Advertiser Tags!


AdPlugg now supports advertiser tags! Advertiser tags (sometimes called third-party ad tags) are blocks of code that advertisers can give to publishers to serve their ads.

Say you (Acme Corp) have a blue ad that you want to display on the sidebar of Publisher A’s site. You could give them an image and a link, or better yet, you could give him a block of code. The code (an advertiser ad tag) would dynamically pull the image and the link from a remote server. It would track the fact that the ad was served and track if it was clicked. You could easily change the ad image to red and change where the link goes anytime that you want. This is exactly what AdPlugg’s new advertiser tags do.

How to Use Advertiser Tags

Advertiser tags are very easy to use. Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Create a Zone. Call it something like “Distributed 1” and set the Max Ad Count field to 1.
  2. Create an Ad and target it to the “Distributed 1” Zone.
  3. From your Zones list, click the Get Tag button in the Actions column.
  4. Copy the Advertiser tag and give it to any Publisher or Network that you advertise with.
  5. That’s it. When the tag is rendered, it will retrieve, display and track your ad. You’ll be able to see your ad’s stats from the Analytics section of your AdPlugg dashboard. Later, you can alter your ad or create a new one and target it to the Distributed 1 Zone instead.

More Ideas

Rather than calling the Zone “Distributed 1” as in the above example, you could name it based on the publisher that you are giving it to. For instance, you could call the Zone “Publisher A”. You could then easily have complete control over what ad shows on the publisher’s site.

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

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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.

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 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.

Responsive Ads

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Last month we launched a whole slew of new ad formats. Mixed in among text ads, flash ads etc, were a number of responsive ad formats. In this blog post we are going to discuss these new responsive ad formats and how the web’s move to responsive is shaping online advertising now and into the future.

Responsive web design is a style of web design where the elements on the page are automatically resized to optimally fit different sized devices. Basically, the layout “responds” to the size of the device that it is being displayed on. Responsive design has been a significant trend over the last couple of years but was solidified when Google started including it as a ranking factor back in April of this year. This meant that if a site wasn’t responsive, Google was less likely to send traffic to it. This was a good move by Google because non-responsive websites are frustrating at best and totally unusable at worst on many devices.

Responsive web design has only just begun to penetrate the nearly two decade old standards for online advertising. Ads have always been based on fixed sizes, for example 300px by 250px. Fixed sizes however have little to no place in responsive web design. Text that is legible at 300px on a desktop computer may be totally illegible when scaled down to fit on a phone. One of the most important parts of responsive design is the resizing of text so that it is legible on all devices.

AdPlugg has addressed these issues with its new suite of responsive ad formats. Each responsive ad is designed to resize itself (and its text) for optimal display on devices of varying size. AdPlugg’s new responsive ad formats include:

  • Bar Ads – Bar ads can be displayed as a bar across the top or bottom of a page. Though they are especially well suited for mobile devices, they look great on full size screens too. View the Bar Ads demo.
  • Dialog Ads – Dialog ads are a modern responsive version of the “popup ad”. Much more stylish than its predecessor, and designed to perfectly fit any screen, this new format converts at high rates. View the Dialog Ads demo.
  • Slide-In Ads – Slide in ads are a responsive ad format where the message slides into view. They are made to slide in based on varying triggers and can slide in from any of the four corners of the screen. View the Slide In Ads demo.
  • Interstitial Ads – Interstitial ads are displayed before the page content is displayed and are designed to cover the entire screen. AdPlugg’s responsive interstitial ads perfectly cover, and look great, on any size screen. View the Interstitial Ads demo.
  • Responsive HTML5 Ads – The AdPlugg Custom ad format allows you to insert custom HTML/HTML5, JavaScript, CSS/CSS3, SVG etc. Using responsive techniques in your ad design, you can make your ad resize to look great on any screen size. View the Responsive HTML5 Ads demo.

There will surely be a lot of changes ahead as the web and online ads move into a more responsive and mobile friendly future. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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!

Advertising Questions Answered Here!

Advertising QuestionsYou’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! We just launched AdPlugg Question and Answer system! The new Question/Answer system allows you to post questions and have them answered by AdPlugg reps and/or members of the AdPlugg community.

Highly inspired by StackExchange/StackOverflow type sites, the AdPlugg question and answer system lets the community work to solve problems and answer questions. Any AdPlugg user can post questions, answers and comments. You can also up vote and down vote questions and answers.

When a question is asked, it shows up on the Question/Answer page. Users can then up or down vote the question. Popular questions bubble to the top, while less popular questions sink to the bottom. At any time, you can edit and modify your question. You and other users can also add comments to the question by clicking the “Add Comment” link.

Once the question has been posted. Users can post answers to it. Answers can be up voted and down voted based on how good they are. Answers can also be commented on.

The goal was to make a place where any and all advertising questions could be answered. So ask away. As more questions and answers get posted, the system becomes more useful.

You can access the AdPlugg Question/Answer system by going to Support and then Question/Answer and can use your existing AdPlugg login to post questions, answers and comments. Don’t have an AdPlugg login, why not sign up, it’s FREE.

We may be expanding on the system in the future and are considering additional features such as:

  1. Allowing users to accept answers.
  2. Views of answered, unanswered, etc. questions.
  3. Points for good questions and good answers.

Have a feature that you think that we should add, post a comment with your idea in the comments section below!