Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been experimenting with a couple of new advertising networks and am really excited by the initial results that I’m seeing.
The first one that I want to introduce readers to is the Shopzilla Publisher Program. You won’t learn a lot about this program from it’s front page as they’re in beta and have been flying under the radar a little while they’ve developed it – but it’s a program that I think has real promise and that makes a good alternative to programs like Chitika’s eMiniMalls and WidgetBucks.
Shopzilla has been around since 1996 as a comparison shopping service. They’re a service that matches shoppers with online stores. Check out their Alexa ranking (around 2000 today) and you’ll see that they do some serious traffic. So Shopzilla has some serious experience and expertise in the online shopping space – so it makes sense that they branch out in the way that they have with their publisher program.
The best way to learn about Shopzilla is to register and to start experimenting with them but let me give you a few details so you know what you’re in for:
- Shopzilla Publisher Program is a CPC (cost per click) model. You get paid when anyone clicks on one of the ads on your site.
- It’s ideal for sites focussing upon products.
- They offer a good range of ad unit sizes – although I’m hoping they expand this further.
- They offer banner ads, ‘product pods’ (similar to Chitika eMiniMalls), custom text links (where you can link to categories, products or pages in Shopzilla), search boxes (search Shopzilla from your blog) and more.
- Some of these ad types can be customized to different colors/design. Hopefully they’ll add this feature to all ad types soon.
- They have a wide array of categories of products to target
- They offer ad unit IDs to help you track each ad’s performance (think channels on AdSense)
- They offer an API so that you can customize your ad units even further to your blog
- They have a minimum payout of $50. Your monthly earnings will accumulate until you hit this level. Payment is via PayPal or check.
This is a beta program so it’s still having features added to it. Keep this in mind as you apply.
Also from my testing so far (and chatting to other publishers who use them) I’ve found that there is variance in payouts from category to category. Obviously these ads will perform best when you choose ads from a category that match your blog’s topic – however do experiment with different related categories to see what works best for you.
I was accepted into the program reasonably quickly (I think it took under 24 hours) however I’ve heard that at this point in their beta test that they don’t accept every application.
Let me show you some of the Shopzilla ad units (note: I’ve left them largely unaltered in terms of colors and design):
This first one is a ‘Top Search Results’ ad where I put the search term of ‘Canon Rebel’ in and used the Camera category. I was given 15 ad unit sizes and styles to choose from:
Here’s a ‘Product Pod’ – again I was given options to change the design and choose a few different ad unit sizes.
One thing you’ll notice with these ads is that the images are clickable. This is something that Chitika launched with but stopped doing (controversially) because it made the ads too clickable! This is one reason why I think Shopzilla might be a good alternative to check out.
Test it for yourself – Register for Shopzilla here.