I serve 70,000 AD Impressions per day and Yesterday I made only $2.82 by showing 28,563 AD impressions from one network (Pay per Impression or CPM ad network) called Rightmedia. ( I will tell you about this network later )
I really dont know what the hell is wrong with the AD companies (whether CPM or CPC) and why I am not able to make any good money.. Anyway, I have stopped bothering about individual ad companies. The problem is the Forums. When same persons keep on visiting a site, they soon view all the ads which can be offered by a company. Soon, The company runs out of ads to show to a particular user and hence, further AD impressions are wasted Cost per <- snipped -> are good for sites with many unique visitors but not for Forums where same people keep on visiting. Also, members seem to get immune to ads and their eyes automatically learn to ignore them. Especially TEXT PAY PER <- snipped -> So I stick with Pay Per Impression ADs which are usually bright to attract attention and also give out some better results than compared to Pay Per Click.
Since I have more number of repeating visitors, I now use 10 + diffrent ad networks and run them off an adserver so that a visitor is able to see maximum no. of diffrent ads. I NEVER used to respect the advertisers money before.. I used to ask members to <- snipped -> .. etc.. but Now I very much respect their money and try to be as faithful as possible. Hence, I have stopped worrying about high paying ads and I think about showing as many diffrent ads as possible. So that the same ads are not being repeated (even though they may be highly paid).
The next reason is, I got lots of international traffic. Everyday, I get visitors from ATLEAST 75 countries. Of which, only US, UK and CANADA are commercially important. ( No offence to people from outside US/UK/CANADA :-P ) Anyway, International traffic simply does not have much of any commerical importance and many few advertising networks seem to support it.
If you got a high performing forum, Dont go for pay-per- <- snipped -> (except google and adsonar). Also befware of IMPRESSIONS policy. There are two types in it. One is RAW and the other is based on UNIQUE CAP.
RAW : The name explains it. All the impressions are counted.
UNIQUE CAP : Only Unique members (IP) are counted that too, Once every X amount of time. Where X is the decided time (usually it is 24 hour )