Archive for December, 2010

Holiday Product Updates

Dec
20

Even though you didn’t ask for anything, we went and got you a gift anyway. It comes in the form of a software update and we know you’re going to love it. We continue to build on the strengths of our ad platform by optimizing the advertising we deliver to your readers as well as creating new partnerships that help provide you with more ways to grow revenue. This, coupled with our great publisher products that help you engage and understand your readers, makes for a pretty good gift(in our opinion).

So what did we get you?

View Ad “Fill Rate” in your Lijit Ad Stats.

First off, “fill rate” sounds like a fairly technical term. In a nutshell, it’s the number of times an ad was shown to your readers vs. the number of times an ad was requested. In the ad serving world there are many cases where an ad tag can request an ad and there is no ad returned. Our goal at Lijit is to be as transparent as possible when it comes to how we are helping you monetize your site. That now includes telling you how often we are able to find an ad for your readers, and how often we can’t.

Why is this important? Many ad networks or ad services don’t provide visibility into this particular statistic. Some may even pad the numbers by filling your ad tags with public service ads or serving “blanks” so you aren’t able tell how often your readers are seeing real ads. Since Lijit gives you control over how your ads are displayed, you can use this statistic to better understand how well your ads are performing.

What if my fill rate is lower than I expected?

There are a couple of reasons why your fill rate could be low and just as many ways to manage it.

  • You set a floor price. When this happens, Lijit only fills ads at the $ floor value you selected. If this is the case, you should be providing a passback or default tag to use when Lijit can’t fill an ad on your site. You are in control of how to allocate your ad impressions. You can either lower your floor to increase fill rate, or ensure your passback tags are set so you get the most out of the ad request on your site.
  • Campaign alignment. It can take time to find the right campaigns for your site based on your size and the type of content. Rest assured we are monitoring these statistics daily to ensure you get the most out of your relationship with Lijit and will do our best to fill as many ad requests as possible.

If at any point you have a question about fill rate, or setting a CPM floor,or enabling a passback tag, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly support team.

We rebooted our signup flow!

If you’re already using Lijit, this won’t help you much. But we did make it easier and faster to signup and get access to our world class publisher tools, and apply to be part of the best ad platform for online publishers. If your friends have a site, and you love our publisher stats,search tools, and advertising products, send them this link and tell them to give it a try.

We had a great year, and we had a lot of fun building tools that enable you to  not only learn how to be a better publisher, but to make some money at the same time. We wish everyone a happy new year, and we can’t wait to show you what we have up our sleeves for next year.

Happy Holidays!

Publisher Spotlight: AskDaveTaylor.com

Dec
17

Just a few short years ago we watched as the publishing industry moved from print to online. It was a rough couple years for everyone involved. Publishing shops went out of business and few writers made the successful transition online.

Meet Dave Taylor, the brains behind AskDaveTaylor.com, one of the most well-respected general technology sites on the web. With over 2 million monthly pageviews, Dave Taylor is a one-man shop who calls his office “anything with ‘café’ on the door.”

Read on to find out how Dave made the transition from print to online, and how he turned his Q&A site into a super successful, sustainable business.

What prompted you to start AskDaveTaylor.com?

I have a tech writing background and have written 20 books over the course of my career. People would email me tech questions but the same questions kept popping up. I was spending too much time answering email so in 2003 I built an online forum where I would post an article and people could respond with questions and comments. The process was much more fun, interactive and rewarding.

At that time I was also consulting to help pay the bills. My 2006 New Year’s resolution was to change my business model and start selling my knowledge instead of my time. I spent a year going to Internet conferences and soaking up as much information as I could. From there things just took off.

I began posting more and more introductory level tech stuff and the site turned into a resource for people to learn about the basics – what’s out there, how to use it, and how to troubleshoot.

You’ve built AskDaveTaylor.com into quite a business. How did you grow your readership to over 50,000 people a day?

SEO is a huge focus for me. I’ve read the entire Google Webmaster Toolkit and spend a lot of time on keywords – writing keyword-rich copy, using keyword-rich titles, and including keywords in images and photos. I take referring keyword data and use those words in article titles so that people can find what they’re looking for. Keyword density is also important so I use proper nouns whenever possible (e.g. “iPad”) instead of general terms (e.g. “it”). I try to coincide my articles with tech news so, for example, I’ll write an article on the hot new iPad app when it’s announced in the app store.

I built the readership and then learned how to monetize my site. I’m extremely happy with the progress I’ve made these last few years.

With so much experience in online publishing, what advice do you have for other publishers who are trying to build their site into a business?

When you’re in online publishing, there’s so much data about your site but the analytics are only as useful as the time you spend looking at them. Take, for instance, one of my favorite stats: what are people searching for and not finding on your site? I use that information to develop content that my readers want.

Something else I’ve learned is the importance of staying focused. Develop specific, targeted content on a topic or two versus broad content covering a lot of topics. People will come back once you become their trusted source for information.

Also, stick to a regular publishing schedule and produce the best content you can. I often queue up articles in advance and stagger them to ensure a constant stream of information. Write the way you speak and weave everything into stories to better engage your audience. I even read out loud to see if my articles sound conversational enough!

Lastly, don’t sell yourself. People don’t want to hear a sales pitch, they want to learn about people and interesting topics that relate to them. Be as transparent as you can because that’s how you gain trust and keep readers coming back for more.

How has Lijit helped you in the world of online publishing?

I’ve been using the Lijit search tool for over 3 years and I love that it’s the one thing I never have to pay attention to. Because I’m a one-man shop, I’m constantly trying new things to optimize my site. I’m lucky to have a large enough readership where I can test something and know if it’s working or not within 48 hours.

Lijit gives me the information I need to craft the content that people want. I know what articles people are clicking on and can write follow up articles to keep people on-site and reduce bounce rates… data like that is pure gold.

Lijit Holiday Party & Happy Holidays From Lijit 2010

Dec
17

What other company has an in-house band that rocks out? Lijit does.

Thank you to everyone who attended our holiday party this year, to our wonderful team and to our fearless leaders (Todd and Walter).

Lijit also wishes all our publishers a happy holiday season and good luck rolling into 2011!

Enjoy the pictures and video compilation of the performances.

Lijit Holiday Party 2010 from Lijit on Vimeo.

Special thanks to Matt for putting together this video!

Lijit Supports Cookie Week – A Roundup of Cookie Recipes

Dec
3

It is CookieWeek!

Did you know that?

In an effort to celebrate delicious, sweet morsels we’ve done a roundup of some delicious cookie recipes from some foodie, Lijit publishers. Enjoy!

The Cupcake Project: Oreo Cookies Made From Scratch

Brown Eyed Baker: Lemon Burst Cookies

The Perfect Pantry: Sugar, Cookies (Recipe: the world’s best sugar cookie)

Heavenly Homemakers: Snickerdoodles

Andrea’s Recipes: Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures: Fudgy Coconut Cookies

Whisk: Buttery Jam Cookies

80 Breakfasts: Fig and Honey Cookies

A Few Short Cuts: Cinnamon Bun Cookies

What are your favorite cookie recipes?