You can probably earn more revenue from your forum with your existing ads by doing a few simple (and free) things. I will outline a few tips here that could help you earn more money for the existing ads on your site, no matter what ad networks you may be running.

Move your ads above the fold

Most ad networks want you to run their ads in premium positions on your site, which I recommend you do, except when they are the lowest paying ads on your site. By premium positions, I mean above the fold on your forum. For those of you not savvy with the online ad network lingo, above the fold means the area of your site that is visible onscreen first, without any scrolling down.
Some networks insist that their ads run above the fold all the time, but if they are not paying you extra for that privilege, why should they? It is your duty as a publisher to make sure the highest paying ads get the premium spots on your forum. As long as you are transparent about how and where an advertiser’s ads will go on your site, advertisers will be able to decide whether they want to pay a bit more for better placement or not. This transparency of placement options can allow you to charge more for better positions while still earning revenue on your forum for the less prime positions.

Use ad serving software

We recommend Google DFP SB to serve ads into forums because it is free and because it is extremely powerful and will allow you to get various ad networks to compete against each other on price for spots on your forum. Setting Google DFP SB up initially may take a bit of time, but once it is running you can manage it quite easily. Granted, if your forum is small, you may not benefit from its power, but even a medium sized forum can monetize more effectively with an ad serving ap.
With DFP, you can start and stop campaigns, set time, geographic, and other parameters. Most importantly you can set ad rate information for each campaign or advertiser so only the highest paying ads show up in the positions you want. It easily integrates with Adsense which you can use as fallback ads in case you don’t have any higher paying campaigns running.
Importantly, FORUMCAST can have our partner forums DFP SB ap configured on the back end by Google so Google AdX can compete on price with your other campaigns in real time.
Finally, and this is critically important if you sell ads privately to smaller advertisers for one-off campaigns, you can use DFP SB report data as third party independent information that both you and your advertisers can trust. In our advertising contracts with local retail clients or small business, we like to include a line that says in the case of a discrepancy over the number of ads served, the Goggle DFP SB numbers will prevail. This builds trust and will result in more retail ad sales for your forum over time. When you sell directly to retail customers, flout your “third party served and measured” capability – because if you are running Google DFP SB, that is exactly what will happen.

Let us help you earn even more revenue from your forum… Contact FORUMCAST today!

In Part 2, we will look at other options to improve monetization of your forum.