Moving Beyond PPC: Negotiating Direct Ad Deals and Custom Affiliate Offers

In 2008 I went nuts building Adsense sites and quickly learned that the big downside to Adsense and PPC in general is that you don’t have control over your revenue. In 2009 I changed my monetization strategy and began to focus on Affiliate Marketing. In 2010 I wanted to take it to the next level so began negotiating direct ad deals and custom affiliate offers. For me things changed in 2010, my websites became brands and now in 2011 I have a busy year full of deals and partnerships.

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Yesterday I began negotiating a new custom affiliate offer for my kayaking brand. Unlike PPC, direct ad deals or custom affiliate offers involve picking up the phone and actually talking to someone. I have been looking to add a major partner that would allow me to dramatically expand my online kayaking store and create a new revenue stream for my site. After spending about 30 minutes we had the initial structure of the deal which is being vetted by the executive staff this week.

Along with sitewide sponsorship deals like this I am also negotiating individual page sponsorships with Kayaking stores and Adventure companies. By allowing someone to sponsor an entire page for a given state or city I have created a huge amount of direct advertising potential. We have already begun reaching-out to stores and negotiating the initial sponsorship deals. In the end there will be no Adsense on Kayaking.org and I will be 100% in control of our revenue.

This takes time and I have hired people to help with the outreach, but I’m building a business here, not a website. By the end of 2011 I will have six total businesses (kayaking.org included) all running and operating on their own and all focused on having direct control over their revenue. So if you’re looking at your portfolio and watching the PPC revenue dwindle it’s time to take control of your revenue. No – you can’t apply this to your whole portfolio, pick one domain, do it right, learn from your mistakes, and repeat what works.

Okay, now it’s time to head to Vegas – looking forward to seeing those of you who are attending Affiliate Summit! If you are attending please feel free to comment below and maybe we can meet for a drink!

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