In 2011, Google Panda started punishing what Google sees as “thin-content” sites by ranking them lower on search engine results. Many sites, even sites with real human readers, saw their pageviews halved, and have yet to recover. To make matters worse, Google announced that it would rank pages pages with more than three above-the-fold ads lower in search results. This update was also aimed at spammier sites, but your blog could be penalized too if you prefer many small above-the-fold ads to a few larger ads. The end result is that many people’s blogs are losing readers and are no longer profitable.
Especially post-Panda, blogs have focused on pouring out lots of good content, but this takes time to produce and you might not have the time, especially if you’re a part-time blogger or run multiple blogs. Guest posts are good, but frequently they’re just plugging a product or aren’t well-aimed at your readership. But what if you could crowdsource content to the very same people who consume it?
Create a forum
Forums let you both generate good content for your readers, and content that’s suitable for in-content VigLink advertisements. Readers like them because communities form around forums, and the readers who join the forums become part of the forum’s community. This increases the value of your site to your readers, so you can get away with more advertising before people start to leave. And they’re especially good for in-content ads because they generate a lot of text content.
VigLink ads are in-content ads placed within your text content, such as blog posts and forum threads. Usually double-underlined, these ads are advertising links that display a small pop-up when the reader hovers over them. The reader can then click on the pop-up or the original link and be taken to the advertiser’s page. Plus, link insertion can be wholly automated so you can sit back and let the money roll in right after you install the VigLink WordPress plug-in. You can also manually place ads, which is useful if you find something that you think your readers will like.
In-content VigLinks work best in high-quality content that captures the reader’s attention. In these situations, they’re blind to banner ads but they aren’t as suspect to ads within the text. Plus, the rich pop-ups can help draw their attention toward the ad so they’re more likely to click on it. But what are the best ways to get content that’s useful for in-content ads?
Let the money roll in
Once you create the forum and people start using it, the following will happen:
- Someone makes a thread, which is a discussion that begins with a question or a statement of one’s opinion or ideas.
- Others reply and add their own thoughts.
- You get free content, increase the value of your site for your readers, and get a great place to insert VigLink ads.
Find out more at ForumCon
VigLink’s ForumCon is at Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco, on June 12, 2012. It’s the only convention for forum owners in the world, so it’s a great place to network and learn from successful forum owners. Plus, it’s hosted by VigLink and prominent VigLink people will be there, so you can learn how to make the most of your VigLink ads!
Grab your ticket before they sell out! Hope to see you there!
Murray Newlands is the CEO and Founder of Influence People, an online marketing and PR consulting firm in San Francisco.