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Feb 15, 2010

3 Ad Server Options for Bloggers

Advertising is a major revenue source for many blogs (and the only revenue source for some). If you sell ad space on your blog, I’m sure you have realized that it can be a time-consuming activity. Keeping your ad slots filled, changing the links and images each month, and communicating with advertisers are all necessary functions if you are monetizing your blog by selling direct ads.

There are a number of different tools that can help you to streamline this process. Some are free and some are not. Even those that cost money may prove to be extremely affordable if they can help you to save time and make the process more efficient. In this article will take a look at 3 options for bloggers.

Open Ads

Openads is a free open source ad server that can be used by website owners and bloggers. Over 20,000 publishers have downloaded Openads for use on their own projects, so it has a large and active community surrounding the product.

Openads is an attractive option because it is free and very powerful, as it handles any type of advertisement, including banners, text links, video, flash, popups, etc. For users, Openads features a simple administrative interface to control all aspects of the advertising, and it shows an impressive amount of statistics in real time that many users will appreciate (advertisers can also access this data).

With Openads you can prioritize campaigns (for example, paid advertisers being prioritized over affiliate ads) to control when, where, and how often ads appear. Other features and controls include geo targeting, page-specific controls, times of the day or week, by browser or operating system, referral targeting, frequency capping (only shows ads to a viewer a certain number of times per day or per session).

OIO Publisher

For WordPress users, OIO Publisher is another viable option. As a premium plugin, OIO Publisher comes with a $37 price tag, which is extremely reasonable for bloggers who make money with advertisements. Because it is a plugin, users can access everything they need within the WordPress dashboard.

Once you have purchased the plugin you will keep 100% of the advertising revenue, there is nothing taken out by OIO Publisher. It offers many of the same features and functionality as Openads, such as control of banner ads, text links, and even paid reviews. OIO Publisher works with PayPal to make the process of accepting advertisers and their payment easier and less time consuming.

OIO Publisher also provides some benefit for the advertisers. As the blogger, you can choose to have statistics automatically emailed to advertisers at specific intervals.

There is also a marketplace that is part of OIO Publisher where bloggers and advertisers can get matched up. The stats are provided can also be included in the marketplace if you want to show potential advertisers more about the experience of your current advertisers.

If you are hesitant to purchase the plugin there is also a free version, although it does not include the functionality to manage banner ad campaigns.

Show Your Ad Here

Show Your Ad Here is the latest project from Mark Wielgus of 45n5. This ad server will not cost you anything (for sites with less than 250,000 page views per month), but you will only receive 75% of the ad revenue (they cover PayPal fees). Show Your Ad Here offers some of the features of Openads and OIO Publisher, such as ad rotating and geo targeting, however, there are no statistics provided.

With Show Your Ad Here you can easily manage multiple ad zones and multiple sites from one place (although there is no functionality for text links). They also have an ad marketplace like OIO Publisher. Their marketplace includes some social features such as ratings and feedback.

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