Selling Ad Space with WordPress Plugins

The goal was to find a WordPress plugin which would let me sell ad space on my site, paid ads through PayPal.

Although I did not find one plugin which accomplishes everything… I do have some reviews for you.

The Easy Ad Plugins

Two very simple plugins which worked were WP125 and WPX Affiliate Manager. Both of these were simple to set up and you could have ads in your sidebar within an hour. (Your own ads or those of friends are good to start with). Both of these use ads which are 125 x 125 images and a link to the site. WP125 gives you more features and choices such as setting ads to display randomly or in order. Neither of these has anything to do with PayPal. But, almost none of the plugins I have reviewed here included getting payments.

Note: I used WP125 several months on one site. So of all these, it is the most well tested and the one I would rate my second favourite. One thing I especially like about WP125 is that I can upload images directly rather than typing in a link to the file I manually uploaded into the Media Library, or elsewhere.

adsmgr3adsmgr2

The Other Three

I tested all these next three but did not keep them around long. Simple Ads Manager loaded with an error message so I deactivated it without any testing. MyAdManager says it works with PayPal, but I didn’t get that far in the testing of it. Meks Easy Ads Widget was interesting but the settings are all in the widget, not in the admin. So, I didn’t see how I could keep track of the ads and how they were doing on my site.

adsmgr1

The One I Kept…

datafeedr ads pluginThe plugin I have switched to from WP125 is Datafeedr (Ads by Datafeedr.com).

First, it is not a plugin you need to sign up for their service to use. That is one of the things I don’t like to do. I’d rather keep as much as I can at my own site and avoid relying on another site to still be there.

Another good thing about Datafeedr are the support videos. Need some help figuring out the set up? There are several video tutorials to help you get started and go from there.

Datafeeder lets you choose text ads or image ads. You can choose sizes, add code, pretty much anything – because you add the code and the image into WordPress just like making a blog post. Simple. Don’t forget to add the link along with the image when you upload it to the Media Library. Text ads can be bolded, linked, etc.

When you add new ads you can sort them into groups. This makes it much easier to find your images again to update or delete them when the ad expires. You can set ads to expire at a specific date or limit them to a number of impressions before they expire. Or, set no limits at all, just a start date if you don’t want the ad to expire.

Choose to place your ads in the sidebar or footer widgets but you can also place them in your posts or pages too. Just add the automatically generated shortcode to widgets or posts. Choose which ads and how many you want to be included.

The only thing missing for me is the ability to accept payments for the ad space. But, I will look into that next. For now I’m the only one with ads on my sites. My next project in running ads will be to set up ads for other sites (free ads for friends). After that I can tackle the finer points of seeking paying ads.

Social Popularity Checker

Why hasn’t anyone made a plugin like this? It would need a shortcode to place it on blog pages and posts, not just left as a sidebar widget. Great way to show advertisers your site is worth a paid ad. Likely other good applications for this too. My brain is just focused on advertising and promotions today.

socialpopularitycheckerCheck popularity of your website on different social networks

Source: Social Popularity Checker

Why didn’t Klout do this?  Popuri has something like it but not as much detail.

Crossposting from WordPress to Blogger

I’m not a great coder (by far) but… I’d like to work on a plugin which would let me crosspost WordPress posts over to Blogger. Not full posts and not every post automatically, just summaries of selected posts to specific Blogger sites I have. I know part of the reason I want this is just because I don’t like seeing Blogger slowly fade away. That bugs me.

In the more practical sense, it would be a simple way of having links back to your posts. My idea is to have very tight niche blogs on Blogger and just direct the posts relevant to those niches over from my WordPress sites. I think it would work very well at directing traffic over and around.

I just have to find a plugin to do it. No luck so far – though I did find a new one to try today. I expect the end will be me trying to DIY. BloggerAPISource: Blogger API v3 | Blogger Developers Network

Tidy Repo Launches WordPress Plugin Recommendation Service

Picking a WordPress plugin is very hit or miss. No guarantees the plugin will work at all, do what you expected and not be harmful to your site in some way. WordPress themes are given more testing and scrutinity before being listed on the site. Plugins… no.

So the idea of paying for plugin suggestions is not so far fetched. I have spent hours looking for the plugin I wanted to work with the idea(s) I had in mind. Often I come up without what I wanted/ hoped to find.

Would I use this service myself? Not likely. Not a full no but, I do enjoy the plugin shopping, even when I don’t get results. Also, I don’t really think I can communicate fully everything I want to someone else. Being a polite Canadian I would accept the results and then go along and try to find what I really needed on my own.

