Monday, March 23, 2009

The Project Wonderful Online Advertising Experiment

The mystery of online advertising...if you love to surf online blogs and web sites of artisans and crafters, or even the online comic crowd, you have the opportunity to see ads that are distributed through Project Wonderful (PW).

PW, as it is abbreviated, is an online ad auction that is so automated that even those who are not online savvy can use it and is a great way to dip your toe into the online advertising waters. Although there are groups of all kinds using PW, the main groups targeted are online artists, handcrafters, designers, gamers and online web comics.

Project Wonderful itself states, “Project Wonderful reinvents online advertising. We've made click fraud impossible. We give advertisers the power to choose what sites their ads appear on - and publishers the freedom to choose what ads show up on their sites..."

In contrast, if you have ever used the Google Ad Sense program, you know that you cannot request your earned money until your account reaches $100. PW allows withdrawal of funds $10 and above. In addition, Google makes the majority of decisions for you as to what shows on your site, whereby PW allows you, the advertiser or publisher, to have complete control on where your ads are placed or which ads you put on your pages.

In these last few months, I experimented with PW as a clueless, new-to-online-advertising newbie for my GalleriaLinda online shop, as well as recently for the Indie CEO blog. Boy, did I learn a lot from the experience.

I started placing ads on my jewelry blog, GalleriaLindaShowcase, starting January 1, 2009. In about 4 weeks, I had $6 in my account. It grew to about $15 by the end of February. Feeling confident, I decided to use the money to pay for GalleriaLinda advertising instead of withdrawing it.

There are several predetermined sizes of graphic ads you can create, the most popular being the 125x125 pixel size ads. I created my very own GalleriaLinda ad, uploaded it, selected blogs to host my ad, and placed bids. If you want a 125x125 pixel animated ad – you can create one at GifMake.

Things I learned as an advertiser:

  • Pay attention to your ad clicks (there are “performance” reports for you to check).
  • If you go for the free ads, then it is no worry - may as well keep it there. If you are paying, then you make decisions to keep your ad on a specific site or delete the bid based upon the ratio of unique site traffic vs. the number of clicks you get.
  • It is easy to find places for your ad that have $0 cost and is a great way to try this without spending money. This means that your ad can be placed for no money but your ad may show only off and on, depending upon the bids for those slots. The ad boxes fluctuate in bid pricing all day long!
  • FREE ad space is allowed only for a two-day time so you will have to manually renew every two days if you wish. If you bid actual money, you can designate the time from a day to unlimited.
  • It IS possible to get free ad space on a site with significant traffic, but it will be only for a short while. Most free spots are on sites that have minimal traffic.
  • If you are picky about where your ad is seen, you have control, although it takes time to do a keywords search and handpick those you want.
  • If you are not so picky about where your ads are seen, you can do a campaign using search terms, and “let ‘er rip.”

Things I learned as a publisher:

  • Build it and they do not automatically come! Like anything else online, this takes promotion, traffic numbers, and dedication to make this work well for you.
  • PW ad campaigns from others will automatically find your ad box if your box description fits the key words and fits the traffic criteria setup by the ad owners.
  • When setting up your ad box, good key words are critical.
  • Your web page or blog where your ad box is displayed needs to have traffic in order to attract a flow of ad placements. You must promote your page and update it frequently to bring up those traffic numbers. The more frequent you update, the more traffic you will have that may capture more ad campaigns automatically.
  • Ways to promote your web pages and blogs can be found in the Indie CEO “Blogging is an Art” series.

To get a good feel for the process, here is a great tutorial on using Project Wonderful posted by TimothyAdamDesigns.

It is FUN to see your very own little ad showing on someone else’s web page!

If you want to learn the process, you can try out PW by placing ads manually by searching for $0 ads and paying attention to traffic counts for learning and understanding. This will help you understand the process. Alternately, you can place an ad box on your site and wait for funds to collect to use for your own ad placement. Or, deposit money right away into a PW account and go for it!

GalleriaLinda's ad boxes where you can place your ads are available at:
GalleriaLindaShowcase blog
IndieCEO blog - see the right side of this article

12 comments:

  1. This is a really good tutorial that quickly sums up project wonderful.. Thanks for posting it..

    Regards
    Diana

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  2. Great, dj! Glad it was useful and give PW a try.

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  3. thanks for introducing me to pw! waaay better than google ads. i like deciding what businesses show up on localshops1.com

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  4. Thanks so much for the info. I was looking for info on PW and came across your artfire post, I am now also follow your blog. Great blog. Thanks!

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  5. Ester/LocalShopper - you have really been getting "in" to PW! Good for you!

    AAEGlassARt - appreciate your post and the follow! Hope you try PW soon!

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  6. I saw your post on Wendy’s View from the Sidecar and tracked down PW. I work for www.netSpray.com and we try to spread ads all across the internet. We are a very new site but have some unique tools coming out that sellers will be able to use to gain more ad exposure and control. You made me see other ways that we can get ads for a small fee to a lot of other sites. I would be very interested in learning about any ways we could help others get more ad exposure across multiple sites. My e-mail is dennis@netspray.com if you have time.

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  7. What excellent information! Thanks! I'm new to e-commerce, and I've been wondering what PW was!
    Tracy- Braggin' Rights!
    http://tcornell.etsy.com

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  8. Congrats! I am passing on to you the One Lovely Blog Award because I love reading your blog everyday! Stop by my blog and pick up your award :)
    -Stephanie

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  9. dehogan said...
    I saw your post on Wendy’s View from the Sidecar and tracked down PW. I work for www.netSpray.com and we try to spread ads all across the internet.

    ~~~~
    dehogan - THANK YOU for introducing NETSPRAY! I am looking into it now to see what you have up your sleeve. Anything that helps promotion for very small businesses is appreciated.

    CrystalAllureBeadedJewelry - awesome!! better late than never and THANK YOU for the award. Off to pick it up!

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  10. thanks for this wondderful info!

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  11. Thanks for the info. Been experimenting for a week with PW and think I'm seeing a bit more momentum in terms of views in my shop... Here's hoping :)

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  12. “Wow” you are a genius for sure what great ways to get ranked high and obtain good traffic flow from your article. Thank you for sharing your information it was very good reading for sure. I am looking forward to any more of your articles you produce in the near future.


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