Why We Love Advertising (And Why You Should, Too!)

love_advertising
One of the big stories as of late is the rise of fake news. Facebook, Google and other tech giants are working hard in an attempt to combat the onslaught of news that is misleading, disputed or just downright inaccurate. An interesting byproduct of the fake news phenomenon has been an increased interest in real, factual, journalism.

The fake news epidemic was at a fever pitch during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The New York Times reported that at least in one case, the news was being created and spread purely for profit. Opportunistic individuals had discovered that fake news that confirmed ones own political beliefs were extremely likely to generate traffic through social media. The fake news site could then prey on unsuspecting ad networks (such as Google AdWords/AdSense) to turn the traffic into profit.

Now Facebook and other social media sites are working to stop the spread of fake news. Just last week, Facebook announced that it will be fact checking news stories and shame posts with a ‘Disputed’ tag.

Conscientious readers have now become fully aware of the issue and have learned that much of the “news” being shown in their various social feeds may be of a dubious nature and from dubious sources.

The backlash from this is likely to be two fold. On one hand, the ability for new news sites to gain traction and grow may be hindered by an increase in reader scrutiny. On the other hand, it sets a high bar that news organizations must achieve to be viewed as reputable on the web.

Advertising plays a vital role in this and its role will increase over time. While many of the promotors of fake news profited at the expense of unknowing advertisers and ad networks, the problem is now known and being actively addressed. Solutions are being devised to keep advertising dollars from making it into the hands of fake news publishers. Advertisers don’t want their ads shown next to fake news stories and readers don’t want to read fake news. Social media and the ad-tech industry can make this happen.

As part of the fake news fallout, we expect to also see an increase in direct-buy advertising (the kind that we at AdPlugg specialize in). With network, blind and remnant ad buys going to unknown sites of unknown or questionable reputations, more advertisers are going to want to place ads directly with reputable sites.

It has been reported that traditional media outlets such as Vanity Fair, the New York Times, and others have all seen increases in subscriptions and traffic since the onslaught of fake news. We expect to soon here reports of increased ad revenue as well.

For publishers, the only path forward now becomes one toward legitimate factual reporting that gains the respect of both readers and advertisers.

Bot Filtering: AdPlugg Takes on Bot Traffic

bot_filtering
What do the Terminator, the Star Wars films, the Matrix, and AdPlugg have in common? They all feature epic battles against robots .

AdPlugg’s battle is against bot traffic penetrating statistical data. This bot traffic can skew results, show false impressions and even worse, false clicks. This is a major concern and one that we at AdPlugg take very seriously.

So what is a “bot”? Bots are automated programs that browse the web. They might be browsing for all sorts of different reasons but the most common is for creating search indices. Bots that crawl the web are known as crawl bots or “spiders”. Of the crawl bots, the most well known is Google’s Googlebot. Crawl bots read a page and then follow all of the links on the page. The bot then does this again on the next set of pages, creating a spiderweb of linked pages that make up the known web.

This can be problematic for online advertising as online ads aren’t the same as other links. Online ads are designed to be viewed and followed by humans only. This is for two reasons. The most important being that advertisers buy ad space to get impressions and clicks from humans, not bots. Also important is that paying another site to link to yours is a “black hat” practice that can get you penalized or even banned from search engine results.

To combat the issue, ad links are required to include a ‘rel=”nofollow”‘ attribute. This attribute tells bots, “hey this is an ad, don’t follow it.”. Bots that follow the REP (Robots Exclusion Protocol), won’t follow the link. This attribute is included automatically on all ad links that AdPlugg serves.

However, ‘rel=”nofollow”‘ doesn’t stop all bots. Even amongst the largest search engines, there is inconsistent support for the standard. Wikipedia’s Nofollow article reports that while Google and Ask.com fully respect the attribute, Yahoo and Bing both follow the link anyway (but exclude the link from their search rankings).

Other offenders are much less well intentioned. Email harvesters, spambots, malware and bots that scan for security vulnerabilities are unlikely to respect the nofollow attribute.

This leaves it up to the ad servers and ad trackers to identify and filter bot traffic. It’s tricky however, because the links can’t appear broken. If a bot, such as Bingbot, tries to follow the link (even though nofollow is set), the link should work. Otherwise, it’s possible that Bingbot will demote the page (from the Bing search engine rankings) for having broken links.

