WordPress Introduces WordPress.com to WordPress.org Guided Transfer Service

Many of us start blogging as a hobby and then move into more professional mode. Starting out with blogging is very easy and you can create a free blog at sites like WordPress.com or blogger.com.

WordPress Guided Transfers

However, it becomes a bit of a hassle when you decide to get your own domain name, because you have to move all your posts and comments to your new domain.

There are several services out there which provide users with options to make this move easy and it looks like WordPress has now officially jumped into the game. Today, WordPress introduced a new service called "Guided Transfers" which will allow you to move your WordPress.com blog to your own personal domain running WordPress.org.

The service ensures error free transfers and will cost users $99 to move. The Guided Transfers service includes the following features:

  • Install the WordPress software at the recommended host of your choice.
  • Transfer over your entire WordPress.com site.
  • Install and configure Jetpack and a few other plugins to provide features that you have been using on WordPress.com.
  • Configure and test permissions so that you’ll be able to have one-click installs and upgrades.
  • Switch your domain(s) over.
  • Provide full support for you on your new WordPress installation for a two week period.

Earlier this week, WordPress had also launched a new service called JetPack which brought all the WordPress.com goodies to your self-hosted domain. In addition to that, WordPress also has a blog backup service called VaultPress which backs up your blog database and files.

Top Paying Best CPM Advertising Networks To Make Money From Your Website

This is a part of a series of which I will be writing in order to help people to learn from my experiences and use those on their own websites.

CPM or cost per thousand is a good way to make additional income from your website based on the number of users who visit your site. Unlike , CPM ads do not require users to click on your ads for you to make money and only ad impressions do fine.

CPM Ad networks can also be used as an alternative to Google AdSense. Though they might not work as well as AdSense, they will still help to make revenue from your website.

However, CPM ad networks also employ a quality check based on the number of clicks the ads get to make sure that they display the best possible and highest CPM ads on your website. For more information about this you can read my earlier post about Making more money from CPM ads.

In the past 5 years, I have used several ad networks which have often made me money and have sometime missed the mark. In this post, I will list out some of the best CPM ad networks that you can use today. You have to understand that my experiences may not help you always, so make sure to pick and choose the best one which works for you.

In addition to reviewing the CPM networks I have used, I will also post links to other networks which you can use, however, since I won’t be able to review them as I haven’t used them.

Tribal Fusion

Tribal Fusion has so far been the best performing ad network for me. Getting into the network is not that easy, but the dividends it pays to get in is definitely good.

Tribal Fusion

Over the past few years, Tribal Fusion has been the second highest earner for me. It has continued to grow CPM wise and earnings wise. Though I won’t disclose the earnings or CPM explicitly, I can tell you that you will earn $1+ if you tweak it accordingly. More tips on tweaking it will be coming up in a future article.

That said, I have definitely had a very smooth and pleasant experience with Tribal Fusion. Their ads are top notch and the support is top notch too. I once had to block certain ads, and even though they had this feature in their interface, their support staff did it for me.

Tribal Fusion Hits

  • Ads from top companies
  • High CPM rates
  • Good support staff
  • Timely payments
  • Not much load on website
  • Supports multiple size ads
  • Users can easily block intrusive creative
  • Can be used as an alternative ad-server to display ads from other networks when Tribal Fusion does not have ads to display
  • User can set a base CPM to ensure that ads are only delivered if they are above a certain CPM

Tribal Fusion Misses

  • Reporting is not up-to the mark, lacks country and specific size reports which can help you optimize ads
  • No way to browse inventory and block advertisers unless you see ads
  • No option for PayPal payments
  • Does not support email reports

Overall Rating: 8/10

Minimum payment: $50

Payment terms: Net 45. You will be paid 45 days after your minimum payment has accrued.

Payment methods: Check and NEFT.

Minimum Requirements: 500,000 unique visitors a month. Only top-level domains supported.

Revenue Share: 55% for publisher, 45% for TF.

