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Chitika Release WordPress Plugin v2.0

Chitika have announced a new version of their WordPress plugin that works with WP2. The improvements include:

  • The plugin configuration is now done through the WordPress options tab. No need to edit the files.
  • To put a eMiniMall right into your blog post, there is now a little button on the editor to help you add and customize the eMiniMal l for that particular post
  • This plugin is backward compatible with WordPress 1.5. So you can use it with WordPress 1.5 as well.

Download it here.

Chitika launches Multi-Product Unit

Chitika have just announced a new ad format – the Multi-Product Unit.

Basically they are the same as single product units in operation except that they highlight 4 products at once. One is more dominant than others but if you scroll over the other products you’ll see them highlighted live in the ad unit.

 Images Multi

Those who are already Chitika Publishers can automatically use them by just logging in and choosing the ’468 x 180 Multi-Product Blog Banner’ unit from the ‘Select eMiniMalls Format’ drop down menu.

At this point they only come in the one size which might make it difficult for some blogs that don’t have an appropriate space but it’ll be useful for others. Hopefully they add some more sizes down the track (although it’d be hard to do small ones with space considerations).

You can test them at Chitika’s Multi-Product Unit.

PS: Links in this post are affiliate links.

Update: I’ve had a lot of emails from people asking me whether Chitika are ‘better’ than they used to be – let me give a quick response. [Read more...]

Chitika announces CNET Co-branded eMiniMalls Units

Chitika-Cnet
The Chitika blog today is announcing CNET Co-branded eMiniMalls Units.

Maybe it’s a little late at night for me but I don’t quite get it. They write:

“We are thrilled to announce the release of Chitika| CNET co-branded eMiniMalls units featuring best deals, promotions, offers and paid listings from hundreds of name brand merchants along with expert product reviews from CNET editors.” It will apparently mean “More deals, offers, and promotions for website visitors and increased revenue for our publisher clients!”

Ok I see the CNET logo but I don’t seen any reviews on the ad and I’m not sure if I’d really want them on ads on my blogs anyway as I doubt there’d be any payment for a click on them.

They finish their announcement post with:

“We are selectively integrating offers and promotions from CNET across the eMiniMalls network mainly on technology and consumer electronics related content pages.”


I’d be interested if anyone else can discern what that actually means for publishers? Hopefully someone from Chitika will clarify how publishers will benefit from it. For all I know it could be a great move for us but at a first glance it just seems ‘odd’.

I’m also interested to know if publishers have the option to switch the cobranded ads on and off or if whether they appear is determined solely by Chitika. While I’ve got nothing against CNET I know of some bloggers who would be dead against promoting them after dealings with them and I wonder how many content providers will be wanting to promote a competing content provider on their blogs? I guess it will depends upon what the rewards are.

Introduction to Advertising Optimization – High Paying Ads

The last element of the mix to consider as you look to optimise your Advertising revenue on your blog is the actual amount that the ad will pay.

As we’ve discussed earlier in this series, there are many different advertising programs out there for bloggers – but most fall into three camps in terms of revenue. Firstly there is Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising, secondly Cost Per Impression (CPM – the M stands for the Roman numeral for one thousand and these ads are calculated on what you’re paid per one thousand impressions rather than per click) and thirdly there are programs that allow you to choose your own rates per time period (like BlogAds, Adbrite and private sponsorships).

CPM Ads – When it comes to CPM advertising programs it is pretty difficult to have much impact upon the ad value being paid. A program like Fastclick (aff) does let you specify which ads run on your site (or rather it lets you block some of the campaigns that it offers) and thereby you do have some impact on the level of income on your blog – but the process is reasonably messy and in my experience not really worth messing with (the tailoring of campaigns that is).

On the other hand the other two types of ads give you much more control over your ad values.

Time Related Ads - Obviously the ads you set the price on yourself is a matter of finding a price in the demand and supply spectrum that advertisers are willing to pay. This is not always easy and from my experience it can take a little time to hone in on the right figure to charge. For BlogAds and Adbrite ads for instance I usually just come up with a price that is similar to what others seem to be charging in my niche (BlogAds lets you look at what others charge) and then adjust it up or down over time depending upon how many people buy ads. If no one is buying I reduce the price, if people are buying lots I increase it.

