Website Monetization
Author: Anete Jodzevica 15 minute read
#Ad Monetization #Website Monetization
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A Guide to Selling Ad Space on Your Website

Many publishers face challenges in monetizing their ad inventory, but with the right strategies and tools, you can attract quality advertisers and boost your eCPM.  Whether you’re an experienced publisher or completely new to this field, mastering the fundamentals of selling ad space is crucial. 

It’s not just about offering space–it’s about making that space appealing to advertisers and ensuring it resonates with your audience.

In this article, we will guide you through the best ways to sell ad space and make your website more appealing to potential advertisers.

What is Ad Space and Ad Inventory?

Ad space is the area of a website or page dedicated to online ads. Ad formats, placements, and website traffic generally determine ad space pricing.

Ad inventory is the total volume of ad space that a publisher is willing to sell. Originally, the term was associated with print media, but it has now largely transitioned to spaces for digital ads across various platforms, such as desktop and mobile websites, apps, and video.

Types of Ad Space

Banner ads

Banner ads are commonly placed at the top or bottom of pages or on the sides. They are designed to blend with the site’s content without being intrusive. These ads should be visually appealing and relevant to the site’s audience.

banner ads

Sidebar ads

Sidebar ads are often used on blogs or news websites. As the name suggests, they’re placed on the sides of the page. They are relevant, and their size and design should also complement the website layout. Sometimes referred to as side rails. 

sticky sidebar ad example

Pop-up ads

Pop-up ads don’t have a standard size or shape. They often appear on standalone websites, sponsored webpages, interactive games, or other content that is likely to get people to interact. 

Users must close pop-ups before proceeding with their actions, ensuring the ad’s message is viewed. A pop-up window can also contain a game, audio, or video to entice users. Pop-up ads are highly visible and more effective than banner ads. They are versatile and can accommodate most types of ads. 

banner ad vs pop up ad

Interstitial Ads

Interstitial ads are full-page ad units that appear at natural transition points, like between pages or after completing an action. They should be used sparingly and allow easy closure to avoid frustrating users. 

interstitial ads

Native Ads

Native ads are designed to mimic the look and feel of the site’s content, providing a seamless user experience. They should be clearly labeled as ads but made relevant and engaging to encourage user interaction.

native ads

How to Prepare Your Website for Ad Monetization?

If you’re looking to sell ad space, you have 3 main options: 

  • Direct sales involve one-on-one negotiations, requiring more time and resources than other methods. 
  • Affiliate marketing allows you to partner with businesses for a commission on sales generated through your site. 
  • SSPs automate the process, connecting you with multiple advertisers but offering less control. 

Each approach has its own advantages and drawbacks, so it’s essential to carefully evaluate which method best suits your needs and your blog’s niche. Your choice will ultimately depend on the level of control you desire and the compatibility with your audience.

However, before diving in, you should know how to prepare your website for ad monetization, ensuring it attracts advertisers and maximizes revenue potential.

Analyze your website traffic

Use tools like Google Analytics to understand your website’s traffic patterns. Identify where your visitors are coming from, what devices they use, and their demographics. This data will help you tailor your ad strategy to your audience.

Identify high-traffic pages

Determine which pages on your website receive the most traffic. These high-traffic pages are prime real estate for placing ads, as they will generate the most impressions and potential revenue.

Optimize user experience

Ensure your website is user-friendly and loads quickly. A positive user experience will keep visitors on your site longer, increasing the chances they will see and engage with ads. Consider responsive design to cater to mobile users and streamline navigation.

Provide high-quality content

Consistently create and publish valuable, relevant content to attract and retain your audience. High-quality content not only drives traffic but also encourages repeat visits, which can enhance ad performance and revenue potential.

How to Find Advertisers to Sell Your Ad Space?

Start by identifying companies that align with your website’s content and audience. Then, compile a list of potential advertisers who are likely to benefit from reaching your audience.

Researching potential advertisers

This particular approach is meant for direct deals. On the contrary, programmatic advertising automates the process, connecting publishers with a vast network of advertisers. Thus, the potential advertiser research is automated. 

But if you choose direct deal approach, then follow these 3 tips: 

  1. Research your competitor’s advertisers.

Analyze the advertisers on similar websites within your niche. Visit competitor sites and take note of the companies advertising there. These businesses are already investing in your market and may be interested in advertising on your site as well.

  1. Google relevant keywords.

Use search engines to find companies actively investing in online advertising within your niche. Search for industry-specific keywords and examine the ads that appear in the results. This method helps you identify potential advertisers who are already targeting your market.

  1. Advertise yourself to advertisers.

Showcasing your audience and ad performance metrics on your website can make it appealing to potential advertisers. Create a dedicated advertising page on your site that provides detailed information about your traffic, audience demographics, and available ad options. Promote this page through your network and social media channels to attract interest.

