MozillaZine

Request From MozillaZine

Thursday August 12th, 1999

I've been considering recently the possibility of adding advertisements to MozillaZine. I've been interested in moving to a dedicated machine which would 1) give us control over the operating environment, 2) free us from sharing CPU time with 50 other websites and 3) give us a machine to use for other projects, and advertising would help pay for the server every month. More importantly, advertisement would allow us to branch off into another area, by allowing us to pay authors for work on tutorials and articles.

So, my questions are:

  • How do you feel about mozillaZine having ad banners? Would you approve if it would help bring new features to the site?
  • What is the difference (in terms of ad revenues) between signing up with a professional ad-banner service and handling advertising internally? Which would you recommend?
  • Would I need to create a business entity if I accepted ad revenues and did payouts to third-party article authors? I assume so, but I know there are a lot of sites out there that have ad banners but aren't necessarily businesses.
  • What are the average rates currently charged for banner space?


#25 Few had advice on actually doing the advertising

by Anon

Friday August 13th, 1999 1:55 PM

You are replying to this message

...so maybe I can help there.

I help run GameDev.net and I ran DevGames.com before it and work with the people running LOLChat.com. We've done advertising on web sites and in software both and I can tell you that you are unlikely to see significant revenue from it unless you can a) get sponsorships from people willing to just pay well for the privelege of being known as your corporate sponsor or b) you get levels of traffic where you could deliver a million or so ad impressions per month.

So, given that statement, what kind of money could you make from ads? You have three basic choices for ads. Sell your own, this is the most time intensive and the biggest pain in the ass because it requires you to camp out on the phone and fire off emails all the time to line up advertisers, dicker over pricing, and then finally browbeat them to try and get the money out of them for the ads you displayed (the last part can be quite hard indeed because lots of people just don't want to pay their bills, and you have very little leverage aside from running that new "<Insert Company Name Here> Doesn't pay their bills" campaign).

If you get a really large number of impressions (1 mil per month or more) you might be able to get a company to sell your advertising space for you. These companies typically get half of what they sell for you, but given all the crap they have to do, it's not necessarily a bad deal. As one of the your replies mentioned, you may be able to work out a deal where both you and they sell ad space to try and make money on all your impressions (and maximize your income). These people can sell ads for anything from $3 to $20 CPM (the abbreviation used for 1000 ad impressions). Avoid companies who are going to fill your space with click banners that only pay based upon how many times they are clicked. They pay more but rarely enough more to make up for the pathetic number of clicks they attract and suddenly you end up paying for them to try out unsuccessful banner campaigns.

Last (and definitely least) would be companies that soak up bulk ad buys where companies want to just shotgun out ads in large numbers to see if anything sticks. Aureate is the one that we used for ads in LOLChat and also for DevGames.com. Because they typically pay a mere $1 CPM even a large number of hits can amount to very little money. The hypothetical 1 million ad impressions per month I mentioned before would net you only $1000 with these bottom tier ad sellers. The upside though is that they will display advertising with sites that get too few impressions to interest any of the companies I mentioned before.

John Munsch <john@gamedev.net>