The cost of advertising for website publishers

Advertising is often considered to bring in money for magazine, newspaper or website publishers. That is indeed its objective. In return for conveying its advertising message, a publisher is paid by the advertiser. But we forget that the publisher, in addition to the costs of managing his website, also has to face the costs related to the insertion of these ads within his website. Today, I propose that you study the cost to the publisher of choosing advertising banners in a popular advertising network that serves as a market place.


If Google AdWord for publishers is so successful with publishers, it is also because they offer automatic contextual ads. On the other hand, as soon as you want to get off the beaten track of these few big names in advertising and take an interest in advertising and affiliation agencies offering à la carte campaigns, you need to spend time looking at advertisers, campaigns and banners in order to choose those that best match the content of your site, or those that will bring you the most revenue.

The purpose of this study is to quantify the cost of inserting new advertising on a website with the help of an existing third-party advertising agency and a functional ad server integrated into the publisher’s website.

Publisher and website

The publisher, in this case, is me. And the website on which I want to insert ads is Les perles du chat which is a blog dedicated to chatting, dating and sexuality.

This website has already been previously configured to display banners via the OpenAds 2.3 beta ad server that I have already mentioned here. To display new banners on the site, it will therefore be sufficient to fill the ad server database with ads proposed by advertisers, either via an intermediate advertising agency or by direct affiliation.

Governance and advertisers

One of the most popular advertising and affiliate agencies is TradeDoubler, which acts as a marketplace between advertisers and publishers. The principle is simple: each publisher submits its site to the advertiser for approval. If the advertiser accepts this new site, it is authorized to convey the advertiser’s campaigns, and thus draw from its banners.

Compensation models include CPM (Cost Per Thousand), CPC (Cost Per Click), CPA (Cost Per Action), etc. Publishers are generally remunerated on the basis of a CPA linked to the completion of a form, or the completion of a purchase, remunerated on a fixed basis or as a percentage of sales.

Another advantage of managing your own ad server is that you are not dependent on a particular ad network. Also, the publisher site dealing here with dating and sexuality, it is a site of libertine dating that will be promoted in direct affiliation. This one proposes a sufficiently interesting remuneration to justify the effort of opening a specific affiliate account.

Implementation of the project

In total, five advertisers were selected for a promotion on the website. It does not matter, moreover, whether or not this choice is relevant from the point of view of the turnover generated. Indeed, what interests us here is the cost of installing advertising campaigns on the ad server, not the revenue generated.

The study of this cost consists here in timing the time spent at, on the management or affiliate site side:

  • choose an advertiser from a predefined list (we will not count this initial choice in the cost of inserting a banner, even if it is not zero);
  • choose from the advertiser’s banners proposed those that will appear on the publisher’s website conveying the promotional campaign

as well as to, on the ad server side:

  • create the profile of the new advertiser;
  • create campaigns associated with this advertiser;
  • associate the selected advertising banners (on the advertising network or affiliate site side) with the campaigns and their specific parameters (size, capping, keywords, display times, display frequency, etc.)

Cost of setting up advertising

After having set up the chosen advertisements, we establish the following summary, carried out thanks to a timing of the maneovre:

This indicates, for each advertiser:

  • the number of campaigns relayed and/or defined;
  • the number of banners used;
  • the time spent, in minutes, inserting these ads on the ad server.

It can be seen that a publisher represents, on average:

  • 1.6 different campaigns;
  • 11.8 different banners (per advertiser);
  • 37 minutes of choice and insertion of these elements on the ad server.

In addition, it should be noted that:

  • the insertion of each campaign (composed of an average of 7,375 banners) costs about 23.13 minutes (23 minutes and 7.8 seconds);
  • inserting a banner costs about 3.14 minutes (3 minutes and 8.4 seconds).

To be able to express this cost in euros, it would still be necessary to assign a cost to working time. Let us consider that an employee at the SMIC performs this task of entering advertising campaigns in a company of less than ten people (i.e. a traditional web agency size), i.e. a cost of €1,445 per month for the employer. The Syntec Informatique collective agreement (frequently applied in IT companies) defines the annual working time at 1610 hours. This situation allows us to estimate the cost of one minute of work at about 17.95 cents. In other words, the minimum labour cost for inserting an advertising banner on a website is about €0.56. This does not include costs related to other costs of this item, such as depreciation of computer hardware or software, office furniture, Internet connection, or management costs of this item.


With a labour cost of at least €0.56 for inserting an advertising banner on a website, the publisher’s site carrying this banner must first of all reimburse itself for this expense before generating profits. Assuming a click rate of 1% (number of clicks divided by the number of banners displayed) and an average remuneration of €0.10 per click (or an equivalent average remuneration), this implies 560 displays to refund the cost of inserting the banner.

Another way of seeing what this cost represents is to consider that a full-time entry operator position consisting of inserting new banners implies that the publisher’s site displays at least 17,228,025 pages per year. In other words, publishers with a full-time ad entry position are non-existent!

In other words, to ensure the profitability of its site, given the costs of adding new ads to a publisher’s site, it is prudent not to multiply advertisers, but rather to focus on a small but profitable number of advertisers and campaigns.

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7 tips for creating and printing a magazine

Creating a magazine is an exciting and dangerous adventure. It must be developed from A to Z, printed, distributed… To avoid getting lost on the way, make sure you grid each step of the creation of your magazine. This is how you will achieve a result that will satisfy you and please your readers. Indeed, creating and printing a magazine cannot be improvised. It is necessary to find out in advance to be sure not to make any mistakes. To find a good magazine printer, turn to professionals.

