WordAds – My Time in Advertising

A few of you probably notice that I started running ads on this blog a while back, say around February.  I also recently turned them off two weeks ago.  I wanted to give you all a little background into what went on with the WordPress WordAds program that I ran for a bit.

This blog is hosted by WordPress.com.  That means that they control all the admin stuff like code updates and server locations.  All I do is log in and write.  This is great for people that don’t really care about the dirty stuff under the hood and would rather spend their constructive time writing.  That’s what I wanted to do for the most part.  Sure, I miss out on all the cooler things, like using Disqus for my comments or hosting other plugins, but all in all I am very happy with the service provided by WordPress.  The major thing that people will tell you that you’re missing out on with a hosted solution is advertising.  WordPress reserves the right to run some advertisements on your blog when you hit a certain traffic level.  Beyond that, there won’t be any ads on the site if you are hosted by WordPress.  That is, until the advent of the WordAds program.

WordAds is a program designed to allow WordPress-hosted blogs that meet certain criteria to run some limited advertisements.  There aren’t many requirements, other than you must be a publicly visible blog with a custom domain name, such as networkingnerd.net as opposed to networkingnerd.wordpress.com.  Since I met the criteria, I jumped in and got setup for WordAds.  This was mostly as a trial run, as I knew that I wasn’t going to make enough money out of my little experiment to quit my day job and become a globe-trotting playboy.  I hoped to collect a bit of money and use it to do something like pay for additional WordPress upgrades or maybe even move to a self-hosted solution at some point down the road.

The setup for WordAds is fairly easy.  Once you’ve indicated your interest in the program and you’ve been vetted by WordPress, all you need to do is log into your control panel and check a box to display your ads.  You can choose to display ads to all your visitors or just the ones that aren’t logged into WordPress.  I set mine up to display to all users.  Once I had selected my ad impression categories, which were a meager list of technology and geeky-type stuff, I turned everything on and began my grand experiment.  The first thing that I noticed is that you aren’t going to get immediate feedback.  It took a month before WordPress reported my earnings, and they only really updated the data once a week or so.  I knew that my coffers weren’t going to be filling up like Scrooge McDuck’s money bin, but a little more real-time feedback or the option to pull that information from a mouse click might have been nice.  The other thing that irked me is that I didn’t have a lot of control over the ads that played.  I tried to keep it to something my audience wouldn’t mind seeing, but it seems that the advertising network had other ideas.  The primary reason that I pulled the whole thing down was that there was an annoying ad for a vehicle that keep auto-playing on rollover and blasting my readers with annoying sound.  Since my readers are my greatest asset, and since I don’t want any of you showing up on my doorstep to punch me for annoying the daylights out of you, I decided to pull down the ads.

The payout structure for WordAds involves PayPal, which isn’t a huge deal since almost everyone that has ever bought anything online probably has a PayPal account at this point.  The kicker is that the payout threshhold is $100 US.  They won’t cut you a check for your earnings until you’ve hit the magic tipping point.  Right now, after about five months of running ads on my blog, I haven’t even hit $50 yet.  My first month, I made a whole $2.  All that’s good for is getting the paperboy off your back.  I know that based on the amount of traffic that I get living off my advertising wasn’t a realistic goal.  I also know how often I tend to click on banner ads, so again since most of my readers are smarter than I am I knew they weren’t likely to click on the banners either.  Instead, I figured I’d just let the ads sit there until I could pull the money out and use it for upgrades.  At this rate, I’ll probably run out of boring things to say before I get to that point.  Instead, I’ve decided to turn off the ads and go back to what I do best – writing boring pieces about CallManager or taunting the NAT folks.  I’m not worried about making any money off of this whole thing.  The little bit that I do have can go back to WordPress for them to buy a round of coffee for the operations team that keeps my blog from crashing every now and then.  If I’m really that concerned about sponsors, I suppose I can start wearing a jumpsuit to work festooned with patches like racing drivers.  Now I just need to work out my rates for that.

24 thoughts on “WordAds – My Time in Advertising

  1. … Or you can use your back as an advertising space … *giggles* *hides away*

    Seriously, please keep writing boring stuff abou CM and taunt NAT folks. It’s i spiring. I did not notice there were ads TBH, i read your blog mostly on ipad and wordpress puts different theme there.