AdPlugg handles bot traffic by allowing it to pass through but filtering it out of the statistics. This keeps all links working but stops bot traffic from being included in the ad’s impressions and click statistics.

The trick is identifying the bots. AdPlugg now scans for and filters out over 400 known bots. We have systems in place to update our bot list as we become aware of new bots. Similar to the plight of CAPTCHA technology, identifying bot traffic for the purpose of ad stats is a difficult battle. Bots that don’t want to be identified are remarkably good at it.

AdPlugg’s battle against the bots is an ongoing effort and our systems are continually being worked on and improved. We often get asked, “what differences make AdPlugg better than other options such as stand-alone plugins?” We’ll, bot filtering is a big one.

Blog Ideas: 9 Tips for Coming Up With Your Next Hot Blog Post

blog-ideas
We’re bloggers. In addition to that, we work with thousands of other bloggers. We work to help them to make their blogs profitable and that requires having great content. In this post, we are going to share our 9 best tips for coming up with great blog ideas. Hopefully, by reading this post, you will be well on your way to coming up with the topic for your next hot blog post. So without further ado here they are.

1. Read the News

Take a hint from talk shows. What do they talk about on the Tonight Show, Late Night, etc? They talk about the latest headlines. You can do the same. Following the news, allows you to post info that is relevant to the latest that is going on

Though, there’s another benefit to this strategy as well. It can be difficult to get to the top of the results for existing topics, it’s much easier to get there by jumping on a topic early.

This doesn’t have to be the front page news headlines, it could just be the headlines for your industry. So if you have a blog about weddings, follow the style section of your favorite newspapers, etc. Then take the latest styles and apply them to ideas for weddings.

2. Use a Feed Reader

Tip #1, and several of our other top tips, require following news sources, blogs etc. The more news sources you follow, the better of an idea you’ll have about trends, hot topics, etc. However, following lots or sources can become expensive in terms of your time.

To get through it all quickly, you should consider using a feed reader such as feedly. In addition to a unified interface, feedly shows the most favorited results from any news feed at the top. This lets you know what articles/topics are the most popular. This is incredibly helpful when trying to decide what you should consider writing about.

3. Follow your Competitors

You want your blog to be unique but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use your competitors to help get the wheels turning. Figure out who your competitors are and what they are writing about. You don’t have to write about the same topics but looking at what they are writing about (and their share counts etc) will be invaluable in helping you decide what you want to write about.

4. Follow Related Blogs

No matter what your blog is about, there will likely be other blogs out there that provide content that is related. To continue on with the wedding blog example, if you write a wedding blog, follow blogs about flowers, celebrities, etc. to get great ideas for new content.

5. Watch for Trends in Reader/Customer Correspondence

Readers/Customers are a great source for blog ideas. Run back through your emails, blog comments, etc. and see what people are contacting you about. Do you keep getting emails and comments about wedding invitations, it might be time to dedicate an entire blog post to it.

6. Keep a List of Ideas

The above tips suggest keeping up with a lot of different sources for blog ideas. Don’t try to keep these ideas in your head and don’t try to go through them all everytime you sit down to write a post. Instead, anytime you have an idea for a blog post, jot it down. You may never use that particular idea but your list will quickly become a great source of ideas and inspiration when you sit down to write.

7. Use Keyword Tools

Keyword tools can be an excellent source of inspiration. If you have keywords that you are already targeting, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest to get more ideas. These tools let you enter in a search phrase and will then return a list of related search phrases.

8. Check the Search Volume

As part of your blog topic brainstorming, you should be checking the search volume for each idea.

Thinking about writing a blog about “wedding discounts”? It might not be as good of an idea as you thought once you check the search volume.

You can check search volumes with tools such as the Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends.

9. Keep it Interesting (for Your Readers)

As well as checking the search volume, you need to ensure that your idea is of interest to your readers.

Are you dying to write a blog about your second cousin’s unusual wedding? We’ll, your readers likely don’t know your second cousin and if you can’t tie the story back to something that is of value to the reader, they may quickly lose interest in the post. It may be better to mention it as an aside to a post that has a larger appeal.