How To Get In? Send an application to become a publisher at http://www.tribalfusion.com/publishers

Technorati Media

I started using Technorati Media fairly recently, but it has proven to be a good ad-network which can pay you well for displaying their ads. Though the CPM rates for Technorati are not on par with Tribal Fusion, they do run some campaigns in between which are of really high CPM value.

Technorati Media

Getting into Technorati is fairly easy and their traffic requirements are not as high. Once you have been accepted into the network, Technorati will send you ad-codes which you can then insert into your website.

Payment wise, I have never had an issue with Technorati and they have been sending me timely payments.

Technorati Media Hits

  • Good ad network with a large inventory
  • Works great as a default for your main CPM network
  • CPM rates are good
  • Runs targeted campaigns frequently which have very good CPM rates
  • Good reporting interface; Users can drill down reports by size and country among other things
  • Excellent support staff
  • Supports Email reports

Technorati Media Misses

  • Does not perform very well in certain countries, some filler ads are bad
  • No way to browse inventory and block advertisers unless you see ads
  • Does not have an option in their interface to block ads. You have to send a request to get this done

Overall Ratings: 6/10

Minimum payment: $50

Payment terms: Net 60. You will be paid 60 days after your minimum payment has accrued.

Payment methods: PayPal or Check.

Minimum Requirements: Not posted.

Revenue Share: Not Posted.

How To Get In? Send an application to become a publisher at http://www.technoratimedia.com/technorati_media/bloggers-p.html

Burst Media Network

I have been using Burst Media Network since I started out this website. It has been one of the oldest CPM networks I have used. Burst’s performance is also good and does not disappoint.

Burst Media

Over the years, I have seen burst give me CPM rates of around $1, however there are times when it also reaches CPM of $2. In addition to that, Burst also runs direct campaigns on your site which earn high CPM rates.

I have never had any issues with payments from Burst Media and they have always sent the payments on time.

Burst Media Hits

  • Good steady CPM rates
  • Has direct campaigns for websites
  • Supports variety of ad sizes
  • Provides an option to users to block certain ads in the inventory
  • Good inventory for countries like US, Canada and UK
  • Excellent support

Burst Media Misses

  • Does not have good inventory for certain ad sizes and shows unpaid for them
  • No support for email reports
  • Has a 50-50 sharing agreement with publishers
  • Does not work for traffic outside US, Canada and UK

Overall Ratings: 6/10

Minimum payment: $50

Payment terms: Net 45. You will be paid 45 days after your minimum payment has accrued.

Payment methods: EFT (available for US/UK/Canada), PayPal, or check.

Minimum Requirements: Minimum traffic of 25,000 monthly page views or 5,000 monthly unique views

Revenue Share: 50-50. Provides 55-45 terms if you use Burst Media exclusively for a year.

How To Get In? Send an application to become a publisher at http://www.burstmedia.com/publisher/publishers.asp

Adtegrity

I have been using Adtegrity for over a year now and have found it to be pretty decent. The CPM rates for Adtegrity aren’t that great though but you can make decent money from it if you use it as a filler network.

Adtegrity

I use Adtegrity as a filler network for Tribal Fusion and the earnings are not bad at all. My overall experience with them has been good and I have had some great experience with their support staff too.

Adtegrity Hits

  • Decent network with good ads
  • Provides flat rate CPMs for Unique US Traffic
  • Good reporting interface
  • Good support
  • Timely payments

Adtegrity Misses

  • CPM rates are on the lower side

Overall Ratings: 5/10

Minimum payment: TBD

Payment terms: TBD.

Payment methods: PayPal, or check.

Minimum Requirements: Minimum traffic of 500,000 monthly page views with 50% US traffic.

Revenue Share: TBD.

How To Get In? Send an application to become a publisher at http://www.adtegrity.com/publishers/

ValueClick Media

ValueClick Media is an advertising network which I have used for over a year. The earnings from this network is not something I will brag about, but it definitely acts as a good filler ad network.

ValueClick Media

One of the things I like about Value Click is that it allows you to pick and choose which ads will be displayed on the site. That said, the interface is really clumsy and it takes a lot of time to sit through and sift through all those ads.

