AdEngage AdEngage allows you to get started with banner ad buys very cheaply. You have three basic options: buy a weekly ad (shown on one site), a CPC “run of network” ad (shown on many sites) or a “square button” 125×125 ad. AdEngage also provides you with some demographic targeting information on individual sites, although you will want to supplement that with your own research on Quantcast. If you want to get started and you are on a very tight budget to begin with, AdEngage is a good option.
Clicksor Clicksor is one of my favorite places to advertise, and you can pay for your ad buys with either PayPal or a credit card. When you sign up, you will be assigned a manager who you can contact if you want to create a contextual CPM banner campaign, but you can set up your own campaign if you choose the CPC option (you also get three network placement options – Clicksor Network, Partner Network, and All Networks – but I always choose “All Networks” to maximize exposure). Banner uploads are very user–‐friendly, and you can see a traffic breakdown of the different banner sizes on the network.
AdsDAQ AdsDAQ is a great resource, and one of the main reasons why is that you can get a lot of traffic for very little investment upfront. You can pick demographics to target from within AdsDAQ, so that cuts down on your outside research, and it’s another good option for people starting out with a smaller budget (although I highly recommend it even if you have a larger amount to spend).
AdBuyer The way in which you go about creating a campaign on AdBuyer is a little bit different than on other networks, since you actually specify a “campaign goal” and the amount of money you are getting per lead you generate (this allows AdBuyer.com to calculate what placements will be profitable for you, and they tend to do a good job, since they want you to keep spending money with them). You can use demographic targeting to narrow the focus of your banner ad displays, and you can choose either dCPM (dynamic cost per thousand) or CPC. Choose dCPM, and to start out set your daily budget as low as $10 and opt for a CPM rate of about $1.00. AdBuyer also incorporates “AdBuilder,” which allows you to create banners from themed templates (this is optional, and you may want to create one yourself or outsource one instead).
Covert Buying Method Media buying is very profitable, but when you are going through one of the networks discussed above, you are dealing with a middleman who takes a cut. Cutting out middlemen and going directly to website owners can allow you to increase your profits dramatically. This means going after small forums (no more than 100,000 members) that do not belong to any ad networks. The reason to stick with forums is that these are some of the most active websites, and the “time on page” tends to be greater than with other types of sites. To find them, just go to Google and search for your keyword + forum. Look for small forums with at least 5,000 members that do not have an “advertise” link. Click on the “contact us” link and send them a message saying you are interested in advertising on their site and inquire about their monthly rates. Only promote free offers when using this method – avoid offers that require the visitor to enter their credit card information. Base the amount you offer the forum owner for advertising on Quantcast estimated traffic – in many cases, you may be able to get a monthly banner placement for as little as $50–‐$75 per month.