WordPress.com parent company Automattic appears to be in the testing stages of adding more website monetization options to its bloggers. By teaming up with iReach, a subsidiary of PR Newswire, Automattic has been displaying “pitch” messages to WordPress.com users over the past week to gauge customers’ interest in obtaining more page views (which in turn would bring in more ad revenue).
Monetizing blogs is an essential parameter in the overall business plans of many website owners who use WordPress. Aside from dedicated direct sponsors, administrators are constantly looking for ways to “promote” their content to a larger audience. The prompt invites bloggers to “find out more” on how to increase visibility by promoting content on over 1,000 websites, then includes a “Read How” link at the end of the message.
Tumblr Monetization Plan
The concept of Promoted Posts is not new within the community. Blog-hosting platform Tumblr recently launched its own mobile monetization plan on a pay-per-view basis that the firm hopes will result in profitability. Tumblr representative Lee Brown, who heads the company’s Sales Department, told Bloomberg earlier this week that “the average advertising purchase on Tumblr is now “just under six figures. We expect that the monetization will lead us to profitability this year.”
Tumblr users must pay in order to receive more views under the scheme, which will display analytical information such as how many times their posts are republished and “hearted” by readers. “We’re not bringing them a template or format to complete,” Brown told Bloomberg. “We’re giving them a canvas. That takes a lot of time and a lot of thought.”
It’s easy to see how promoted posts could be viewed upon as a bargain by current WordPress.com customers. The service alone receives approximately 3.6 billion monthly page views. Nearly 40 million posts are published each month by hundreds of thousands of WordPress.com bloggers, and close to 400 million unique visitors find their way to content hosted by Automattic for any given 30-day cycle.
Promotion: The Wave Of The Future?
With a massive amount of Internet navigators located across the globe it’s no wonder why so many website bloggers are looking for ways to increase their share of the market. Converting readers is another matter altogether, but targeted marketing techniques are becoming more refined every year with advertisement banners displaying information that possesses increased relevancy to each specific reader’s interests.
Many of our readers here at WPHub have likely noticed that many ads now contain offers from websites and companies that the viewer has recently visited (such as travel deals and tuition discounts). Getting content views from a substantially larger readership increases one’s chances of converting those views into actual dollar and cents. A similar Facebook feature has turned the social media behemoth into a force to be reckoned with as default news feeds now contain strategically placed announcements that often coincide with a user’s preferences. This is likely to be the case with any future monetization plan that WordPress.com implements, although there is no set-in-stone format from Automattic as of yet.
WordPress.com users have access to WordPress.com Stats (part of the Jetpack extension). This feature provides detailed analytical data that can be used to judge precisely how a blog is performing. By using this tool in conjunction with the ability to promote content to millions of new viewers, bloggers can more accurately gauge which keywords are converting and which pages require continued maintenance in the form of content.
It is unclear how long the “testing” process will be prolonged through the iReach and WordPress.com partnership, but we can almost be assured that sooner or later a formal monetization enhancement package will be available to WordPress.com customers.