The millions of people running blogs on WordPress.com (the free hosted and managed wordpress solution), that have long been excluded from the game of adding advertisements to their sites to bring in an income, will soon be able to earn through WordAds – a joint venture between WordPress and advertising representation firm Federated Media.
AdSense has been the go-to option for many bloggers and small independent publishers which make up much of the long tail of the internet and Google’s profits – but WordAds lead Jon Burke has been less than impressed with Google’s offering, saying:
Over the years one of the most frequent requests on WordPress.com has been to allow bloggers to earn money from their blog through ads. We’ve resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn’t terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google’s AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense
Google has had this long tail market to itself for far to long as Yahoo Publisher Network made little dent in the market, and Microsoft/Bing not offering a solution – and as such there has been little progress in the last couple of years. For new and smaller sites that do not meet the traffic criteria for ad networks such as Casale Media, ValueClick Media, Tribal Fusion, or even Federated Media itself – Google has been the only real option until now. If that site is hosted on WordPress.com (and millions are) – then WordAds could be a very real solution built right into the service with ads from big brand advertisers.
There is little information available as yet as to how WordAds will work – it may contextually match ads to keywords like AdSense, or simply target by content category like a traditional ad network. We don’t even know whether the ads will be display ads (banners, leaderboards, skyscrapers, etc), or in-text ads – but more information will leak out as the project progresses and here at AdBalance we will be on hand to try them out.
For the time being – if you run a blog on WordPress.com with a custom domain – you can express your interest in WordAds here.