The CPM rates are pretty low on this network right now. I would suggest that you use ValueClick media as a default filler network for your higher paying CPM network. I have never faced any issue with the network for payments.

ValueClick Media Hits

  • Provides an interface to view current advertisers and block lower paying ads
  • Good network to fill up your inventory
  • Decent CPM rates, stays around 50 cents or more
  • Provides lot of ad formats including full page ads and popunders

ValueClick Media Misses

  • You have to block a lot of low quality ads
  • No reports for country wise performance
  • CPM rates can be increased but it takes a lot of effort and moderation to sift through and block ads

Overall Ratings: 4.5/10

Minimum payment: $25

Payment terms: Net 25. You will be paid 25 days after your minimum payment has accrued.

Payment methods: PayPal, or check.

Minimum Requirements: Minimum traffic of 3,000 page views per month.

Revenue Share: Not posted.

How To Get In? Send an application to become a publisher at http://www.valueclickmedia.com/publishers

Other CPM Networks

While I listed out some good CPM ad networks out here, there are several more which you can make revenue from. I won’t go into much detail about these since I have either never used them or used them for a short period of time.

CPM Networks for Indian Traffic

If you get a lot of traffic from Indian users, most of the above ad networks won’t work very well. Previously I had written about the Best CPM Network for Indian traffic called Komli. You can sign up with them to monetize your Indian traffic. Additionally you can also try out Tyroo (http://www.tyroo.com/) and Axill Media/Globe 7 (http://www.axill.com/).

Though these networks don’t perform as well as the other CPM advertisers, you will at-least make some money out of it instead of nothing at all. I have found that Tyroo is the worst performer among these three networks.

That’s it, hopefully this post will help you to make more money from your website. I would be interested to know which ad networks you use and how they perform for you. Do feel free to share your thoughts about them with me.

Using Multiple CPM Ad Sizes To Increase Your Earnings

I have been a webmaster for a long time now and understand the nuances of increasing earnings through subtle changes. You might have already read my tips to increase your AdSense income, so today I will try and put some effort into explaining how you can increase your CPM advertising earnings.

CPM Advertising

First of all, CPM earnings are based on per thousand impressions (read Wikipedia definition). This means that you get paid a certain amount of money for every 1000 visitors who see those ads. This is a standard way of looking at CPM ads. However, what many don’t know is that the CPM of ads are also based on the number of clicks those ads get.

Let me make this clear though, you don’t get paid for the clicks on CPM banners, but those clicks help in increasing the CPM rates on your website. It also helps in attracting better advertisers to your website. After all, no one would pay you if the advertisement money they put in does not gain them any customers, would they?

Important Note: Just like , clicking on your own CPM ads or asking someone to do it for you will not help you. Let it happen naturally and you will benefit in the long run.

I would like to now elaborate on the topic this post is about. First of all, IAB (International Advertising Bureau) have certain standard ad sizes which are common to all ad networks. You might be familiar with those ad sizes, let me list it out if you are not.

IAB Ad Sizes

  • 728×90 (Banner)
  • 468×60 (Banner)
  • 120×600 (Leaderboard)
  • 160×600 (Leaderboard)
  • 300×250 (Rectangle)
  • 300×600 (Half Page)

You might have used all these banners on your site at some point or the other. As you can see, some of sizes of the ads are small while some are large. The common misconception among webmasters is that larger the banner the more they will get paid.

However, this is a wrong. The banner size does not really determine how much you will get paid , it is based on several factors including the click-through rates of the banners you have.

For example, in some cases a 468×60 banner will pay you more than a 728×90 banner and so on. In many other cases, you will earn more based on how many clicks you earn. However, if you have 10 such banners and don’t get any clicks on most of them you will end up earning 0.01 CPM on them.

Making the calculation as to which banner will pay you more is definitely a hard and tedious process. More often than not you might lose out on earnings because you decided to ignore a higher paying banner because of it’s size.

This is the reason why several ad networks provide users with an option to club multiple banner sizes together. It means that you can club a 728×90 and 468×60 banner together and leave it up to the advertising network to display the best possible ad size with the highest paying CPM.

