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A little over a year ago, we used a service called Open X on TuDiabetes.org and EsTuDiabetes.org, to serve our ads until we found ourselves talking to nobody when faced with a tech issue that resulted in no ads getting served. At that point, I decided to try Google Ad Manager, a free service that does the same thing (help you manage ads) as a hosted service by Google.

More than a year later (now it's called DFP Small Business, but it is essentially the same service), we continue to be very happy with the platform. It lets you manage multiple orders for multiple clients over multiple inventory locations. This is ideal for us, having two networks to manage ads on and typically having multiple campaigns under way.

The ability to manage an order includes start and end times, % of impressions and targeting by geography, language, browser, domains and much more. Also, their reporting capabilities are as solid as the rest of the Google products you may be used to, which is advantageous to you and to your clients.

All in all, DFP has become a solution that seems to meet all our needs and has been reliable in its delivery of ads since we adopted it.

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NC for Hire

In the infinite pursuit of making a little money with our networks, the know-how for creating rotating ads and banners is ever-present. I figured I would help you all out a little bit and point you towards some rotating banner scripts and image rotators for you to implement on your networks as I am on my network for land surveyors. I hope you enjoy these. If you use one, please stop back by and drop a screenshot in the comments below and show us how it turned out.
Simple Banner Rotator

[DEMO HERE] This free JavaScript supports an unlimited number of banners, the ability to refresh (change) the ads every n milliseconds, where n is an interval you set, as well as the facility to specify a banner or set of banners for rotation at a particular location, or have them rotate randomly. You can set an expiry date for a banner as well, where a particular banner is removed from display after a certain date. Different sets of banners can also be assigned to different parts of your web page, and the script is able to avoid displaying the same banner in different spots on the same page. You can set the sizes of the banners (overriding the default size for the banner), cause the links for each banner to open either in the same window/tab or a new browser window/tab, etc. The script is released under the GNU General Public License, which means that it's open source.

Magic Image Rotation

[DEMO HERE] This script rotates your pictures, photos or other types of images along with their associated links (that is, each image can have different target links). The first image that is shown is random, and the subsequent images will be shown in sequence (as far as I can tell). The site's demo uses the script as a sort of photo slideshow.

ESPBanner Script

[DEMO HERE] This banner rotation script will automatically switch the advertisements displayed on your site while your page is being displayed. It can handle Flash, images and other types of banners, and allows you to display two or more banners on the same page.

Free Banner Rotator with Caption

[DEMO HERE]This banner rotator will display your banners, which may be either images or Flash files, together with their captions.

Random Image Ad

With this java script you can put random image ad or rotate banner ads randomly. Just put source and link to your images in array and this script will do the rest.

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Generating revenue through advertising can be golden; however, how does a network creator manage the advertising real estate?


First...what is advertising real estate? Since there is only so much space on a web page (okay so technically there is nearly unlimited space on a web page, but being realistic, there is only so much that is considered quality space) advertising real estate, is that space that a network creator allocates to advertising.

A few of tips before moving forward:
  1. Too much advertising can take away from the site visitor's experience and too little can be lost revenue. Finding a balance that works for your demographic is key.
  2. Work within your chosen web design. Placing advertising in awkward places on the site just to draw attention can be counter productive. Yes, you may get a visitor's attention, but by diminishing their experience on your site can be a huge negative.
  3. The key to success in advertising revenue is going to be return site visitors. The amount of effort and cost to get a new visitor to your website can be very costly and usually is. Keeping a balance of new visitors vs returning visitors is key. The balance and mix of these two variables is dependent on the site business model. For a social network, heavy percentage on return visitors is a must. If they aren't returning, something is wrong.
Okay, so how to manage the ad space? First, what are the variables that affect ad space?

They are:
  1. Ad size
  2. Ad placement
  3. Ad cost
  4. Ad exposure
In a nutshell there are just four variables to consider. Let's break each one down.

First, Ad size. Ad size is defined by the actual space that the ad will occupy on the web page. Whether placing graphics-based or text-based advertisements, the space requirement should be considered. Banner ads are typically sized by pixels, so for example, a 160x600 banner requires 160 pixels for the width and 600 pixels for the height.

Second, Ad placement. There are many combinations that can be used with regard to ad placement. The typical placement on a Ning network will be the right column. This space will receive the highest exposure because nearly every page on the network will have this column visible. It is also easy to manage by simply placing a text box and adding a banner image. Network creators can also easily place ads in all three columns on the network homepage. With bit more work, posting ads in the header, footer, and content areas, can be done; however, at present this will require a bit of javascript code and may offer some unpredictable outcomes.

Third, Ad cost. In determining how much to sell advertising space for, there are numerous considerations.
  1. What are the demographics of the site?
  2. Who could benefit from advertising?
  3. Do I charge CPC, or CPM?
  4. How much traffic does this network generate?
  5. Where will the ad be placed, (for example above the fold or below)?
This consideration (ad cost) can be expanded even further, but I will leave that for the comments.

Forth, Ad exposure. Ad exposure has four basic variables. They are:
  1. How many times an ad is seen by an individual.
  2. How often an ad is seen by an individual.
  3. The geographical location of the individual seeing the ad.
  4. The time the ad is being seen by an individual.
There are additional variables, like age, gender, browser type, etc., but those are beyond the scope of this discussion and can be explored in the comments.

Managing the complexity of advertising space can be daunting if not properly equipped. for the task.

For this reason, I recommend, Google Ad Manager as a solution for managing your advertising campaigns. This robust solution offers handy tools for managing your campaign along with providing confidence in reporting for your advertisers.

What experiences do you have regarding generating revenue via an advertising model?

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