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BuySellAds – [USER REVIEW]

Posted By Darren Rowse 17th of November 2008 Advertising 0 Comments

My name is James, I currently run iLoveMacApps and MacTricksAndTips. I am not a big time blogger by far and my income is quite small in comparison to some of the blogs on the web today. But I have found a service that has managed to triple my monthly income. It is called BuySellAds (BSA).

In a nutshell it is a direct banner selling serivce. As a result you can charge as much as you want for an ad slot and you can move away from the 2cent clicks on Adsense and start charging more. I am not affiliated with the service in any way before any one starts asking. I just like the service so much I thought it deserved more attention than it is currently getting.


Setting up BuySellAds

Using the BuySellAds system is really easy. The program is currently in beta so you may have to wait a couple of days before they accept you, but they accept most sites. Once as you are in, you have to enter your website details. The system works by adding your site and then adding advert zones to that website. Then you sell those ads for profit!

To set up a website you have to add your website URL and name. As well as this you also have to enter a description. Each site goes into a big pool where other people can find your site in the directory. As a result you may want to spend a small amount of time writing a good description. Include some statistics, what your site is about make it interesting for the advertiser. An advertiser will want a website where they are going to get good returns you want to try and fulfill that role so they keep coming back month after month. The final section of the website setup is to add some tags these are used when someone searches your site. Once as you have entered all of your details you are done and ready to add some ad zones.

Once as your site is submitted into BuySellAds, the service will automatically gather details about your Alexa and Compete rank, as well as Google Page and Technorati Rank, Bookmarks and Yahoo Inbound links. Theses are the type os statistic your would normally give an advertiser, BSA automatically pull all this information for you. One less thing you have to worry about.

Once as you have set up your site. You have to add a zone. This is an area on the page where the adverts will reside. Zones are customizable. You can have has many individual adverts in a zone as you want. In the zone section setup there is a couple of areas which you can customize. For example you add a description and a location. The most important area if the price. BSA take a 25% cut of what ever the advert price is. For example if you charge $100 an ad, BSA will take $25 and you will keep the rest. This cost covers hosting of the adverts, website and all the other bits and bobs associated with the service. You can set the number of banners in total and the number of banners show at one time. (E.G you can have 6 slots, but only show 1 on a page load). As a result you have to think quite closely how much you think advertisers are willing to spend.

If you have a high paying advert slot but an advertisers advert is only shown once in four page loads, this could put advertiser off. Picking a good price point can be a completely different post in itself. Once as a zone is setup data will be gathered from the Javascript you insert in your website, the most important factor is page views, on your listing page an up to date monthly view for that adblock is displayed. Most advertisers will want to see how many views there ads will get, as a result this is displayed for them and is very useful. The listings page can actually take over from a page you would normally create on your blog, it has that much useful information.

Once as you have set everything up you will end up with a listing page. Mine, for example, looks like this, you can search through the directory and see all of the available listing if you want more inspiration. It has information about my website at the top, and the advert units at the bottom. A buyer can now come along purchase an advert, as long as the Javascript code is on my page, the advert will appear immediately without having to ever speak to me. The money will be deposited into my account and everything will be good to go. You are slowly on your way to a big payout. I would also like to point out that adverts will also be set to renew, so advertisers can automatically get the same slot each month, giving you a nice stable income and removing the need for advertisers to keep having to setup and advert slot.


Payments are paid when ever you want, as long as you have earnt some money. Since this service is still in beta you have to email the support staff to send your check or PayPal, automatic payout is coming in an update. Although I usually get paid a couple of days after I have emailed them. You can have as many adverts as you want. If you have 3 or 4 ads at $50 you can easily earn $150, way more than I was with Adsense. As your site gets more popular you can charge more for a slot, giving you control of exactly how much you want to make a month.

Getting advertisers

The one problem with BSA, from a webmasters point of view, is that adverts will not automatically appear. Unlike Adsense, you have to go out and get advertisers directly. They don’t come from a big pool of people. This can be quite hard for anybody that doesn’t have a high traffic site, but it can be done. This is the method I used originally to build up a small base of advertisers.

The first step is to make sure that you have set up your adverts and they are being displayed on your website. They will appear as a grey “Advertise Here” box. This “Advertise Here” box has become quite iconic since I always know that it is from BSA. As it grows in popularity I expect these boxes to appear all over the web. You can,if you want, customize the placement and colour of these images with a bit of CSS to match the theme of my site.

