Tag Archives: Ads

125×125 Ads: Monetize Your Blog With the Bloggers’ Ad Format

When you think of monetizing a blog, what immediately comes to mind? Google’s AdSense, right? AdSense is easy to set-up, and pretty much all legitimate sites are accepted into the program, so it’s the method most bloggers use right away. However, AdSense has it’s shortcomings, as do other monetization methods. It doesn’t work well for blogs in some niches, less and less people click them, etc. Luckily, there’s a better option.

The 125×125 ad, used by “big blogs” like ProBlogger, TechCrunch, and ReadWriteWeb, they are a great way to monetize blogs. I’ve been using them for a couple of months with great success. It’s taken me a year and a half to reach $100 in AdSense earnings; meanwhile I’ve made over $140 so far by direct-selling ads.

125x125s are, as their name suggests, square ads of one hundred twenty five pixels in both directions. They’re fairly unobtrusive, unlike monstrous leaderboard banners, and they’re less susceptible to banner blindness problems. They are the Bloggers’ Ad Format, thought-up by bloggers, and suiting their style of site well. The ads are sold directly to advertisers, cutting out the ad network middleman, and leaving you with more work on your part…but the difference in income is much greater.

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Using WordPress Custom Fields to Control AdSense Sizes

Two of the most common AdSense placements on blogs are

  1. A rectangular ad (such as the 250×250 unit) in the post, floated to the left, with the text wrapping around it.
  2. A 468×60 “banner” unit between the post title and the content.

In some posts, though, the floated ads get in the way of other elements, such as images. Suppose you want to have an image floated to the right, at the top of your post. That could conflict with your ad, couldn’t it? If the image is wide enough, it would run right into the ad. Or what if you wanted to have a wide image above the content, like on Copyblogger? That left-floated ad would get in the way. What’s the solution? No, you don’t need to switch to a 468×60 ad, which often doesn’t perform as well as the floated ad. It’s time for a little WordPress magic.

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EntreCard – The Free 125×125 Advertising Exchange

EntreCard is, as they put it, is “your internet business card.” When you register at EntreCard.com, you upload a 125×125 image. This is your EntreCard, your virtual business card. Now, there are two things you can do with your card.

  • You can “drop” it on another EC user’s widget. This means both you and the recipient get an EC credit, and your card is displayed in their EC Inbox. It’s like throwing a business card across a table to someone.
  • You can advertise on a user’s widget. By clicking the “Advertise” link in the site’s profile, and paying the auto-adjusted price in EntreCredits, your ad will be submitted to the site owner for approval. If it is approved, your ad will be shown on their site for 24 hours.

As soon as I registered, I was flooded with advertising requests, as users saw the new, cheap, entry in the EC directory. Within two hours of being in the directory, my widget was booked for the next 15 days or so. The request rate has since settled down, but I still have a comfortable influx of ads.

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AdSense Placement (and Styling) for Bloggers

Google AdSense is the biggest and most-used ad network among bloggers. As you’ll know already, it’s based off a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) model where the placement of the ad units drastically affects earnings. Want to make more money off your ads? Keep reading.

So how should you place your AdSense blocks? The three most important rules to remember are

  • Pick a good ad format, as they tend to have different click rates.
  • Position the ads near content or navigational elements, where people will notice them.
  • Style the ads so they blend-in. If your ads are obviously ads, your users’ eyes will steer around them. If your blog has black text with blue links, then your ads should too.

Of course, there’s more to it than that.

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Google Doesn’t Like Text-Link-Ads

There has been talk for the past few months that Google seems to be penalizing sites, rank-wise, that use Text-Link-Ads to sell paid links on their site. TLA is a great service, offering reasonable rates for paid links on your website, though Google doesn’t like the idea of paid links because plain links (as opposed to JavaScript widgets like AdSense) affect the rankings of the sites buying the links.

The site Text-Link-Ads.com pretty much doesn’t appear in search results at all (except in a paid ad at the top of the results). So, it’s okay for TLA to be shown in search results only if they pay Google? Other sites, like JohnChow.com, have met similar fates, though Chow’s site may have been demoted for other reasons.

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