So it is better to choose ads which serve multiple sized banners based on best CPM rates. For example, most ad providers provide users with either a 728×90 ad or 468×60 ad, a 120×600 ad or 160×600 ad or a 300×250 ad or 300×600 ad.

I would suggest that you use these combinations if you have appropriate ad space on your site, because it would mean that the advertising network will always display the highest paying ad in any of the sizes provided in these combinations. I have always used this mantra to make sure that I don’t have to deal with managing which ad size works best for me and which one pays higher.

If your ad network does not provide you with combination ads, you could always email them to ask them about it. You will always find the best CPM ad networks (coming up shortly) around and use it.

Summarizing

I am pretty upbeat about the tips in this article and can tell you that I am confident enough that they will work. However, there is something I should let you know.

Don’t take anything at face value. It takes a lot of tweaking to get the best performing units for your individual website and more often than not you need to analyze your own performance yourself.

Me saying that these things will work should be taken as a tip, however, you still need to check your statistics to understand whether something is working or not. All ad networks provide you with useful statistics which will help you determine the best performing units. So put an effort to learn and understand your advertising networks performances before you just jump ahead and start searching for the best ways to make more money from your website.

I would definitely be interested in learning your strategy on ad placement and whether or not you find these tips useful. Also, if you haven’t been using these tips make sure to tell me if they work or don’t.

I am planning to do a lot more posts about effectively earning more money from your website and you will find all of those under section, so make sure to keep checking back for more tips and tricks in making your website a success.

Image Credit: masternewmedia.org

Best Google AdSense Placements for Forums

Yesterday, I wrote about Best Google AdSense placements for Blogs and Websites. Now many users also have forums addressing different topics. Though most of the forums are usually free, you can always make money using .

Also Read: Useful Tips and Tricks To Grow Your AdSense Income

Google has created some excellent placement suggestions for AdSense ads in forums, these suggestions are really useful and will allow you to maximize revenue from your AdSense ads. So without further ado here is a summary of best ad placements for your forum.

Google AdSense Placement Tips for Forum Homepage

Google AdSense Best Placement Forum Homepage

For forum homepage Google suggests placing a large 728×90 leaderboard image ad in between the categories above the fold. In addition to that, Google suggests placing a 160×600 wide skyscraper in the sidebar of the post below your site navigation.

You can also use a 468×60 banner on the site if you do not have enough width in the content area.

Google AdSense Placement Tips for Forum Category Page

Google AdSense Best Placement Forum Category Page

For category pages on forums, Google suggests users to place a large 728×90 leader board above the fold while adding another one between the threads list. You can also add another large unit at the bottom of the page.

Google AdSense Placement Tips for Forum Post/Threads Pages

Google AdSense Best Placement Forum Post Page

For post or thread pages, Google suggests using a 468×15 link unit below the navigation bar and above the title of the thread/post. They also suggest placing a 728×90 after the 1st/2nd, 4th/5th and 8th/9th post in the thread.

So these are the tips from Google about placing ads in your forums. Do let me know how it works out for you if you follow these suggestions on your site. It is always best to experiment with new layouts for at-least a week before you make changes to them.

Best Google AdSense Placements for Blogs/Websites

is one of the biggest ad platforms in the world. It is used by millions of users to place advertisements on their websites and earn money from clicks. However, not everyone earns a lot of money from AdSense and the problem may not be with the website you have, but it may be how and where you place your ads on the website.

If you are seeing a lesser click through for your websites or blogs, Google has come up with some really good tips which will help you earn more from your website.

Also Read: Useful Tips and Tricks To Grow Your AdSense Income

These tips come from Google themselves who might very well now which kind of placements work and which don’t, so you might want to take a look at some of these placements and work on them to increase your earnings. Here are some of the tips and placements summarized for blogs, news sites, forums, game sites and classified sites.

