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.

Blogging for Money: Top 4 Reasons Why Your Blog Isn’t Making Any

Blogging for Money

Around a year ago I posted How to Make Money Blogging – In Six Easy Steps. In that post, I gave five easy steps toward making money blogging. In this post, I’m going to look at it from the other side. So you are already blogging for money, what are the most common reasons why your blog isn’t making any of that green stuff?

1. You Need More/Better Content

Engaging, high-quality content is key for any blog. Write from the heart and pick topics that will be of interest to your intended readers. Don’t just write about what you want to say, also think about the reader and about what they might want to learn or hear about. It has also been found that sites with more content do best. If you are only blogging once a week, try stepping up the number of posts that you publish. It’s unfortunate, but two medium quality posts tends to outperform one high quality post.

2. Your Site Isn’t Search Engine Optimized

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a requirement at this point. The days of SEO being a science are over and now it’s more of an art. If you use WordPress, the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast is a good place to start. The Yoast Plugin will get your site optimized but getting quality backlinks from other sites is just as crucial.

3. You haven’t Done Enough Promoting

It’s pretty common to think that you can put up a website and instantly get tons of traffic. Even after having been through it before, everytime I launch a new website, I can’t help but think that this site is what everyone is looking for. The reality of it is that there are close to a BILLION websites out there. To get web users to take notice of your site takes some serious effort. Don’t know how to promote your blog? Check out our recent post, How to Promote Your Blog – 5 Simple Steps.

4. You Need a Better Monetization Strategy

To be a monetarily succussful blogger, you need to know online advertising. The AdPlugg service makes it all a lot easier. Also check out these posts:

Have any questions or other items that you think should be included in this list? Post them into the comments section below!

Best Affiliate Network? Our Top 4 Compared

Recently we were asked “which is the best affiliate network?”. We’ve used all of them and in this blog post I’m going to make both an affiliate network comparison and give some opinions as to which ones are best and which ones you should use.

Affiliate networks are advertising networks that connect advertisers with publishers. The publishers promote the advertiser’s sites and products and in exchange get a commission on any traffic that they refer to the advertiser. Different programs earn the publisher different commission rates. Commission rates vary but are typically around 5-8%. You can use AdPlugg to manage and serve all of your affiliate network ads.

Here are our top affiliate networks:

1. Amazon Associates

amazon-associates

Amazon Associates is a great affiliate network to get started with. Amazon Associates allows you to promote specific products or Amazon in general. If one of your readers clicks a link to Amazon on your site and then buys something from Amazon, you receive a commission. It doesn’t matter what they buy, it could be the product that you were recommending, a competing product or something else entirely. Amazon’s commission rates work on a sliding scale – the more business you bring them (per month) the better the percentage is. The commission rate starts at 4%.

2. Rakuten LinkShare

rakuten-linkshare

LinkShare is different from Amazon as it is an affiliate network made up of a number of affiliate programs. Each affiliate program is from a different advertiser and works similarly to Amazon. Any publisher can sign up with LinkShare. Once you’ve signed up, you can apply start to apply to the different programs. Whether or not you get approved will depend on whether the advertiser likes your site and on how picky they are. LinkShare has a really nice interface and programs from some major retailers such as Macy’s and Nordstrom.

3. ShareASale

shareasale

ShareASale works almost identically to LinkShare but offers a different selection of advertisers. Many of the advertisers cater to smaller niche markets. Some examples include Gymboree (childrens clothing) and One Kings Lane (furniture). I find the LinkShare interface nicer and easier to use but ShareASale includes some good programs that are worth the extra effort.

4. Commission Junction

commission-junction
CommissionJunction has had a major presence in the Affiliate network space for a while now. They have some of the best technology (most features) but it can be more difficult to use than the ones mentioned above. Commission junction has a lot of middle sized retailers such as the Gap and Toys R Us.

Conclusion

Each of the above affiliate networks is free to join and each have different pros/cons. Which is the best affiliate network for you will depend on the Advertisers that you are looking for. The best way to see which advertisers are part of an affiliate network is is to go ahead and sign up. Once you have an account you can see which advertiser programs they have and apply to them. If you don’t like the programs or don’t get accepted, you can close (or just abstain from using) your account.

As previously mentioned, all of your affiliate ads can be managed using AdPlugg, so sign up for a bunch of them and rotate them. Then remove the ones that aren’t making money.

Have any comments or know of other affiliate networks, add them to the comment section below.

Democratic Design: New Feedback and Ideas Forum Launched

Feedback and Ideas ForumIf you haven’t noticed, AdPlugg has been growing, rapidly. Every month we are adding hundreds of new users. A large number of these new users have reached out to us with suggestions about what features they would like to see added to AdPlugg.

We definitely have goals and a mission for our software but we don’t want it to be our software, we want it to be your software. Bum ba da bah!!! We bring you…AdPlugg’s Democratic Design!

The AdPlugg system is your advertising system and we want you to have a say about what we add, what we change, what we take out, etc. That’s why we’ve just added a new Feedback and Ideas Forum. Using our Feedback and Ideas forum any user can post ideas, give feedback, make suggestions, etc. Each post can then be voted up or down and commented on by other AdPlugg users. We are going to work to get the ideas that get the most up votes into the software.

We’ve kicked the system off by adding a bunch of the ideas that you’ve already submitted to us. Check out the forum and vote on the ideas that are already posted there. You’ll need to be logged into AdPlugg (get a free AdPlugg account) in order to vote on the ideas. Once you’ve read and voted on the ideas that have already been posted, post any other ideas that you can think of. This is what democratic design is all about. Get heard, give your ideas the opportunity to gain traction and support from the AdPlugg community and see them added to the system.

We are very excited to bring your democratic design. Don’t want democratic design or don’t like how we did it? Post your suggestion or ideas to the Feedback and Ideas forum. Use democracy to change democracy.