Biz Expert Q&A: Renting Ad Space on Your Website

Solutions to help you monetize your online content

My girlfriend and I have a website and we are trying to switch Web hosting platforms so that we own the rights and are able to monetize our site. We have been getting a good amount of traffic and we have a loyal following but we now want to rent advertising space. Do you have any solutions?

—D. Colvin
Via E-mail

If you’re using WordPress, you’ll need to determine which platform you’re using. WordPress is available in two different hosting platforms: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.org is an open-source, customizable platform that offers numerous options for advanced users. Most likely, your site is built on WordPress.com which is hosted free, upgraded and backed up regularly, and simple to set up.

The disadvantage? You’ll need WordPress.org if you want to install custom themes and plug-ins, modify the source code, edit the database, and even run advertisements. Advertisements are restricted on WordPress.com until the blog exceeds 25,000 unique visitors per month. Once you reach that milestone, you can apply for a revenue sharing partnership where WordPress.com receives 50% of your ad revenues.

To upgrade to the self-hosted option, you can use WordPress-integrated Web hosting services such as GoDaddy.com, DreamHost, Bluehost, or MediaTemple and should also transfer your domain names to these hosts prior to transferring your content. Look for a service that offers you one-click, automatic installation, like the sites above. Next, go to Tools -> Export in your old WordPress.com dashboard to download an XML file with your blog’s content. In the new WordPress.org blog, go to Tools -> Import and upload the XML file you downloaded before.

Oh, and rest assured that you don’t have to leave WordPress to own the rights to your content. If it’s your intellectual property then it’s yours no matter which platform you use. For more information follow the instructions at: http://en.support.wordpress.com/export/.

ACROSS THE WEB
  • http://tailormade101.com Patrick Cook

    Marcia, nice info. However, I would tend to say moving to any web hosting platforms now-a-days would enable one to monetize their site – especially if they are familiar with Google’s AdSense technology. I find blogspot more intuitive than wordpress – especially if the target user has novice to intermediate web development or web technology experience. Furthermore, with blogspot you can monetize your site right away and it is very easy to setup. Again, great article. I find this to be a fascinating topic.

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  • howiweb.com@gmail.com

    Before going with AdSense or any other contextual advertising model, I would check to see what type of ads would render for the type of content on your site. If your content is very niche, you may find that the contextual ads delivered are not very complementary. If you have the bandwidth you may make more money by finding an advertiser on your own and posting their image file as a sponsorship for a week or month for a flat fee. It is more work, but even with thousands of impressions per month it is not easy to make a lot of money with contextual advertising. While Google does text contextual advertising and some image based contextual advertising, you should also check out sites like Commission Junction (cj.com) which allow you to pick which advertisers you want to run on your site. B Wright (howiweb.com)