Poll: Is It Becoming Harder To Sell Ads Directly?


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A couple of years ago selling your own ads was considered one of the best monetization methods. Provided you had some traffic and that your blog was focused on a particular niche it was just a matter of finding companies related to your niche and negotiating directly with them.

That is when 125×125 ads on the sidebar spread all over the web.

Lately, however, I have been noticing an opposite trend: it seems that fewer and fewer blogs are selling their ads directly to advertisers, and the ones who are still doing it have fewer advertisers aboard.

What is causing this change? I can think of two factors: perhaps advertisers are becoming reluctant to negotiate directly with bloggers and small site owners, and instead they are relying more on large ad networks (e.g., CPM networks or Google AdWords).

On the other side of the coin there are the bloggers and site owners, who perhaps are also relying less on selling ads directly and more on other monetization methods, like selling their own products.

Either way those are just my views, and I would like to know what you guys think. You can cast a vote on the poll below, and if you want to expand your opinion please leave a comment.

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12 Responses to “Poll: Is It Becoming Harder To Sell Ads Directly?”

  • Harsh Agrawal

    If you rely on Email communication for selling ads..Yes, it’s harder.. Though if you create automated system where potential advertisers can directly see ads and buy it, it won’t be hard…
    Probably that’s why Buysellads and OIO publisher plugin is so famous!!

  • Eunus Hosen

    It’s being harder to sell ads on blog directly. And being more and more harder for over crowded niche blogs.

  • Umesh

    On top of that, I also find it’s fake screenshot whoever claims that they are making over $1000 a day from Adsense.

  • Maaike Quinn

    Oh no, I haven’t even begun monetizing my blog! :S:S:S

    (Just kidding. I am not worried at all. I am going to be the queen of the blogging world :D)

    (Or well, maybe somewhere in between those two options lol.)

  • Paul Odtaa

    A friend of mine owns a significant motoring website. Three years ago he was being approached by car companies and car gadgets to place advertisements on his site.

    In the past 6 months he has cancelled his personal advertising as it had effectively dried up. He still does well through the agencies.

    As he sees it there are two main reasons:

    Downsizing and Outsourcing

    The big corporations are cutting back on their marketing budgets. Marketeers are being shown the door and most organisations are now outsourcing the marketing on a lower budget.

    This means that the there is very little scope for smaller scale individual advertising campaigns.

    Fear of Failure

    There’s an old corporate expression – ‘nobody got fired buying Microsoft’ – that is do something original like not buying the market leader and if it goes wrong you’re in trouble.

    Running an independent advertising campaign on a lot of small sites is riskier. It would be difficult to prove he success or otherwise of a campaign.

    If sales fail because of of the downturn – the failure will be blamed on the individualised campaign even if that is not the real reason.

    On the positive side

    I reckon targeting small organisations, possibly with a payment by results scheme, would be more likely now in the current climate.

  • Dave

    In the travel niche at least, there has been an explosion of high quality new blogs in the last 12 months (the ones who got started a year ago are maturing and kicking butt). I sell less banner ads than I did a year ago, even though my number of page views per month has more than doubled to over 100k.

    It’s made me realize I need to spend more time focusing on building income through my membership site and less time chasing traffic and advertisers. Ultimately, I think this will be an empowering change in thought, but I still have a lot to learn about product marketing.

    I’ve also seen a shift with SEO companies wanting more contextual links, and less links from a sidebar/footer over the last few months.

  • Marija

    It’s definitely become harder! 3.5 years ago I had 100 visitors a day and I sold a 125×125 banner (actually two of them) for an X price. Today, when I have at least 2000 visitors a day (a few days ago I had over 35000!), I have no direct ad sales! And my price is only 30% higher.

  • Hostinpk

    I have also a top rank SEO blog and now I merely find an advertiser. This is, I think, due to fast spread of internet usage and NET of websites.
    Still quality websites can found out advertisers with no problem.

  • Mightee

    i disagree with this
    in my opinion if your blog’s niche matches the advertisers link and you can provide him with fair traffic then he will buy ads on your site
    i have sold 2 ads today btw 😀

  • Thewebcitizen

    It is becoming more difficult so we need to improvise once more, competition is getting hard so the only way to differentiate is simple, produce quality content hard to find, traffic will come in and eventually advertisers as well.

  • alamin

    Hy, daniel I think it is becoming more and more hard to sell direct ads on blog

  • HP van Duuren

    I mainly have some (affiliate) ads in the side bar (and also in other places) on the Blog….,

    Only – for example on my Writing Lifestyle Blog (where I write about things like Successful Writing and Writing Inspiration) – eventhough near the top of this Blog I do have an impressive carousel widget with nice photo’s of all kinds of – Coffee Makers – and – Espresso Machines – I don’t really expect my readers to immidiately click on them to order. I do think that they just look nice on this blog and helps reminding my readers that there is a posibility to Invest their Money in one (or more) of those beauties.

    ‘I don’t think that those ads themselves
    will directly be very effective…,’

    So I do think that it’s only interesting for advertisers to advertise on blogs with a very big audience or else atleast a very reponsive audience.

    Because I expect the actual buying to take place when – In the heat of the Moment – when reading my Posts, while they read that for helping their – Writing Inspiration – they can Buy a Coffee Maker or an Espresso Machine, only than they can get excited enough to acutally have a closer look at those babies by clicking on the link that they can find in the post they are reading at that exact moment. (BTW aren’t you – caught in the heat of the moment -yourself a little right now? and aren’t you atleast slightly curious about what they look like yourself?) Yes? No?


    If you happen to have an interest in getting that kind of ‘Writers Inspiration’ for your Blogging yourself while reading this comment right now, you are welcome to have a look yourself 🙂

    All the Best,
    To your Happy – Blogging – Inspiration,

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