Conclusion

Using the tips above, you should have no problem coming up with a plethora of great blog ideas. Once you get the hang of it, you should get to the point where you are picking from several great options instead of struggling to find anything to write about at all.

Have more tips, suggestions or things that work for you? Do you know of any other tools that should be mentioned? Please contribute in the comments section below.

FBIA: 5 Benefits and 3 Negatives

fbia

FBIA (Facebook Instant Articles) is a new system from Facebook that offers publishers a number of benefits over traditional mobile browsing. But there are also some negative aspects to it. In this blog post, we are going to be going over the 5 key benefits of FBIA. We’ll also be presenting the 3 primary negative aspects of FBIA.

These benefits and negative aspects are all from the publisher’s perspective. AdPlugg integrates with FBIA and we’ve talked with a large number of publishers about their experiences and concerns with the platform. This has given us a great deal of insight into the pros and cons that publishers are weighing when making a decision as to how to proceed with the FBIA platform.

Benefits

Benefit 1: Increased Traffic

Articles that are served by FBIA have a little lightning bolt shown over their featured image (see the image above for an example of what it looks like). As users get more familiar with the benefits of FBIA, they may start to notice (and watch for) the lightning bolt. Articles with the lightning bolt will likely get more clicks and reads over time as the user will know that the article will provide them with a fast and consistent experience (as described below).

Benefit 2: Faster User Experience

FBIA is up to 10 times faster than mobile web browsing. FBIA is faster because the content is shown in the Facebook app without having to load and render your whole website. FBIA also caches and pre-loads your article’s content. You can learn more about FBIA speed in our recent post Why Is Facebook Instant Articles Faster?. By providing your users with a faster user experience, they will be more likely to read your articles. This goes along with Benefit 1 above – articles that have the lightning bolt will be known by the user to be faster.

Benefit 3: Better User Experience

For many users, articles served by FBIA provide a better user experience. This is in part due to their speed (as mentioned above) but also is due to the article being presented in a familiar interface that is simple and easy to navigate. Facebook Instant Articles allows publishers to “brand” the presentation with their logo, colors, etc but the navigation, etc remain consistent across all publishers. This is in sharp contrast to articles that go to a third-party site that might have unusual navigation, issues with the user’s device, etc.

In regards to advertising, Facebook limits the ad density of the article and restricts ads from popping up and doing things that some users might find annoying. While this may have negative effects for the publisher (see below), it results in a more consistent experience for the user.

Again, as users become more familiar with the lightning bolt – they will recognize it as a symbol of a consistent, simple, and familiar user experience.

Benefit 4: Lower Hosting Costs

FBIA works like an RSS feed reader. Instead of each user accessing your website – resulting in the download of html, css, js, images, etc – FBIA just pulls your article content and images from your feed. Often the content is only pulled once per article instead of potentially millions of times (once for each reader). This results in a much lower hosting cost for the publisher as you have considerably less data and files to serve.

Benefit 5: Improved Availability

Facebook has a massive infrastructure and a huge team of engineers working 24/7 to ensure that their systems are up and available. If your site goes down on a Saturday night, how long will it take to get it back up? How many engineers do you have working on Saturday nights? With Facebook’s reported 99.9% uptime, your articles will likely have better availability on FBIA.

Negative Aspects

While there are a lot of benefits for publishers that use FBIA, there are also some negative aspects.

Negative 1: No Third Party Ad Network Ads

FBIA offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to advertising with one major caveat: FBIA only allows you to serve network ads from the Facebook Audience Network. So while you can use a service like AdPlugg to serve your own directly sold ads, you can’t serve ads from a third party ad network such as Google AdSense into your FBIA feed. For publishers already selling ad space directly to advertisers, this may not be a big deal. However, if you rely on third party ad networks, this could be a major hangup for you. You can read more about what kinds of ads you are allowed to serve into your FBIA feed on the FBIA Terms of Service page.

Negative 2: Ad Density and Format Restrictions

As mentioned above, Facebook restricts the number of ads and the format of ads that can be served into Facebook Instant Articles. While this can result in a better experience for the user, it can have negative ramifications for the publisher. By limiting the number of ads that you can serve, publishers may take a hit in how much revenue they can generate per article.

