Chitika Linx – Beta In Text Advertising

Chitika have today added another new ad unit to their growing line of options for publishers – this one is called Chitika Linx.

It’s still in beta and I’m not one of the lucky few to be invited to test it – but from the overview page it looks very similar to other in text advertising options like Amazon’s Context Links system, Kontera’s ContentLink product and Intellitxt (and others).

All of these systems will look at your content for keywords that they can match to an advertisment. They then make those words links (usually with some different kind of formatting so that readers are aware that they are different – in the case of Linx a double underline) and then when readers hover the cursor over the link a small popup appears with the ad.

In the case of Linx the popup seems to contain an eMiniMall ad unit (as pictured).

Linx Demo

The ads are CPC (you get paid if someone clicks the ad).

Publishers generally have a fairly extreme love or hate for this type of advertising.

They do interrupt the reading flow which is a cost publishers should weigh up before installing them – however I do know of a few publishers who find this type of ad converts quite well – particularly on product related sites (which I suspect Chitika will have as their focus with the invitations that they offer).

I’ve been testing a couple of other similar systems in a very limited way on a couple of my blogs with limited success but will be interested to see what the earnings per click is like on these.

You can read more about Chitika Linx Beta here.

Chitika Send Top Publishers iPods

Ipod-ShuffleGoogle sent their top earners digital picture frames, YPN sent sweatshirts and in the last few days Chitika publishers have started getting their gifts – ipod shuffles.

Very cool idea and something practical that I’m sure will get a lot of use.

I’m not sure what the cutoff point was for who got one and one didn’t but have seen a few publishers talking about them.

Thanks Chitika.

Put Chikita as your AdSense alternate URL

Reader-Quick-TipsThis reader ‘quick tip’ was submitted by Antoine Khater from All Day I Dream About Photography

Wouldn’t be nice to have you Chikita emini-mall or ShopCloud$ (aff) showing up as the Alternate URL of Adsense?

Here is a trick I recently learned on how to do it.

Just set up a BLANK page, completely blank no header no footer nothing, on you blog/site with no content at all but you chikita code then use the URL of this page as the alternate URL in adsense.

How to Optimize a Shoplinc Store

christmasIn my last post I wrote a series of tips on how to use Chitika’s eMiniMalls and RPU ads. Today I want to turn my attention to their Shoplinc product (aff).

I’ve had reasonable (and increasing) success with Shoplinc since it launched a few months back. Once you have people in the Shop it converts very well (high CTR as there is limited other options to click on). The challenge however is getting people INTO your shop in the first place. This is not as simple as adding a ‘shop’ link to your menu (although this is one thing you should do).

One single link into your shop is not enough – consider adding other ‘doorways’ in including:

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More Chitika Ad Optimizing Tips

christmasThis post is a continuation of my previous post on optimizing Chitika Ads in which I spoke largely about ad targetting.

Positioning Ads

Good positioning of Chitika ads is similar to that of AdSense in that in general they work well above the fold (with some exceptions – see below) and in areas of your blog where people will naturally look (ie near content).

RPU ads do particularly well at the end of posts and above comments as they are a logical next click once people have finished reading your blog.

SPU (single product units) and MPU ads (multi product units) – my strategy with these two units is to use both on the same page. I generally use a small SPU at the top of posts and MPUs at the bottom of them (where readers might be looking for other options).

Sidebars – I find that Chitika ads don’t tend to work well in sidebars. If you do use them in this position use them at the top of a sidebar where they’ll get more attention than the clutter of the middle of a sidebar.

Cloud Tag Units – These are new units and I’ve not used them but they could be another useful unit to place down the page at the end of posts. I’ve not used them simply because I already have enough ads at the end of my posts and they do not actually earn anything for the first click but instead lead people to your Shoplinc Shop where they earn you money if people click on a product (whereas eMiniMalls, RPUs and AdSense ads earn money on the first click.

Read more on Optimizing Chitika ads in a previous post on the topic here.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series where I’ll talk about using Chitika’s Shoplincs.

This post has been a part of the How to Fine Tune your Blog for Christmas Series.

How to Improve Your Chitika Ads Performance

christmasAs I look towards the end of the year earnings across my blogs I’m particularly excited about the potential for my Chitika Ads. They continue to be my equal highest earner (with AdSense) and this will only increase over the coming weeks.

Chitika (aff) have been providing publishers with advertising options for over a year now and now offer a range of types of ads including:

What I like about this range of ad units is that between them there is bound to be a format (or more than one) that fits with the design of most blogs and websites.

