This isn't the sort of post I would normally write (ie. blogging about blogging) but I've never been able to resist a competition, and quite frankly I'm still smarting over not receiving Gisela's dress through the post two years ago in spite of my correct prediction that Susanna Georgi would win the Andorran national selection for Eurovision. Anyway, there's currently a contest running to write a blog-post listing three good things about CMF Ads (one of the blog advertising networks you can see midway down the sidebar), so I thought I'd give it a spin. As it happens, there are genuinely quite a few things I really like about CMF Ads, so hopefully I can do this without compromising what might laughably be described as my integrity. OK, here goes!
Good Thing No. 1 : Although it's billed as essentially a network for advertisers, it works really well for publishers as well. Probably the main reason for that is the payout threshold of $2.50, which is quite a bit lower than the main competitors - I've been paid three or four times so far, most recently a few days ago. But there's also the satisfaction of being able to (virtually) sell advertising space on your blog directly to individuals - you can set your own price for a month-long ad, and CMF Ads only take a relatively small cut. At one point last week, I had six ads running that had been bought that way. Although there's another blog advertising network that operates a very similar system (Project Wonderful), the beauty of CMF Ads is that if nobody buys your ad space directly, it doesn't really matter - the gap will be filled by other types of ads.
Good Thing No. 2 : It's constantly improving. When I first toyed with the idea of joining the network as a publisher, I was really put off by the 50% cashout "tax" which essentially meant that whatever you "earned" was halved unless you used it as a virtual currency to spend on advertising of your own. But the people who run the network clearly recognised this was having a deterrent effect, and slashed the tax to just 10%. Similar progressive changes have been made to the advertising options available - initially there were only the "campaign ads" that I described earlier, in which advertising space is sold individually for each blog. Many low-traffic blogs found it impossible to get anyone to advertise, but this was remedied by the introduction of "network ads" which are shown across all blogs in the network, with each publisher receiving a share of the revenue in proportion to the number of ad impressions delivered. This still left a problem for advertisers, though - you could be sure of getting plenty of ad impressions for your money, but there was absolutely no guarantee of a lot of ad clicks. So there was another swift innovation - "spike ads", in which you pay for a set number of unique clicks. But even that still left one big snag - all the clicks came from the relatively small pool of CMF Ads members. That in turn was put right very recently by the introduction of "firework ads", which offer a guaranteed number of visits that can come from anyone.
Good Thing No. 3 : Very friendly customer service. A few months ago I found I couldn't log-in to the CMF Ads website, and in spite of the fact that it turned out to be my own stupidity, I received an email within a few hours advising me what to do, and then another email within minutes congratulating me on the resolution of the problem! It certainly made a refreshing change after the query I had previously sent to another website, to which I received a reply approximately a month later that read : "Thankyou for drawing this to our attention, but it isn't a priority for us right now". (Funnily enough, I think I might have gathered that without being told.)
So that wraps it up. Thanks for your patience - normal service will (probably) be resumed shortly!