Programmatic advertising and supply-side platforms are often the domain of larger companies and media channels. This is how a site like the BBC maximizes its revenue from advertisers. But even if you’re a smaller blogger or website owner, you can still make use of this method in order to earn more cash from your ads. Learn more about Smart AdServer Open Source to find out how.
There are many different ways to monetize a website and even if you choose to go the advertising route (getting paid to display ads on your site), you’ll then need to choose between the many different types of ad network and the many different types of monetization. The same thing goes for mobile apps, which can show ads from a range of different networks or alternatively use direct partnerships with advertisers.
Across the web, ad networks such as AdMob and AdSense have grown to become among the most popular methods of generating income through digital content. And this has led to mobile SSP: supply-side platform. This basically allows publishers to sell mobile or web ad inventories, in other words to sell the space and to have ad platforms then bid for it. This is programmatic advertising and it is the best way for many websites and apps to make their money.
How it Works
So normally, a website owner might create their website and then place ‘AdSense units’ on the page, or they might place code from another advertising platform. Either way, this will then allow ads to be ‘served up’, on the basis of whichever advertiser is willing to pay the most money for the slot. In this sense, it works in a bidding manner: when an appropriate placement is available, the highest paying advertiser will win the position and their CPC (cost per click) will be whatever was necessary to beat the maximum bid of the previous user. The website owner or app owner chooses one advertising platform and the bids are from ads on that platform.
The vast majority of bloggers and webmasters who make a living from running a website of some sort will make their cash through AdSense. If you're a webmaster reading this right now, then chances are that you are in that boat yourself and have probably been using the ads network to generate cash since you first launched.
But the odd thing about that, is that AdSense is actually far from being the best method of monetisation for a website. In fact, AdSense is actually one of the very worst because it forces visitors away from your site and gives you only a tiny cut of the money that gets made. There are plenty of better ways to make much more money per-visitor, but bloggers tend to avoid them because they either think they're too complicated, or are nervous to switch from what they know.
The same goes for app developers who would often rather stick with AdMob or another mobile ad network, rather than try another form of monetization. The reality is that both groups are leaving large amounts of money on the table.
Using an SSP will solve this to some degree by ensuring you get the very most from your ads. But there are many better options too.
- For an app, one easy way to make money is to simply sell the app. This is great for games and tools that might only be used a few times rather than being used every single day as that way, you get a flat fee. Many people will install an app that looks and sounds exciting, even though they may not actually end up using it! If you charged for the install, then you can still make money this way from big enough numbers.
- An even better way to make money from an app is to sell your data. Build a shopping app for instance and then save the information about the users (anonymously) as an SQLite database. That information will be hugely valuable to big companies and now you can sell it on!
- Selling a product is something you can do from either a website, or an app. Create your own digital product such as an ebook or online course and then sell it to the audience you’ve built. This is ultimately the best way to monetize any form of digital content as it means you’re making money directly from your audience, rather than sharing the profit with someone else.