Some ad formats perform better than others. And because of this, publishers are able to charge a premium for the high performing formats. By not allowing high performing formats such as popup ads (which have been proven to have above an average click through rate), publishers are going to be again put into a situation where they can no longer earn as much per article.

Negative 3: Decreased User Engagement

When a user reads an article via FBIA they never actually visit your website. While there are advantages to this for both you and the user (as mentioned above) this also results in some negatives in terms of user engagement. You never get a chance to present your site as an entity unto its own (beyond a source of Facebook content) to the user. You also never get a chance to get the user to subscribe to your newsletter and do other things that would be typical if the user were to visit your website.

Conclusion

When deciding “Should I use Facebook Instant Articles” the publisher needs to weigh the pros and cons. This article should help serve as a good reference and starting point for what the major benefits and negative aspects of FBIA are.

Have a benefit or negative aspect of FBIA that we’ve missed, please post it to the comments sections below.

Why Is Facebook Instant Articles Faster?

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Facebook Instant Articles is a new feature built into the Facebook mobile app. It allows users to view articles from third party sources at blazingly fast speeds. But how can that be? What makes Facebook Instant Articles faster?

With the launch of Instant Articles, Facebook claimed that Instant Articles load 10 times as fast as mobile web content, thereby creating a better user experience.

The Wall Street Journal reported that, according to tests done by Catchpoint Systems, Facebook’s claim held true: the average load time for Instant Articles was between 0 and 300 milliseconds, compared with 3.66 seconds for similar articles on news publishers’ websites.

So how does it work? What makes Facebook Instant Articles so fast?

Traditionally when you clicked an article posted to Facebook (from inside the Facebook app), you would be taken to the publisher’s website. This would require opening a mobile browser and then bringing down and rendering all of the content necessary to load the publisher’s site, this includes:

  1. The site’s CSS and styling
  2. Any JavaScript necessary to render and use the site
  3. Any images for the site’s user interface
  4. The article content
  5. The article’s images

Facebook Instant Articles eliminates the need to download and render numbers 1 through 3 in the above list. What happens is, Facebook Instant Articles retrieves the article content and article images using what is very similar to a traditional RSS feed. It then renders the article content within the Facebook app.

The article content and images are really all that is needed for reading the article but the traditional method requires that tons of other user interface data come down with it.

Less to Download

So Facebook Instant Articles needs to download significantly fewer assets – and the assets that it does need to download (article content and images), are some of the smallest of the full set needed to render the article in a browser.

Less to Render

Since the article is being displayed in Facebook app, you don’t need to render complicated web layouts, navigation, etc in order to view it. The Facebook app can just render the article content and images within the Instant Articles reader and you can start reading.

Pre-Loading

Facebook Instant Articles preloads articles. Instead of waiting until you’ve clicked a link, the Facebook app will preload the start of each article before you’ve even reached it in your news feed. This way, the article can be shown almost “instantly” after you’ve clicked the link (and hence the name “Instant Articles”).

The Downside?

The downside that publishers are concerned about is that the user is never actually taken to the publisher’s site. The main reason why publishers want this is for advertising. Facebook has addressed this concern by allowing publishers to continue to serve their own ads within their Facebook Instant Articles. And you guessed it, AdPlugg integrates with Instant Articles! Check out our post about Facebook Instant Article Ads to learn more.

Have a question, or something to contribute, let us know in the comment section below.

New Help Videos

adplugg_help_videos

We’ve just added a new section to the AdPlugg support site for help videos.

The new section includes a number of screencast style video tutorials that teach you how to use AdPlugg. The videos section is broken up by “series”. Right now there is just one series, called “WordPress Ad Plugin Videos”, but we intend to have additional series available soon.

The WordPress Ad Plugin Videos series has two videos in it at this point. Both videos are designed to get you up and running quickly with the AdPlugg WordPress Ad Plugin. Here’s a quick synopsis:

WordPress Ad Plugin Quick Start Video

Duration: 3:38

In the WordPress Ad Plugin Quick Start Video video we take you from the point of having installed and activated the WordPress Ad Plugin all the way through to the point of seeing an ad on your site. This video is great for anyone looking to use the AdPlugg WordPress Ad plugin.

