Yahoo Advertiser Closure Fees

Ok, so I know I haven’t used the Yahoo Advertising service in forever, but actually closing my account and taking my money?  Apparently, if you don’t use your Yahoo Advertiser account for so long, they close it down and steal whatever money you had setting in the account, up to the $25 closing fee.  Not a lot of money, but considering how awful the return was, I’d suspect Yahoo is making more money from closing accounts than retaining customers.

Somehow, according to the email correspondence from Yahoo, the account had remained inactive for about 24 months.  2 years!?  Hell, had no idea I even had an advertising account for that long.  However, goes to show how much potential the Yahoo advertising network had for me, personally.

I understand the need to close the account, but I was given no notice of the impending doom.  Perhaps 30 days or so to let me spend my remaining few dollars would have been nice.  It’s frustrating, because unlike Google Adsense you are required to preload your advertising account at Yahoo, instead of being billed every month.  So, add funds, stop a campaign halfway and BAM, dollars resting in an account you forget about for 2 years.

Lesson learned and a warning to others.  Empty that old Yahoo advertiser account.

Reddit Self Serve Advertising Review

I’ve decided to do a brief review on Reddit self serve advertising, which allows you to create your own sponsored link and get it published at the top of Reddit.com or on sub reddits. The ability to post on subreddits only, allows for extremely targeted traffic. For example, posting in the Technology subreddit would be a great place to advertise computer components or anything tech related you are interested in selling.  However, for my first self serve ad, I choose for it to be ran site wide.

I chose to advertise my Auto News site, in an attempt to increase readership and more importantly RSS subscribers.  I was not selling anything directly, so I can’t quite recommend Reddit as a place to get sales…yet.  However, I did find that I got some fairly cheap visitors to my site, who were generally interested in my content, using bounce rates as a gauge of interest.

Setting Up Your Self Serve Ad on Reddit

For starters, getting an ad setup is very easy and probably requires less than 5 mins of work.  The ad buyer simply needs to choose where they want their sponsored link placed, add a thumbnail image (not required), and add a link Title.  The buyer is then allowed to choose whether they want to allow for comments, which could possible make or break certain types of ads on this social bookmarking site.  I chose to not allow comments.

After your sponsored link has been created, simply input the amount of money you are willing to spend per day on that Ad being shown.  One downside is that sponsored link placements can only be placed 24 hours in advance, no immediate gratification.  Then you chose how long you want your self-served ad to run, allowing for the budget you entered previously.

How Reddit Self Serve Advertising Works

Buying a sponsored link on Reddit does not guarantee a certain number of clicks or views.  Reddit will take the total amount of self serve ads for the specified day, then break it down by who bid the most.  The link views are then shown based on the amount you are spending.  For example, if two advertisers picked the same day and both bid $100, each persons sponsored link will be shown 50% of the time.  If one buyer would spend just $30 per day and the other spend $70, the first person’s ad will only be shown 30% of the time, regardless of how many click sit actually generates.

Reddit does a good job of showing you how popular certain days are, so it’s possible to get a ton of views for next to nothing on low self-serve ad traffic days.  I choose a day through the week which had little advertising, so I feel I got a good value for my money.

My Experience With Reddit Self Serve Ads

I ran my ad for 3 days and spent a total of $60, which obviously equals the minimum $20 per day budget.  This self serve ad campaign resulted in 25,708 unique views of my sponsored link and 722 unique clicks through to my site.  Again, I wasn’t selling anything direct, so it’s hard to gauge, other than bounce rate, how well these visitors would convert.  However, I think it does a good job of showing the potential traffic from such a small investment.

Ultimately I ended up with an extra 40 RSS subscribers and I’ve received return visits from people who most likely bookmarked my site after clicking on my sponsored link.  I was happy with the pittance of an advertising investment and look forward to testing out some new landing pages, seeing what converts, and finding out what Redditors are actually buying.

The Future Of Reddit Self-Serve Advertising

My guess is that self-serve advertising on Reddit won’t be around for much longer.  Recently they posted on their official blog that they are hurting for money and while the self-serve advertising is nice, it’s not enough to pay the bills and expand Reddit.  To be honest, it’s a bit insulting that the engineers of Reddit are holding on their hands for money, instead of going after other viable advertising opportunities.  Hell, we already provide all the content, now they want some of our money?

Again, I’m going to try and start another sponsored link campaign, this time with a product for sale.  I’ll be back soon to post the results.

Reddit Self Serve Advertising Results
Reddit Self Serve Advertising Results

Thoughts On Twitter Business Solutions

I’ve been running a local blog for about a year solid and in the past 3 months I’ve integrated Twitter in hopes of driving targeted traffic.  Much to my surprise, Twitter has been great at delivering a few hundered extra views a week, but obviously not enough to start quitting other campaigns.  However, I have a few thoughts on what Twitter could do to better help businesses manage their profiles.

Referral Tracking

TwitterThis is the biggest problem I see facing Twitter as a measurable source of traffic.  In server logs the only indication you have that people are coming from twitter, is from either the Twitter.com/home domain or from your own Twitter.com/mybusiness domain.  I would love to see Twitter integrate some sort of referral indicator that showed who was actually following a link or reading my feed.

Currently an arbitrary number of followers does not really indicate how many people are actually reading your tweets.  Comments and stuff are great, but are only a small percentage of people that are actually reading tweets and interested in what your business is about.  Let’s get some actual analytics involved Twitter, show me who is actually reading and following my links.

Light Weight In House Tools

Please come out with some in house tools to make Twitter mor useful.  Tweet Deck is ok and other business solutions fill a void, but are not up to par with what can be produced in house.  I dont want bloated software, I want something light weight that I can update from my desktop on, get notifications of mentions, and accurately track those who are following me.  And while we are at it, make sure you support multiple twitter accounts, I will not use my business Twitter account for personal use and vise versa.

Allow Advertising Already

Lastly, come on Twitter, let us start advertising and target all your users.  Look to Google to see how to create unobtrusive advertising models that actually appeal and target your users.  It’s obvious that the traffic produced from Twitter is valuable, let us pay for that gold mine of outbound clicks.  While valuable, I’m not sure the time cost of me tweeting equals revenue earned just yet.

Best Article Writing Tip

The start of my article writing career, as a means of link building and advertising, has been met with simply the best tip EVER.  This article writing tip is straight from the pros over at EzineArticles.com and can be found within their free Article Writing Training series PDF.

Keep an Ace Up Your Sleeve: Alway skeep a tidbit of important information in reserve to make your readers want more.  Remember, your article can generate traffic, so use the Resource Box to entice your readers to click on your website link.

This little gem just struck me to the bone and really rang true in between my ears.  Furthermore, I wonder how many comments I’ve made on blogs, threads in forums, or just general blog posts where I didn’t keep this tip in mind.  I could have been losing all a lot of traffic over the years, mainly because I’ve been primarily focused on ‘content’ content, content.  I think my composition needs to be reworked, proofed, and a specific goal with each article that I write.

Starting with this simple blog post, can you spot or guess the Ace Up My Sleeve?