Reach out directly to potential advertisers with a personalized pitch. Contact the advertising or marketing departments of your target companies and present a proposal that highlights the benefits of advertising on your site. Emphasize how your site can help them achieve their goals.

Utilizing ad networks

Ad networks act as brokers between publishers and advertisers. As a publisher, you can simply sign up on the ad network, add their code, and have ads from the network’s inventory automatically appear on your website. 

Additionally, ad networks eliminate the need to negotiate ad deals directly and typically take a percentage of your revenue for their service. 

Google AdSense

Google AdSense is a free CPC platform that allows publishers to earn money each time someone clicks on their ads. AdSense is a simple and good choice for small publishers (>100K monthly visitors) who are new to website monetization. 

It doesn’t require technical knowledge, and the setup process is straightforward.

adsense getting started


Setupad is an analytics-driven monetization platform and a Google Certified Publishing Partner (GCPP) known for its advanced ad stack, including a proprietary ad server, 11 server-to-server integrations, and 31 premium demand partners. 

Setupad guarantees at least a 30% ad revenue boost over Google AdSense, with many clients seeing even higher increases. Publishers also benefit from dedicated account executives, ensuring top-notch customer service without requiring extensive programmatic ad experience. 

Setupad’s various header bidding and Google AdX integrations cater to publishers of all sizes, making it an ideal partner for maximizing ad revenue.

setupad is one of the leaders in contextual advertising and a strong AdSense competitor. It offers a higher revenue per thousand impression rate (RPM) than AdSense. The platform gives publishers access to a network of clients to boost their ad revenue and benefit from a rich search market. has one of the largest advertiser networks you can tap into with low traffic, making it one of the best AdSense alternatives for low-traffic websites.


Infolinks is an impressions-based ad monetization solution. This platform can be used alongside Google AdSense and Publisher Management Partners, and though there are pageview requirements, Infolinks describes them as “modest.” 

As long as the minimum payout has been met, publishers receive 65% of ad revenue on a NET 45 basis via PayPal, bank wire, eCheck, and ACH for US bank accounts.


Direct Ad Sales

Direct ad sales is an advertising strategy where publishers bypass intermediaries such as ad networks, SSPs, and DSPs to negotiate one-on-one deals directly with advertisers. This approach allows for more control and customization of the advertising process.

Benefits of direct ad sales

Here are 4 key benefits of direct ad sales:

  • By eliminating the middleman, publishers can retain a larger portion of the ad revenue.
  • Direct interactions foster stronger relationships with advertisers, leading to long-term partnerships.
  • Publishers can tailor ad placements and formats to better suit the advertiser’s needs, improving ad effectiveness.
  • Direct deals provide more control over the types of ads displayed, ensuring they align with the publisher’s brand and audience preferences.

Negotiating ad deals

Before negotiating ad deals, you should research and target companies whose products or services align with your audience. Highlight your website’s traffic, audience demographics, and the benefits of advertising directly with you.

Make sure to negotiate the terms of the deal, including ad placement, duration, pricing, and performance metrics. Maintain open communication and provide performance reports to ensure advertiser satisfaction and foster long-term collaborations.

How to Manage Your Ad Space?

Tracking ad performance

Analytics tools (e.g., Google Analytics) help to monitor your ads’ performance, including metrics like impressions, clicks, and conversion rates. Review these metrics regularly to optimize ad placements and formats for better engagement and revenue.

Ensuring ad quality

Vetting advertisers and ensuring ads are relevant and non-intrusive to your audience is key to maintaining high ad quality. Use ad networks that provide ad quality control and regularly review ads to ensure they meet your standards.

Dealing with ad fraud

Protect your ad space from fraudulent activities, such as click fraud and fake impressions, which can undermine advertiser trust. Implement anti-fraud tools and work with reputable ad networks that have strong fraud detection measures. 

Note: Regular site audits can help identify and mitigate ad fraud risks.

Optimizing Ad Formats

Optimizing ad formats involves experimenting with different ads (e.g., banners, native ads, video ads) to see which ones work best for your audience and website layout. 

Different formats can attract more attention and encourage interaction, but it is important to balance ad effectiveness with a nonintrusive user experience to keep visitors on your site longer.

Compliance and Ethical Standards 

Ensuring compliance and ethical standards is crucial for publishers to maintain trust and credibility with their audience and advertisers. Ethical standards help prevent misleading or harmful ads, foster a positive user experience, and safeguard the publisher’s reputation.

Moreover, compliance minimizes legal risks and potential fines, while ethical practices enhance long-term relationships with advertisers by ensuring their brands are represented responsibly. 

Regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, ensure the protection of user data and the transparency and fairness of advertising practices. 

Ad Management & Analytics Tools

Google Ad Manager

Google Ad Manager enables advertisers and publishers to manage and serve ads to multiple audience segments from a single platform. It provides comprehensive insights into ad revenue and helps improve ROI through detailed reporting. 

GAM offers granular controls and supports various ad exchanges and networks, including Google AdSense, Google Ad Exchange, and third-party networks.

Google Ad Manager

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free quantitative tool that provides detailed statistics about your website’s traffic. It offers valuable insights into user demographics, behavior, and the sources driving traffic to your site. GA helps you understand who your users are, what devices they use, and which pages they visit. 

However, it lacks qualitative data, so it cannot explain why users behave a certain way or what issues they encounter.



Hotjar is a behavior analytics tool that focuses on qualitative insights. Its session recordings, surveys, and feedback widgets allow you to observe individual user journeys and gather direct feedback. This makes it an excellent complement to traditional analytics tools like GA, as Hotjar provides the qualitative data that GA lacks, though it has limited quantitative capabilities.


Programmatic Advertising – A More Advanced Strategy

Before programmatic advertising, all the ordering, setting up, and reporting processes had to be done manually. Now, with the help of AI and machine learning, it’s easier to execute real-time buying and selling of ads.

  • Programmatic advertising is the automated buying and selling of digital ad space.

Programmatic advertising is the best option for selling your website’s ad space due to its efficiency and automation. Due to its ability to connect publishers with a vast network of global advertisers, it can offer higher fill rates and more competitive bidding.

You may ask–how does it works?

  • Real-time bidding ensures each ad impression is sold to the highest bidder, maximizing revenue potential.
  • Enhanced targeting capabilities deliver highly relevant ads, increasing engagement and conversion rates. 

Additionally, programmatic platforms offer detailed reporting, analytics, and support, allowing publishers to optimize performance. 

Thus, your ad system can handle increasing ad space without additional effort or resources.

This means that as your website traffic grows and you add more pages or sections, a programmatic system can automatically manage and optimize these new ad placements. This ensures that your ad operations remain efficient and effective, no matter how much your inventory expands, leading to sustained or increased revenue potential.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Low traffic 

Low traffic can significantly impact a publisher’s ability to sell ad space, as advertisers seek websites with a substantial audience to maximize their ad reach.

  • Solution: Focus on improving SEO, creating high-quality content, and promoting your site through social media and other channels. Engaging with your audience and providing valuable content will gradually increase your traffic, making your site more attractive to advertisers.

Ad blockers

The widespread use of ad blockers reduces the number of ads displayed, directly affecting ad revenue.

  • Solution: Implement strategies like asking users to whitelist your site, using ad block detection scripts, or offering ad-free experiences for a subscription fee. Additionally, focus on non-intrusive ad formats that are less likely to be blocked.

Advertiser retention

Retaining advertisers can be difficult if they do not see a satisfactory return on their investment, leading to high churn rates.

  • Solution: Build strong relationships with advertisers by providing detailed performance reports, optimizing ad placements for better results, and offering flexible pricing models. Ensuring that advertisers achieve their goals will encourage them to continue partnering with you.


Selling ad space is an excellent monetization strategy for website publishers because it can generate consistent revenue by leveraging existing traffic.  

Publishers can feel the most benefits by integrating with ad networks, using programmatic advertising for efficient and automated ad placements, and directly negotiating with advertisers. These benefits include diversified income streams, increased earnings from high-traffic pages, and the ability to tailor ads to your audience, enhancing engagement. 

However, ensuring compliance with legal standards, maintaining high-quality ad content, and regularly analyzing ad performance to optimize placements is crucial. Understand your audience and choose the right ad formats and placements to maximize revenue while preserving user experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best ad format for high revenue?

Video ads and native ads typically generate high revenue due to their engaging and non-intrusive nature.

How do I find advertisers for my niche site?

Research potential advertisers that align with your content, analyze competitors’ advertisers, use relevant keywords, and reach out directly with tailored pitches.

What tools are essential for managing ad space?

Google Ad Manager, Google Analytics, and behavior analytics tools like Hotjar are essential for effectively managing ad space.

How can I ensure my ads comply with regulations?

Stay updated on advertising regulations, use ad platforms that offer compliance features, and regularly review your ad content for adherence to legal standards.

What are the future trends in online advertising?

Future trends include the increased use of AI for personalization, the growth of programmatic advertising, and a focus on privacy-friendly ad practices.

About Anete Jodzevica
Anete is a content marketing specialist at Setupad. In addition to writing articles, she works at gathering information, verifying data, and explaining complex concepts to others. Anete believes that simplicity is the key to brilliance.

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