Saturday, 30 May 2015

How To Advertise Your Book Or Blog For Free With Project Wonderful

A step by step guide to free advertising on Project Wonderful.


My 'True Or False' rectangle advert on Project Wonderful.
One problem that all indie authors face, and many traditionally published authors as well, is how to get your book discovered by new readers.  One of the easiest ways to publicise your book is with advertising, but the problem is that most indie authors generally don't have a large advertising budget.  However, with Project Wonderful a lack of advertising budget isn't a problem, as their advertising rates start at free!

You might think that free advertising would mean your adverts get only a tiny number of views on rarely visited blogs, but at the time of writing I've been using Project Wonderful for less than a week, and my ads have aleady had over 50,000 views!  Obviously you have to be realistic about your expectations - a website with millions of daily views isn't going to be available for free - but so far I've found that even if you allocate only a few minutes each day to posting your ads, the results can be impressive.

Here's a step by step guide on how to advertise your book or blog for free using Project Wonderful...

1) Sign up for a Project Wonderful account.


A fairly obvious first step.  The sign up process is straight forward and hassle free. Open the following link...
Sign up for a Project Wonderful account

...then click the 'New member' link under the 'Let's get started' text in the top right corner.


2) Create an advert


Legal note: The Project Wonderful logo is the copyright of
Project Wonderful and is used with permission. It's use does not
indicate an official partnership with this blog or similar authority.
Project Wonderful accept adverts in 7 different sizes, from button and banner ads to leaderboard and skyscraper ads.  You can download the ad templates from the following link:
Project Wonderful ad templates

Choose the size that best suits your book or blog, download the template, then design your advert to fit the template dimensions.  A great tool for creating gifs (animated images) is GIMP, and I'll feature a detailed explanation on how to create animated adverts in a future blog post.  Static ads are just as popular though, and are used by many of the advertisers on Project Wonderful.


3) Upload your advert to your account


Once you've created your first ad, the next step is to upload it to your account.  Click on:

Advertising > My ads > Create a new ad

Select the ad size which matches your advert, then click 'Next' and this will take you to the 'ad settings' page.  Complete a few simple details such as where you want the ad to link to, then upload your ad!


4) Choose a website to advertise on


Now that you have your ad ready to go, the next step is to decide where you want your ad to be featured.  The Project Wonderful menu options are quite flexible, so there are a couple of ways to place your ads, but with only one advert uploaded, the simplest way is to click on:

Advertising > My ads > Manage my ads

A square ad.
Your ad will appear, then click on the 'Bid with this ad' link at the top right of the box.  This will take you to the 'Search our publishers' page and there are six tabs/screens which allow you to refine your search.  The 'Bidding' tab is the screen you use to specify free ads, so click on the 'Bidding' tab and simply set the range for 'Current bid' and 'Minimum bid' as $0 to $0.

You can refine your search further using the other helpful menus and search options, then when you're ready, click on the 'Search' button at the bottom of the page.  This will take you to a list of websites which match the criteria for your ad.  The websites are listed in order of page views with the most visited website being shown first.  Look down the list for a website you like the look of, then click on the 'Place bid' button at the bottom right of the website entry to go to the 'Bidding' page.  (N.B. If you want to check out a website before deciding whether to bid, you can do so by clicking the small 'link' symbol under the name of each website).


5) Place your bid


For free ads, enter a bid of $0, then click 'Show more options' and set your bid to expire in 2 days time (the maximum length of time for free ads).  You can scroll up the page and check out the current winning bids for each region, and free bids work on a 'first come first served' basis, so I usually uncheck any regions which already have a winning bid.  Check or uncheck the regions you want to bid on (using the flag symbols at the left of the page), then click the 'Place bid' button.  There's one final page where you confirm your bid, and then that's it!

A confirmation screen appears telling you, in most cases, 'You're the high bidder!' in the regions you bid for.  Occasionally, someone else may sneak in before you and get their ad in first, but if you follow the steps above then in most cases your bid will be successful and for the next two days (or until someone outbids you) your advert will be shown on the website you selected.


Final notes


As mentioned in the step by step guide, in the first week my ads received over 50,000 views, but obviously not everyone who sees an advert will click on it.  After a few days, my best performing ad was this banner ad...


...which had received a click through rate of 0.53% (5.3 clicks per 1000 views).  I also did surprisingly well with this button ad...