Note – Keep in mind that Chitika ads are very much ‘product focussed’ and work best on sites that have a topic that is directly related to topic (for example gadgets and consumer electronics, clothes, home and garden, toys etc)

So how do you optimize Chitika ads?

Many of the principles that we talked about with AdSense ads in previous posts are also relevant for Chitika ads (particularly those on Positioning, Design) however there are a number of things that you can do to help with Chitika ad performance (I’ll particularly focus upon eMiniMalls and Relevant Product Units here). First lets take a look at the art of targeting Chitika Ads and the next post we’ll look at some other Chitika optimization techniques:

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Chitika Add New Sizes to ShopClouds

Chitika have added new sizes to their ShopCloud$ ad unit (read my intro to them here).They now not only come in a 468×180 size ad but also:

• 300×250
• 250×250
• 160×600
• 160×160
• 120×600

How to Make Money from Internal Search Traffic with Chitika

When people can’t find what they are looking for on your blog one of the things that they’ll often do is head for your search tool and see if they can find what they are looking for on your blog that way.

On my blogs hundreds of people use my search tools every day. I know this because until recently I’ve been using the search tool provided by AdSense for my search tools and it gives some basic statistics on how many searches there are and what people are searching for. It also gives you a way to monetize your search results by running AdSense ads in your results (you can see an example of it running in ProBlogger’s side bar at the moment).

The AdSense tool is OK – it does a reasonable job of giving good search results – however it does take a few days for newer posts to become searchable and I’ve found that the money that it brings in is almost non existent (around the $1 per day mark across multiple blogs).

I’ve long been dissatisfied with the return on AdSense search but thought that the dollar a day was better than nothing ($365 a year isn’t something that will go astray).

So this week when I found an alternative to AdSense for search to monetize the internal searching on my blogs I was interested to see what would happen.

Monetizing Internal Searching with Chitika

Earlier in the week I was wandering through Chitika’s support area and came across a tip that had previously escaped my attention.

In short – it will allow you to show Chitika eMiniMall ads in the search results page of your WP blog (if you use the default WP search template) with products in the ads that relate to the search.

The process is pretty simple to do (outlined below) and I’m happy to report that the results have brought me an improvement on the money earned from internal search. While I’m still not earning a lot from it, the last few days have seen a 500% improvement (remember I didn’t start with much) on some of my blogs. Don’t expect big dollars but do let me know how it goes for you.

I’ve not used it here at ProBlogger because this blog isn’t a product related blog (and as a result Chitika doesn’t work well with it) but on some of my other product related blogs it works well.

Here’s the process outlined by Chitika:

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Chitika offer Related Products Unit

Chitika have been rolling out some interesting offerings to publishers lately. Their eMinimalls are over a year old now, they’ve exctended them to Multi Product Unit minimalls and more recently announced Shoplinc shops and their Forums.

Another product that they’ve been testing lately with a small group of testers is ‘Related Product Units’ (RPUs).

I’ve been one of the testers on these units and they’ve been responsible for a good increase in my Chitika earnings over the past week or two.

The RPU units are perhaps the most simple and easy to integrate ads that Chitika offers – they simply list three related products to the post you’ve written. Here’s how they look:


This screen cap of the RPU ads came from my recent review of the Fujifilm Finepix F30 (my new favorite point and shoot camera).

A click on the link brings in the revenue (CPC) and readers are taken directly to the advertisers page.

The code behind these ads is very similar to Chitika’s other ads.

As the ads are still in testing the code generation process is not really automated – you need to get the code from Chitika via email but I’m told they are generating an automated system that will spit out customized code as you need it.

How do they perform? At a glance – very very well. They integrate nicely into a site and as a result CTR is good. The cost per click amount is 50-70% lower than eMiniMall ads for some reason so that’s a downer and they do cannibalize from other ads on your page a little – but for the increase in income that they’ve brought in has outweighed the decrease in other ads on the page.

At this point RPU ads are still being tested but as I’ve seen them mentioned in their Support area and in their forums I thought I’d mention them as they seem to be going public about them.

Once again (and as with all Chitika ad units) these will work best on product related sites.

The only thing that I’d suggest that Chitika do with RPUs is consider some sort of note on them that they are ads like Google’s ‘ads by Gooooogle’ as they can look so integrated into sites that it’s not obvious what they are. This might decrease performance but it comes close to blurring the line between content and advertising.