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Ad Management for Bloggers – #Blogathon2

Aeryn Lynne

Welcome to another Mini Challenge post for the Biannual Blogathon Bash!  If you have no idea what I’m referring to, click on the image below to find out more.  This weekend, nearly (if not just over) 100 bloggers have signed up to improve their blogs, and to possibly win valuable prizes to meet their blogging goals this year!  Want to join us in the addictive fun??

Biannual Blogathon Bash

 

This mini challenge is based on Ad Management for bloggers.  I won’t be discussing how to get advertising (local businesses, PR Agencies, affiliate links, etc.), but will be talking about how to keep it all organized.

Cause if you haven’t heard yet, 2013 is the Year of Organization! 🙂

If you run a self-hosted WordPress site, you’re in luck.

There is an amazing ad management plugin available for all of your organizing needs.  Seriously, all you have to do is input the basic info, such as the link the ad is supposed to go to, and upload the ad image, and then you”re simply dancing in the rain.

This program will then keep track, and give you stats on impressions and clicks.  Heck, it will automatically create code to display your ads in blocks, such as 2 x 2 or 1 x 4, if those are display modes you’re looking for.)

What’s this plugin called?” you ask.

AdRotate

Once installed, the simplest way to get started is by adding an ad.  Just go to AdRotate > Manage Ads > Add New.

AdRotate WordPress Plugin

The areas that are most vital are the ones with the arrows to the right.

  • Title should be straight forward, only you will see the name used.  It’s use is to organize all of your ads in a feed (looks much like your list of posts within your dashboard), so you can use descriptive words such as “Company Ad 125×125”.
  • AdCode is how the code will look once it’s placed on your blog. Until you’re ready to create your own code, with the options found on the right, you can use what I’ve been using for all of mine…
    <span><a target=”_blank” href=”%link%”><img src=”%image%”  border=”0″></a></span>
  • Clicktracking – you’ll want to check the enable check box to activate it and then paste only the url of where your ad is going to.  It’s also the “%link%” feature in the code above.
  • Banner Image – you can either place the link of the image you have in the line beside “Media” or even upload the image to your WordPress Media Library.

All that is left is filling out the ad’s schedule on your site (this info is found a little lower down the New Ad page), and your ad is good to go!

See the adrotate banner=”24″ in the image above?  That code can be placed in any widget, post or page on my site, so I won’t have to worry about copy and pasting a whole bunch of code for each ad, which make life *so much simpler*!

AdRotate Example

 

If you look in the text widget above, you’ll see adrotate banner=”7″ and adrotate block=”1″, yes there is a bit of table code, because I wanted these ads to sit side by side, as shown in the image example above on the right.  The adrotate block  though, is the entire collection of small ads.  I didn’t have to write any code for those ads to sit on one top of each other, that was all taken care of by the plugin.  Unfortunately, it’s not advanced yet to place a skyscraper on one side, and a series of small ads beside it, so I had to write that out myself.

One other “con” is that “Rotate” is a big part of this widget, you may only see 5 smaller ads on the side (’cause that’s the number of ads I chose), but I actually have 7 or 8 ads in that one collection.  So if you refresh this page, you’ll see the ads rotate and change each time.  It’s actually helpful so that I don’t have a massively long line of ads to display all at once.  And if you have an ad that must remain on your site at all times, you can specify that by changing the “weight” of the ad (though since I’ve updated this plugin, that has now become a “Pro” feature that needs to be purchased.)

If you run on Blogger/WordPress.com

…or simply don’t want to use a plugin to manage your ads, you’ll need to do some manual work.

I have your back though! I’ve developed a basic excel file (.xlsx) that can be used to track your ads.  It will hopefully be helpful in determining when an ad has to come off your site/renewed right away, or if you should take note that this needs to be taken care of soon.

excelexample

Some of the bells and whistles include colour coding the end date.  If you see a date in red, that means it needs to be renewed or taken down from your site.  Yellow means that date is coming up within five days.  It also can keep track of earnings for tax purposes.

Also, I’ve added a HTML Table cheat sheet in that same file, so that you can create ad blocks more or less on the fly, to make your ads look more uniform.

This file is really simple, and if you think its missing something, please let me know and I’ll attempt to edit.

My back up file is unfortunately not ready at this point (though I hope to have it ready by the end of the day), but I’m attempting to create a similar Google Drive version so that you don’t have to download anything at all (and if you don’t have excel, you won’t need it to work on the Drive.)

And time for the Mini Challenge!

This one is basically choose your own adventure.

#1 – If you don’t feel like you’ll ever place an ad on your site, do nothing, and just let me know in the comments that this isn’t your cup of tea.

