Pros and cons of selling advertising directly to advertisers (part 2)

work busy In our previous article, we described several advantages of selling ads directly to advertisers including more control, more revenue, more customized service, and better relationships. However, it is not all rosy all the time. There are challenges, especially for a new publisher, to sell ads directly:

Time and resources

Selling advertising directly to advertisers can be time-consuming and resource-intensive because it requires publishers to actively seek out and negotiate deals with advertisers directly. Business relationships and trust must be built over time so that is a slow process by nature. This can be especially challenging for small businesses with limited resources or limited networking connections. If you do not want to deal with people or have strong sales skills and are willing to accept a reduced earning then you can leave the business side to the ad networks and exchanges as they have their own ad sales team to go after advertisers and take care of the campaigns. However, if you have strong sales and customer service skills, it can be a rewarding journey. It can start slow but it will snowball into a steady stream of income if it is done right.

Low traffic or quality of content

If your site does not have a lot of hits or pageviews, it is not attractive to potential advertisers because they are not willing to pay to advertise on some unknown sites or blogs. It is not an easy task to get more traffic and bring in new advertisers at the same time without investing and spending a lot of money. However, it is still possible but it is not a get-rich-quick scheme so you need to have a long-term vision based on high-quality content and a desirable audience. You need to focus on quality instead of quantity. When you have a high quality site and know how to market and promote it, you’ll gain more quality traffic and that in turn gains the attention of advertisers.

Limited reach

Another potential issue is that selling advertising directly to advertisers may limit the reach. This is because you, as the publisher, are only able to sell ad space to a small number of advertisers, rather than having the ability to make your site available to more advertisers through an ad network or exchange. If you have a popular site that appeals to the general public and are suitable to many advertisers and not just a few niche ones, you will want to sign up as many advertisers as possible.

Lack of scale

Finally, selling advertising directly to advertisers will bring challenges for businesses that want to quickly grow their advertising revenues. As a publisher's traffic and ad inventory increase, it can be difficult to manage the increased number of advertisers and campaigns, even with the help of a good ad server. You might need to invest in a sales team and hire more people to take care of existing advertisers and bring in new ones. It is often a good problem to have because it means you have many paying advertisers. However, it is better to manage a small number of high-quality advertisers than a large number of low-quality advertisers.

Overall, selling advertising directly to advertisers is a good way for publishers to monetize their traffic and control the types of ads that are shown on their website or platform. However, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons and determine whether it is the right fit for your business. By weighing the potential benefits and challenges, publishers can make informed decisions about their ad serving strategy and optimize their approach for maximum effectiveness. More often, the best approach is a healthy mix of both directly-sold ads and third-party ads.

Posted in Selling Ads Directly AdServer for Publisher by John Z August 14, 2023


  • Pros and cons of selling advertising directly to advertisers
    "Selling advertising directly to advertisers is a way for businesses to monetize their traffic and reach their target audiences. It allows businesses to control the types of ads that are shown on their website or platform, and it can be a good way to generate revenue. " More
  • Pros and cons of selling ads directly to advertisers or through ad networks
    "As a publisher, you want to be in complete control of the advertising that appears on your website. You can choose to sell directly to advertisers or work with ad networks to get the ads that you need. " More
  • When can you sell ads directly to advertisers?
    "One of the best aspects of having advertising on your website is when you reach a certain point, you can sell ads directly to the advertisers. There is no set amount of traffic that you need to hit in order to make that leap, as some advertisers will require you to have a larger audience than others. " More