WordPress Ad Plugin Really Quick Start Video

Duration: 0:55

The WordPress Ad Plugin Really Quick Start Video covers the same material as the regular quick start video but does it in 55 seconds. We’ve cut out a lot of the typing and transitions and just show the steps. This video is excellent for those who are very comfortable navigating and using web based services.

AdPlugg On YouTube

In case you missed it, we also recently launched an AdPlugg YouTube Channel. Check it out for more videos about AdPlugg.

More Videos

We plan to regularly add more videos to both the AdPlugg Help Video site and the AdPlugg YouTube channel, so as they say, stay tuned for more…

Got an idea for a video or have suggestions for how we could make these videos better? Post your ideas and suggestions into the comments section below.

Watch AdPlugg on YouTube

adplugg_on_youtubeYou can now watch AdPlugg on YouTube! AdPlugg’s YouTube channel is up and you can check it out here: AdPlugg on YouTube. We’ve already added our first video and plan to publish much more video content soon.

The first video is called “How to Place an Ad on Your WordPress Site” and shows you how to do exactly that. Here’s the video:

The video walks you through the five steps you need to take to place an AdPlugg ad on your WordPress site. The five steps being:

  1. Install the AdPlugg WordPress Ad Plugin
  2. Sign up for an AdPlugg account
  3. Create an ad
  4. Copy over your access code
  5. Add the AdPlugg Widget to your sidebar

While this is a very basic tutorial, it gives those new to AdPlugg a quick way to learn how it works. We plan to add a number of more sophisticated tutorials soon.

We plan to make additional videos showcasing various parts of the AdPlugg system as well as videos on other subjects related to online advertising. Have an idea for a video? Is there a video that you think would help you or other users of the system? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and we’ll work to get something created.

Facebook Instant Article Ads

Facebook Instant Article AdsAdPlugg just launched support for Facebook Instant Article Ads. In last week’s post, Facebook Instant Articles: 5 Things You Need to Know, we talked about what Facebook Instant Articles is and what it means for publishers. We also mentioned that AdPlugg was going to be supporting it and allowing you to serve your AdPlugg ads into your Facebook Instant Articles.

Well, we just launched the feature and are excited to tell you all about it. Here’s how it works (note: these instructions are for WordPress sites, see below for info regarding other platforms/sites):

1. Install the Facebook Instant Articles for WP plugin

First you’ll want to install the Facebook Instant Articles for WP plugin. This is the official Facebook Instant Articles plugin from Automattic, the makers of WordPress. This plugin is great but is pretty barebones: it doesn’t (at this point) have any settings available via the WordPress admin. But what it does, and it does very well, is create a Facebook Instant Articles Feed. Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, you should be able to go to http://www.yoursite.com/feed/instant-articles and see a feed ready for Facebook to ingest.

Get Version 1.3 of the AdPlugg WordPress Ad Plugin

In Version 1.3 of the AdPlugg WordPress Ad Plugin we’ve added the ability to insert ad tags into your Facebook Instant Articles feed.

Configure Your AdPlugg Ads

If you don’t already have one, create an account at adplugg.com. Next upload the ads that you want to include in your feed. AdPlugg allows you to upload virtually any kind of ad that you want. This includes image ads, text ads, HTML5 ads, etc. I’d recommend that you create some AdPlugg Ad Zones that are specifically for your Facebook Instant Article ads. You could call them something like “fb-zone-1” and “fb-zone-2”. Once you’ve created your zones, target your ads to them directly or via an AdPlugg Placement.

Add the Ads to Your Facebook Instant Articles Feed

The AdPlugg WordPress plugin makes it easy to add ads to your Facebook Instant Articles feed by utilizing a system that you are probably already familiar with, the WordPress Widget System! Here’s what you do:

  1. Log in to the WordPress administrator.
  2. Click AdPlugg in the left menu and then click Facebook to go to the new AdPlugg Facebook settings page.
  3. Check the “Automatic Placement” checkbox. This will enable the feature and create a new Widget Area called “Facebook Instant Articles Ads”.
  4. Go to Appearance and then Widgets. You should now be able to see the Facebook Instant Articles Ads widget area.
  5. Drag and drop the AdPlugg Widget into the Widget Area.
  6. Configure the Widget by giving it a Zone machine name, width and height.