#2 – If you’re ready, download the AdRotate plugin by going to Plugins > Add New > and search with the keyword “AdRotate”, it should be the first thing on the list.  Comment below with any questions, or an “Yay! I did it!”

#3 – If AdRotate doesn’t work for you (even if you’re self-hosting WordPress,) download the excel document and either keep it for safe keeping for when you do start showing ads on your site, or fill in the blanks for the ads you currently run.  If you don’t have excel, please leave a comment below and I’ll let you know asap when the Google Drive copy will be ready.

 

Have a fun and safe Blogathon! 🙂

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Aeryn Lynne

The Geek at Geek Life
Living in Superman's Metropolis (aka Toronto, Canada), Aeryn Lynne found a way to entirely over-share everything she loves, and make a career out of it! Ultimately a geek, she waxes poetically over technology, fights for fashion-equality, squees over comic art, and literally sparkles, thanks to her makeup addiction.
Aeryn Lynne

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41 Comments on “Ad Management for Bloggers – #Blogathon2

[…] Ad Management for Bloggers @ Geek With Style […]

Reply
Deb Chitwood
January 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I just completed the challenge! For my purposes, the Excel document worked best. It’s great except that the date shows up in European format. Do you know how to change that?

Reply
Aeryn Lynne
January 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Awesome!! Yes to change the date format…

Start by selecting E6, the hold down the CTRL + Shift buttons, while those are down hit the down arrow twice, so that the entire column should be selected from E6 down. Right click and select “Format Cells” from the list, ensure that the first tab “Number” is selected and you should see “Date” highlighted. To the right of that near the bottom you should see “Locale (location)”, and assuming it stuck with what I have as default, it’ll state English (Canada), just scroll down until you see English (US). Once that’s change, if the format isn’t quite right yet, you can go to custom and change the format to exactly what you’re looking for.

For custom formatting:

DD – day – 1 to 31
DDD – day – Mon to Fri
DDDD – day – Monday to Friday
mm – month – 1 to 12
mmm – month – Jan to Dec
mmmm – month – January to December

yy – year – 13

yyyy – year – 2013

Hope that helps! 🙂

Reply
Aeryn Lynne
January 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Oop, meant to end that with… once you have the format changed to your preferences, click okay and the E column will be fixed with your choice. Then just repeat the steps for the F column.

Reply
Deb Chitwood
January 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Thanks so much! I got it fixed! 🙂

Reply
Clarinda Olenslager
January 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I downloaded it for wp. I like that you can track the clicks. I’ll have to add ads later since I have none currently. Thank you for this challenge.

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Aeryn Lynne
January 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Fabulous! Its not something that I’ve touched base here, but really, this stats program is great for any types of links that you might want to keep track of. If you post a link in a blog post (even one without an image), you could actually use this program to keep track of those that follow through. 🙂 If you have any Qs just ask!

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January 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm

[…] Ad Management for Bloggers […]

Reply
Forgetful Momma
January 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I think that I am going to check this out some more. I just downloaded it. I don’t ads at the moment but this will be great for future use. Have a great weekend.

Reply
Brandy Myers
January 25, 2013 at 11:48 pm

I currently have ad squares but ad rotate seems like it would be a much better program. At this point I can’t tell if anyone even clicks on the ads so I am unsure if they have any reason to be there.

Reply
Kathleen Garber
January 26, 2013 at 1:47 am

Oh cool. I downloaded and installed ad rotate and will take a better look at it later. thanks.

Reply
CrochetHappy Tracy-Joyner
January 26, 2013 at 1:57 am

Well I love Excel but I use Commision Junction which tracks all this for me..no thought required. Sooo..I would like to be able to access this on Google Drive just in case something changes and I need it Please…and Thank You!

Reply
Jen @ A Cup Full of Faith
January 26, 2013 at 2:41 am

I don’t plan to run ads, as my blog is not for profit. If I didn’t have to mess with taxes and all for it, I’d do it and donate the income.

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January 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm

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January 26, 2013 at 7:04 pm

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Caroline
January 26, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Thanks for the plug in suggestion. Ads is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Now I know what to use, next step – what to charge 😉

Reply
Aeryn Lynne
January 28, 2013 at 12:31 am

What to charge is an age-old question, lol. A lot of factors are involved, but regardless, don’t sell yourself short! I think *bare minimum* bargain-basement pricing (personally) should be $35/month.

Reply
Kelly Stilwell
January 26, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I’m moving to WordPress in the next couple of weeks, so I will save this for then. The person who is doing my design just asked me about ads today, so this is timely! Thank you!

