WordAds: Advertising on WordPress

I seldom go off-topic (away from stereotypes) and even if I do, I still write about people, men, women; about countries, possibly about laws and their effect on societies… but I don’t go off-topic, so far away to talk about technology or blogging in general or advertising in particular. So why am i writing about WordAds?

  1. I can’t stop thinking about it (I tend to do that often once I am excited about something :D) and bloggers / writers simply write about their passions and their thoughts, and this where my thoughts are right now.
  2. I feel that there isn’t enough information about WordAds out-there since the program is relatively new and is still not as mature as Adsense. What I will be discussing in this blog post, can be found in bits and pieces all over the web, in many discussions, in other blog posts from other bloggers.

Most blog posts that I came across, simply don’t cover all the questions that might pop up on a WordAds newbie’s mind. so basically, I will answer few of the most commonly asked questions on this topic and then at the end of the post, I will share my story with you (it is still an ongoing story that I will be updating regularly).

How much money can I make from WordAds?

No one out there will give you a straight answer to this question (with concrete statistics or numbers). I reviewed few WordAds related blog posts and I collected the information below:

Site Earnings Ad IMP Page Views Earnings /1000 views Earnings /1000 Ad IMP
Clarissa’s Blog (Oct 2014) $ 653.16 270,727 ~621,856 $ 1.35 $ 2.32
Harsh Reality Blog $ 407.5 167,136 ~334272 $ 1.22 $ 2.44
CommicNewbies’ Blog $ 354 152,702 ~300,000 $ 1.18 $ 2.32
Filipino Scibe’s Blog $ 246.97 286,662 ~600,000 $ 0.41 $ 0.86
MiniMotives’ Blog $ 210.35 151,359 ~350,000 $ 0.6 $ 1.4
JDMoyer’s Blog $ 162.19 70,000 120,000 $ 1.35 $ 2.32
Diary of Dennis’ Blog $ 133.26 67,234 149,978 $ 0.89 $ 1.98
Clarissa’s Blog (Feb 2014) $ 108.84 49,965 114,769 $ 0.95 $ 2.18
The Human Breed Blog (this Blog) $ 86.58 40,249 69,646 $ 1.24 $ 2.15
SubtleWords’ Blog $ 8.44 8,683 ~30,000 $ 0.28 $ 0.97
HalfBlog $ 5 5,000 10,000 $ 0.5 $ 1.0
Totals / Average $ 2,376 1,269,717 2,700,521 $ 0.88 $ 1.87

The sampled data suggests that the average return for every 1000 views is around 0.8 US dollars. So, if you are getting 1000 page views a day, you can expect around 24 $ a month. Another way to look at it, if you want to quit your daytime job and focus on blogging (let us say you need 3000 $ a month), then you need around 3.75 million page views per month or a 125 thousand visitors a day.

Note: I believe that the discrepancies between the total page views and the ad impressions are due to three reasons

  1. Visitors using Ad block software on their web browsers
  2. Visitors from regions where there is low or no demand for advertisement
  3. As a blogger, you have the option to turn off Ads for other WordPress visitors who are logged in, so this could be another reason for some missed impressions

Is there a minimum traffic requirement for getting approved in WordAds?

Yes

Naturally, your next question would be, what is the minimum traffic threshold for getting approved in WordAds?

Unfortunately, I still don’t have a clear cut answer to this question.

WordAds was Launched in November 29, 2011 and apparently things have changed quite a lot in the last 3 years. I am new WordAds, so How do I know? I know because I have been reading hundreds of comments from other bloggers, few of the older applicants have been accepted, while having less than 5000 page views per month. On the other hand, some other few (like me) of the more recent applicants who are getting 10,000+ page views per month have been with-held until their blog reaches the minimum traffic threshold. So we can safely assume that the number is changing through out the life time of the program as WordAds matures and becomes somehow a bit more strict.

Edit: October 14, 2014, My blog has been approved, please read “My Story with WordAds” section below for details.
Notes:

  • More recent comments suggest that minimum the required page views per month ranges from 20,000 to 25,000 views per month. (Edit: My blog got approved at almost the 15,000 views per month Mark)
  • You can still apply to WordAds even if you do not meet the minimum traffic requirement. Your blog will not be rejected; your application will simply remain pending until your blog crosses the minimum traffic threshold as defined by WordAds

How long does it take WordAds to approve my blog?

