Advertising on the web

Just got a phone call (yep, voice! In this day and age?) from a company wanting to buy advertising on my ottopress.com website. Did a reverse lookup on the phone number, and the company seems legit enough, for a “Search Engine and Advertising Network”. Not somebody I’d advertise for though, even if I did advertising.

For the record, I don’t do paid advertising on my sites. I do, however, accept bribes and free stuff, so feel free to contact me about any of those. :)

I know how they got my number, of course. I don’t use privacy on my domain registrations. However, I’ve now gone through and changed that information to have my Google Voice number, which allows me to whitelist my contacts more easily. Unknown callers there can just go straight to my voicemail instead.

Still, I have to wonder how effective this sort of tactic is… Cold calling a site owner to see if you can buy ad space? Does that really work? Anybody else experience this or have any comments?

8 thoughts on “Advertising on the web”

  1. Due to the more personal nature (and rarity) of phone calls, I’d probably consider advertising offers via phone far more than I’d consider advertising offers via email.

    1. I dunno, the whole idea of phone calls just seems antiquated to me.

      It’s like the time somebody asked me to fax something to them. She might as well have asked me to sign the parchment with a fresh quill and send it on the next boat sailing back from the New World.

      I had this same conversation the other day with friends of mine who own a restaurant. They told me that they constantly get people asking them to fax a menu to them. I don’t get it. I mean, a) who still uses fax machines, and b) who still has land lines? Seriously, this is the 21st century, and these people are actively using technology invented in the freakin’ 1800’s. Does not compute.

    1. I’m not against advertising, I just don’t do it myself. I have experimented with Google AdSense and other ad networks, and in the long run, I feel that advertising isn’t necessary for me or my sites.

      It only costs me maybe $150 a year to operate my sites and domains. I get more than that in donations for helping people out. That donation box in my sidebar is highly effective, people are very kind and will toss me $5 here or there for helping them with a problem via email or something. And IMO, ads just don’t pay that well unless you’re getting mega-hits and are able to convert large portions of those into clicks.

      See, it’d be one thing if somebody wanted to advertise their business directly. A one-on-one relationship with a business that I can recommend, I have no problem with. But an ad-network is a whole other kettle of fish. Basically I’d be outsourcing and selling my own reputation, and that seems wrong to me.

      If somebody wants to advertise themselves directly on one of my sites, I’d be happy to hear their pitch. However, I find it highly unlikely that I’d ever use an ad-network type of scheme, simply because I don’t think having middlemen to sell ads online is a particularly effective tactic for doing that sort of thing. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t pay well, and businesses almost never get their money’s worth out of it.

      1. their are a couple of reasons for a middleman, someone might want to buy ads across a lot of different sites and instead of going to all the sites individually they just deal with one person or service.

        That offer you got, they just wanted the link for SEO purposes. They probably wouldn’t get any clicks but they think the link from a strong site as yours would help their ranking.

  2. I haven’t received phone calls, but thankfully the only number people can access internationally (easily) is my mobile number, which costs a bomb to call from outside New Zealand :)

    I’ve received plenty of emails about advertising. I probably accept about 0.5% of them. I usually request a stupidly high price to which 99% never reply – 0.5% balk at the price and try to make me drop it and 0.5% fund the occasional weekend trip away :)

  3. I have been called before in the past. I actually give the person credit for exploring all of the their options. Although you might not agree with paid advertising, the person calling has definitely thought “outside the box”…

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