A friend contacted me after yesterday’s email about contracts with ad networks. He had some good points.
Here’s my main problem with signing contracts with ad networks.
If they can earn me more under a contract, shouldn’t they be earning me more now?
Maybe I’m naive but isn’t it an ad network’s job to maximize revenue at all times for publishers.
If an ad network wants to retain publishers, it’s simple (perhaps not easy). Earn them more money than any other network and no publisher will leave.
It shouldn’t require a contract. It’s not rocket science.
In the real world, sometimes some ad networks like commitments from publishers and proffer a contract in exchange for more money.
If you receive such an offer and it’s too good to pass up, be sure you consider the following (courtesy of a friend who reached out yesterday).
Can you sell the site while under contract?
Will the contract transfer to a site buyer in case you do sell? Why does this matter? Because if it doesn’t transfer, you can’t include the extra revenue in the site valuation.
Do you fully understand the financial consequences if you break the contract? Will it cost you a little or a lot to exit?
Protect your downside: Are there guarantees in place?
Protect the upside: Will your “premium earnings” go up if traffic goes up? For instance, if the premium revenue is a flat sum each month, what happens if your traffic doubles over the next 12 mos.? The premium revenue should be tied into performance gains.
At the end of the day, know what you’re signing.
Post-Level Changes – Don’t Make Them
For the past several weeks I’ve been making plenty of changes to my sites, mostly in the backend. Eventually, I’ll get into all that once I know I haven’t totally blown up my sites.
During this process I decided to put on AdThrive video ads on my site.
It’s easily done. AdThrive just flips a switch I think. There’s probably a bit more than that involved on their end but in a perfect world, nothing for me to do.
I sent the email. An hour later I was told the video ads were running.
After a day or so, while ripping through a bunch of posts on the front end making sure I didn’t mess something up with other changes I noticed the video ad wasn’t showing on select posts.
That was odd.
I emailed AdThrive and they politely responded telling me I had turned video ads off for an entire category.
And for the life of me I don’t ever recall why on earth I would do that.
But I did.
And that category has 1,000 posts.
My next question was whether AdThrive could override the post-level control.
Sadly they couldn’t.
The only solution was to go into each post and uncheck the box.
It’s in progress currently.
And it serves as another very strong reminder to not make changes at the post level.
All changes should be via some site-wide control.
AdInserter (free plugin) is a great tool that offers many site-wide controls.
Code Snippets (free plugin) offers pretty much unlimited site-wide controls if you know how to code or can hire a coder (I use Codeable to find qualified coders for smallish jobs).
GeneratePress‘ Elements (hooks) offers great site-wide control.
Sadly my theme (Bimber) doesn’t but it offers other benefits (very slick infinite scroll) so I stick with it.
When you need to make changes, even if it’s to only a few posts, make them at the site-wide level.
Even if you have to tag them with some term so you can deploy changes via the tag taxonomy, that’s better than making the changes at the post-level.
My recent minor fiasco wasn’t my first fiasco.
Way back in the day, I put AdSense codes in individual posts.
After a while I decided I wanted to test different ad locations.
So I went into each post moving AdSense code around.
After the first time doing that, I thought there must be a better way. Surely there’s a plugin for this.
Of course there was.
Again, I learned the hard way.
Rule to follow: for every change you make, can it easily and quickly be undone? If not, is there a way to implement the change so that it is easily undone? If not, do you really want to make the change?
Ideally you want to undo changes without having to restore a previous backup on your server. That should be done in only dire circumstances, especially if you’re adding content regularly and making other changes.
It’s no fun reverting to a back up that’s 5 days old and losing 5 days worth of work. Again, I know from experience.
Pitter patter, time to get back at ‘er. Just 400 posts to go to get the video ads fully deployed.