Google AdSense Placement Tips for Blog Homepage

Google AdSense Best Placement Blog HomepageGoogle AdSense Best Placement Blog Homepage Large Sidebar

Google suggests placing a large 728×90 leaderboard image ad on the home page above the fold for placement targeting. In addition to that they also suggest putting a 728×90 leaderboard ad unit in the middle of the page or at the end of the page.

In addition to that, Google suggests placing a 160×600 wide skyscraper in the sidebar of the post below your site navigation. Of course not all websites will have a design like the one above, so you will have to change certain things to find the best placement.

If you have a wider sidebar Google suggests that you place 2 300×250 ads in the sidebar of your blog as shown in the illustration above.

Google AdSense Placement Tips for Blog Content/Article Pages

Google AdSense Best Placement Blog ArticleGoogle AdSense Best Placement Blog Article Large

The ad placements for the home page and single article pages should be different. According to Google, AdSense ad units should be placed  to the left of the content and should be wrapped around the text. You should also leave a gap of 10 pixels between the content and the ad units.

You can also place the ad unit to the right of the content, but Google suggests that left side ads work better. In addition to the the top ad you can also place another large unit below the article and in the sidebar depending on how large your sidebar is.

Overall, these placements are pretty standard and most of the blogs follow these. One thing I noticed is that Google hasn’t suggested placing ads in between the content, so it might not be working as well.

I’ll be following up this post with more ad placements for Forums, news sites, game sites and classified websites in future posts.

Nonprofit 101: How Not to Deceive

bag-of-moneyIf Shahrukh Khan and sex influence movie sales, then the feeling of helplessness and the desire to change it influences nonprofit donations.   The idea of making the world a better place is a huge driving force. The most important question for a charity organization is, how can they best portray their cause and the plight of the situation to their public?

This brings us to Nanhi Kali, the brains behind The Girl Store. They also work with different NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) to implement education for girls at the grass root level. It’s a noble cause, indeed! Having said that, the obvious problem is out there: The life of a girl child in India is not easy. If they are not facing the sex trade, they face discrimination and/or violence.

Getting back to the question, how does an organization portray the plight of these young Indian girls? Answer: The Girl Store. I urge you to take a look at the website. Make sure you record your very first impression and then come back to read the rest: The Girl Store

When I saw the site, my first impression was discomfort. It was almost scary looking at those girls, who clearly have dampened spirits in their eyes and are all fidgeting with the helm of their shirts or kurtas. It gives you the feeling of despair – you want to just go hug them and say … Please smile … please! Once that emotion overrides you, you will see what I saw.

First you see   9 girls and their plights, so openly, almost nakedly, being portrayed to the world. Now I ask you to look closer. It is not 9 girls – there are just 4 girls dressed differently. Look at the images below. (click for larger)
shit1

shit2

shit3

Feel deceived, don’t you? That feeling of despair almost gets overwritten with a feeling of What the F*ck!.   Take for example, this donor’s good intention in giving Binny a chance to go to school. But is it Binny, Nairit or Chandini?

Jhonny
This, by all means, crosses ethical boundaries. Not only is the company deceiving its viewers, they are essentially playing with our emotions. This is not to say that the company doesn’t do good work. They probably have done some great work for education of girls in India, but this blatant deception undermines all the work they do.

The first class that they should take is:

Nonprofit   101: Do Not Deceive

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shahpriyaAbout the author:

Priya is a social media enthusiast who works in the Bay area. You can connect with her on twitter @shahpriya.

Google PageRank Update For January 2011

Google has just begun rolling out the PageRank updates for January 2011. Many websites are seeing increase in their PageRank while some are seeing decreases.

Google usually rolls out toolbar PageRank updates every quarter, however, there weren’t much of these updates in 2010. You can check the PageRank of your website by using our PageRank checking tool.

Google’s PageRank signifies the rank of a website on their toolbar, however, the PageRank does not suggest that your site will show up higher in the SERP. So take it with a grain of salt. There have already been several discussions about what a PageRank is so you might want to read up those to understand how it works.

Make sure to tell us whether you saw a PageRank update or not.

