I’ve just heard about a brand new advertising option for bloggers by the name of WidgetBucks that is launching as we speak. I’m yet to test it live on my sites as it is brand new – but from my initial looking over of the service I’d say that it has promise. The nearest thing that I could compare it to would be Chitika eMiniMalls as it is an interactive ad unit that flashes through different purchasing options for readers for different products. Here’s how one of their ad units looks (there’s another at the base of this post):
Widgets come in a range of sizes and can be customized to different colors. They will also let you target 13 different categories (each category has sub categories) if you choose to manually set them – but will let you run it in a ‘contextual’ mode (called ‘MerchSense’).
How Do You Make Money?
You make money on a ‘per click’ (CPC) basis and WidgetBucks claim that those who’ve tested them are getting $3-$6 CPM. Payment is via Check but you need to hit $50 before you trigger your first payment.
$25 SignUp Bonus
In fact this is actually easier than it might seem as they start every publisher off with $25 in their account as a signup bonus so all you need to earn is another $25 to get a $50 check.
WidgetBucks will allow you to run as many ads on a page as you like and you can use this system with AdSense according to their FAQ.
Tracking is on a Widget by Widget basis and the reports page looks pretty good.
What I like about WidgetBucks
Keep in mind that I’m yet to test it out and am writing this as a first impression review
- I like the ad units – they are very clickable
- There is a good range of colors and ad unit sizes to choose from
- Reporting looks good
- Reported CPM is reasonable considering you can run multiple ad units and other ad systems on your page
- This strikes me as being a good system on ‘product related blogs’
What I’d like to see Added
- My experience with these types of ads shows me that the more targeted the ads are to your content the better. If you’re writing about a particular model of MP3 player you want to see an ad for that MP3 player served. When Chitika made this available in their system my earnings skyrocketed – I hope that WidgetBucks has a way to do this shortly.
- Referral system (which I’m using in this post) – it pays $5 when the person you refer earns their first $25. While this is ok – it is nothing in comparison to other referral systems that payout a % of the earnings of those you refer. While there is some incentive to get some sign ups there’s little incentive to help those you sign up to increase their earnings once they are signed up. update – great news, they’ve taken notice of this complaint and have increased this to 10% of earnings for 10% (something I’m proud to say that I suggested to them!).
- The smallest ad unit is 468×60 – while the 5 units are pretty good to choose from it’ll be good to see if they add more later – particularly smaller ones.
- I’ve never really been a fan of ads that have lots of animation. These could be annoying for some blog readers.
I’m sure I’ll discover more that I like and dislike about WidgetBucks as I test it more – but overall it looks like a system worth testing out to see if it works well on your blog or not. I’ll be giving it a go in the coming days and look forward to hearing how you find it too.
What do you think of WidgetBucks?