Amazon is making it even easier to make more money with them these days.
A couple of months ago Amazon launched an ad network that pays on a CPM basis. CPM means you get paid whenever ads are displayed.
Yes, that’s right, visitors don’t even need to click an ad in order for the publisher to get paid. They simply need to visit the page.
Amazon isn’t the only CPM ad network around, but they have the heft online to attract plenty of advertisers. The result is that the revenue is really, really good for CPM.
I had tried their ad network as soon as it launched, but initially their ads weren’t SSL certificate compliant. I wasn’t happy.
However, about 8 days ago, I asked Amazon if their ads were SSL certificate compliant. I was thrilled to discover they tweaked their ad system so that their ads CAN be displayed on websites with SSL certificates.
I dropped everything and put Amazon ads on my site immediately.
Getting the ads up and running couldn’t be easier (see the ad-creation screenshot below).
How much money do these ads make?
More than I expected and the revenue keeps going up. Here’s a screenshot for the few days I’ve been running these ads.
Amazon CPM Ads continue to deliver a decent revenue stream. Here’s a recent screenshot (April 22, 2015):
Which ad sizes am I using?
I use 728×90 and 300×250 banner ads. I use the Eleven40 Pro theme which offers a content section wide enough to input 728 wide banner ads.
Amazon CPM Ad Comments
1. The higher up on your web page the ads are placed, the higher CPM and fill rate they enjoy.
2. The CPM revenue you earn can be higher than the CPM rate you bid. I bid $.40 for all ads, yet average $1.80 CPM for all ads.
3. Focus on page views
When it comes to earning from CPM-based ads, it’s all about page views. You want visitors to visit as many pages as possible.
Pros of the Amazon CPM Ad network
1. Great CPM
I’m getting $1.80 to 2.00+ CPM for my ads. This is really great for CPM-revenue focused ads.
Why would companies pay so much for mere displays? I suspect a lot of brands and companies use CPM ads for branding… they just want people to see their brand. Yes, they prefer a click to their site, but they also realize just having people see their brand is worth paying for.
2. These are Ideal for Sidebar Placement
Let’s face it, sidebar ads (especially right-aligned sidebars) don’t garner many clicks. This means sidebars are often low-earning digital real estate (one exception is using my smart method with Media.net ads).
With Amazon CPM ads, I’ve added over $100 per day in revenue with my sidebar digital real estate. That’s just fantastic.
3. Not cannibalizing higher paying CPC ads
As far as I can tell, adding Amazon CPM ads have not cannibalized revenue from higher paying CPC ads (i.e. Adsense and Media.net). I say this because RPM from those ad networks remain stable.
4. Very easy-to-use
Generating ad codes is super easy. It takes all of 15 seconds assuming you have your code for back-up filler. Here’s a screenshot of the ad-creation panel:
6. You know you’ll get paid
Amazon pays on time and they obviously aren’t going disappear any time soon. Many ad networks are fly-by-night outfits that could fold any day keeping all of your earned revenue. I obviously don’t have that issue with Amazon.
Cons of the Amazon CPM Ad Network
1. Not Much Reporting Data
The reporting data and options are very sparse. I suspect Amazon will improve this over time.
2. Low Fill Rate
Currently I have ad fill rates ranging from 22 to 30% (it goes up and down throughout the day and day-to-day). The ads located higher up on the page enjoy a higher fill rate.
Fill rate is the rate in which ads are displayed per page views. A 25% fill rate means for every 1,000 page views, ads are displayed 250 times.
I have no idea if fill rate will improve. I asked Amazon if they’re taking on new advertisers and they told me no… but maybe they’re working on attracting huge advertisers privately and aren’t publicly accepting advertisers. It would be amazing if fill rate doubled or hit 100% because that would be a huge increase in revenue.
Despite these 2 cons, I really like this ad platform and will stick with it. I can’t argue against an extra $3,000 to $4,500 per month revenue. $1.80 to $2.00+ CPM is about as good as it gets with CPM ads (although because fill rates are low, the effective CPM rates based on my site’s number of page views is much lower).
It’s important you add a back-up ad or content to the Amazon ads. The reason for this is because the fill rate consistently well below 50% (I’m not the only publisher who experienced this).
Unless you want a blank space where your ads are to appear, you need to include back up ads or content.
What do I use for back-up filler?
Instead of other ads, I created navigation-style images to increase page views on my site. Basically I took images and added text to them to get traffic to my most popular posts on my site.
Why don’t I use other ads as back-up?
Adsense and Media.net Ads are Already Very Well Placed
I’ve maxed out my Adsense and Media.net units, which are placed in very strategic places that earn very well. It wouldn’t benefit my bottom line to move these ads as back up to Amazon ads.
What about placing other CPM ads as back-up?
This is actually something I’ll consider. One recurring issue I have with advertisers is ads are not SSL certificate compliant which reduces the number of advertisers I can work with.
If you monetize with display ads, I strongly recommend giving Amazon CPM ads a shot. It’s a pretty easy way to generate revenue.
FYI, I believe at this point Amazon CPM ads is on an invite-basis only. If you’ve been invited, you’ll notice it front-and-center in your Amazon Associates account. If you haven’t been invited, it can’t hurt to ask them if you can join. I know I would.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.