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December 18, 2004

CrispAds for Blogs, RSS & Atom Feeds

CrispAds - text ads for blogs as well as RSS and Atom feeds, are jumping on the contextual advertising bandwagon, but by offering something that AdSense currently does not - the ability to advertise on RSS feeds.

From the advertiser perspective, it offers advertisers a very tight niche community - blog writers and readers - and the ability to market related products to them. CrispAds does not disclose what the CPC is for advertisers until after signing up (you are charged an initial $5 for credit card verification).

From the publisher end, it offers a 95% revenue share and after signing up, all the publisher needs to do is submit categories and insert the javascript. Payment is by PayPal.

But how well their ads would do when targeting non-blog keywords remain to be seen. Because unlike AdSense which contextually targets based on the page contents, CrispAds targets based on catagories submitted by advertisers, and matched up to the catagories a publisher submits for each blog. They do seem to be having difficulty attracting advertisers into the program. Their ad inventory seems to be severely lacking - I only saw one non-CrispAds advertisers - but this is a problem that plagues many newer programs in this space. I saw plenty of CrispAds ads running - not sure if those are considered paid or PSAs (non-paid public service announcement ads). But they should at least put up some blog-related affiliate ads and pay publishers for them, which would give the appearance of more advertisers, resulting in more advertisers AND publishers.

Advertising in RSS feeds is definitely controversial. On the one hand, bloggers would like to bring in a few pennies for their efforts, but on the other hand, they worry they could alienate their readship with RSS ads. And well known authors in the blog community have been weighing in. John Battelle on Searchblog supports the idea and says "If we don't support authors, we all lose". Dave Winer of Really Simple Syndication refers to RSS ads as "boring".

Still curious about CrispAds? You can sign up with their sample RSS feed at http://www.crispads.com/blog/wp-rss2.php to see the ads in action. The jury is still out on the success of this particular program. And so much of it has to do with timing. All it would take is AdSense to allow their ads to show on RSS, and this program could easily fail. But with so few options for RSS advertising at the moment, if bloggers and advertisers are willing to give it a try, it could be successful.

Posted by Jenstar at December 18, 2004 11:15 AM

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I've signed up to be on both ends of the spectrum. Advertiser and publisher. Interestingly enough, the only ad that is being displayed on my blog is my own ad. :-)

NOTE: The ad isn't related to my blog or that would be just plain silly, of course.

This means if someone clicks on the ad, I get 95% of the revenue back to me and I've just paid someone 5% to manage the advertising campaign.

However, I suspect that there will be others coming on shortly. I've got an idea... instead of everyone yakking about the shortcomings and lack of publishers/advertisers, why doesn't everyone just sign up as one or both and give it a go? Jeesh. Can't hurt and anytime you can support someone's idea to bring revenue to bloggers, that's a good thing.

As for the paypal thing... I'm sorry. I don't get the resistance. PayPal is very popular and almost everyone in the blogosphere has an account. It seems to me to be a VERY reasonable request ESPECIALLY considering they only take 5% of the ad revenue. With a small take like that, you have to minimize your expenses to the nth degree. Cutting checks for everyone is just too expensive when you're only getting 5% of the haul.

Posted by: Dan Sherman at December 19, 2004 04:14 PM

If I cut and paste their code into the article, it will also appear on my blog on my website. Now, I already have Adsense on my blog on my website and am making a lot of money from it. So this begs the question: Are Crispyads and Google Adsense Ads compatible ? In other words, do they comply with the Adsense terms and conditions ? So issues like "CPC ads", "content targeted" and all those other "exclusions" mentioned in the Adsense T&C.

Posted by: Motte Bonk at December 21, 2004 08:57 AM

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