However, I do think this is an idea/ service which will work. If you are willing to pay for a premium WordPress theme… why not pay someone to help you get the plugins you need? Give you something of a guarantee that the plugins will work for you and help you get them loaded, installed and working too. They don’t claim to be hand-holders but they will give assistance with the recommended plugins. A very good idea for people who don’t want to DIY all the time.

“To be frank, this is a total experiment for me. There are times when it is incredibly difficult to keep Tidy Repo going, but enough people appear to find it useful that I want to keep it around. Maybe that’s just a long way of saying Tidy Repo would be a dream full-time gig for me, if I ever had the opportunity to do so,” he said.

It’s not uncommon for those who have created a helpful tool or community resource, such as Tidy Repo or GenerateWP, to try to find a way to monetize their efforts. Is there a market for the Tidy Repo co-owners’ experiment? Or will WordPress users continue to stumble on the best plugins through trial and error?

via Tidy Repo Launches WordPress Plugin Recommendation Service.

Podlove Podcast Publisher for WordPress

The popular blogging platform WordPress has proven to be also rather popular with podcasters. However, the system itself is not particularly made for podcasting and while some things are easy, other things are rather complicated and error-prone.

Therefore a variety of plugins want to improve on this and want to make life easier for podcasters. But all of them are tying too much into the conventions and workflows of WordPress that are not always doing what a podcaster needs.

The Podlove Podcast Publisher tries to solve the problem from the podcasters’ perspective and implements a variety of features and workflows that have been rather difficult to achieve with WordPress until now. The plugin makes the process easier by settling on a few common conventions to make publishing and maintaining podcast feeds a snap and highly reliable.

via –Podlove Podcast Publisher | Podlove.

Every time I think about doing a podcast I remember two things… how much I don’t like the sound of my own voice and how seldom I have time without interruption during at least half the year.

But, I’d still like to do a podcast. Your own online radio show, whether anyone listens or not. I’m quite good at pretending people are listening to me. I’m a long-time blogger after all.

Where Can You Still Find Blogger User Support

I will update this list as I find more resources.
powered by blogger

Good but Not Updated in Awhile

Humans TXT: We Are People, Not Machines.

humanstxt

We are always saying that, but the only file we generate is one full of additional information for the searchbots: robots.txt. Then why not doing one for ourselves?

via – Humans TXT: We Are People, Not Machines..

I used the WordPress plugin to make adding the humans.txt file even simpler than it already is. With the plugin you just need to type in what you want and then save the information to WordPress.

You can use the code provided with the plugin to have your last published date, your list of plugins, your WordPress theme and assorted other things automatically updated. This was really nice because I know I won’t be thinking to update this file next time I manage the plugins I’m using. Some site automation is a great thing!

humanstxt

I added ASCII art (my artist stick figure) to the humans.txt file too. Being plain text it worked fine!

What Happens When your Software Stops Being Supported?

Capturevia – SlideShowPro.

This site for SlideShowPro brings up the issue of support and time. It’s not so much an issue with free plugins, themes and software. Though we miss them and wish we could have stuck with what was working for us, you don’t get promises of forever for free.

What about the software you pay for?

It’s no wonder developers offer support in time blocks, like a year for whatever price they set. But, as someone who pays for (premium) software (themes and plugins included) I don’t want to pay for one year and then be cut off. I want the forever package. Even though it isn’t literally possible.

So, how long do you expect software to be supported?

If a developer offers support “forever” or for a “lifetime” what does that mean in a practical and real sense? What happens in the case of SlideShowPro where people paid and expected the software to be supported and available for as long as they wanted or needed it?

Using the Chrome Web Browser to Post to WordPress

I want to post to my sites with a content curation sort of bookmarklet. I already have an account with Scoop.it where I have several topics and post to them regularly, there. I’d rather put all that work, time and energy into content curation for my own sites instead. So, I’ve been looking for options.

I found a few options and then began trying them all out one by one.

Word This

wordthis

Will only let you do one blog. But, I didn’t even get that far. Right click the icon and and set your blog link in the options. Then it got stuck, never saved, didn’t do anything. The bookmarklet itself opened a window which went no where. So, as much as I liked the name of this one, it is also the first one I’m deleting from the web browser.

WPWrite

wpwrite

Another which will work for one blog only. I have a few and need to post to all of them. It would not work to have a bookmarklet for each one.  Way too complicated.

MultiPress

multipress

Although this one is available to download from the Chrome Extensions, the website is 404. You can add up to five blogs but, I was not able to post to my blog when I tried to run this one.

Postek

postek

This was not what I wanted at all. Only one blog and it doesn’t work to add content from another site you want to link to. This is just a quick way to write a new post without clicking through to your blog. Maybe useful for some, not worth keeping around for me. Plus, I did not like being asked to type in my password on a website other than my own. Overall, I did not mind deleting this one.