Blog owner’s responses vary widely, from few days to few months (even a year). here are few examples:

Site Applied On Approved On Total Time in Months
Cristian Mihai’s Blog 15-Oct-12 25-Oct-12 0.3
Comic Newbies’ Blog 02-Jun-13 17-May-14 11.6
Russel Ray Photos2’s Blog 01-Jul-14 15-Jul-14 0.5
The Human Breed Blog (my blog 🙂 ) 13-Mar-14 13-Oct-14 7
Kurt Brindley’s blog 28-Sep-14 12-Dec-14 2.5

Note: Some dates are approximated because the authors were not precise in their statements, example: (I
applied to WordAds a couple of weeks ago…)

The waiting approval time seems to depend on two factors:

  1. Number of Monthly page views per blog
  2. Application date, since this affects the approximate pending applications that WordAds team need to process before reaching your application + the policies of the WordAds program might be changing slightly with time.

Bottom line, If you want to speed up the approval process, I recommend that you focus your attention and all your efforts and energy on increasing the traffic to your blog and not about worrying about when your site will be processed.

Are there any alternatives to WordAds for making money off my blog?

No and Yes.

No, you cannot use other advertising programs such as Adsense while your site is hosted on Wordpress’s or Automatic’s Servers; even if you buy your own domain.

Yes, you can use other advertising or affiliate programs but only if you do your own WordPress installation on your own web hosting plan. You do not need to be an expert to do that, but this path is certainly much harder and much more time consuming the using a WordPress Hosted site. You need to take care of everything from A to Z, such as:

  • Pay your web hosting bills
  • Buy a domain name
  • Setup your WordPress blog
  • Export and re-import your blog
  • Maintain your blog (keep it up to date with every WordPress release), manage plugins, battle your way through massive spammy comments

Is my site eligible for WordAds?

  1. Is your site hosted on WordPress.com?
  2. Do you have your own domain name?
  3. Is your site brand-safe and family-friendly?
  4. Does your site have sufficient traffic to generate meaningful earnings?

If the answer is yes to all the above questions, then your site is eligible for WordAds.

How can I contact WordAds / WordPress about my application?

If you want to contact WordAds, just use this link http://wordads.co/contact/

What are the main diffferences between Google Adsense WordAds?

Adsense WordAds
Payment Methods EFT, check, Western Union, SEPA, Rapida, Wire transfer PayPal
Advertising From direct advertisers through Adwords Ad partners like Adsense, Federated Media, and dozens of others
Average pay for 1000 views Generally believed to be anywhere between 1$ to 3$ ~ 1$ according to the sampled data presented above
Approval per site Once the primary site/ account is approved, Adsense code can be added to any other sites that comply with Adsense policies without approval Approval is done on a site by site basis
Where can I place these ads? Any site which complies with Adsense policies Only on wordpress hosted, full domain sites
You make money when users click on your Ad By Ad Impressions
Minimum payment 100$ 100$

How to apply to WordAds

Assuming that you have already bought your own domain name and your site is eligible for WordAds, simply use this link http://wordads.co/signup/ to sign up for WordAds.

My Story with WordAds

WordAds application submitted on March 13, 2014

It all began on March 13, 2014. By that time, I had already published 4 posts, and I was pretty happy considering that I was getting an average of 182 page views per day from a handful of posts. So, I bought the domain http://humanbreeds.com and I submitted my application to WordAds.

Why did I do it so early? Well, I simply did my research and I knew that WordAds approval takes a couple of months (at that time I didn’t know about the monthly traffic threshold requirement), so I thought I could use this time to build up my blog, write few more posts, and increase my traffic until my application goes through the long queue of pending applications.

Thank you for your interest in WordAds. Our team will be reviewing your site to determine if it is a match with our criteria.

Because we are launching this program to the public, the high volume of applications means that it might take a few weeks for us to respond. We appreciate your patience.

Inquiry about WordAds and my Approval Letter

I knew that WordAds approval will take anywhere from 1 day (if the site is very popular) to 3 months ( I ASSUMED my application would take 3 months maximum). However, by October 13, 2014, my application had been pending for 7 months, and at that point, I had already lost hope that I will ever get my blog approved. I simply assumed that the topics covered in my blog are of no interest to advertisers and this is why my blog has been overlooked for a long.