The next step is to make sure the price of your ad is right. Too high and advertisers won’t pay. Too low and you may be giving yourself a cheap deal, as well as this an advertiser may not pay because the price point is too cheap and it won’t be a worthwhile investment (you can never win). I find it is best to start slightly lower than you are worth, get advertiser to bite and then increase the price over the months.

At this point, you have setup your site and have a well priced advert. You now need to write your sales letter. I find if you email a couple of potential advertisers that meet your niche you can get them to advertise although your results may different, just don’t spam everyone since this will really annoy people. Your email needs to be short, too long and people get switched off. It must clearly explain what your site is about, what you are offering and how to buy an advert. You can then link directly to your listing pages on BuySellAds. For example I would include an email along the following lines. Change it as you see fit, make it unique and interesting. Explain what you do and what BuySellAds is (since it is quite a new service that a lot of people may not know about).

“Dear X

My name is James and I run X. I am emailing you to see if you would be willing to advertise on my site. I offer X and I think this would be valuable to your product/service because of Y.

My site currently gets XYZ over a month

If you are interested and advert slot costs $XX and it runs for a month, this appears, here, here and here. If you are interested please visit my listing page on BuySellAds (URL), they offer the hosting for your advert. They handle everything and you can have your advertisement up in no time at all.

If you want more information just ask. Thanks


The final step is to email your letter. You need to find companies and products that meet you niche. There is no point in emailing a dog center if you sell fish. I generally look at Adsense adverts, as well as advertiser on a similar niche to myself. Send them off the email and hope they are interested. Nearly all my advertisers I have found this way.


To conclude. BuySellAds is great in my opinion. You can set up an advert block which will automatically serve your adverts. It makes selling adverts much easiler. There is no need for them to email you. Its always a surprise when a new advertiser has bought advert in the night. It takes the hassle out of selling advert and enables you to write great content. Personally all the load of trying to manage when adverts are running and payment options is taken off my shoulders and given to someone else. I don’t mind spending 25% of my earnings. At my currently level its worth while, if you were earning thousands it may be a different story.

One last note this type of service is also great for would be advertisers. Although this post has been focused on selling adverts, buy ads is also really easy if you want to buy adverts. All of the payment processing and set up of the advert is done for you. You advert is automatically displayed and it automatically run. The pool of advertisers is also getting bigger meaning that there should be someone relating to your nice already on the service.

Like I say to my readers, try this program out. It doesn’t cost you anything to run. It does take a little time to get going, but once as you build a reputation and have a couple of advertisers on your site, your earnings can increase I have seen great results with this program and so may yourself.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Currently I am using OIO Publisher on my entrepreneurs blog and it is doing me pretty well. As my traffic is increasing I have seen a lot more people become more interested in buying my advertising (still looking for more advertisers…my advertising is cheap ;-))
    This program looks really good and in a few months time when I have some more cash under my belt I will definately consider this project. For now I am sticking with OIO

  • Les

    I may appear naive here, but why would I want to use a third party to control my ads and take 25% when I have done the leg work to find the ads?

    I would cut out the third man and control the ads myself. Like I said, I may be naive and am missing some point, if so let me know.


  • I agree with Les, if I am doing all of the work to find the advertiser’s why would I pay a company 25% when I can keep it all for myself. I could understand paying the % if and only if they had a high number of advertiser’s using the system.

  • I signed up with BuySellAds quite long back but I still haven’t been approved. Doesn’t help much, does it?

  • I have been wanting to implement BSA on my upcoming blog, but I have been looking into alternatives as well. But it sounds really great, and I have seen a lot of bloggers using it already.

  • But this type is really work?

  • I absolutely agree with Les : if you can set up an advert block which will automatically serve your adverts, OK, i see the advantage.

    But what is the interest if you have to find yourself the advertiser ?

  • Small and new bloggers like me are very interested in becoming an Affiliate rather than a Publisher (I think both are different). I have subscribed to their affiliate program today but don’t know how much commission they pay for affiliates.

  • I’ve been using BSA for a while, and I love the fact that I can put the whole thing on auto pilot. Once the ad is added you have nothing else to do.