Beware Of Free WordPress Themes On The Internet

When I started blogging, I didn’t have a custom theme and relied on themes which were available on the Internet. I did have my favorite WordPress related blogs which listed out some really good themes and I usually downloaded themes from them.

Unsafe Free WordPress Themes

Every once in a while I also preferred to use Google to search for "Free WordPress Themes". Now that I have my own custom built theme, I do not usually look for free themes anymore. However, many new WordPress users do use Google to find new themes for their blog.

The most common keyword for searching themes is "Free WordPress Themes". Now, this will land you thousands of results, but are they safe? Well, the WPMU blog did a comprehensive research on sites which showed up in Google search results and 9 out of the 10 top websites had Trojans or hidden code in the themes you downloaded from them.

The lone site which did not have any problem was the Official WordPress Themes Repository. The research done by the WPMU folks is a real eye-opener and I believe that many users wouldn’t even bother to look as closely as they did. To top it, many of the available themes are actually stolen and copyrighted from premium theme publishers.

I am experienced and advanced WordPress user, so I can figure these things out. However, millions of users out there are not as tech savvy as me and may be gullible to installing these so called "Free WordPress Themes".

The best thing we could do to stop this menace is to educate new users that it is best to download themes from the official WordPress repository as the themes there are free and also do not have sponsored links or Trojans. Remember, beautiful themes are not always free, they can ruin your website.

Last but not the least kudos to the WPMU folks for running such a research, it was an eye-opener indeed.

Google Patches XSS Vulnerability in Website Optimizer

If you are a Website Optimizer issue, you should immediately update the code on your website with the new one provided by Google. Google has fixed a Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) bug in their control script which can allow an attacker to execute malicious code on your site.

However, according to Google this attack is only possible if your website or browser has been compromised by a separate attack. Google has sent out notes to all users about the issue with instructions on how to update your code. Make sure to do the changes immediately.

Website Optimizer is a part of Google Analytics, however, no other services in Analytics seem to have been affected by this.

View Google AdSense Earnings for Different Geo-locations/Countries

is no doubt one of the biggest ad networks which is used by millions of websites. Google AdSense’s reports are real-time and provide a comprehensive view of the impressions and number of clicks a website generates. However, one important thing missing in Google AdSense is geo-location based reporting which will help a webmaster to know how AdSense performs in different countries.

Don’t Miss: Useful Tips and Tricks To Grow Your AdSense Income

In my experience, knowing country wise performance of advertising networks has helped me to replace certain ads in certain countries with higher performing ones, thus helping me increase my revenues. I do that using Google DFP, for which I am writing a guide, you might want to know the benefits of using Google DFP too.

Coming back to the topic, is there a way to find AdSense performance based on geo-location? Yes, there is, using Google Analytics. Before you use this trick, there are two requisites:

  1. You have to use Google Analytics for your site. If you don’t sign up here.
  2. You have to link your Google Analytics and Google AdSense accounts. If you don’t know how, read this help forum topic.

If you fulfill both of these requirements, dive straight into knowing the performance of Google AdSense based on geo-location below. If not, you will have to wait a few days before you can start seeing this data.

Google Analytics Map Overlay

To see how AdSense is performing in any country, head over to your analytics account and view the analytics for the site you want to get this data for. Click on the “Visitors” link in the right hand side and then click on the “Map Overlay” link.

Google Analytics Country Breakup

On the Map Overlay page, scroll down till you see links for the countries and click on the country you want to see the AdSense performance for. Once you do that, you will see a city/region wise breakup for that particular country.

change_google_analytics_country_dimension

In the country view, click on the “None” dimension link and select any of the dimensions from the available list. You can click on any one of them. Once you do that a new report will load based on that dimension.

On this page, you will now see an additional tab which displays the AdSense revenue for that particular geo-location or country to you. This data might be an estimate but it does provide you with a way to check on how AdSense is performing in a particular country, city or region.

Google Analytics Country AdSense Revenue

With this data in hand, you can easily replace Google AdSense units with higher performing ones in those countries. Of course, everything is trial and error so you have to make your own judgments here. However, hopefully this guide should help you target your ads better and maximize your revenues.