Yesterday, Krista gave you some questions to consider as you decide whether to monetize your blog. If you’re leaning toward “yes,” then this post is for you — the nitty-gritty of applying to and participating in WordAds, in the form of ten questions for our Ads Lead, Jon Burke. (Hi, Jon!)
1. How do I apply for AdWords? What are the criteria for being accepted?
You can apply here: http://wordads.co/signup/. We then submit your site to our advertising partners, who will ask two main questions:
- Is your site brand-safe and family-friendly?
- Does your site have sufficient traffic to generate meaningful earnings?
Google AdSense, one ouf our partners, explains family-friendly this way: if you wouldn’t want a child to see the content or you’d would be embarrassed to view the page in front of colleagues, then it’s probably not family-safe. Other things that our partners consider not brand-safe are copyright violations and violent/hate speech. “Sufficient traffic” is a bit subjective; we don’t have hard-and-fast numbers.
Your site also needs to have a custom domain; blogs on free wordpress.com domains aren’t eligible.
2. What are the standards for ads you’ll accept? How do I know nothing inappropriate will show up on my blog?
We try to strike a balance for our bloggers: we want to maximize earnings by making sure all our bloggers’ advertising slots are filled, while also turning down ad partner offers if we think the ads will be misleading or off-putting. Our primary ad form is a YouTube video player that runs click-to-play video ads — just like TV commercials. You can see samples of the kinds of ads we run in the WordAds FAQ.
If you’re participating in WordAds and you think we’re serving inappropriate ad content, please let us know! Most often, the source is not WordAds but malware in your browser, but on the very off chance that one of our ad partners is running something troubling, we want to know about it.
3. Let’s say I have 500 visitors a day. How much money can I expect to make in a month?
There is no hard-and-fast rule on payouts for a few reasons. First, advertisers pay for more to show their ads to visitors from North America than to visitors from Africa or Latin America, so there are geographic variations. Secondly, there is no set price for an ad impression in online advertising. It works just like a stock market, with prices rising and falling in real time as advertisers bid for the available space.
That said, all bloggers should understand that they would need hundreds of thousands of a pageviews to generate meaningful earnings. Ad revenue from blogs can be a nice supplement, but only a handful of bloggers are able to make a living from blog advertising.
4. Do you have suggestions for ways to maximize my revenue?
If you’re starting with a blank slate and want to create a business from advertising, it would make more sense to target your site to visitors from North America or Western Europe. Those are the regions where online advertising is more mature and pays more. It may not be an option for some sites, but it’s a fact that bloggers should understand.
The second big lever is really getting more traffic and page views per visitor. Anything you do to increase your traffic — participating in blogging events and roundups, for example — will increase your earnings.
5. If I run ads, do the advertisers have any say over my content? Can I still say whatever I want?
No, our advertisers don’t have any say in what you write. However, if they feel you’re not a family-friendly site they will block ads on your blog. We also work with advertisers who don’t want to appear with political or religious content, even if it is family-friendly. We have more detail on family friendly content on the WordAds blog.
We do try to advocate for our bloggers when advertisers black-list their sites, but it’s challenging; advertisers have millions of blogs to choose from for their ads.
6. Why can’t I use other ad programs, like Google AdSense or Federated Media?
In a way, you do; you just don’t have to do the legwork. The best way to think about WordAds is that we manage ad partners like Adsense, Federated Media, and dozens of others for you. Working out advertising agreements takes a lot of negotiation and technical work. Relieving bloggers from the huge amount of administrative work is one of the primary benefits of participating in WordAds.
7. If I’m part of WordAds, will WordPress.com still put its own advertising on my blog?
No. Once you are part of WordAds there are no other WordPress.com ads on your site.
8. Can I opt out of certain types of ads or chose which ads to run?
Currently we don’t have an option for opting out of ad types or choosing ads, and ads will not necessarily mirror the subject of your blog. A vegetarian diet blogger may want to serve ads for vegetarian food products, but that’s not generally how online advertising works. Advertisers pay to your audience with their broad brand promotions, rather than to match their niche product with your niche focus.
9. How do I get paid?
Our finance department pays via Paypal once per month. Paypal is currently our only payment option.
10. What if I want to stop running ads? How do I get out of the program?
You can stop or pause WordAds at any time right from your dashboard.
Visit WordAds.co for more information, where you’ll find an FAQ along with the application form. If you still have unanswered questions, feel free to leave a comment here!