One of my clients just received the following  inquiry:

We are looking for new advertisement platforms and we are interested in your site. Is it possible to place a banner on your site on a fee basis?

I’m seeing this more and more.  Marketing companies are approaching the owners of small websites and presenting them with advertising offers.   The advertising might be as simple as a text link.  Other companies, like the above, are interested in placing banner ads.   Why would marketing companies do this?  Often they’re trying to get good search engine position positioning for their clients via this method.  One of the metrics that search engines use to score websites is the number of incoming links.  The thinking is that the more incoming links, the better a site must be.

I receive these offers for my own websites.  Most of the time the advertising isn’t appropriate to my site.  For example they may want a link in the middle of a website page  that’s driven by a database.  That just isn’t possible.  Or sometimes they want to put an ad on a website that doesn’t feature advertising.

I have accepted one offer.  The website in question already had paid advertising.  Also,  the link is clearly labeled as a sponsor’s ad. My website is really popular and I received about $250 for a year’s placement.  Not too bad for the time it took to make a quick text link.

Other clients have accepted offers like this and received anywhere from $30 to $60 for their trouble.

If you get an offer and are interested here are the questions I’d ask:

  • Ask to see the text or images that will be placed on your website. If the ad is an image, download it to your website and link from there.
  • Visit  the site you’re being asked to advertise.  Do you feel comfortable with that site?  Do you feel comfortable recommending it to your website visitors?
  • Specify the time that the link should run.  I’ve usually heard that the link agreement is in place for a year.


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