(1) Bloggers grab their widget that allows readers to rate the bloggers’ articles.
(2) Advertisers then pay for placing their “Sponsored” links in that widgets ($10 per month per each link);
(3) If the blogger opted in showing those “Sponsored” links in his widget and if his blog is relevant, that “Sponsored” link will appear within a good content and people will feel like clicking it (if the link has been manually pre-approved by the OutBrain team).
The widget looks as follows:
All that sounds quite good and naturally I thought it was a good idea to give it a go.
I decided to compare how it works with two articles which are similar in topic but different in style:
- Announcing MyBlogGuest: Community of Guest Bloggers (press-release style announcement of my guest bloggers’ forum);
- How Guest Blogging Made Me 5-Figures in 2009 (a viral post on the same topic written by Glen Allsopp).
The dashboard looks quite promising: for every date you can see how the links performed in terms of:
- Number of impressions;
- Number of clicks;
- Number of “Share clicks” (how many times the page got shared on Twitter or Facebook);
- “Word-of-mouth clicks” (number of clicks Twitter and Facebook shares generated);
- “Traffic Lift” (Percentage of additional, non-paid traffic generated by link sharing”)
Each article I tested ran for about a month. Both behaved very similarly: they had lots of impressions daily (really “lots of“), just a few clicks, and zero shares and “word-of-mouth” clicks (though the viral post did get a few more clicks):
I don’t mean to say I was very picky when selecting the posts to advertise or tried to choose something really outstanding. I chose the articles on the spot just for the sake of testing; but the fact that the stats looked exactly the same for both is a bit alarming, don’t you think so?
Now, OutBrain does have content tips to make the most of advertising (which I seem to have followed by the way):
- News articles, blog posts, press releases, product/service reviews;
- Something that focuses on readable, enjoyable content (versus straight sales page or contact form);
Have you tried OutBrain ads? If you have or if you plan to, don’t forget to come back and share your experience!