When it comes to private ads it gets more tricky. I always struggle to know what an ad is worth and generally try to enter into a conversation with the advertiser to sound out their budget before coming up with a price. Again it’s about negotiating and seeing what others are paying. Over time you’ll get more of an idea on how to set your prices.

CPC Ads – These ads are usually more of an art form in systems like AdSense, YPN and Chitika. Different ads pay different amounts – largely dependent upon the keywords that triggers that advertisement. For instance in an ad program like AdSense if you have a blog about financial related products, the ads that appear on it are likely to pay more than a blog that is on the topic of pencils. The reasons are pretty obvious really – advertisers are going to be less likely to pay big dollars for ‘pencil ads’ than they are for ones advertising financial products.

What follows are some tips on how to maximize the amount that AdSense and Chitika ads will pay per click (I suspect that YPN will be similar to AdSense).

[Read more...]

Chitika eMiniMall ‘Seasonal Special’ Ads

It looks like Chitika are getting in on the action with ads focussed upon seasons and holidays with their new ‘Seasonal Special’ type ads (see screen cap below) – kicking off with Valentines Day ads for the next week. Publishers logging in to Chitika at the moment will see them being promoted as:

‘The Seasonal Special category uses the new Chitika Category Hints feature, to display the latest, most popular, seasonal products. Here is a great way to feature items perfect for Valentine’s Day. Get started with Seasonal Specials.’

Seasonal-Specials-1

The ads that they have rotating there are mainly for flowers and fluffy toys.

I presume there will be other products targeted at different times of the year.

Chitika Tweak Reports Pages

It looks like Chitika. have updated the design of their stats pages in the last 24 hours – adding a new menu bar. This is in addition to the new options to view your statistics for specific date ranges.

Apart from this newer option to view stats by date range (a week old) the latest update is purely cosmetic as far as I can tell.

Chitika-Menu

Chitika Developing Text Ads Again?

Digital Inspiration has the scoop on Chitika moving back into normal contextual text ads. These are ads that they originally launched Chitika with before developing eMiniMalls but which they put on hold (and many thought scrapped) when eMiniMalls took off. Looks like they are back (or at least it looks like they are beta testing them with some publishers).

Keep in mind before signing up for them (and I don’t think there is a way to publicly do it yet) that they are contextual ads and they look very similar to AdSense and YPN ads. As a result you’ll not be able to use them on the same page as AdSense or YPN ads (unlike eMiniMalls which are non contextual and have a unique look). But if for one reason or another YPN or AdSense don’t put your buttons you might want to give them a go when they go live again. You might also want to try them as alternate ads to the other programs or even rotate them into the mix of ads showing on your blog (as some publishers are doing with YPN and AdSense – ie showing different ad programs every second or third impression).

Chitika Earnings Poll Results

With the holidays fast approaching I thought I’d end this week’s poll of the week a couple of days early.

The question this week asked how much readers earned from Chitika’s eMiniMalls. in October after auditing.

The results (shown graphically below) illustrate very clearly that Chitika has a way to go when it comes to getting bloggers to sign up with almost exactly half of the 433 who responded indicating that they do not use Chitika eMiniMalls on their blogs or websites.

The breakdown of the results was as follows.

Chitika-Earnings

What’s interesting is to compare the spread of earnings to the recent Adsense poll we ran (although i’ll note comparing the two ad systems is probably not really fair on either system as they are at such different stages of development – it’s also not fair because I was asking about two different months – so keep all this in mind and don’t take the results too seriously). Keeping all this in mind here are a few reflections on the comparisons:

[Read more...]

Chitika Earnings – Poll of the Week

The next Poll of the Week is up. This time we’re looking at Chitika’s eMiniMalls earnings with the question being:

In October, how much did you make from Chitika eMiniMalls after Auditing?

We’re looking at October earnings as November is yet to be audited and I’m only interested in the final figures. You can include all earnings including any affiliate earnings.

So basically I’m asking about your pay out figure for October. How much was your PayPal (or cheque) payment? Feel free to leave a comment on your response in comments below.