Wendy Piersall offers up an excellent post about blog ad networks this week over at eMoms at Home. Whether you're looking for a network to join or one to buy ads through, this post is a worthwhile read.
Wendy starts off with a great little primer on why you might want to join an ad network instead of relying on affiliate programs and options like AdSense.
Most emerging networks pay on a CPM basis - CPM stands for Cost Per Thousand impressions (where M stands for the Roman numeral of 1000, for added confusion). This means that publishers are paid a set amount of money for every 1000 times they display an ad on their website. The reason this is an important revenue model is that publishers are paid more consistently than when site visitors need to take an action like in CPA or CPC models. And sometimes, advertisers have either terrible landing pages, insufficient tracking systems, inappropriate ad creative or a clunky shopping cart, all of which are completely out of the publisher’s control and can foil the click, lead or sale.
She goes on to share a list of more than a dozen questions you should ask before signing on with any ad network. In fact, if you're considering joining an ad network with one of your blogs or web sites, I can't stress enough how important it is for you to read this list. I looked at a few networks myself last year when considering how to ad advertising to my hobby blog. I found enough issues in the TOS of each of them to make me decide none of them were a good fit.
Wendy wraps her post up with a great list of ad networks that are going strong. If you're looking to join one, this is useful information. If you're looking to expand your online advertising to include bloggers, this is great information.
Some of these networks are new, but are attracting very strong niche blogs. Companies that are dropping their paid search campaigns in favor of more traditional online advertising might want to spend a little time looking through these networks and testing the value of direct advertising on niche blogs with highly engaged audiences.
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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