Feb 22, 2009 by Matt | Posted in Featured, Monetization
BuySellAds, an exemplary ad marketplace that I joined a few weeks ago, has just come out of private beta. You can now join the ad network and sell banner space without having to be approved into their closed beta program like before. So if you’re looking to monetize your website effectively, without alienating your users, now is the time to sign up and try out BSA.
BuySellAds makes it easy to sell banner ads of all sizes on your website. They make it easy for advertisers to find you, and they handle all the dirty work that cuts into the time that would be better spent working on your site. Your ads appear in a directory alongside noteables like NETTUTS, PSDTUTS, CSS Elite, and of course, Webmaster-Source.
Continue reading →
Feb 17, 2009 by Matt | Posted in WordPress
The WordPress 125×125 ad management plugin has just got better, with yet another release. Version 1.3.0 fixes a few bugs, and adds some useful new features.
New features in 1.3.0:
- iCalendar subscription – Want to keep tabs on ad expirations better? Subscribe to them through Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, or any other major calendaring application.
- Localization support – Now you can have WP125 in French or Spanish, should you have your WordPress installation set to display one of the two languages. (I am responsible for the Spanish translation, so feel free to criticize my most likely poor grammar…) If you wish to help translate WP125 into a language that you know well, the .POT files are in the /translations directory.
- Dashboard widget – A WP 2.7-compatible Dashboard widget is now supported. It shows a table of the current active ads. You can hide/show it like any other Dashboard widget.
Continue reading →
Feb 4, 2009 by Matt | Posted in Featured, Marketing
One way to give your site a boost is to advertise. Chances are, you probably already know of some options to do so, but are they good ones? If you’re on a budget, what are the best places to advertise?
Personally, I don’t think globally buying AdSense PPC ads is the way to start. You want to target your ads a bit better than that. I have a few suggestions to try if you want to get the most for your investment.
Want to get a leg-up over your competitors? Try advertising in Google results.
Now unless you have a lot of money, you probably won’t be able to afford premium placing, which is quite pricey apparently, but you could buy some keyword-targetted pay-per-click ads to the left of the results. Not everyone looks at the ads, but more than enough do.
Continue reading →
Dec 28, 2008 by Matt | Posted in Featured, Monetization
One of Firefox’s more popular extensions is AdBlock Plus, an add-on that can stop ads from showing as you browse the web. There are two ways to use it. You can selectively kill ads that are so annoying that you can’t stand them (e.g. the ones that float over content or play audio), or you can install a filter subscription that will automatically block any ads that fit the extensive criteria.
Now I like AdBlock, don’t get me wrong. I use it selectively, to remove ads that I find offensive or that hinder my use of a site too much. However, I don’t blanket-block ads like many people do. Why? Because the ads pay for the sites that produce free content for my consumption. I don’t like the flashing “Click here for a free iPod” ads any more than anyone else, but not all ads are like them. There are some ads that just sit there quietly, promoting a product that I don’t mind being shown. Those ads, the reasonable ones, are the way ads should be. They benefit the site, the advertiser, and ideally the reader. AdBlock only came into existence because of the annoying ads, the ones that give online advertising a bad name.
Imagine my indignation when I realized that the “EasyList + EasyElement” filter for AdBlock (one of the most popular filter subscriptions) was automatically blocking the 125×125 ads in my sidebar. I go through a lot to put those ads there. I work hard to make sure that they are unobtrusive, and I spend a fair bit of time communicating with companies to make ad deals. Not only does blocking them cheat the advertisers out of what they are paying for, it hurts my chances of them continuing to advertise.
Continue reading →
Sep 12, 2008 by Matt | Posted in Featured, WordPress
The WordPress 125×125 ad management plugin has just got better. I’ve just released version 1.1.0, which improves performance, adds several customization options, as well as a few major features.
New is version 1.1:
- Setting to change the widget title.
- Option to remove the default ad styling, enabling you to use your own CSS rules.
- Settings are no longer stored in a database table, but in WordPress’s built-in Options system. This reduces database queries, and improves performance.
- Admin menu functions are no longer included outside of the WordPress Admin (hehe ).
- A few other tweaks were made of efficiency and security nature.
- Major feature: If you supply an email address in the options page, you can opt to receive email notifications when ads expire, allowing you to easily send follow-up emails to advertisers, or simply just stay in the know.
- Major feature: Placeholder ads! If an ad slot is empty, instead of not being shown, a placeholder ad (a.k.a “Your ad here” image) will be shown, linking to your sales page.
Download the plugin here, or just use the WordPress 2.5+ automated plugin updater.
If you have any suggestions, or if you find a bug, please leave a comment or shoot me an email.
EDIT: Everyone using 1.1.0, please upgrade to 1.1.1, unless you don’t mind your ads being unclickable. A stupid mistake on my part caused the issue in 1.1.0. It’s been patched now.
EDIT: Arg!!! I made another mistake. Version 1.1.1 is identical to 1.1.0, and therefore didn’t get the fix. Please use 1.1.2.
ANOTHER EDIT: Another bug squished. 1.1.3 is out, everyone. Fixes an issue with the slot dropdown on the Add/Edit page.
Sep 9, 2008 by Matt | Posted in Monetization
What’s your opinion on “background ads”? They often come up on sites like IMDB and GameSpot, or on other sites with fixed layouts, replacing the normal background image with an ad that seems to have the website floating on top of it.
Do you tend to find this sort of ad annoying, or do you think it’s a smart idea to handle ads that way. I kind of like them. They’re out of the way mainly, and you tend to find them more interesting than a “normal” ad. On the other hand, they kind if detract from a design in some cases, removing some of it’s individuality.
I’ve been seeing the ads more often lately, and IMDB and GameSpot, as I said, tend to get them quite frequently.
On a related note, we may be seeing this sort of thing on Twitter of all places. A new service called Twittad will aid you in finding advertisers to buy your profile’s background for a given time and price. An interesting concept, and I think it will be fun to watch how well this goes over with the Twitter users.
One thing I like about this sort of thing, especially with Twittad, is that there’s no clicking through the ad, away from your site. It’s purely a branding thing. The advertiser isn’t trying to leech your pageviews in order to increase their’s, but to improve the strength of their brand, so people will come there on their own.
Mar 13, 2008 by Matt | Posted in Featured, WordPress
Two of the most common AdSense placements on blogs are
- A rectangular ad (such as the 250×250 unit) in the post, floated to the left, with the text wrapping around it.
- 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.
Continue reading →