Select AdPlugg as Your Instant Article Ads Provider

  1. In the WordPress administrator, click Instant Articles in the left menu.
  2. Scroll down to the Ads section.
  3. Under Ad Type, choose AdPlugg.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and press the “Save changes” button.

Check the Output

Check your feed at /feeds/instant-articles – it should now include your AdPlugg ads! Feel free to add more ads, rotation, scheduling etc, from the settings available from your account at adplugg.com! Note: it’s best to limit each of your Facebook Instant Articles Zones to only show one ad at a time (you can do this via the Max Ad Count field in the Zone settings).

Join the Facebook Instant Articles Program

Log into your Facebook account and go to your Facebook Page. Starting April 12th, 2016, there will be a link there to the Facebook Instant Articles program signup page.

Non-WordPress Sites

If you aren’t using WordPress, you can still serve AdPlugg ads into your Facebook Instant Articles feed. To do so, edit the code that generates your feed and add the following tags to the <header> section.

Example

<header>
    ...
    <section class="op-ad-template">
        <figure class="op-ad">
            <iframe 
                  src="http://www.adplugg.com/serve/<your access code>/html/1.1/index.html?zn=fb_zone_1" height="250" width="300"></iframe>
        </figure>
        <figure class="op-ad op-ad-default">
            <iframe src="http://www.adplugg.com/serve/<your access code>/html/1.1/index.html?zn=fb_zone_2" height="50" width="320"></iframe>
        </figure>
    </section>
</header>

Change the access code, zone names and sizes in the code above to match your account and requirements.

Conclusion

AdPlugg makes it easy to serve, manage and track your Facebook Instant Article ads. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions; add them to the comments section below!

Facebook Instant Articles: 5 Things You Need to Know

Facebook Instant Articles Infographic
Facebook Instant Articles is a new feature for web publishers from Facebook. Here’s a run down of the 5 things that you need to know.

1. Shows Articles Within the Facebook Mobile App

Traditionally, when a user clicked an article that you posted to your Facebook page, they would go to your website to view the article. With Facebook Instant Articles, when a user clicks on one of your articles from within the Facebook Mobile App, they are shown the article within the Facebook Mobile App.

Key Points

  • Works on iPhone and Android devices.
  • Is seemless for users
  • Is up to 10 times faster than content served through a mobile browser (Facebook accomplishes this by buffering the content before the user clicks it and by not having to render your site, just the article content).
  • The Facebook App shows a small lightning bolt icon in the top right of the article’s featured image if the article is available via Instant Articles.
  • Desktop and browser (non app) users will continue to be directed to your website.

2. Requires your Site to Have a Custom Feed

Rather than submitting your articles to Facebook, with Facebook Instant Articles, Facebook will regularly pull your feed and automatically add new articles to your Facebook page.

Key Points

  • Facebook pulls from your feed, you no longer need to push your articles to Facebook
  • The Instant Articles Feed format is based on RSS but requires certain non-standard elements (a standard RSS feed won’t work).

3. There’s a WordPress Plugin For It!

A couple of weeks ago (March 7th, 2016), Automattic, the makers of WordPress launched a new Plugin called Facebook Instant Articles for WP. This plugin adds a special feed at /feed/instant-articles. You can submit this feed “endpoint” to Facebook when you enroll in Facebook’s Instant Articles program.

Key Points

  • You will need to install a special plugin (such as Facebook Instant Articles for WP) to add Facebook Instant Article support to your WordPress site.
  • Other CMS systems will likely have their own Facebook Instant Articles plugins. If you have any info about these, please post it to the comment section below.

4. Allows You to Serve Your Own Ads

Facebook wants to make Instant Articles a win for Facebook, its mobile app users and for the publishers generating the content. For this reason, they allow you to include your own ads within your feed.