Editoy Writer

editoy

This one was more work to set up. I finally got through finding and adding an API key and authorizing the whole thing with WordPpress.com and then… it didn’t work. I don’t know why.  I found a page written in Chinese (I think) which even once translated was no help with setting Editoy up or getting it to work.

Express Curate

expresscurate

This is the one I most want to work. It does work well as the WordPress plugin.  I have found it gives a memory error on my two biggest blogs, but I contacted the developers and they are working on it.

So far I am not getting the Chrome Extension to work. The developers say it should and it should work for multiple sites. So, I’m keeping it around and working getting it to work. It looks great and has all the features I want.

Addendum to Express Curate: One complication I am having with this plugin is the added code for tags which is does on auto pilot. I turned the feature on to give it a try, not entirely sure what it would do but expecting I’d have some control over it. I did not. Express Curate automatically gave all of my WordPress tags an HTML link and a hashtag. This is not a terrible thing – if you want that. I didn’t really, my tags are not that tidy and I didn’t really want the extra links. However, the real problem for me is that this also removed my capital letters, turning titles into all small letters and abbreviations too. Even once I deactivated the plugin, the HTML code remained (and the small letters too). Because of this I am now trying to go through my blogs and fix titles, remove hashtags and the extra code on tags. It is a chore.

So far nothing is working better than the old PressThis which comes with WordPress. But, I’m hoping for more.

Bloated Self Importance on Video

Each time I see someone with a video post I think of all the people who can’t or won’t be watching it.

Video posts are for people with money to burn. In the US the Internet is cheaper. In places like Canada, Europe and the rest of the world, the story is different. I pay almost $100 per month for the Internet, that’s before adding in the cost of my landline phone. I used to have cable TV but paying $180 a month for all three services was too much. Plus, the prices were going up another $5 for Internet and TV the next month.

A very big part of the cost for the Internet is bandwidth. How much you use, not in time but in load. How bloated are the files you are loading onto your computer from the Internet? Have you thought about it?

Uploading is about the files you put from your computer onto the Internet.

Downloading are the files you bring from the Internet onto your computer. Downloading used to be about software you get from the Internet, mostly. Now it is about looking at websites, software, advertising and everything else you view while you are online.

Did you know you pay to watch ads online?

Each ad you see is costing you bandwidth.

A plain text ad costs you almost nothing, not enough that you could even notice it. An ad with an image costs a bit more, especially if the image moves or lights up or does anything other than just be an ordinary image. A larger image costs more, of course. But, ads at this point cost so little bandwidth you would not notice them unless you visit a lot of sites with a lot of ads all the time.

When you get up the food chain to ads which use scripts and then video… you’re paying enough to notice the bandwidth each month.

I use add-ons to turn some of the bandwidth sucking advertising off. It is not 100% but it helps. It helps keep my Internet bill from being even higher each month.

I have to pay for bandwidth each month. I used to have the light Internet account, paying about $50 each month. That was enough to pay. Over 12 months I’d be paying $600, plus tax (which is also higher in most of Canada than the US). What could you do with an extra $600 in your pocket each year?

Anyway, to help make the Internet affordable again I had the cable TV turned off and I began doing what I can to shut down all video posts and ads. Using the web browser add-on will only go so far. The other thing I have done is to not watch video posts.

Seems a simple thing to just choose to not watch video. But, it’s not.

Video posts come up all the time.

When I want to find a tutorial for using a WordPress theme or plugin… it’s in a video post. Annoying when this happens, especially when I have paid for the theme or plugin and now have to pay to use it (or at least to understand how to use it).

Network sites I write for want video added to the posts I write. This means going to YouTube to find second hand content which I have to watch in order to make sure it is relevant and will add some information or resources to my own original post for the site. This annoys me because I have just written original content and now I have to link to someone else, giving them my bandwidth, my time and space in the post I worked on. Aggravating all the way around and this is where most of my extra expense comes from each month on my Internet bill.

Even with protection from browser add-ons I still get caught with video advertisements. There are still more of them out there which have found a way to get around the blocks I have set up.

I think people who post videos (without giving a text alternative) are arrogant or just thoughtless.

It is thoughtless and careless to assume everyone else around the world is just like you. It is arrogant to post videos just to make yourself seem important.

The one time I think a video post is a good and sensible thing is for a tutorial – where it will help people to see what is being done and how it is done. Any other video posts are just people showing the world how important they are. It should be more important to make sure you are communicating with your audience, in a way which suits them best, rather than catering to your own self importance.