A step by step guide to free advertising on Project Wonderful.
|My 'True Or False' rectangle advert on Project Wonderful.|
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 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.|
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.
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.
. . . . . . . .
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'.
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.