(I originally wrote this article back in March 2004 - I guess I was on to something! - horn toots)
Just from observing the Text Link Advertising market, the perceived value of dedicated the Text Link Ad page is not quite there yet for both advertisers and their clients, but if you want to get ahead of the curve on the SEO game I suggest you start looking at creating or buying pages dedicated to text link advertisements.
From a seller's perspective, this technique will work best for webmasters that have access to websites with 100s or 1,000s of high PR pages. The idea is simple; chances are, if you look at your logs, 10 % of those pages get next to zero hits per month. That gives you 10 to 100 pages to work with. You can both turn those 'dead' pages into traffic and revenue producing pages without a whole lot of work. Actually, the buyer will do most of the work, you just need to approve and post it..
The first step is to identify the type of "relevant advertiser" that would supplement your website while not competing directly with your business. Say your site is about Widgets; perhaps a good "content" advertiser would be a Widget Organizer company Next, go to the dedicated page auction section on LinkAdage™. List your auction and the type of advertiser topics you are looking for that will make the deal a win-win situation. Offer some possible page titles in your description. Once you have found an advertiser you then strip the worthless text from your high PR non-traffic page and replace it with text provided by the advertiser. Of course, make sure you have final editorial approval and the page title must be appropriate for your site. This will take a bit of work but it will pay off big if both parties work closely together to produce a page that will produce traffic and increased rankings for both parties. Your text link "content" advertisers will then have an extremely valuable page with natural key phrases of their choosing and these text link advertisements will be surrounded by real content that your visitors may actually find and read - and better yet - explore your site further and find what you are trying to sell. The seller wins, the buyer wins, and best of all - the visitor wins by having access to better content.
Pricing of Content PagesThe general rule of thumb is charge 8 to 10 times the amount you would charge for a simple footer text link advertisement on this page. When you think about it, wouldn't you rather manage one buyer on a page then 10 separate buyers? You also be providing advertising that will bring you traffic, while at the same time be an extremely valuable advertising resource for your text link advertisers. As the web advertising landscape changes, you must learn to change with it; this is your chance to get ahead of the game.
4/14/2007 UPDATE: Now many blogs are offering posts with paid content about your site. Often these posts are permanent. This is a slight variation of the content page idea but can be very effective. You can buy blog posts with your content and embedded links on blogs in LinkAdage's Blog Post category. Also, taking contextual link ads to the next level, LinkXL now offers a way to buy and sell text links in pre-existing content.