Selling advertising directly in the Entertainment/TV niche

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I run a website in the TV and entertainment niche, which receives an average of 226,000 sessions a month from an average of 111,000 users, and gets a little over half a million page views per month on average. It's also growing month on month. Everything I've ever done has been 100% white hat and I don't really intend to change that, but I am looking to significantly grow the site, and haven't put enough effort into channels like social, email marketing etc.

The site has been running for a number of years, but it's always been a hobby site so not something I've put much effort into monetising until recently. My only revenue stream is AdSense, and it used to get about £1000 a year, but after some serious optimisation it now earns a little over £4000 a year. I'm happy that I've quadrupled the revenue without a huge amount of effort (a new responsive design, doubled the ads per page from 1 to 2), but this is still an incredibly low RPM - it's achieved £0.48 RPM in the past 12 months, rising to an average of £0.59 in the past 6 months.

I'm guessing the main reason I'm struggling with RPM on AdSense is the niche - I've read plenty about how entertainment is a difficult niche to make money from. But the site has a strong, steady audience, which is 82% female, and 56% of the audience are in the 18-34 age group, so it seems like the kind of audience that advertisers would be interested in. So I'm confident I can get the site to make more money and run it as more of a business.

I want to start reaching out to advertisers directly, but am a bit clueless about where to start. I've tried looking for advertising brokers who take on this task on behalf of publishers, but was surprised to have run a blank while trying to find any.

Has anyone got any experience of using a broker or getting someone to sell advertising on your behalf, and how did you find it? Or is my best bet still to sell to brands and marketing agencies directly? I'm currently trying to pull together a media pack for the site but as I've not put one together before, don't know how much detail to go into.

Do you include advertising costs in the media pack, or wait for agencies to suggest how much they would charge? As I've never sold space on the site before, I don't know what a typical CPM would be, and hope someone with experience might have some insight!
#advertising #directly #entertainment #entertainment or tv #niche #selling #television

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