Monday, July 25, 2005

The Pheedo Interface for Publishers

I will be the first to admit that Pheedo's interface to get started as a publisher (which is what they call you and me as bloggers) is not the simplest in the world. I'm here to help, BlogHers.

If you go to the sign-up page for the Pheedo BlogHer Ad Network, it's pretty self-explanatory. You gotta fill in all your basic info.

In your 'Description' of your blog, you might want to throw in any stats or demographics you think would entice advertisers. If you get a lot of traffic, obviously that is important. If your audience is 87% women with high incomes...good to know. How any of you know all that stuff is a little beyond me, but I'm clearly not as into market research as I am into a lot of other segments of the marketing function.

Yes, they ask for info you don't typically give online, but're making money, so they have to be able to cut you checks and mail them to you. It's no different than the info Amazon Associates or other affiliate programs ask for.

Feed advertising
You can choose just to place ads in your RSS feed posts. BlogHer specifically requested text-ads-only, not ads with graphics. Yes, it might be cool to see our little BlogHer logo, but we went for understated, subtle placement :) You will enter your current RSS feed, and Pheedo will give you your Pheedo RSS feed. This is now the feed URL you should have a link to in your blog if you want people to actually get the ads you've signed up to host.

(I'm still figuring out how you change the feed that Bloglines uses...stay tuned.)

Then you have to make some decisions:
-You categorize your blog, so that ads have more relevance.
-You decide whether to place ads in posts you've written or have them show up as separate posts. I totally recommend the former. It's just annoying (IMHO) to get an entire fresh post in your feed reader that's just an ad.
-You decide how many of your posts will have an ad in them. I think this should really depend on how often you post. I only post 1 or 2 posts a day, if that, in Worker Bees, so I just changed my feed to carry an ad every other post. If I posted 12 times a day that might feel really spammy, but I don't.
-You also can decide that you only want ads to appear separated by a decent interval of time. No more than one post per day, or once every 12 hours or whatever. Again, the goal is not to inundate people, thereby annoying them to the point of un-subbing. Be aware.
-Finally you have to choose a price per click through on an ad in your RSS feed. I got some inside scoop from new Pheed-ite, Dana VanDen Heuvel, that they recommend a starting point of $.45 a click. So that's what I got!

That's it. Signing up to host ads in your feed is pretty easy. But now I'll move on to signing up to hosting them in your blog...which I will b honest and say I found more confusing. I had the long Skype chat with Dana, so you won't have to though!

Blog advertising

First thing you need to know, the section Pheedo calls Ad Zones, means areas on your blog home page that you are setting aside to host ads. (I for some reason leapt to the conclusion that it had something to so with geographical or demographical targeted ads!)

If you're wondering how you are supposed to know where you're going to host ads, well, yes, you will have to get in there and insert some code into your blog home page template. If you've done it to add items to your blog roll, or add little "Subscribe" buttons or other such side bar accoutrements, you can do this too, don't worry.

Another thing you need to know...they will ask you for the URL where a potential advertiser can view where the ad will be. And yes, you're right, you haven't put an ad anywhere yet, so it's a horse before the cart thing. Just put your blog URL there, categorize and describe it and decide whether you want to charge per click or per week for ad space.

Once you do that it takes you to a page where you define parameters about what you want the ads to look like, the site then gives you the associated code, and you go plug that into your blog's template. The tool doesn't properly show you the ad sizes, so Pheed-ite Dana has created this page for you to see the sizes.

There you have it.

My experience of setting up my blog as part of the Pheedo BlogHer ad network was greatly enhanced by Skyping Dana with questions. And he said I could publish his Skype name for other BlogHers who needed help: dvandenheuvel

So, go for it. And let me and Dana know how it goes.

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