Making money from blogging is relatively easy. As long as you have content that attracts readers, they will come and a few will click the adverts displayed on your site, or the links to products of interest that you have highlighted.
Running a website single-handed can be tough, which is why more and more startup blogs are bringing in assistance from contributors, found via adverts on sites such as Craigslist. The payment model is usually revenue share, and with a strong promotional strategy this can prove successful. But how is the actual revenue split managed?
An AdSense Plugin for Blogs with Multiple Authors
Totting up the income from advertising every month and then splitting based on the number of views an author’s article has received is clearly going to take a bit of time. The solution, then, is a WordPress plugin that will handle the work for you.
What else should such a plugin do? Ideally, you might expect:
- Ability to add AdSense/affiliate ad code to each writer’s profile.
- Facility to display correct adverts based on author.
- Management of this information in the database.
- Easy attribution of revenue.
Keeping it simple also helps to make things transparent, so if you find your contributors are questioning the amount they’re being paid, they can see how their articles have been performing with regard to views and ad clicks.
Several plugins can be installed which will deliver most or all of these benefits.
Author Advertising Plugin
Available directly from the WordPress Plugins site this is a good option that offers some useful functions. To begin with, you can specify how regular the administrator’s advertising code (AdSense, Amazon, or another) is displayed in relation to those of your contributors.
In addition, the plugin allows adverts to be displayed in two positions on your posts and in two widgets. If the positioning of these isn’t to your liking, the automatic placement can be disabled and a PHP snippet added manually to your template. Unfortunately there is no option for mid-post adverts with this plugin.
Best of all, however, your writers are given their own page into which they post their ad code from AdSense or whichever service. Three slots are given for adverts (as per Google’s “max ads” policy), and these are displayed where specified by the administrator.
All in all a useful plugin that places the issue of revenue split firmly in the hands of the advertising affiliate company by encouraging users to sign up for their own accounts. Best of all, the plugin comes with a manual to help you set everything up correctly.
AdSense Revenue Sharing 1.2
Arguably easier to setup, this plugin also offers the additional advantage of being able to specify the type of adverts that are served, although it is strictly for use with AdSense ads.
Adding multiple AdSense account details is simple, although there is no facility for determining how often ads appear for each user. However there is full control over the AdSense ads, covering format/type and the various CSS details that can be used to style AdSense ad text to your website. You can also specify where on the page the ad should appear.
Like all of these examples, however, the positioning of the adverts might not be to your approval. Sadly this particular example doesn’t offer the facility to add a shortcode or PHP snippet into your posts or templates to specify exactly where the ads should be displayed. With so many different types of WordPress template in use, this is a shortcoming that could be dealbreaker.
Full details are available via the WordPress Plugins site.
An extremely feature-packed solution, Advertwhirl is sadly probably over-complicated. While support for multiple bloggers is included in the shape of “guest bloggers” the layout of the pages is garish and the options on offer unclear. Although a tutorial is available, this solution will require a lot of time to get to grips with. Note also that it will one in 20 adverts served will be for the plugin’s developer.
Potentially this is the best option in this list, but without clear presentation and purpose – perhaps a reduction of the menus into a context-driven selection of option – it feels jumbled and confused.
Should you invest the time, the results are sure to be effective – however if you’re short of time and need a “fire and forget” solution to AdSense for multiple bloggers, then Advertwhirl isn’t the solution you’re looking for.
More information and screenshots can be found at the WordPress Plugins library.
While the choice of suitable plugins isn’t as plentiful as that for simply displaying ads across your blog with a single affiliate code, these are nevertheless good options.
Ultimately, of course, your choice should be based on what you hope to gain from these plugins. Many have found that Author Advertising Plugin is the easiest to use to get started straight away, but there might be other options out there that aren’t covered here that offer far more.
What do you think – have you tried any of these plugins, or do you have a preferred option? Let us know in the comments section below!