Blog ads are in some ways the ultimate solution to monetizing your blog. All the big guns use it, and the fact that someone is willing to shell out moolah to specifically display an advertisement on your site lends a certain amount of credibility to your online presence. While making money has never been the main focus of this site, I do like to try out various methods of monetization to offset hosting costs, satisfy my mercenary tendencies, and just for the fun of it.
Trying out direct advertising has always been on the cards, but I’ve never gotten around to it. One of main stumbling blocks with blog ads is the fact that, unlike contextual advertising like AdSense, you need to do all the hard work of finding the advertisers and getting them to pay your asking price for a lucrative spot on your (hopefully) much viewed sidebar — or where ever else you wish to stick those ads. That’s where ad networks often come in, and for those of us wanting to try our hand at banner advertising on our blogs and web sites, PerfomancingAds might have just come to our rescue.
What is PerfomancingAds?
PerformancingAds is an ad network, displaying ads in the now popular 125×125 pixel format. You sign up for an account, add your site as a possible advertising platform, set a price per week and the number of ads available, and people can then pay to have their ad displayed on your site. An elegant solution to a usually cumbersome process. You the publisher get 60% of the price and PerformancingAds keeps 40% as their service charge.
Whose idea is PerfomancingAds?
PerformancingAds is brought to us by Performancing.com, a well respected site for all things web and geek. I myself have benefitted with a decent amount of traffic when some of my articles on this site have been mentioned or linked on Performancing. That was one of the main reasons I was immediately interested when I came across news of their new service.
I believe they had a similar ad network running before but it was stopped a while ago. Perhaps they learnt a lot from the shortcomings of the previous platform, and hopefully this one is smoother and more functional.
Why are blog ads of interest?
If you wish to make money online, break even on your blog hosting costs, or monetize your blog traffic in any way, blog ads are a lucrative alternative to automated contextual advertising like AdSense. While AdSense and similar programmes rely on users clicking on the ads for you to generate revenue, banners and blog ads are usually a renting of the space for a particular time period (1 week increments in the case of PerformancingAds). So as long as you have a decent amount of traffic, your advertisers pay you a fixed sum for being able to show their ads on your site. As long as you maintain the activity levels on your site, this can be a much more steady source of income than other methods. Targeted eyeballs are generally more easy to come by than clicks.
How do I join PerformancingAds and set it up?
- Go to the PerformancingAds site at www.PerformancingAds.com
- Click on Register under the Member Login box at the top right to sign up for a new account.
- Fill in the details in the form. Note that you will need a PayPal account. At the moment Paypal seems to be the only way to receive payment for ads.
- Once logged in you can Add a Site into their system. And Add a region to define a specific instance/location where the ads will appear. This includes settings for how many ads you wish to allow.
- You can then download the PerfomancingAds plugin by clicking on Download Publisher Software Now at the bottom of your account page.
- The plugin comes ready to be used in WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and also as a standalone PHP script if required. That’s a great amount of flexibity to have at your disposal, and a route more advertising networks should be taking.
- The included installation instructions are detailed and clear, and the ads can be inserted by using some code that references the region that you setup in the PerformancingAds administration system.
What are the Pros and Cons of PerfomancingAds?
- Takes the marketing and administration part of blog ads out of your busy hands.
- A single standard size ad simplifies things and allows you to better integrate them into your blog layout.
- A publicly accessible marketplace means a lot of advertisers who would not have otherwise known about you can now be exposed to your site.
- Easy to implement in most blogs and sites with the PerformancingAds plugin.
- You can also fill your ad inventory with your own ads for other sites, affiliate links, or even just important parts of your own site without incurring any charges from PerfomancingAds. This is a great way to utilise the ad space until more lucrative commercial advertisers come along. It’s also a great way to be very selective about accepting external advertisers while still reaping the benefit of being included in the PerformancingAds marketplace.
- You only get 60% of the money.
- Their marketplace tags each site with its Alexa rank, which is recognised by one and all to be an extremely unreliable measure of a site’s popularity or activity level. But, guess what, your potential advertisers are going to be judging you by this anyway.
- Other metrics appear on the details page for each site. These include Google Page Rank, Technorati Rank, Yahoo! inbound links, and Bloglines subscribers. Except perhaps the Yahoo! inbound links, all the rest are extremely subjective and inaccurate measures of a site’s worth to an advertiser or the traffic it receives. For example, this site has a healthy and growing number of RSS subscribers and email update subscribers (over a hundred at this writing), but how many subscribers do I have through Bloglines? Two.
Are there any alternatives to PerformancingAds?
Sure there are. MANY! Many more than I could possibly list here, but here are some which are either particularly good or similar in spirit:
- Entrecard — An online business card exchange system of sorts, which also deals in similar 125 pixel wide images. Their system involves the accumulation of credits which can then be bought, sold, and traded.
- WP Text Ads — A plugin and service that lets you sell text ads on your blog directly without a middle man taking a cut. The free edition of the plugin is fully featured but limits the number of ads you can sell, while the paid edition gets rid of those limits.
- BlogRush — A traffic exchange widget that is quite popular.
- Kontera — Mostly unobtrusive in-text advertising that acts as a good complement or replacement to other contextual systems like Google AdSense.
- Google AdSense — The undisputed king of blog monetization resources. It’s the simplest way to start and there are enough professional bloggers who make a good income from this alone.
Hope you found this little guide to the new Performancing blog ads useful. If you are interested in trying this out for yourself, sign up at PerformancingAds. Let me know of your thoughts and experiences with blog advertising below, and best of luck with your blogging adventures.