Trialling a Feed Advert

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I’m after a bit of feedback on this idea, so all thoughts and suggestions are very welcome (and there’ll be a bonus for commenting).

I’m trying to get more visitors to my site from my feed, so I spent an hour over the weekend creating a plug-in for WordPress that lets me display an extra sentence or so at the end of each post but only in the feed and not on the site. I intend to put an advertising link back to the main site where I can push visitors to affiliate pages with relevant offers.

If you want to see it in action subscribe to the SMM or CG feed.

After creating the plug-in it got me thinking how it could be used in a few different ways:

  • Promoting my own posts
  • Displaying a copyright notice, aimed at splogs
  • Links of my choosing would be displayed on splogs and sites that legitimately syndicate my content
  • I could do a feed link exchange (I heard about that on Blog Storm
  • Rent the space to advertisers


So firstly I’d like to hear if anybody is interested in the plug-in, as it would need a bit of tidying before releasing and secondly how much do do you think is a fair price for a slot on the Coolest Gadgets feed, based on the following stats:

  • There will be 10 adverts in rotation so yours would be displayed 10% of the time
  • We normally publish 10+ posts per day
  • We have nearly 70,000 feed subscribers
  • Our content is legally syndicated on sites like USA Today, Reuters, San Fransico Gate, IBS and a fair few more. So any adverts would also be on those sites (we have no control on how these are displayed)
  • Our feed is ripped and displayed on 5 or so splogs that I know of, so again the advert would display there

So how much do you think is a fair price for a monthly or weekly slot, I have a figure in mind but I’d love to hear other peoples thoughts.

I’m also going to be adding the plugin here (unless I hear a big objection from Scott) in exchange for feedback I’d be happy to include your simple text ad in the rotation of this feed.

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.

Comments

  1. It’s a great idea… Another revenue stream.

    I don’t think this’ll help as far as charging, but I was paying $150 a week for a link on a myspace site with 60k visitors a day. Your traffic would be pretty targetted, so I guess a Play.com or firebox.com would pay.

    Just got me thinking, how about geo-targetting the links as well?

  2. Could be a great way to get more subscribers. The feed gets and extra tip of the day or something like that too. OK, it’s not an advert, but gives the feed subscriber something extra, or it could be a special offer code or something like that for an affiliate.

    Sounds like a nice plugin anyway Al. I haven’t ventured into wordpress plugin creation yet, as everything I need so far has been done, which is why wordpress is so good.

    • I like Garry’s idea. Advertising you can post on blog, too, but that way with extra tip in rss can bring more rss feed readers, though.

  3. Ian, I don’t think you can geotarget your RSS feed but you could geotarget the landing page.

    I think feed adverts are good but you should try to use some nice formatting such as a small arrow pointing at the advert to make them stand out. Don’t make the ads too intrusive like john chow though.

  4. I think the idea is BRILLIANT!

    I’ve been putting this off because I know there’s something out there that exists, but it was a really complicated plugin, and all I needed was what you’re coding.

    So I’m definitely in need of it.

    The advertising sounds cool, abd at 70,000 targetted subscribers, I would say at least $150 a day would be feasible.

  5. Very nice idea indeed! I use a plugin called feed footer that displays my own ads, affiliate links. Displaying ads in the feeds would be common, but if you can display relevant ads to your subscribers, it may work out even better for advertiser and result in higher conversion ratio. Example: If you make a post about tatoos, display an ad related to tatoos or something that is closely related. Of course, your ad inventory may not have such ads all the time but you can always fill up the space with relevant affiliate links.

    With 70,000 subscribers, and one ad displaying to ~7,000 users only, I would be interested to know the number of clicks it may generate towards my site/ad. In my opinion, if it would be 10% CTR then anything between $100 to $200 per post would be good. Note that I am saying per post and not for a spot in your rss for a week or a month.

  6. Al I’m not sure what it is that you’re aiming for here? You start out by saying that you want more subscribers to visit your site but then you say that you want to put ads in the feed?

    I’ve never heard that ads would attract more visitors – rather the opposite might be the case. But if your goal is to make more money (but not by having more visitors to your site) it might be the way to go.

    Just my 5 cents.

    • Mikael an advert takes many forms in this case rather then promoting some one elses product Al could promote pages on his site, let people know of competitions etc.

      Al If you need a guinea pig for your plugin I would be happy to help as I have been pondering how I was going to put messages in my RSS feed for a while.

      Getting the balance right between call to actions and upsetting your subscribers is tricky but being able to at will add messages to RSS feeds could be useful without needing to be an advert

      • Tim I agree that promoting your own site is something completely different but as Al was talking about prices I don’t think that was the main idea :)

    • When I started writing the plug-in it was just to promote my site and posts but at the end I thought it might be a worthwhile advertising spot for other. It does have the side benefit of creating permanent links on other sites which could also be attractive.

  7. What’s wrong with the plugin that already exists? Works fine for me…

    http://www.smackfoo.com/plugins/sig2feed/

    Personally, I only use it to give extra things to my subscribers (i.e. coupon codes, etc). I don’t sell ads, and I wouldn’t advertise in them myself. I’ve personally advertised in feeds that have had over 70k subscribers and have only gotten a few clicks per day. Once the ads have been in your feed for a few weeks, your subscribers will develop blindness to them.

    • Thanks Walt, I never knew about that one. I generally do a lot of coding via plugins so it doesn’t take me long to knock a simple one like this up though I’d of saved an hour doing a search first.

  8. I would put links up to your landing pages and see if you can track the success somehow. From working out how much extra you get you could then come up with a price per month to fill that spot with advertising rather then links to your landing pages.

    For example you might see around $3/1000 feed readers. Selling private you might want to up that to 5 or 7 per 1000 readers.

    Those numbers are just examples.

  9. This is great. I currently use Angsuman’s Feed Copyrighter but it’s difficult to configure if you want to customize.

    Regarding advertising; could be a little bit of an issue for those in syndication, for example BlogBurst clearly says no advertising (but I know from personal experience they don’t monitor closely)

    I would use the footer to display links to my other blogs/projects. Or run ads during busy holidays/weekends.

  10. I think this is a great idea.

    I am not sure though if google resents it or not?

  11. Looks good, but shouldn’t the link point to this post rather than the homepage?

    • That’s a good point, my excuse is I had to do the ad before the post so I never knew the post’s address, I’ve changed it no though.

  12. Al, with such a great quality website I suppose you can name your price and all spots will eventually be filled.

    As many people don’t have money and maybe just got out setting up a website or two, may be a better approach would be to think up a way to help those people getting a link in exchange for something else. An ad like that would be sought after even if it meant getting mentioned once in with every 1000 posts.

    I like the idea (the plugin) extremely and hope it in itself can be rewarding far better than you expect. Great stuff!

  13. the plugin – http://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/add-post-footer.zip can be used to add footer content after every post

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