Yesterday, WordPress announced WordAds, a program for hosted WordPress.com blogs to make some money off their sites. The first ads will come from the WordPress partnership with Federated Media announced at Web 2.0 this October. Interested users must apply to join WordAds, and it requires a custom domain, a service for which WordPress charges.

In return, WordPress is offering independent publishers a chance to make money on the WordPress platform. WordPress already provides a healthy living for thousands of self-employed developers, and now publishers have a chance to earn money from their WordPress content, too.

Monetizing The Long Tail

Federated Media is known for representing high-traffic sites. We at ReadWriteWeb work with FM, for example. But Federated Media recently acquired Lijit Networks, which will help it improve its targeting of ads to long-tail content.

WordPress.com blogs, in total, receive almost 300 million monthly unique visitors, so the partnership between FM and Automattic, parent company of WordPress, is a great opportunity for its advertisers.

You Deserve Better Than AdSense

"We've resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn't terribly tasteful," says the WordPress announcement. "It seemed like Google's AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense." WordPress wants to serve ads that reflect the individual nature of its bloggers, and the WordAds program, targeted with Lijit's technology, can enable that.

WordPress Is A Job Creator

According to founder Matt Mullenweg in his 2011 State of the Word Address, there are thousands of self-employed developers making a living on the WordPress platform. His voluntary survey recorded 6,800 developers who have built 170,000 sites between them, making a median hourly rate of $50.

WordPress is building a community for independent workers, both developers and publishers, and it's finding ways to make them money and keep them afloat. That's admirable. It may have to resort to some traffic tricks to keep up with the likes of Tumblr, but it does so in order to keep its community going.

Disclosure: Federated Media is ReadWriteWeb's advertising partner.

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