Our never-ending quest for a good ad network continues. Will BuySellAds.com be our savior?


Summary of this really long post

  • Project Wonderful was interesting but only netted us $96 over 2 months
  • Unless you enjoy not getting paid, we still highly un-recommend Rubicon Project
  • We are now using BuySellAds.com to manage our ads
  • Click here to purchase an ad on getclicky.com
  • Click here to purchase an ad on freewebs.getclicky.com
  • ???
  • Profit!

As of yesterday we dropped Project Wonderful and are now using a new ad service called BuySellAds.com. I want to share our experience with PW, but first I want to talk about BSA. Todd (the owner) was a Clicky sponsor way back when we were selling our own ads directly. He recently got back in contact with me after reading some of our other posts here describing our dissatisfaction with other ad networks. I told him that I was just about to switch back to selling our own ads because that's the only thing that ever brought in decent income, but he convinced me to try his just-launched product first. I'm glad I did because everything so far has been great and we've already sold 5 spots in 24 hours, which translates to $250/month already - not bad.

Using BSA is similar to selling ads yourself - you choose the ad sizes, how many you want, and the price you want to sell for. But they automate the monthly billing, and can take credit cards directly - neither of which we were able to do before. Once you have signed up and put the typical few lines of javascript on your site, you don't have to do anything, and you will start making money (supposing people want to advertise on your site of course). I already have enough crap to deal with on a daily basis, this saves me a lot of time and is completely worth the reasonable 25% commission that BSA charges. 25% is about as low as you'll find anywhere.

There's also another great feature that makes BSA rather unique: You can cash out at any time you want. Very few networks offer this functionality, and after our experience with Rubicon (they still owe us over $200, and we stopped using them over 2 months ago), we're relieved to see it. The customer service has also been great, granted they are very small scale right now, but every feature/change I have requested has been implemented, and quickly.

I hadn't really expected to sell any ads until I wrote this blog post and put a link to it on our dashboard. But when I woke up this morning we had already sold 4 spots, which we're offering for $49/month each. We have 10 slots available for getclicky.com (click here), and 10 slots available for freewebs.getclicky.com (click here). So if you're interested in advertising with us, click those links and off you go.

Overall I'm very pleased with the service and expect to stick with it, as long as it remains reliable. It is running on Amazon's web services so I expect it to do just fine.


So what about Project Wonderful?

After we dropped Rubicon, we decided to try out Project Wonderful based on recommendations from some of you. PW is an interesting and unique service, but it wasn't making us much. After nearly 2 months, we only earned $96 total (after their 25% commission). Some sites on there are earning thousands per month, but they get 500K+ page views per day, and they're in the "web comic" niche, which for some reason is extremely popular on this service. Perhaps if we had started a comic about web analytics, we would have fit in better - but somehow I have trouble seeing anyone reading it.

The biggest problem with PW is that all ads are forced to have an expiration date. This causes the money you're making to fluctuate wildly, typically in a bad way. We were running a 3x1 set of half-banner ads (234x60) during the entire 2 month period. Sometimes I'd check our account and each ad would be as high as $1.50 per day (everything on PW is "per day"). I'd come back an hour later and they'd all have dropped to $0.05. This happened when the highest bidding ad had just expired. If none of the remaining ads had bid very high, or if there were only 3 ads left to compete for 3 slots (in other words, zero competition amongst themselves), they all drop to the minimum bid. That sucks. Being able to set an expiration date is definitely a good thing for an advertiser, but I think that all ads should, by default, never expire. This would keep the prices up and the publishers happy. Instead, this type of price fluctuation is a daily and frustrating experience.

Project Wonderful had some of the same features that I really like about BSA - low commission (25%) and being able to cash out at any time. But the unreliable pricing of ours ads forced us to move on. Overall it's a decent service and obviously works really well for some sites. Just not ours.
4 comments |   Apr 01 2008 2:24pm





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