Having lost hope, I contacted WordAds team on (http://wordads.co/contact/ ) and to my surprise I got an immediate response:

My 1st Message (October 13, 2014) :

I applied for WordAds 7 months ago and I still haven’t heard anything back. May I know the status of my application? Is it rejected? or is it still pending?

The 1st Reply (October 13, 2014):

Our advertising partners do have a minimum traffic threshold. Looking at your page views, it’s not possible to earn meaningful earnings given your traffic levels. A site generally needs thousands of page views each month to earn meaningful earnings. As your traffic grows we will continue to apply to get ads activated, there is no need to re-apply.

My 2nd Message (October 13, 2014):

Thank you, I really appreciate your quick reply.
Is it possible to know the minimum required traffic threshold?

The 2nd Reply, (October 13, 2014), I must say it felt so good to read it:

Sorry about yesterday, I think I was looking at the wrong blog.
You were actually on track to be approved later this week, so I just put that through for you now instead.
You can now finish setting up WordAds via Settings -> WordAds in your blog’s Dashboard.

Page views per month for http://humanbreeds.com

Page views per month for http://humanbreeds.com, humanbreeds got approved for WordAds at approximately 15,000 pageview per month

The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory. Thank you WordAds for approving my blog. Waiting for 7 months only made this moment 7 times happier than I thought it would be. If you are waiting for your Blog’s approval, hang in there, and keep your focus on improving your blog and increasing your traffic and soon you will taste your “Sweet Victory”.

My WordAds Earnings

WordAds Earnings

WordAds Earnings

Four months after the approval of my site, I must say that I am a bit disappointed with the earnings. What I find weird, just like many bloggers have already pointed out, is that even though my visitors are increasing, the earnings are the same or even slightly less now.

For instance, I got 16,250 page views in November of 2014 and for that I got $22.55. I got 19,639 page views in January 2015 and for that I got only $19.62 (a linearly proportional number would have been $27.25 in January).

Inconsistency in WordAds Earnings

Edit (August 16, 2015), things are getting worse. Check the first chart below: My earnings (green) have dropped down to half (From 22.55 $ in October 2014 to 11.77 $ in May 2015) despite my page views (blue) being higher than 20,000 views per month. In the second chart, you can see that the return per 1000 Ad Impression (CPM) has dropped from 2.25 $ in October 2014 to 1.17 $ in May 2015 and the return per 1000 Page views (CPV) has dropped from 1.39 $ in October 2014 to 0.51 $ in May 2015.

 

Month Page views Ad Impressions Earnings CPM CPV
October 16,250 10,039 22.55 1.39 2.25
November 17,390 10,517 23.44 1.35 2.23
December 16,367 90,33 19.97 1.22 2.21
January 19,639 10,660 19.62 1.00 1.84
February 19,063 10,588 19.68 1.03 1.86
March 22,507 12,569 23.44 1.04 1.86
April 21,437 11,950 22.34 1.04 1.87
May 23,046 10,090 11.77 0.51 1.17
June 20,849 8,814 12.89 0.62 1.46
WordAds Monthly Earnings vs. Page Views and Ad Impressions

WordAds Monthly Earnings vs. Page Views and Ad Impressions

 

WordAds monthly CPM & CPV

WordAds monthly CPM & CPV

 

To be fair, I think WordAds are doing their best to find more advertisers and drive the rates up, but the whole advertising industry is struggling. If your WordAds earnings are decreasing as well, don’t worry, it is nothing that you have done wrong, it is hopefully a temporary phase.

Here is a quote from the WordAds team to a blogger’s inquiry about the falling rates from this forum discussion:

Advertising rates fluctuate constantly, and they have been dropping industry-wide.

Please see the post linked to in the latest update from the private WordAds Group blog for more details.

Once we’re done with WordAds 2.0, we hope that will draw the attention of some the rarer higher paying advertisers again.

 


If you are new to WordAds and this topic is still generally not clear to you, please feel free to ask me any questions. Reading the frequently asked questions on WordAds or the dailypost’s / Automaticians’ post about WordAds would possibly help.

If you had your share of experience with WordAds, please leave a comment, share your journey with me and with other readers. I would love to know your stats too (if you are comfortable sharing it with the rest of the community).

Thank you for reading 🙂 and Goodluck

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