Reply
Retha Groenewald
January 27, 2013 at 7:15 am

I use WordPress platform, but the Graphene theme doen’t accept this plugin. It gives an error message

Reply
Aeryn Lynne
January 28, 2013 at 12:28 am

Sorry for the late response Retha! Would you be able to tell me what the error message says? (copy and paste the message if you can please)

Reply
Retha Groenewald
January 28, 2013 at 6:58 am

Fatal error: Call to a member function remove_cap() on a non-object in /home/discocrg/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adrotate/adrotate-functions.php on line 595

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Aeryn Lynne
January 28, 2013 at 9:39 am

That error is discussing capabilities/roles – does your wordpress have other roles involved other than “administrator” “subscriber” etc… This is actually an error that I’ve never come across before, and research shows that its not common, so I don’t have a ready answer for you, sorry. :/
There are a few ways to go about figuring out this issue:
1. Turn off all of your plugins, and then see if AdRotate will work on its own. If it does, then it has a conflict with one of your other plugins.

2. Or if the error still persists even after turning off all other plugins, try switching themes temporarily to see if the plugin activates properlly when a different theme is involved.
3. If its too much to do 1 or 2, you may want to use a different ad manager that doesn’t give the same error.

Reply
Nickida Stephens
January 27, 2013 at 10:26 am

Wow I didn’t even know WP self hosted had an ad manager. I am so excited. I am off to check it out now. Oh on a sidenote is that a plugin you are using for your signature?

Reply
Aeryn Lynne
January 28, 2013 at 12:27 am

YAY! AdRotate is an exciting program! 🙂 Actually I wrote that sig into my theme. I *am* looking at creating a plugin for signatures… I’ll keep you posted if it pans out if you’d like.

Reply
Kimberley Tobin
January 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I mainly use Passionfruit to manage my ads but I also keep an Excel file 🙂

Reply
Meagan Paullin
January 27, 2013 at 11:51 pm

I thought I’d commented here? Maybe I forgot 🙂 For this challenge – I don’t sell ads on Sunshine and Sippy Cups, but I DO want to sell them on the new blog I’m starting soon. I wasn’t sure about it, because I thought that it might be tough to manage it all – this is absolutely perfect!! Pinned it to come back to next month when I’m setting that one – Thank you SO much!

Reply
Aeryn Lynne
January 28, 2013 at 12:23 am

I thought you commented here before too, but I just checked both Disqus and my email and this comment makes one for each mini challenge now, heh. 🙂 Potentially, if you’re a Glam publisher, you can use this program to run your own stats (to compare to Glam’s numbers if you were ever curious.) It also works if you want to keep tabs on sponsored post links (how many times a specific sponsor link was seen and/or clicked,) so even though AdRotate was built to support ads in sidebars, the program can do a lot more if needed! 🙂

Reply
Brooke Bumgardner
January 28, 2013 at 1:41 am

I am not sure if I’ll be doing any advertising on my blog, but I have noted the name of the plugin in case I change my mind. It sounds like a great way to keep the ads organized. Thank you for a wonderful post and mini challenge!

Reply
Jodi Horsley
January 28, 2013 at 2:26 am

I only have a couple of adds that are purchased on my blog, but I did download the excel spreadsheet so I can keep better track of them! Thank you!

Reply
DaLynn McCoy
January 28, 2013 at 2:39 am

Wahoo, I installed the plugin! I’ll have to re-read and think a little more on how to implement it, but this was on my list as far as getting something to work on this. Thank you for making it easy!

Reply
Demetria Spencer
January 28, 2013 at 3:54 am

I use blogger but I did download the file to use! I don’t have a ton of ads on my site yet! I’m just now starting out. Thanks for sharing!!

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[…] Ad Management for Bloggers @ Geek With Style […]

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Retha Groenewald
January 28, 2013 at 6:55 am

I have problems with this pluging
Discover Bible Treasures sit – error, cannot activate pluging
Bible Fascination – plugin loads – but I don’t understand what I should fill in wher

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January 28, 2013 at 9:03 am

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LuAnn Braley
January 29, 2013 at 8:39 pm

I know Blogathon2 is over, but I wanted to go back and at least familiarize myself with the information in the mini-challenges I was not able to complete. I have downloaded your Excel file for the time (hopefully very soon) when I am ready to start hosting ads on my site. Also, you have a new follower – me! :O)

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[…] Ad Management for Bloggers @ Geek With Style […]

Reply
Tooth Fairy
February 6, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Interesting to note the advantages of ” WordPress.” Tooth Fairy still remains fairly old skool within her Homestead Program but maybe one day she may become more techie Tooth Fairy and switch it up to include bloggy within the world of wordpress too!? Time will tell ~

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p3h2o
February 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

OK. There’s a template for all that stuff. Blogging is not for me.

Reply
Little Miss Kate
February 12, 2013 at 11:51 am

I really need to do better at tracking my ads

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