...which after a few days had a click through rate of 0.48% (4.8 clicks per 1000 views).  These two ads did significantly better than most of my other ads though, so be realistic about your expectations.  My least performing ad (shown below) recieved a click through rate of only 0.02% (0.2 clicks per 1000 views)...


...so apparently, featuring muffins in the ad seemed to entice people to click.  If there were no muffins, they quickly lost interest!  Other advertisers may discover alternative ways to grab people's attention, so experiment with different ad designs and different sizes and see what gets the best results for you.

. . . . . . . .

Further information:


1) As well as providing free advertising opportunities, Project Wonderful is also a useful way to make some extra cash by signing up as a publisher and featuring ads on your own website or blog.  Obviously the amount you make will be dependant on the amount of traffic you get, but even if you only get a few visits then you can use any money you earn from ads to advertise on other blogs.  So in effect as more authors sign up to Project Wonderful that provides more opportunities for authors to help promote each other's work.

My skyscraper ad for
'Small Pots Also Have Ears'.
2) As discussed in the step by step guide above, Project Wonderful lets you bid on ads for a price of free, but if you wanted to reach a bigger audience then Project Wonderful is also a great site for paid ads as well.  If you want to test the water you can pay as little as $5 into your account, or as mentioned above, you can also sign up as a publisher and feature adverts on your own blog, and then reinvest your earnings in advertising your own book or blog.

3) Whereas most internet advertising models work on CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per thousand views), Project Wonderful works on a CPD (cost per day) model, and as already mentioned the daily advertising rates start at free!  I personally think this is an excellent idea, as it allows you to test the water and learn how best to promote your book without any financial risk.  Then, once you learn the ropes, if you want to invest in a paid advertising campaign you're confident in the fact that you have a better understanding of how to best promote your book or blog, and get the maximum out of your advertising campaign.

4) Once you're up and running it's wise to have ads in a few different sizes to increase your advertising opportunities.

5) The reporting system on the Project Wonderful website is excellent, and you can easily analyse your ad performance to see which ads are working best.  When searching for websites to advertise on, Project Wonderful also provides graphs displaying previous bids and traffic, and you can filter these graphs by region.  They also provide breakdowns of which countries website traffic is from, as well as details of referring websites, so there's a lot of useful data to help you plan your advertising campaign.

6) If you've got any questions then the Project Wonderful website has a very helpful FAQ section called 'Help center', or feel free to post a question in the comments below and I'll try to answer based on my experience so far.

Finally, if you found this article useful then please share it to help more authors and blog masters discover Project Wonderful.  It's already a very popular advertising network with loads of websites signed up, but as more and more authors sign up as publishers, that will create more and more relevant advertising opportunities for other authors.  In effect, as the author community on Project Wonderful continues to grow, all authors who sign up will benefit.

Once again, if you want to sign up then you can do so at the link below:
Advertise with Project Wonderful

Footnote: Charles Fudgemuffin is a participant in the Project Wonderful Awesome Affiliates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Project Wonderful.

7 comments:

  1. Have a proper crowdfunding campaign plan. Not having a proper business plan is like is like having a vehicle with no wheels. Sure you can sit in the driver’s seat but you won’t end up going very far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you might have mistakenly posted your comment on the wrong blog post. Perhaps you meant to reply to my blog post about crowdfunding:
      'A Few Creative And Innovative Crowdfunding Projects'

      Posting a reply to the wrong blog post is like getting in the wrong car. Sure you can sit in the driver’s seat, but the key won’t work cos you’re in the wrong car.

      Delete
  2. Apsara Sisodia4 March 2016 at 19:35

    Thank you for this wonderful post. People need to know how to advertise the books because unless people don't advertise they don't get to sell it. There are many Free Online Ads Sites where you can post ads for free.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for this wonderful comment.

      Thanks also for definitely reading my wonderful post in great detail, as I'm sure you definitely did before hurriedly posting your tenuously related comment which makes no mention of Project Wonderful.

      Delete
  3. I'd have to second Project Wonderful as a good way to advertise and make money. As a publisher, I've never had a problem with their ads, which sets them far above the other networks.

    The only thing about the free advertising is that it takes time to set up 200 bids every two days, so you might find it easier to set up low value bids that run for a longer time. If no one else bids, you'll still get it for free.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I would recommend Project Wonderful for paid adverts as well, but the free ads are a useful way to test the water.

      I recommend placing a few free ads to learn your way around the options and menus, and then once you're confident with what you're doing, then move onto paid advertising.

      Delete
  4. Good information. Thank you for posting. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.