A partnership between WordPress and Federated Media Publishing gives bloggers another monetization option, with an opt-in ad program available exclusively to WordPress.com bloggers, designed to rival Google’s AdSense.
In a blog post, WordPress ads lead Jon Burke wrote,
“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.”
Federated Media first announced representation for the WordPress.com blogging community in October, in partnership with Automattic and in conjunction with their recent acquisition, Lijit Networks, Inc. Together, they said, the companies are able to offer brands content curation, sponsored posts, and conversation targeting to help marketers reach more targeted audiences across the blogosphere.
The percentage of ad revenue paid to bloggers is unknown. In response to a question about how ad revenue is split between WordPress and publishers, founding developer Matt Mullenweg responded, “Our primary goal is to create something that rewards bloggers for their hard work and the quality of their work, and do so at a higher level than generic Adsense would, not optimize around a particular revenue share.”
To qualify for the WordAds program, blogs must be publicly visible and have a custom domain. Applying to the program doesn't ensure acceptance; WordPress will choose participants based on the type of content, and traffic/engagement levels.
Burke indicated there are no plans to offer WordAds to the WordPress.org community or the web community at large, though a plug-in could be in the works. Burke also confirmed that to start, WordAds is only available on English language blogs, and noted that more than 50,000 new WordPress-powered blogs come online every day.
WordAds will be a welcome alternative for AdSense publishers affected by Google’s recent payment system/account interface bug and other issues that prevented timely payouts.
Will you be applying for the WordAds program?