OIOPublisher: Keep 100% Of Your Blog Advertising Revenue
Please note: Simon didn’t actually pay for this review. Instead, I got a free copy of the OIOPublisher plugin and subsequently gave him a free review on this blog. A win-win situation for all!
These days, private advertising is all the rave. Even if you don’t have a big blog with a large readership and have small amounts of traffic, it’s possible to price your advertising spots low, and try and sell quantity rather than a few expensive slots.
Whilst managing these ads may be simple at first, once you start to introduce private banner ads, private text links and private reviews, things can become a lot more complicated, and it often takes up a lot of mental running memory trying to figure out which advertiser owes you money and which advertiser is expiring next.
Simply put, Simon Emery has created a WordPress plugin that allows you to manage all of the above forms of monetization that I mentioned from 1 easy place in your WordPress Admin panel. Here’s an official quote from the OIOPublisher Docs area:
OIOpublisher is not your average web project. We strive for constant development and innovation in what we do. Our aim is to connect bloggers with their target audience, whether that be readers, advertisers, or other bloggers, in practical and effective ways.Taking elements from direct sales, ad networks, and social networking, we provide a completely unique package; more comprehensive and ambitious than any other blogger-orientated project on the internet today.
The 3 pillars driving OIOpublisher forward are: content generation, traffic driving, and direct monetisation.
The Website Design
Above is a screenshot of the homepage of OIOPublisher. I really like the warm feel to it given by the autumn colours. In terms of acting like a sales page, I always think that it’s easier to sell a visitor your product if your information is short, concise and well presented. Simon has managed to do this, and the little bubble with the title “Are you serious about your blog’s success?” lists the main focal points of the plugin and what advantages it gives.
To be a little picky, some of the colours do clash – for example the blue text below the header which states the price of the product and the availability of affiliate commissions. Also, what I’ve learnt from affiliate marketing, is that you need to have a strong call to action – in the form of a Buy Now button if you’re selling a product. The Buy Now text on the homepage in my opinion doesn’t stand out enough, and really needs to capture the visitor’s eyesight if more sales are to occur from quick browsers.
There also seems to be a grey coloured sidebar on the right hand side of the homepage. This really doesn’t make sense in the background of the homepage even though the sidebar is used for other areas of the site, and would probably be best deleted for a cleaner looking design.
Behind The Scenes
Where OIOPublisher really comes into its own, is when you step inside the backend of the site. You will first have to purchase the plugin for a measly $37 – but we’ll talk about price later.
Once inside, you have options to download the plugin, view your affiliate referral stats, submit your blog to the listings section, view the forums, access the job board, request support, view your groups and much much more. What I’ve come to realise, is that Simon is not only providing a tool to efficiently monetize your site, he’s building a real social network and community in the background in a bid to make OIOPublisher a real internet leader. I know that he’s got some exciting news coming out later this week (which of course I’ll have the exclusive of!).
OIOPublisher WordPress Plugin
Downloading the WordPress plugin is extremely simple. Simply click download, extract the files from the .zip, upload it to your hosting uploads folder and then activate the plugin through your WordPress Admin section. Once you do this, you’ll find a new tab labelled “Business“. In my opinion, things start to get a little bit more complicated here. You do have to spend a bit of time familiarizing yourself with all the extra tabs you get (under the Business one) and it takes a little more time to actually setup the ad zones.
To see the plugin in practice, take a look at the top of my right sidebar. If you’re a long time follower of Blogtrepreneur, you’ll see that I’ve finally got rid of those oddly shaped 182px by 68px image ads which ran under the logo, and have used a more conventional 125x125px image advert for the sidebar.
Whilst I will be discussing the new prices and ad spots for Blogtrepreneur in a later post all about the possibilities for you to buy advertising, you can test it out (if you want to buy now), by clicking “Advertise Here” on the vacant ad spots. At the moment, through the plugin backend, I’ve specified there to be 2 rows and 2 columns – and thus 4 ads appearing. The guys over at Instant Coding have taken up one of these spaces and so there are 3 left – the price is only $50 per month too!
The neat thing about OIOPublisher and purchasing, is that it takes you to its own little screen, where you can specify details like Anchor Text and URL, and you can also upload your own advert to my servers. Once done, the process takes you along to a Paypal payment page – and you can even choose to subscribe by Paypal – all again done through OIOPublisher’s plugin.
Simon’s plugin now also manages my text links (those not associated with TextLinkAds the company), and my private reviews, to make everything much easier to manage – and definitely reduces the amount of time taken to maintain a busy and popular blog.
Room For Improvement
Whilst grabbing the plugin from the OIOPublisher site was fairly easy for people with little experience, it would be harder for a tech newbie to customize their plugin exactly how they wanted it on their own blog. I know Simon is writing up some detailed Documents for users, so that will come in handy. Maybe a few screencast videos and custom snippets of code would be better too, so that everyone can have full functionality and customisability over their plugin.
In the backend, I also found that it’s difficult to change a banner or link’s details without having to mark the ad as “Expired” and force the advertiser to redo all their details – and so I would recommend their being more control over the advert as soon as it’s gone live. Adding to this, at the moment an advertiser is only able to purchase for 1 month, or ask Paypal to subscribe them for payment in future months. There should be an option whereby advertisers can pay for a certain number of months in advance – I’m sure this will be an easy addition for Simon.
The war on paid links by Google has also prompted Simon to add an option for NoFollow in the payment area. As a publisher, I’m able to give the advertiser a discount if they use NoFollow, however, the phrasing seems too ambiguous for both me and the advertiser at the moment, and it’s difficult to know whether the total payment figure has changed until you’ve visited the Paypal payment page – a little more touching up here would be fantastic.
Already, the OIOPublisher Advertising Management plugin has made my life as a blogger so much easier. Whilst it sounds silly, I was almost hesitant to have a bigger inventory of adverts before as I knew it would take up valuable time managing them every month.
At only $37, this plugin is also an incredible steal, compared with the WP Text Ads of this world ($127 for that plugin that only manages paid links). Seriously, for blogs of all sizes, it would be easy to recoup that money within the first month of your advertisements appearing, not to mention the precious time that you would save keeping track of it all. So, what are you waiting for? Checkout the Demo and then go and purchase this plugin – I’ve got it – so that’s proof enough!