I’ve had a few requests for more info about how to use the PW site to share ads for your comic or book or website, and even host ads on your own website, so here’s my take on how to best use it.
First, Give Readers a Place to Go
You need a website where you’re selling you comic or books, sort of your headquarters. This is the web address you’ll use for all your ads.
But if you don’t have a site yet, go to WordPress and make one for free, or use some other site to get youtself up and running.
Are You an Advertiser or a Publisher, or BOTH?
To get started with Project Wonderful, you’ll need to register at the site. Then you can create ads promoting your comics (as an advertiser) or host ads on your website (as a publisher).
Or you can do like we do for IN MAPS & LEGENDS and do both — check out the two spots we have set up for Project Wonderful ads under “Sponsors” at the bottom of our MAPS site (be sure to disable any ad-blocking software you may have running).
In PW’s words: “Let’s say you’re an advertiser, and you want to put your ad on a site. To do this, you place a bid in that site’s auction, which is done by telling us what you want to pay, and when you want to pay it.”
We’re advertisers on PW for the most part — we’re trying to get our various ads listed on like-minded, similar websites, so we bid on the opportunity to run our ads on those sites. Yep, it’s like an auction. Highest bidder gets to run his or her ad at the selected site for two weeks (if you’re paying a daily rate) or two days (if your bid was $0).
As for publishers, PW says: “As a publisher, you decide how and where want ads to appear on your site. You can choose the type of ads you want (graphical, text, animated, static) and their size (banner ads, skyscraper ads, and so on).”
So, if you wanna be a publisher, you’ll be hosting a range of ads at your own website, and people will be bidding for the option to run their ads on your site. As your site gets more hits, the amount of money people will pay you to run those ads goes up.
All you have to do is follow a few steps and embed some code generated by PW into your site, and you’re ready to host some ads.
About Those Ads…
Ads come in all sizes, and the focus here is on eye-catching, not squint-inducing. You may not get much text at all, unless you go big, like with a banner. Ads range in size from a 117×30 pixel “button” (pictured on the right) to a 160×600 “skyscraper” ad.
This page lists the various ad sizes. Of course, the bigger the ad, the more you may have to pay to run it at someone’s site. Just make sure people can read any text on your ad, and try to make the ad “pop” on a site that may be filled with other ads.
But… there are ways around that whole paying-for-your-ads thing.
Getting Your Ads Out There (as an Advertiser)
You can set up graphic ads of all sizes to run on participating Project Wonderful sites, such as other comics sites or writing sites, and people can click the ads to come to your site.
Some ads cost a tiny bit per day, but the cool thing is that you can run your ads on many, many sites for free. It takes a bit to figure out the interface, but if you just do some searching and experimenting with bids of $0 for your ad, you can get some free advertising pretty quickly.
How to set up a $0 bid:
- At the Project Wonderful site, click Advertising > Find new advertising.
- Click the bidding filter and type 0 for both “Current bid” fields, and 0 again for both “Minimum bids” fields. Yes, four zeroes. Don’t worry about “Average historical bid.”
- Select in each region from the “Return results meeting these criteria in” drop-down.
- Optionally, filter the list of advertisers even more by selecting ad sizes and categories on the sizes and categories tab, as well as tweaking the options on the site description tab. You’ll figure out soon enough which filters you’ll want to use on a regular basis — just experiment and see what results you get.
- Click the Search! button.
- Now — the fun part. Go through the list of publishers who are looking for ads to run at their site, and bid on each site, one by one. How to bid?
- Click the blue text for the name of the site, and that site will display, with a voting pane at the top.
- In the $ field, I always type 0 for a free ad (in other words, I don’t want to pay anything to run my ad at this site). You can type any amount, but remember that amount is charged to you every day your ad runs there.
- The PW site lets you know immediately if you’ve been outbid, or if you’re the new high bidder. Success!
- Continue bidding on ads with as many sites as you want, up to 200 bids total at a time.
- If you’re using non-paying bids, remember that those bids only last two days. So after two days, come back and do the whole process all over again. It goes faster the more you do it, I promise!
And That’s It
Want some more help? Here’s the tutorial from Project Wonderful. It’s a great jumping-off point, but it left a little something to be desired for me in the conceptual department.
Every two days I have to go back in and update my bids, but it’s a small price to pay for free ads. It takes me maybe ten minutes now to get 50-60 winning bids in place, and each ad helps spread the word about our comic, one website at a time.
Meanwhile, as a publisher, I set the option to automatically approve bids for the two ads at the bottom of our MAPS site, and I don’t have to do a thing. New ads pop up every few days, paying us a couple pennies each day.
Good luck and happy bidding! Any questions, let me know in the Comments section.
I hope all this info helps, and let me know if you have any PW tips to share!As always, if you found this info helpful, you can say thanks by snagging the latest issue of IN MAPS & LEGENDS in pretty much any digital format you’d like.