One of the questions I get all the time is how do you monetize your WordPress blog with plugins. This is probably the most efficient and easy-to-use method of getting advertisements up on your website. The best part is, most of these services allow you to take payments and disperse ads automatically! Cutting out the middleman is an excellent option for any blogger. If you can manage your ads yourself, you can take 100% of the earnings instead of having to pay commission fees.
There are many ways to utilize ad space on your website. Some of the more popular methods are 125×125 banners, 468×60 banners, and text links. As the internet develops, websites are becoming more and more slick with Flash, AJAX, Mootools and other ways to become Web 2.0. With this, advertising has branched off into “peel away” as snug in the upper corners websites, bar ads across the top of the page and even video ad units. I think that a lot of this is overkill, so we will focus on traditional banners and text. Let’s take a look at the top WordPress plugins for placing ads on your blog.
This is a brand new WordPress monetization tool that is by far the best in class, luckily for us, it is also the most cost-effective :D. With a solid amount of options (review posts, text links, banners, inline text, etc), OIOPublisher is what I use here at theNetFool.com! This is the only plugin that I have ever paid for, and at just $37 one-time cost, this thing literally pays for itself and almost anyone can afford it. When you install the plugin, it opens up a whole new section of your WordPress administrator backend, a “business” tab that offers extensive options and tracks all of your clients. Everything is very easy to use and understand, I had mine up and running in just 30 minutes!
One thing I especially like about OIOPublisher is the built-in widgets to encourage readers to buy ads. All of the unused banner spaces can be automatically filled with ads of your choice and redirect to your purchase page. There is even a widget that comes with the plugin to show how many ad spaces are available on your site at all times. I think that $37 is totally reasonable for this awesome WordPress plugin. Not only do you get an easy to use administrative section, you have everything automated for you and your one-time fee covers the plugin on multiple websites! If you are looking for an easy way to link directly with WordPress and get your blog monetized, look for OIOPublisher.
2. WP Text Ads
This was the popular monetization solution before OIOPublisher went public, and it is without a doubt a very good product. My problems with WP Text Ads are:
The product is overpriced at $127
There is no support for banner ads, text only
With these factors in mind, I am really not too bullish on the WordPress plugin. However. Taking the service as is, I think it is very good if you are interested in providing mostly text link spots to your advertisers. The ads are very easy to style, and you can even set the rates at which they run differently to ensure the maximum payback efficiency. Again, the one-time $127 is expensive… but if you are selling a steady stream of ads it should be too much of an issue since it is a one and done type deal.
3. WP Bankroll
This blog monetization service really only applies to selling blog posts, paid reviews and paid plugs on your blogging website. It is definitely not as professional as OIOPublisher or WP Text Ads, but it gets the job done and can be used completely free if you are willing to provide a backlink to their website (else $20-$50). There are definitely some interesting features to point out. You can determine how many links are allowed to be active in each post, minimum word count, and cost.
There is another very clever feature that allows you to randomly allow your guest posters links to appear in your sidebar. Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend WP Bankroll unless you are solely looking for sponsored/guest posting on your website and do not have any money to spare on a plugin. If this is you, then, by all means, use Bankroll… but I’d rather see you with OIOPublisher or WP Text Ads ;).
4. Text Link Ads
I figured that it is only fair I include this opportunity, although they are really not what we are looking for by “cutting out the middleman.” Text Link Ads is a service that offers 50% commission for text ads, where they essentially handle all of the work for you. This is a nice option if you don’t want to go out and look for people to advertise on your blog, but I still figure that you would be better off with a downpayment and 100% of the gains.
This program is a lot more like buying into an AdSense or a BidVertiser type advertising program than the previous options. The plus here is that they install the ads for you and pay commission based on views and clicks. The downside is that the minimum payout is $25 and you are only getting half of your potential income. Still, a popular option that many choices as an alternative to Google Adsense.