It has been around 18 months since I first saw an advertising network begin to offer RSS advertising (it was AdSense launching their beta testing program to a limited number of advertisers – which incidentally still in beta).
When this program was announced it caused quite a large buzz around web publishers and many people talked RSS advertising up as the next big thing. However since that time the buzz has largely subsided and many publishers have expressed disappointment in the conversion of AdSense for RSS and well as what other networks have on offer.
The problems were many with RSS advertising but the main one that I’ve heard publishers complaining about is simply ‘lack of earnings’.
Over the past 18 months a number of other networks have announced – many of which I’ve experimented with. Here are a few of them with a few comments on each:
- Feedburner Ad Network – if you have Feedburner run your feeds for you and you get a reasonable level of traffic you can apply to be a part of Feedburner’s Ad Network (FAN). It’s a service I’ve used on a number of my blogs for 6+ months now and I’ve done quite well out of it. You can read my review of it here but along with Feedvertising it’s my RSS ad network of choice. I like that you can accept or reject ads before they appear and that it’s a channels based system which helps make ads more relevant to your topic.
- Feedvertising (aff) – the most recent arrival on the RSS advertising front – this system is from Text Link Ads and is what you see operating in the ProBlogger feeds at present. I’ve introduced it here in more detail but it is currently only available for WordPress users and is a plugin based system that allows you to rotate your own ads into circulation or for you to sell advertising to advertisers through the TLA system (or both). I’ve found it to be quite easy to use and from what I know it is one of the few systems that will accept any RSS – big or small. It doesn’t have a lot of advertisers buying up ads (I’ve had a couple so far) so might not keep your ads as fresh as AdSense or YPN but it’s been quite good for me in terms of earnings so far.
- AdSense – currently still being beta tested and only available for some publishers. This is contextual RSS advertising and operates similarly to other AdSense offerings in that they give you code to plug into your RSS feed. It’s pretty simple – you simply plug it in and forget about it. I used it for a while but found that the returns were so low that I swapped over to Feedburner and TLA’s Feedvertising. They don’t let you design the ads like other AdSense ads.
- YPN – if you’re lucky enough to be a YPN beta tester you’ll have access to running their RSS ads in your feeds. I’ve not tested the service but am told it’s very similar to what AdSense offers. They have code ready to implement in WordPress or Movable Type which you insert into your feed with your publisher ID. The ad is served as an image (not as actual text) which is the way AdSense and pheedo work also. The whole image links back to the advertiser
- Pheedo – offers 2 RSS advertising solutions – Pheedo Ads for Feeds (easy to implement – just cut and paste some code and you’re up and running) and Feedo Ads for Feeds+ (a full level service with analytics and customization of ads and campaigns). Pheedo keeps 35% of revenue generated – publishers get 65%.
- Feedster – I can’t see much on their site at the moment about RSS advertising but they did announce a partnership with Adbrite a while back (although the links to the partnership site now forward on back to Feedster. Not sure if their ad network is active or they are just hiding it!
My experience is limited to the first three options. My results with AdSense were poor (although to give them credit I haven’t used them for a year now. Feedvertising and Feedburner’s options worked better for me – however particularly on my blogs with higher numbers of RSS subscribers (as with all forms of traffic is essential to make money from advertising).
Feel free to suggest other ad networks providing RSS advertising and share you experiences with them (or the above 6 networks).