Several months back I began looking into what to do with all of these little affiliate banner image I was collecting.
Sure, I blog about them, but how to actually keep them in circulation and seen by people?
So I started looking into the use of banner ads throughout my blog but a number of factors put me off from this originally….
Generally speaking, banner ad placement is a pain in the butt! Dealing with code to get them placed right, the annoyance of having to do a lot of work to get them in different places on your blog, and the ever increasing banner blindness that means that the same ad in the same place over and over is “invisible” to a visitor…
Finally I stumbled across a great free plugin from my good friends over at MaxBlogPress.
I’m an affiliate and customer of theirs and I’ve used a TON of their plugins.
In fact, I believe that their Ping Optimizer is absolutely essential if you tend to update/edit posts right after publishing. (Doing this gets you banned from ping services and reduces how soon you’ll be indexed and other stuff, mighty annoying).
While I really don’t believe that this plugin is a replacement for BuySellAds (BSA) Network, for those bloggers that want to sell advertising spots on their blog...
It’s perfect for the blogger that wants to use banner ads to promote affiliate products but doesn’t want to have to fuss with code and six different plugins and other silliness!
Wouldn’t it be great if:
- You had the power to easily place your banner ads in any position you want to on your blog?
- You could track your banners, find out how good they really are doing?
- You could rotate your banners in multiple spots and transform your WordPress blog into advertising gold.
Above all what if you didn’t even have to worry about editing your WordPress theme and could simply use one versatile plugin?
This plugin is very feature and flexibility rich and while its easy to use, I still found the easy to access help guide a necessity.
I originally tested my little sidebar banner ads in static positions (non-rotating) and later added others to allow me to put rotation into use.
The ad rotation definitely helps.
Unfortunately I’m still struggling to get decent overall click through rates (CTR) partially because I refuse to let the ads into the best spots on my blog (which is my own choice and one most affiliate marketers won’t make).
My original CTRs before rotation were abysmal and doubling them, while helpful, still is producing numbers that make me wonder at better use of that space.
I really like the flexibility and stability of the plugin. Even though I’ve been through quite a few upgrades with it and am currently running a pre-release version of WP 3.1, I’ve had zero conflict or problems from the Max Banner Ads plugin.
I tested out quite a few other plugins back when I was looking for a solution and the closest I could get in quality was to stack plugins (which you might be aware that I’m certainly not a fan of in majority of cases) .
If you are a WordPress user and have decided you want to increase the exposure of your affiliate ads but are not keen on fussing with code this is a solid plugin and your going to love the tracking of how many clicks and exposures the particular ad gets.
I’ll do a tutorial as well as a review of my CRT numbers in my test case later.
I really enjoy this plugin a lot and can’t imagine going back to any other plugin for affiliate banner management.
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
This plugin loses one point only because it is not in the “must have” list of every blogger.
It also loses a little because there are many social media geared blogs that running banner ads will never be an appropriate marketing strategy for. However for someone that needs to run affililate ads and is not a coder, etc, this is a 4/5 free plugin or 5/5 premium plugin.
It does take one small ding of its own making, courtesy of being a free plugin, because it includes a link under the banners that says “Max Banner Ads” and links to MPB’s affiliate link rather than my own which is terribly annoying. Once you’ve installed the free version, the Max Banner Ads Pro version (which is unbranded) is easy to purchase from within the settings interface if you wish.
Both versions also require you to subscribe to their newsletter which is easy to unsubscribe to later if necessary. As only a user, this mandatory registration can be annoying, however as an affiliate this registration that helps ensure that the member is linked to you within the affiliate platform even though they never made a purchase.
Your Partner In Online Success
PS: Sometimes their list can be somewhat too frequent and I know many of my own subscribers have indicated that they prefer to find out about MBP promotions directly from me instead. (So if you’re not subscribed to my newsletter and updates, come join us!)