    I know people are concerned about the 25% fees, but don’t forget that if you run some other kind of ad solution yourself there are costs associated with that. Credit card transaction fees, the incremental cost of serving and tracking ads yourself, not to mention answering all the support questions, all take time and time is money :)

    Your site will also be placed on the Marketplace in the BSA website which could bring you additional advertisers that may not have found you otherwise.

  • 25% cut is a lot. do it yourself… there are some great wp plugins out there for simple management.

  • This is interesting. I guess this sort of service would be suitable for small bloggers. I will definitely try it out.

  • I was thinking the same thing Les. I tried using Performancing ads for awhile and I did have some success – but there were a number of things I really didn’t like about it so I have dropped them for now in favor of just using Google Ad Manager and putting my own stuff in there.

  • Surely its useful for small bloggers.Great ad net work for bloggers.Buying and Selling ads would help beginners in their start up money.Looks Interesting.I gonna try it

  • Thank you for the great review, looks like I’m going to sign up for a new site. Hope that this one can generate me more income.

  • I have signed up to them and am in the process of using them for my first set of advertising on my blog.

    What I like most is that the advertising space is customisable. I really didn’t want 125 ads and a lot of places seem to be focussing on those now.

  • Six Apart (TypePad) has a program with Adify (now owned by Cox?). As a very new/small blogger, I’ve added three button ads to my two blogs. In this case, the Adify “buyer market” determines the value of my space. Not just traffic but based on related content. Also, you choose where the ads go in you sidebar.

    If my ads are not sold I can either place my own ads in there until they are or use a redirect to allow another affiliate program to place an ad there.

    I was accepted quickly and set up was easy. We’ll see how it goes. You can see how it looks: or

  • PC

    We are also signed up for quite some time. I wish they would get out of private beta… it s been way too long. Advertisers are difficult to come by, even though the deal is good.

    They also need to better options to sort websites… more than just pageviews so that more bloggers get better exposure.

  • This is a good option for some, but like others I also agree with Les.

    There are programs that, after you do all the work to get advertisers, help you to rotate ads.

    So, if you use BuySellAds as a intro program, perhaps the next step is an ad rotation program that lets you keep all the money.

  • I’ve had very good experiences with BSA (on 3 blogs) even though I was completely against the idea of using a third party at first. I tried BSA on my smallest blog figuring I had nothing too lose. I had received an email from Todd asking me for a shot, so I tried it, and now a few months later I use BSA on all 3 of my blogs. The process is really easy for advertisers and publishers.

  • I transitioned to BuySellAds about a month or so ago (on CSS-Tricks) and it has been GREAT. They helped me with every step, including moving my existing ads into BSA with their expiration dates intact.

    The best part about it, to me, is the amount of work it saves. No more manual invoicing. No more manually updating graphics and code. No more replacing unsold spots with “Advertise Here” graphics. Plus being a part of their directory gets more eyeballs potentially seeing the advertising option.

    The 25% is more than worth it to me for all the hassle it saves.

  • I was looking for this for the past 2 weeks. Can’t recall the name for the site till you brought it up. Thanks James!

  • Is this program accept publisher from Asia?

  • Is there a traffic threshold requirement for signing up?

  • Les,

    Some advertisers won’t work with individuals, only third parties. Food for thought.

    James, this was a great post. Thank you.

  • As Joerzoe also focused, we would like to see a good answer as to how the BuySellAds accept asian publishers. Thanks.

  • I love these guys and I was sad about having to give them up when I signed an exclusive ad deal. Happy to recommend them to others, it’s a great platform + marketplace that brings in extra ads…which I’d note from one of the comments above, you don’t have to give up your direct sales, this is a platform to help you manage future sales AND a marketplace that helps you attract new advertisers as well

  • Currently I direct-sell my own ads, though I’ve lately been wondering about how much BuySellAds pays… I’ve been curious about how much I could make with it, and how much effort I’d have to put into it. Currently I have to do a bit of work to find potential advertisers, and deal with them one on one to negotiate an ad deal… It’s a bit of a pain. I’ve floated the idea f trying out BuySellAds, since the self-serve and marketplace concepts would probably make things easier for me, but it’s hard when you have existing clientele…

  • word

    I have applied since the “dawn of time” there and my site has alexa much higher than many sites already accepted, so something looks fishy. Or it is just too private. Wonder how many months this private beta thing will go on. Seems like forever now.

