Questions from NWEN: Banner Ads, AdSense Income and Wiki

I spoke on March 28 at the Northwest Entrepreneurs Network session on online marketing. Besides 20 mins on PPC and optimization, others spoke about RSS, blogs, email, social networks and other related topics.
Here are a few questions that were asked:
1. Is anyone using banner ads?
Interesting: no one on the panel was covering banner ads, which a few years ago were seen as the future of online advertising. Makes one wonder: in a few years will search be passe too? Anyway, my comment was “banner ads are great for branding in some contexts, and in others may be a good way to get some clicks. Just don’t overpay.” I told about helping WRQ a number of years ago, where the ad reps kept wanting to sell us run of site and I only wanted to buy specific pages five levels deep.
2. I got an invite to participate in a program where I pay $300 per year, and they host, I create content and then get ad revenue. Does this sound good?
I said “do the math. Google ads are often very cheap on content sites, and you’ll only get a small cut. Creating content that generates enough revenue to cover your costs plus a modest amount for your time may be very hard. Do the math.” Today I read a story about top selling keywords. So maybe if the person is an expert on asbestos ligitation, she could actually make a decent return. The story is here:
http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=btbriefs03&date=20060403&query=google

and it links here:
http://www.cwire.org/
3. My site is doing well in the engines. Do you have any idea why?
Well, this is a bit of a consolidation of several questions. But I reiterated points made during the talk: external links and the content you have are very important. In one particular case, I learned many of the links are coming from Wikipedia. It may be worth looking into ways of making sure your site is linked to from there site.

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