Making Partners ads more useful to publishers

There have been some small discussion points and requests surrounding unused slots with Partners blog ads, and we’ve also had a few thoughts in this regard, so wanted to open up discussion with publishers and find out what ideas are out there.

Let me explain what i mean first: If you have chosen to show a maximum of 6 ads in your Partners ad block, but have not yet filled your available slots, what could we help you do with them?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. We all know that finding a set of advertisers for your blog can take time, but that doesnt necessarily mean that your ad spots should go to waste right?

Tell me what you think, and let’s get the discussion rolling…

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22 thoughts on “Making Partners ads more useful to publishers

  1. and then we only need to check the ad price of existing ads to know whether we replace them with paying ones, or leave them alone?

    Sounds very simple. Good thinking.

  2. How about allowing a password system which drops the price to zero. If you want to add your own advert in your own blog – you create an advert then put in the password at the checkout phase which then sets the price goes to zero .

    If you have another blogger you want to swap ads with – swap passwords. And you can both design ads for each other’s blogs.

  3. Having the ability to to drop in our own ads or to choose bulk affiliate ads would definitely put those empty spots in good use!

  4. All these ideas are great, I expecially like the idea of serving our own ads until someone buys a spot

    Although that would mean designing our own graphics 😛


  5. sheesh, have to get chris to take a look at the maths there. that’s making my ears bleed just thinking about it hehe..

    very good suggestions though, and certainly worthy of some discussion..


  6. I think the best ideas I’ve seen so far are:

    1. Dropping in our own content. Some ads to entice people to jump in makes a lot of sense.
    2. Selling empty slots in bulk.

    To address one other comment about rotation, I think that if the advertisers are all paying the same price, they should be rotated in terms of their placement. 6×1 will put some of them below the fold on all but the largest of screens.

    I can see some objection to putting in effort for a bulk sales system when ideally you want the advertisers to pick the blogs they put ads on, but you might want to spend a minute looking at the interface from the advertiser’s perspective. There are already hundreds of blogs to choose from and there will eventually be thousands or tens of thousands. There will be advertisers who will be turned off by having to pick and choose individual blogs. Here’s what I suggest:

    1. Allow publishers to decide whether or not to participate in bulk sales.
    2. Allow advertisers to buy X impressions per category.
    3. Serve the bulk ads on demand to participating publishers, logging the impressions.
    4. When the buy has run it’s course, split the revenue as follows:

    performancing = 30% of ad buy.
    publishers = 70% * their impressions/purchased impressions * ad buy.

    The other advantage a bulk system has is that it gives the buyer some deniability when management wants to know why they advertised on a particular blog.

  7. That is an interesting point, I see it on ebay all the time that people bid more often when someone else has already bid on an item …

  8. I like this idea. Allowing us to add links would be an easy way. Also potential advertisers may get the impression of ads already being bought which can help in the long run?


  9. Raj, positions are random each page view. Paul, we do have a ‘join partners’ ad running already. We have 2 adv here ads and one join. they rotate each page view.

    Of course they dissappear when you have your first advertisers so we may have to think about making the join now one part of the options for unfilled inventory..

  10. It’s the laws of physics and blogging that us small guys have .. with our “lessor” traffic and not as well-desired as an advertising option .. and knowing others are having troubles getting that 5th or 6th ad somehow is disconcerning while we are trying to get our 1st ad. I’ve got a lot other blogs that I’m not offering performance ads. It would be nice to insert a random set of standardized banners that promote my other blogs.

    I mean – you have that “Advertise Here” small banner underneith anyway …


  11. I vote for Raj’s suggestion – being able to use it for my own ad when not being used by anybody else.

  12. How about a house ad for signing up other bloggers? Right now, if there are no paid ads, the “Advertise Here” ad shows. If there were at least one more ad spot filled with a “Make Money with Performancing Partners” ad, or to that effect, and any signups were credited to the blogger who sent them, that would be a good thing.

    On the one hand bloggers would have greater revenue potential through commissions from signing up others and Performancing would have an increase in ad real estate on more blogs, thus growing the pool of blogs for advertisers to choose from.

    Something like this should be fairly easy to implement as well.

    Edited to include:

    Some blogs may not be suitable for pushing the PP program within the content itself, eg. my tech/gadgets blog, but I wouldn’t mind an ad in the unit itself that did the ‘recruiting’ for me.

  13. I like all the ideas here. But if link swap could hurt the advertiser base, how about doing it to a lesser degree? But my two fave ideas are:

    (1) What D said: ability to drop in our own inventory (i.e., I could run my own 125×125 logos from another site in one ad block.) And with automatic replacement. For example, if I’m running 6 of my house ads, and suddenly an advertiser buys a spot, their ad should be able to automatically replace one of mine.

    (2) The ability to configure either 6 down or 2 wide x 3 down. That’s it. Make it very simple.

    One more. Maybe it’s already part of the system, but not having any ads, I can’t tell. Let’s say that a site has more than one PP ad. Will you be rotating which order they are presented? Because 6 ads tall means that one advertiser has the most advantage, and another the least. We’re talking 750 pixels between the top ad and the bottom ad.

  14. If I had to pick wht I would want you to improve first – it would be showing ads in the style I want – 3×2, 6×1, etc.

  15. Yeh, we have a bunch of good ideas in that area, but it’s early days yet. Not point spending weeks of dev time on fancy buying options while the network is still so young i reckon..

  16. How about allowing advertisers to purchase X ads in category Y? That way, if an advertiser wants to connect with all folks interested in current events, they can purchase 100,000 impressions that are automatically fed to all current events publishers.

  17. I can see a potential revenue stream for both publishers and performancing in promoting the idea that unfilled inventory could be utilized by using inventory from the large affiliate networks….

    like the swap idea, but it does need some careful thought.

    keep the ideas and opinions coming guys, once we’ve gotten todays payments out of the way this will become the next project..

  18. I agree with Greg. Allowing unfilled inventory to be used as a sort of link exchange would hurt ad sales in the long run. Advertisers could sign up their own publisher accounts and drop in swapped banners instead of paying for regular placement.

    Letting publishers utilize their own unfilled inventory would be a huge plus, though. I’d love to be able to replace the default PP ads with my own house ones pointing to interesting articles on my site or whatever else.

  19. I somewhat like the ideas presented so far of trading space on each other’s blogs.

    What about lowering the price for advertisers? Or giving them 75% off their first month of spend? To me it seems that trading with each other doesn’t really build up the base of advertisers using the system and that’s what is really needed.

    Also, I haven’t noticed any speed problems with the performancing ads lately, so perhaps it was just a fluke that one night.

  20. I was thinking about swapping ads with other blogs in my area? something like; I will trade you 10000 page impressions on my blog for 20000 pageimpressions on my blog?

    Or maybe just an automated system, where I say I want to put x spots open for “public use” for blogs related in my category, and for each open spot, I also get a free spot on someone elses blog? Or perhaps it should be totally random? (Okay, I’m babbling here).

    My point is, I think it should be spent to spread the word about each others blogs…

  21. how about letting us run our own ads. Text-Link-Ads has Feedvertising which allows publishers to insert their own links to promote key posts, affiliate programs… whatever in spare slots. I use blogads similarly and would love to be able to do the same with Performancing ads.

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