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WordPress.com bloggers will get the chance to earn some money from ad revenue thanks to a new deal between Automattic and Federated Media (FM).
A blog post from Jon Burke, ads lead for WordPress, said this was something that bloggers have been requesting for some time.
The post said, “We’ve resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn’t terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google’s AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense.”
While this latest blog marks the launch of the new ad platform, Federated Media announced the plan for WordPress.com ads in October.
A press release said the partnership would “offer brands their first opportunity to advertise on the largest, most powerful independent online platform in existence today, effectively letting them reach the passionate communities on the Independent Web”.
Bloggers are now able to register their interest in the new product, called WordAds, but the platform won’t be available to just any old writer.
Rather than just flooding WordPress with hundreds of ads, Automattic is opening it up to “bloggers who would like to earn money from their blogs by showing high quality ads from brand advertisers”.
To qualify for WordAds, bloggers must have publicly visible blogs with a custom domain, and selection will be based on level of traffic and engagement, type of content and the language used on a blog.
How exactly the money will be shared between the bloggers and WordPress is yet to be revealed, but Burke says there are 50,000 new blogs created each day on WordPress so there is scope for a lot of advertising and a lot of money to be made.
Due to the often niche topic of blogs it will be easy for advertisers to target users with relevant ads, which in theory could lead to a higher CTR.
And by trying to keep WordAds as an ‘exclusive’ product, Automattic should be able to ensure that they prevent spammers from creating hundreds of blogs to grab a share of the advertising revenue.
Whether they are able to maintain the quality on a community of more than 24m bloggers remains to be seen, but if done right it could be an excellent tool for advertisers and a big earner for Automattic.
UPDATE: this article has been updated to clarify that WordAds are only available on WordPress.com and not on self-hosted WordPress.org blogs.