In a few titles:

1. Define the theme of your magazine

First of all, choose the subject of your magazine. This may seem obvious, but many people don’t necessarily know where to start. They want to create a magazine to support their business or enterprise, for example, but have no idea how to do it. Here are the questions to ask yourself to define the theme of your review:

  • What is my favourite subject?

It is not an obligation, but if you plan to write the texts for your magazine yourself, it is advisable to choose a theme that you like. The more interested you are in the subject, the easier and more pleasant it will be to work on it.

  • What theme is expected by my future readers?

It is about meeting the expectations of those who will read your magazine. Don’t necessarily think in terms of a fashionable subject, but rather in terms of a timeless theme. It can be a highly specialized theme, which will meet a small but passionate and therefore loyal audience. On the contrary, it can be a vast and popular subject for the general public, such as health, cooking or travel.

2. Write the texts

Once you have found the angle of your magazine, you must think about the texts. Will your magazine give more importance to writing or photography?

If the first case is considered, surround yourself with good writers. Be realistic: if you are alone, it is unlikely that you will be able to write all the texts in your magazine. This is a time-consuming task that is usually performed by several people.

Find your team of writers

If your magazine will remain confidential, you can easily surround yourself with relatives who like to write and who are interested in your project. If you are considering wider distribution, why not hire professional writers, whether freelance or full-time.

Finally, don’t forget to use very good proofreaders to proofread your magazine before it goes to press. This will help you avoid the embarrassment of having missed spelling, grammar, syntax or typography mistakes.

3. Choose the visuals

Visuals are very important when creating a magazine. Indeed, the aesthetic aspect of a magazine is its images and photographs. It is very pleasant for your reader to leaf through well illustrated pages and this is likely to encourage him to acquire your magazine.

For your photos, you can take them yourself if you are a good photographer and if you have a quality camera. Alternatively, you can use a professional photographer.

Image banks, gold mines

Feel free to go and pick visuals from an image bank. There are free and paid ones, the latter being often better provided and offering high quality photos.

Don’t forget to take so-called “neutral” photos: they will be your transparent background on which you can put text. It’s a good idea to have a readable and airy magazine.

4. Use DTP software

Once you have imagined the layout of your magazine, you will need to design a first layout using DTP (Desktop Publishing) software. If you are good at graphic design, you can try to make your own model from scratch.

Otherwise, use a template already done. On Adobe Indesign, for example, you have many magazine templates available. You can choose your favorite template according to your tastes and the space given to visuals and texts. Some are specific to specific uses: school newspaper, company newspaper…

Digital, a very interesting format

Think carefully about the form your magazine will take: will it be distributed in paper or digital format or both? If you publish it in digital format, you can add internet links, multimedia modules, videos or even audio recordings.

5. Print your magazine

All you have to do is find a cheap magazine impression. When you want to print a magazine in small quantities, it is tempting to want to do it yourself. Yet, it’s a false good idea!

Unless you have a very good quality printer and have skills in this area, you may find yourself with a very disappointing result. Even if you want to print a magazine in one copy, it is better to rely on the know-how of a professional printer.

Good printers are rare

To find a competent printer, look for a specialist in the field. A good magazine printer knows where to focus in order to produce a magazine that is worthy of the name.

6. Define the characteristics of your future magazine

You should consider several criteria before printing your magazine. These details will be given to your printer at the time of the quotation. Here they are:

  • The format

For the format, it all depends on the size of the magazine you want. You can choose between pocket size (11 x 17 cm), large (16 x 24 cm), A4 portrait (21 x 29.7 cm) or A5 portrait (14.8 x 21 cm).

  • The paper

There are different types of paper. In the case of a magazine, the most commonly used are the standard (80 grams white) and the smooth satin/photo (90 grams white). Choose the latter if your magazine contains many beautiful photos.

  • The coverage

The choice of cover is absolutely essential in the creation and printing of your magazine. Choose a great illustration that will highlight your magazine and make readers want to flip through it.

  • The number of pages

How many inside pages will your magazine contain? Of these, how many will be in colour and how many in black and white? All these are important details to provide to your printer.

  • The number of copies

To avoid wasting money unnecessarily, start by printing a small number of copies of your magazine. This will save you from having a lot of unnecessary reviews on your hands if your work is not as successful as you would like it to be.

Then, once you are confident, you can print several hundred copies at a time.

7. Distribute your magazine

Your magazine has just left the printer’s office? We’ll have to think about distributing it. If your journal is aimed at students at your school, your colleagues or your entourage, the question does not arise.

However, if you want to market it, you will need an ISBN and a barcode. You can contact booksellers or publishers directly to try to sell it directly in specialized stores.

Otherwise, use the great tool that is the Internet to distribute your magazine and consider self-publishing. Consider offering subscription packages to build reader loyalty.

Focus on word of mouth

To make your magazine known, it is essential that you talk about it around you. Distribute a few free copies to have it tested, offer the opportunity to leaf through a few pages…

Talk about it on social networks, a huge vehicle for meeting and sharing. If you have created an online magazine, you can very easily promote it on the net.

In addition, be open to criticism when the first issues of your magazine are published. This is your chance to improve your magazine by taking into account the feedback you receive.

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