Saturday, April 4, 2009

FAQs on the New Advertisement System

Listed below are some FAQs commonly asked by people throughout the forums, on the release post, and elsewhere. I hope to have cleared up some of the more common questions (to my best knowledge) and give some more input into the system.

Follow-up questions can be added in the comments of this post or can be targeted directly to the Entrecard staff.

What's the purpose of the new ad network?

Simply put, Entrecard needs to make money. Sometimes people think that the site has very little cost to operate and add new features. According to the figures posted by phirate, it cost more than $7,000 to create the Entrecard Market and $12,000+ per year for the hosting and systems required to keep the site accessible, even under heavy load. Even though the site does did sell advertising on the main page, the earnings weren't high enough to balance the hosting and extra earnings (for payments to moderators, coders, and the rest of the staff, including the owner) weren't high enough, either.

How will the new system benefit me/my blog?

There shouldn't be major changes if you were already a part of the network and approving ads from other members before. Now, you'll see a "Paid Ads" area beneath the Entrecard Ads in the Dashboard area. You can approve or deny them as you wish, and then they will begin appearing on your blog.

Approving ads for placement on your blog will improve the site, as you are contributing cash (albeit somewhat indirectly) to the site. At rates between $0.02 and $0.04 per click depending on whether you target a specific category or the entire network, the cash will go into a "chest" where earnings will eventually be "distributed" back to members. At this time, the cashout service will be available by next week (or later, depending on the amount earned).

Denying ads ultimately means that you do not want Entrecard to make money nor do you want to accept any forms of advertisements on your site (you should never have joined up for Entrecard, as all ads, even those purchased with credits, are technically ads). This may appear a bit harsh, but is the reality.

What are the immediate benefits of accepting paid ads?

Right now, absolutely none. Until the earnings from ads have grown, you won't see any immediate benefits. Down the road, the option to cash out credits for cash will be looked at as many as the answer to reducing the number of credits in their account without advertising, although some still do not want to go down this path. Even further down the road, new features and integration into other services will be released. Again, even the smallest of improvements to the site cost a lot of capital, in both time and monetary expenses.

You can continue approving or denying regular ads as you wish.

Do I get penalized for rejecting a paid ad?

Not right now. Perhaps down in the road, you will be limited by the number of cash out options you have or additional features, as you aren't "helping" them earn money, but for the mean time, you can deny all the ads or approve them all, depending on how you feel about paid ads appearing on your site.

From the start, and even now, you are free to control what is displayed through your widget. This is unlike every other service on the Internet, including even the more traditional advertising formats.

Please Note: Accounts that have not logged in and approved/denied ads, their ad queues will automatically begin displaying on their widget, as per the normal settings.

Ads not displaying/errors?

Any browser with adblock or some form of blocking will not display the URL that is delivering the ads will render the area black or blank, depending on the particular area/error.

Email notifications aren't arriving.

They won't at this time. In the future, a survey email/option set may be introduced to help you see the paid ads that have been sent to your Dashboard.

There are more paid ads than regular/non-paid ads. What am I doing wrong!?

You haven't done anything wrong. Under normal market conditions, this will be normal, as advertisers are sending their ads across entire vertical channels (ex. Blogging Resources/Tips) or the entire site. Previously, you could only advertise to single blogs at a time, and now you're seeing ads that have been sent to thousands of blogs at a time. This may balance out in the future, but if trends continue, you'll be seeing more paid ads versus regular ads in your Dashboard.

I don't want to/cannot see paid ads.

If you are a part of the blog network and do not/cannot see the paid ads, then go into the Advert Settings area of your profile and make sure that the "Allow paid ads only if explicitly approved by you" is checked. Otherwise, ads may automatically approve or be approved without prior permission.

All I see on blogs I visit are paid ads.

It may appear this way at this time because with the ~50/50 split of advertisers to regular advertisements, the new ads may appear more frequently, and in some cases, more than the regular ads. As some of the members of the site have purchased ads using their regular banner ad, you won't see any difference. If you hover over the ad, the last part of the link will appear as &type=entrecard or &type=paid.

Will the number of "credit" advertisers decrease?

It's too early to tell for sure. However, I think that those without large budgets or extra cash to spend on paid adverts will probably still stick to dropping and advertising for free. After all, that is what Entrecard was from the start and will (hopefully) always stick to as its main benefit against other services.

In an ideal market, the credit value of all advertisements will decrease by 50%, although this probably won't happen in this case. When people see the paid advertisements on the widget, they might not be that influenced by the values and still advertise on the blog. More demand will be fore the sites that aren't accepting paid ads - 100% of the ads will be shown for Entrecard members' ads.

The reason for no dual-layout option.

Some members insisted on a widget that was split with a regular banner and a paid ad. Even though Entrecard has several options for blogs, depending on the size of the blog's sidebar, more people choose the smallest one, which fits best in smaller sidebars and nearly anywhere. This would have meant less room (less than a 125x125 ad) for advertisers, and would have failed in the end.

Conclusion - In the next post, I'll be discussing the benefits to advertisers, some more long-term prospects, and further along,t he new homepage.


bewegaleri said...

it's seem so interesting.

thom said...

Nice. Thanks for sharing friend.. :)
I think it is helpful enough.

Paul Baines said...

Compared to the "bang for your buck" larger more targeted systems like Adwords offer far more, what's more paid ads have halved the value of credit paid ads, essentially punishing those who keep the system going. Large companies take years to reap profit, and seeing as a good portion of the community who use the toolbar also use Adblock it makes paid ads redundant. The forum is now limited to high paying advertisers, there has also been some very rude and personal threads there by moderators without punishment. I've heard that an Entrecard user is building a new alternative without a paid option, we will see what effect that has on Graham's priorities. Even a membership fee for added benefits would be preferable to the mess at the moment. Especially when half the blogs and sites that pay have no widget.