Tag Archives: Monetization

How Last.fm Can Grow and Profit

Last.fm LogoLast.fm is a great way to discover new music based on what you already like. It has some nice features, like the ability to monitor your iPod listening habits, that give it enough data to supply recommendations that tend to be pretty good. It’s a nice service, but it doesn’t have the masses of users that flock to other social networking sites.

If the music industry would cooperate, Last.fm (a CBS property) could take advantage of a great opportunity staring them in the face: Music sharing. Twitter and Twitter are full of people sharing links and little snippets of information. Why not make it easy for people to share music?

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Google Axes AdSense “Video Units”

If you’ve used AdSense within the last few years, you may have heard of their Video Units. They’re finally being discontinued, and frankly I’m not surprised.

Video Units always seemed strange to me. Basically they would scan your pages for keywords like usual ad blocks, and display text ads as usual, but the ads would be displayed along with YouTube videos chosen based on the same keywords. So you end up with automatically chosen videos being displayed on your site, along with some ads.

I’ve always thought of video as content, not a supplement to advertising, and I like to be able to control what content goes on my site. Virtually random videos seem like an odd idea to me.

Plus, wouldn’t that mean that you (and Google or course) are making money off someone elses’ videos, while the creators don’t get any compensation? That hardly seems fair. (Warner Brothers, or some other hollywood company, certainly wouldn’t think so if their clips came up in the units now and again…)

The Highest-Earning Web Companies and Blogs

What are the highest-earning blogs? What web companies make the most revenue annually (or per second)? IncomeDiary.com has put together a couple of posts rounding-up the top thirty of each. The lists are not necessarily all-inclusive, but they give a pretty good idea of where the sites stand.

Can you guess which website has the highest annual revenue? Google! They make $21,800,000,000 a year…or $691.27 per second. Amazing, isn’t it? Amazon is second on the list, followed by Yahoo, then eBay, MSN, PayPal, and then iTunes. NYTimes.com comes in thirtieth, with a whopping $175,000,000, which is nothing to sneeze at.

On the blogging side, TechCrunch is leading with $200,000 in monthly earnings. Mashable comes in second with a comparative value. Envato’s Tuts+ Network comes in at #8, with Smashing Magazine right behind. Quite a few recognizable names on the list.

If you’ve wondered what your favorite blogs and businesses make, these lists should give you a rough idea. Quite fun to look at.

Once Again, “Old Media” Gets Web Advertising Wrong…

The Online Publishers Association is calling for new, more intrusive ad formats to combat banner-blindness.

A large-scale intrusive format is absolutely necessary in today’s market,” said Adam Kleinberg, chief executive of Traction, a San Francisco ad agency. “With the economy and the move to digital, the marketers are demanding a return on investment in every campaign.”

The association, which includes big names such as CNN, CBS Interactive, IDG, Condé Nast, New York Times, and NBC Universal, cites the impending death of their old media as a need to find a way to better monetize their content on the web.

The first of the formats being proposed is “Fixed Panel,” with recommended dimensions of 336×860 pixels. It will look “naturally embedded into the page layout” and remain visible as you scroll, plastered to the side of the page. The second is “XXL Box,” recommended to be sized 468 pixels wide by 648 high. It is to have “page-turn functionality” and the ability to show video. The third is known as “Pushdown,” with a starting display size of 970×418, “which opens to display the advertisement and then rolls up to the top of the page.”

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BuySellAds WordPress Plugin

I’ve previously talked about the distinguished BuySellAds banner marketplace. The network makes it much easier to sell ad space on your website, and has proven to be an excellent alternative to directly making deals with advertisers.

Thaya Kareeson of Omninoggin.com has put together a great WordPress plugin to make it easier to add the BSA ad code to your site. (As if pasting a bit of JavaScript wasn’t easy enough.)

The Buy Sell Ads WordPress Plugin, once installed, allows you to insert an ad zone into your sidebar simply by dropping a widget in. For ads elsewhere, or if you don’t have a widgetized theme, you can use a template tag instead.

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AdSense Does Expandable Ads

Google is experimenting with a new ad format that is being run on select publishers’ sites in North America and Europe. The ever-annoying expanding ads. However, it seems that they may have gotten them right, unlike other networks.

We’re excited to introduce to you expandable ads, a new type of ad that can appear on your pages. Expandable ads are rich media ads that can expand beyond the original size of the ad unit, following a user-initiated action. This creates more real estate for the ad, allowing for more interaction from interested users. For instance, expandable ads may stream a movie trailer, show video game clips, or display various views of an item for sale.

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Monetize Your Blog Without Annoying People

Devlounge has a short article with the basics on how to monetize a blog without creating a horrifying mess and driving people away.

We’ve all seen it: websites and blogs that offer up great content suddenly becoming littered with ads. Sometimes it happens overnight- but more often than not, it starts slowly: an ad here, some Adsense there, another ad here, and so on- until the blog looks like it’s almost all ads, but you really can’t tell, since the ads look so much like the content. Sound familiar? When this happens, there’s just one thing I want to do: leave the site.

Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with monetizing your blog- not at all. Just that you can do it without necessarily uglifying your previously clean and beautiful site.

The tips that follow are pretty good, some of them are virtually common sense. Have a look at the article, especially if you’re new to the world of advertisements.

My advice is to use 125×125 ads, or something similar. Use Buy Sell Ads, or sell them yourself.

BuySellAds Online Advertising Marketplace

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.

Webmaster-Source on BuySellAds

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.

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WP125 1.3.0 Released

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.

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Anti-AdBlock Plugin

Thaya Kareeson, maker of the useful WP Greet Box Plugin, has just released Anti-AdBlock, a WordPress plugin that detects if the user is running the AdBlock Plus extension for Firefox and displays a message “humbly asking them to support your website by turning off their AdBlock software.”


The plugin allows you to customize the message to be displayed and the accompanying image. The box will, by default, log a cookie to prevent the box from showing again after the first visit, though you can set it to show more than once. Also, the message can be set to not display until a user has visiting more than X pages on the site, and it is set to a reasonably high number by default; a nice touch.

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