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WidgetBucks Offer New Publishers a $50 Sign On Bonus – Baseball Card Promotion

Picture 2-16I’m doing a little promotion with WidgetBucks while at BWE this year.

They’re giving me some 70′s style ‘baseball cards’ with my face on them to give out (why they chose that picture I’ll never know) and are offering ProBlogger readers (whether you get a card or not) a $50 signup bonus if you sign up as a WidgetBucks publisher.

To get the $50 you need to sign up as a publisher and when you’ve earned your first $100 you get the bonus.

WidgetBucks is an ad network that give bloggers the opportunity to make money using their ‘widget ads’.

As with all types of ad networks WidgetBucks convert better on some blogs than others – but they’re worth a try, particularly if you have blog with any kind of products featured on it. They’re also expanding into more geo-targeted ‘travel ads’ (should be announced soon) which will have opportunities for a more international group of publishers.

PS: the baseball card picture is of me eating a New York Pizza while I was there last year. It’s not sweat dripping down my face either – I think it’s a ‘crease’ photo shopped into the card to make it look old (it’s a 70′s style card after all). The back of the card has a few of my ‘stats’ on it. You’ll have to find me at BWE to see it.

There is at least one other blogger with their own cards at BWE – collect the complete set and they could be worth something on ebay one day (or it could just be an embarrassing thing that my wife pulls out to show the grandkids in years to come)!

8 Reasons Why Your Blog Might Not Be Accepted Into an Ad Network

Mitch from Technipages.com shot me an email this week asking me for advice on getting accepted into CPM banner ad networks like ValueClick, TribalFusion and others. He commented that while he has decent traffic (around 140,000 page views a month) he hadn’t had much luck with being accepted and asked for advice.

This is a question I’ve had numerous times so I thought I’d post my response (I have slightly edited from my original answer).

  1. Design Matters – the more professional a site looks the better impression it will make and the increased likelihood of acceptance.
  2. Content – some advertising networks will judge your suitability based upon both the topic and also the type of posts (including length, editorial style etc). Some will also check to see if the content is original and or appearing elsewhere online. Topic plays a big part for some ad networks as they will sometimes have specific focuses and be looking for content partners with relevant content to their advertisers. I also know of at least one ad network who looks at the ‘quality’ of content – particularly looking at how well it is written, whether it is up to date, looking at whether there is an active user base interacting with it etc. They do this because they have a premium advertising base who don’t just want to align themselves with any old blog but only those that they perceive as premium. Each network also has its own standards on adult content, use of language (swearing) and other topics that they may or may not cover.
  3. Hosting and Personal sites – some ad networks don’t accept sites that they perceives to be ‘personal’ and don’t accept sites that are hosted on free services or on services where you don’t own your domain (for example blogspot blogs).
  4. Type of Site – some networks don’t accept sites that are primarily forums as they tend not to perform as well with advertising due to the high amount of page views per visitor and the ad blindness that quickly happens.
  5. Other advertising – if a site already has lots of ads on it this can be off putting for some ad networks.
  6. Traffic sources – if you have lots of non US traffic some ad networks will mark you down for that as they only have ad networks for that market.
  7. Language – many ad networks will not accept non English written sites. Again – this is about their advertisers (largely US based in many cases) not wanting to target ‘international’ audiences.
  8. Traffic numbers – this is the killer, many will reject unless you’re doing big traffic – they will check sources like comscore, Alexa to double check whether the numbers you are giving them are accurate.

Most ad networks have fairly good pages for publishers outlining what they do and don’t accept. Here you can see requirements from ValueClick and TribalFushion (although I’ve heard a lot of people say that they feel they fit into TribalFushion and don’t get in).

Some of the above reasons are frustrating. As someone who has built blogs for non US audiences I know some of the pain of not being accepted. However the main advice I gave Mitch was to keep building traffic and making the site look as professional as possible. Traffic numbers speak very loudly so to keep traffic trending up will mean that he finds it is easier and easier to get accepted into these programs. Also – keep hunting around for options, experiment with different ways to make money from your blog and be patient.

Performancing Ad Network

PerformancingAdsIn the last week a new ad network has launched – PerformancingAds.

Bloggers who have been around for a while will know that this isn’t the first time Performancing have ventured into the ad network space – they previously launched a network back in 2006 but closed it down last year during a period where they when through a management restructure and ultimately were sold.

I was sad when the network closed last time as I thought it did have promise and love to see new ad options launched specifically aimed at bloggers.

So this week when I was told it’s back I was really excited.

Here’s How It Works

  • The ads are based around the popular 125 x 125 pixel banner ads that you see on many blogs (including the ones you see in ProBlogger’s sidebar).
  • It is a self service system where advertisers sign up, submit ads and pay for them all via Performancing and then they send you your share of the revenue at the same time each month.
  • You can book your own ads for free – might seem a little silly but if you have spare spots and want to fill them with ads pointing at affiliate programs or even key parts of your blog you can fill them with internal ads.
  • Publishers are put into a Marketplace where your blog will be shown to prospective advertisers looking for blogs to advertise on.
  • They have a traffic exchange system where you allow other blogs to show their ad on your blog in exchange for credits which can be used to display your ad on other blogs. You also earn credits by selling ads.
  • The Revenue Share – You earn a minimum of 60% of what the ads sell for – Performancing takes the other 40%. This will be tiered up as high as 90% for publishers for ‘better performing publishers’ (not sure if that is based upon sales or traffic)
  • You have control over where the ads appear, how many are shown and even some control over how they look (like spacing between them)
  • You can create multiple regions on your blog so have the ads appear in multiple positions
  • You can filter out ads you don’t want to appear by adding words for keywords and/or domains that you don’t want advertisers from
  • Advertisers buy ads based upon weekly increments
  • They have a premium program where if your blog has over 250,000 US pageviews per month they can sell ads on your behalf in different size ad units (728×90, 300×250 and 160×600).
  • You have control over what ads are priced at. You can also set ads to be no-follow ads (or not).
  • There is a WordPress Plugin to help manage these ads if you’re a WP user

PerformancingAds are new and as with any ad network I believe you shouldn’t expect too much too quickly from it as it takes time to get them working to optimal levels for both advertisers and publishers.

The success of this network will depend upon their ability to sign up advertisers. Last time around PerformancingAds did manage to sell quite a few ads on ProBlogger – but it took time for them to get to that level.

Looking to Advertise on Blogs?

Performancing is looking advertisers at present and are offering $25 off your first ad purchase of $100 or more.

PerformancingAds

Last time Performancing had their ad network I actually used it to advertise my blogs quite a few times. There were plenty of bargains to be had around the blogosphere and it was a pretty cool way to increase the exposure of my blogs to new audiences. I suspect this will be the case again looking at the current marketplace of bloggers who have already signed up.