    • I’m new on WordPress, could you please tell me how much traffic you had and how much you got paid? I’m just trying to see the difference between Wordads and GoogleAds, thanks

  2. Great Post. Sorry your experience wasn’t satisfactory. The WordAds team weighed the issue of only opening it to folks who would earn more than $100, but decided to open to everyone because often a site or post will go viral and we don’t want sites to miss that.

    Also, WordAds is not an ad network like Adsense. That’s why we can’t provide real-time data. We get reports once a month from advertisers. Jon

      • > What is the amount of traffic you would say is necessary for earning a little more money than 2 dollars?
        It depends on a) the geos of your visitors (North American and European visitors earn much more than rest of world) and b) how many ads per page. Sites generally needs hundreds of thousands of page views per month to get to hundreds of dollars per month in earnings.

  3. To the guy who asked the question about earnings. I railed in 100,000 hits last month as a reporter for Daily News, got paid $45. We’ve only had it up for three months, was a little more than expected. Using this as a fun little project online to see how far we can go with it.

    Hope that answers your question.

  4. I find it ok…. I usually get a payment every month. This months payment is $233.72 which for me in the uk is around £144.00 – which is ok, for something that I would be doing anyway. What I realised was that unless I opted out of ad’s by paying to opt out – then wordpress.com would be advertising there anyway – so I might as well get some money from it. Its ok, doesn’t pay the rent or anything, but it does cover the cost of paying for my broadband so all is good 🙂

    • Positiveagirl – would you mind telling me roughly how many views you get per day or per month? I am hoping to take part in Word Ads too and am trying to guess what sort of monthly payment I may get. Great site by the way 🙂

      • I would need to go into my computer as on my phone. I will post later stats. Most views was 7,500 in one day usually it’s 4,000 to 5,000 unique viewers is probably 2,500 new ones per day? This is off the top of my head. I had to work hard to get to top of Google listings. Over a million hits in less than a year. It’s a lot of work. It is worth it although pay is low, it’s still money which contributes to my running costs.

        • That is about how much I get as well on average (views per day) minus the spikes when I post something that is time-relevant/exclusive.
          $230 sounds a tad on the low side though for WordAds.

          Are you using a WordAds-optimized layout with the “Show additional ad units” ticked? You would make a lot more for the same amount of traffic that way.

      • Hi Positivagirl – for some reason your reply hasn’t shown up here. Your stats are soooo impressive. I am nowhere near that at the moment. Would love to hear how you got so high up on Google? Thanks and congrats on such a successful site 🙂

      • Am unsure If my comment went through yesterday? (Am on my phone and had problems yesterday) highest views was I think 7,500 a day. Usually I average around 4,500 to 5,500 views per day. I hope this helps. I would say around 2,000 to 4,000 New visitors a day (I don’t think WordPress registers people who have been there before) so I have no idea how many people in total. I only have about 1,000 people following my blog through wordpress. Set up a Facebook page and Twitter and do settings so your posts are shared and put on sharing buttons (am on my phone so unsure if you do this). It’s not a lot of money but often comes when I need it.

  5. Thank you so much – all replies received! I have set up a FB and Twitter page and they defintely drive the most traffice through to my blog. My figures are very low compared to yours though. I have a long way to go….

    In terms of sharing buttons – do you mean having a Twitter and Facebook button on my blog or is there something else I should be doing? I have set up my account so that links to new posts go directly onto Twitter and FB….

    Also have you thought of moving over to WordPress.org ans self hosting? I may look into this at some point…

    Thanks for your advice and help 🙂


  6. Wonderful post. I was wondeying if you knew what the minimum amount of views you have to have per month is to be accepted for wordads? I haven’t been able to get a straight answer anywhere else. Even an approximate answer would really help.Thank you!

    • I can’t provide an actual amount, but my WordAds application was accepted during a month when I hit only slightly above 10k+ views. My guess is that I was probably accepted as soon as I hit 10k views in a single month. Might also have helped to use a wordads-optimized theme.

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