Home Federated Media Offers Ad Rights for WordPress Bloggers

Federated Media Offers Ad Rights for WordPress Bloggers

At the Web 2.0 Summit today, Federated Media Publishing and Automattic, parent company of WordPress, announced an agreement to provide advertising rights for U.S. WordPress.com bloggers. Over 24 million sites are hosted on WordPress.com, and users will now be able to opt into a topically targeted advertising program.

Federated Media positions WordPress advertising as a more focused alternative to social media buys. The campaigns are content-driven, offering sponsored content curation, sponsored posts and semantic conversation targeting for ads.

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Monetizing The Long Tail

Independent publishers on WordPress represent the long tail of Web content. They publish on specific topics for niche audiences. That makes their individual reach small, in terms of raw traffic numbers, but their audiences are highly engaged with particular interests. They’re valuable, but they’re hard to reach at scale.

Federated Media recently acquired Lijit Networks to improve its targeting of ads to long-tail content. Lijit offers publishers an on-site search box that searches across multiple sites, including blogs, tweets, bookmarks and photos. Publishers can adjust the constraints to include outside content if they want, making Lijit searches a powerful way for visitors to explore topics in more depth. Lijit reports that over 70,000 publishers currently use their service.

In turn, the rich site data gathered by Lijit enables precise and relevant ad targeting, and it has served over 28.3 billion ads so far this year. Lijit’s technology, Federated Media’s scale and the WordPress.com audience represent a big chunk of high-quality, topically focused Web traffic that major advertisers like AOL, Yahoo! and Google have more trouble monetizing.

This partnership will offer small publishers a way to monetize, and it will give FMP the additional scale of reaching almost 300 million monthly unique visitors to WordPress.com sites.

The State of the Word is Strong

In August, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg gave his annual State of the Word address, in which he reported some strong numbers. Nearly 15% of the world’s websites are powered by WordPress. For every 100 new active domains in the U.S., 22 of them run WordPress.

The open-source blogging platform also provides a thriving economy for developers. A survey of over 18,000 WordPress users and developers offers rich insight into the strength of the platform, and it’s all available for anyone to peruse.

You can watch Mullenweg’s 2011 address here:

WordPress users: would you opt in to this new ad partnership? Let us know in the comments.

Disclosure: Federated Media is ReadWriteWeb’s advertising partner.

Check out the Web 2.0 schedule and watch the events live here.

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