Key Points

  • You can serve your own ads within the articles that you submit to Facebook Instant Articles.
  • Ads need to be submitted through your Instant Articles feed in a special format.
  • You can distribute your ad “tags” manually throughout your feed content or place your ad tags in the header to have Facebook place them throughout the article automatically.
  • AdPlugg is currently adding support for Facebook Instant Article feeds and intends to fully support them by the time Facebook launches the feature (see below for the release date).
  • If you don’t have your own ads, you can optionally choose to serve Facebook Audience Network ads within your articles.
  • There are some restrictions regarding the type of ad and the “ad density” (number of ads that you can display). See the official documentation for more info.
  • Some of the publishers already using Facebook Instant Articles have complained about ad revenue issues. Facebook is working to address those concerns.

5. Becomes available to all publishers on Apr 12th, 2016

Facebook Instant Articles is already in use by major publishers such as BuzzFeed and the Washington Post. On April 12th, 2016 Facebook Instant Articles becomes available to all publishers.

Key Points

  • Was launched for select major publishers on May 12th, 2015
  • Launch for all publishers is scheduled for April 12th, 2016

How To Try Facebook Instant Articles

Facebook Instant Articles Screenshot
To try out Facebook Instant Articles, do the following:

  • Open the Facebook app on your Android or iOS device.
  • Use the built in search to find and pull the official page for BuzzFeed or the Washington Post.
  • Click on any of the articles that have a lightning bolt in the top right corner of the article’s featured image.
  • Enjoy the lightning fast load time :).

Conclusion

Facebook Instant Articles is an exciting new feature that provides an enhanced experience for the user while allowing publishers to gain exposure and grow ad revenues.

AdPlugg is adding support for Facebook Instant Articles as we speak and we are tying the functionality into our WordPress Ad Plugin.

If you have any questions or comments about Facebook Instant Articles, AdPlugg’s support for them, or anything else; please post them to to the comments section below!


Infographic template design by Freepik.

How to Write a Blog

how-to-write-a-blog
So you want to know how to write a blog? We’ll, you’ve come to the right place. We work with thousands of bloggers and are bloggers ourselves. Not only that, we’ve studied what it takes to make a blog successful and have gained a lot of insight over the years; insight that we’d like to share with you in this post.

Let’s get the basics out of the way. Blog is short for web log. The act of writing and publishing a blog is called blogging. And someone who blogs is called a blogger.

A good way to think about a blog is as a public journal. Instead of writing in a paper notebook for only your own enjoyment and memory keeping, you write to a public website so that you can share your thoughts, ideas and experiences with others.

Of course, if you want to write in a journal, you need to have a journal of some sort to write in. Similarly, in order to blog, you need to have a blog. A blog is made up of these basic components:

  1. A Name (For example, “Jane’s Kitchen”)
  2. One or more authors (this could just be you or you could start a blog with your friends or family)
  3. A Subject/Topic (For example, Cooking). However, you can have your blog be simply about your life or just random musings, etc.
  4. A blogging platform
  5. A domain name (For example, “www.janeskitchen.com”)

Numbers 1 through 3 above are totally up to you. Numbers 4 and 5 take a bit of technical know-how.

A blogging platform is basically the journal that you write in. While there are a number of great blogging platforms out there, I unfortunately don’t have time to discuss them all in this post. I’ll save you the time of researching them and tell you that WordPress runs more blogs than all of the other blogging platforms combined. So unless you have special requirements, WordPress is probably the best way to go.

So what is WordPress? WordPress is simply a computer program that allows you to create, manage and publish blog posts…and it happens to be free. But you will need to host it (generally not free) in order to have it available on the internet.

Luckily, the same companies that can help you get a domain name (number 5 above) can host your WordPress site. A couple of good hosts/domain name registrars include: Bluehost, HostGator and GoDaddy.

Any stumbling blocks that you run into with setting up your site can be handled by your chosen hosting company’s support team.

Once your site is up and running, it’s time to start blogging. This is your time to shine. Here are some tips:

  • Try to pick blog topics that are interesting to both you and your readers.
  • Try to give each blog post a catchy headline.
  • Try to write at least one blog post a month (once a week is even better).
  • Try to add at least one picture to every blog post.
  • Make your blog personal. Even when reading about technical things, it’s more enjoyable to read content that has personality. Don’t worry about your grammer so much and instead make your blog fun and personal.

Have any questions or comments, please post them to the comment section below.