  • I like the idea of an ad network, but I don’t care for the idea of the network keeping 25% of the profit just for being the middle-man.

    Doesn’t seem fair to me.

    I guess I’ll stick with my self-managed advertising on my own site.

  • I personally like OIO publisher.

  • Even though I don’t count on advertising, google adsense etc, for income, seems like a good concept.

  • I think it is still in beta, I already signed up for it for a long time now but not yet approved.

  • I think there are many of these ads services already out there

    I’ve been using OIO Publisher on my blog, keeping 100% of the profit to myself

  • I’ve had one of my sites listed with them for a few months, coincidentally my first ad was sold just a few days ago. However, I turned it down b/c it was some shady site, and on top of it, in german. I’m asking $20/mo for a site that does 30K+ uniques per month. Based on the great feedback of everyone else here, I can only assume that in my case it may be a niche issue. I don’t think it’s the price, is it?


  • dev

    seem good, will try at my other blog to see the result

  • mike

    This maybe a dumb question, but how come Google does not do this?

    I think bloggers would like this more. You get a set rate for your ads no matter how many clicks you get.

    Why can’t Google set this up as an option for bloggers?

  • I tried once and i’m not happy. You need to find advertisers and need to pay 25% of any ad selling. If you ask me i will say it sux

  • It’s a great service but it looks the wait time is more. Anybody gotten a quick response?

  • looks good. I heard about this one before. Maybe i should try it soon.

  • I’m been successful in selling one ad spot on my own. I’m working on selling more right now.

    I don’t think BuySellAds is worth 25%. However, I would pay 10%.

  • Thanks to James for the nice long explanation from a third-party perspective. I read this with interest but I was disappointed to read in the middle that it’s up to us to pick the pricing.
    Are there any accepted standards posted somewhere for pricing based on the volume one can generate for the advertiser? Perhaps there is an auction alternative? I’m going to check out the products posted by others on this article.

  • I use bidvertiser and Adbrite. I applied to YPN numerous times but have yet to ever hear anything from them. Anyone else that has made big money with bidvertiser or adbrite? I haven’t earned a lot yet, but they are slowly building for my blog.

  • Hye, Darren, Do you have any idea if a website want to take part in BuySellAds but the website is still new and don’t have many subscribers yet.

  • Hey, that’s my site in the bottom right of your top screenshot. Does that mean I can say I’ve been featured on Problogger? ;)

    Needless to say, I too use buyssellads (on ) and am a big fan. I’ve thought about implementing and controlling my own ads, but then I think about all the work involved (coding, keeping track of time and money, etc.) and realize that BSA’s 25% cut is more than justified.

    Their customer service is top notch as well and I highly recommend following them on twitter:

  • SamHRV

    I read problogger almost every day and it has taught me a great deal about his kind of publishing. I’m starting to feel like sometimes I am being force-fed a bunch of hooey, especially about Digging and maybe this too.

  • Support is the reason to use this sort of service, plus a client focused back-end. Blogs are increasingly up against sophisticated media as the old guard have finally upped sticks entirely and pretty much moved on line.

    Yes, there are WP plug-ins, but they’re not going to answer questions or evolve fast to meet client’s needs. (They’re going to evolve to be attractive to bloggers.

    That said, 25% is a huge cut, compared to the likes of Federated Media who will (did?) actually find your ads for you. 5-10% would be more like it.

  • This seems like a great idea. I think most bloggers rather be paid for ads by the month regardless of clicks rather than how many clicks they get.

  • Well after reading this post and all these comments, i would like to give a try to this service

  • Great post, I think that BuySellAds is going to become a huge force for blog advertisers. They definitely have this gap in the market covered quite well!

    I recently video blogged about them too. We spoke about how you can get more traffic to your site by advertising on multiple cheap sites instead of investing one lump sum on one site which has lots of traffic.

    There is great value to be found on their site if you just dig a bit deeper.

  • I know BSA but I never knew that it was 25%. That’s a big cut.

    I think it depends on how big your website/blog is. If your blog is a known one and it receives decent numbers of visitors, this could save you a lot of time and work. However, there are free wordpress plugins and applications available in organizing your adspace.

    But if you have a newer blog, 25% can be too much. I agree with les at this point.