in the top three, but smaller sites with less traffic that might still be worth advertising with.
Also look through Google’s content network listings. Do this by logging into your AdWords account, then going to “Placement Targeting” and “Find Placements.”
Type in your keyword and look at all the listings that come up. Focus on the moderate traffic listings.
Finally, look on each of these sites individually and try to find links to other sites. See if you can come up with new keywords or side markets as you browse through some of these sites.
Compile a list of at least twenty potential websites you can advertise on.
==> Making Contact
If you find someone whose site is listed with the Google Content Network, the offer should be pretty simple: you’ll pay them 10% to 20% more than Google is paying them on a CPM basis, and they don’t have to worry about CPCs varying. They just get a PayPal payment from you every month, consistently.
If you’re contacting a website that doesn’t have advertising on it, then your job is a bit trickier. You’ll be talking to webmasters that may have no idea what the market rate for an ad is.
The upside to that is that you’ll sometimes get spectacular deals. For example, you might be able to pay a college student just $50 a month for an ad that’s ranked in the top five for a highly trafficked keyword.
On the other hand, you might run into business owners that just try to overcharge you because they don’t know what a good rate is.
The best way to navigate this is to come up with an approximate number that you’re willing to pay per CPM or CPC. Stick to your guns and don’t deviate.
What’s the best way to make the initial contact? Phone, if possible. Get their phone number on their website or through Whois and give them a call.
If you can’t get a phone number, send them an email. Make sure the email is to the point, includes your website and makes it clear that you’re ready to make a payment.
Finding smaller websites to advertise on directly can be one of the cheapest yet most effective sources of advertising that money can buy.