Maximizing The Yield Curve


As a publisher, maximizing your revenue yield should be a constant theme. Every day I hear from publishers and members of my team, “how do I get higher CPMs?” High CPMs(revenue per 1000 impressions) is a concern for all online publishers large and small. I think it is the common denominator for conversations among all publishers and advertisers.

There is an ever present theme in our daily lives when we are ready to engage in exchange, “How much to I have to give in order to get.” In the case of online advertising, how much are advertisers(brands) willing to pay you(the publisher) to smack a banner ad across your content. As a publisher you want maximum dollars flowing to you for each impression you allow on your content. Advertisers want to spend only the minimum amount to see a return(product purchase, brand lift, etc). With a nearly unlimited market of supply(impressions requests by publishers) and a finite dollar amount(brand advertising budgets), the brands(demand) will follow the economic law of diminishing returns and spend less and less for each additional ad impression across your content. As a publisher you have a choice to continue to sell at a lower rate thus maintaing market efficiency or closing the market, ie making your content no longer available to advertisers.

Below is a sample of a publisher’s revenue yield curve. On the right side are highdollar CPMs(y-axis) but a low quantity of impressions served(x-axis). As you move along the curve, the CPMs fall and the quantity of ads served increases. This is not atypical for any publisher that maximizes the revenue across their content.

As a publisher there are several questions that remain in order to maximize revenue and push the belly of the curve up and to the right:

  • How do I slow the rate of diminishing returns?
  • When do I stop selling my advertising on my content?

I analyze these questions every day for the publishers in the Federated Mediaexchange. There are several techniques but the most significant driver to decreasing your revenue delta is a robust ad partner(demand) structure. The demand market is limited but there are solutions available to you. As an exampleI,your site receives 1,000,000 ad requests per month and one advertiser(scenario one) has offered to buy all of your impressions for the month. They agree to pay you $5CPM for the first 100,000 impression then $2.50 for the next 150,000, $1.00 for the next 250,000 and finally $0.50 for the remaining 500,000. Now imagine your savvy sales development skills landed a second advertiser for you the next month. They agree to pay you the same amount as advertiser one keeping in mind that your number of available impressions is constant at 1,000,000 for the month. Can you see what is happening here? You have have to advertisers buying your content for the same rates and the same quantities. Good stuff for sure. Now let’s look at the impact of your additional sale.

  • Revenue is up by 63%
  • Your lowest value ad inventory is now priced at $1.00, not $0.50

This brings me to the topic at hand, by using two partners you improved your revenue yield. Did you reach the maximum? Impossible to tell. You would need to add additional advertisers until you found a diminishing rate of return.

The above scenario is a bit simplified but my point is that as a publisher you should focus on increasing your revenue yield by maximizing the return from each ad partner. High CPMs, like winning streaks are great but eventually all begins to normalize. This leads to the second question of when do you stop selling your content. There is no easy answer for this as each publisher is different. The rule I like to follow is if you don’t receive an incremental or noticeable bump in your revenue then you have likely reached the point on your yield curve where selling more content space is not going to lead deliver noticeable returns.

I hope this helps provide you with a better understanding of the market dynamics that are at play. I will continue to write about this topic as it resonates daily with me. Post comments and I will do what I can to answer.

This article was originally published on Matthew Barrowclough is the Director of our Publisher Management Group and currently oversees publisher revenue growth for our network. You will usually find him grinding away with spreadsheets and surfacing additional revenue yield for each publisher.

How-to: Ad-Chains


When determining the right advertising strategy for your site, implementing an ad chain can be a great solution to optimize earning potential and achieve 100% fill.  In the following how-to video, Lijit Publisher Development member Grayson Braswell walks you through all the components of an ad chain.

How Google’s AdSense Policy Changes will Affect Online Publishers


Lijit Networks is always staying up to date with industry trends, and we like to make sure that our publishers remain informed as well. Recently, Google altered their AdSense Program Policy stating that as of August 15th AdSense publishers are no longer allowed to install tags using iFrames.

As a Lijit publisher, there is no need to worry about these changes; we’ve got you covered. We are aware of Google’s updated policy and have made the necessary technical changes to comply with their ad serving guidelines.  If you currently utilize Lijit in conjunction with AdSense, rest assured that Lijit will continue providing you with high quality ad campaigns.

Why does Lijit provide the option of iFrames? As an online publisher, page load time is an extremely important factor. Choosing the right ad network is critical to ensure that your pages load quickly.  A great solution for Lijit publishers with regard to installing ad tags on their site is utilizing iFrames. With iFrames, advertisements load separately from the actual web page and therefore do not affect site load time.

Lijit will continue to offer the option of iFrames to our publishers. If you do not currently utilize Lijit advertising services and will be affected by Google’s changes, or if you would just like to learn more about what we provide, check out our site or contact us directly. We would love to work with you and can get you up and running super fast!

Lijit Publishers: Go Ahead, Submit For The OMMA Awards!


The annual OMMA awards will be taking place in New York on October 1, 2012. The awards honor outstanding creativity in online advertising but there are great opportunities for publishers as well. For those who don’t know, OMMA is MediaPost’s magazine of Online Media, Marketing and Advertising.

We wanted to share with our Lijit Publishers the array of award opportunities that fall within the category Website Excellence. This category is meant for web publishers and/or web developers whose outstanding content, visual design and user interface create recurring value for publishers.

As a Lijit Publisher, you are highly conversational, service a niche audience, and provide original content frequently.  Why not win an award for your awesome efforts?

Here is a list of the categories and the deadline to apply is August 10th. Good Luck!

Publisher Spotlight: PaleOMG


We recently sat down with Lijit publisher Juli Bauer, owner and operator of PaleOMG, a site focusing on the paleo lifestyle as well as the daily happenings of Juli’s life. Juli is a huge presence in the Colorado CrossFit community, and never falls short of providing her readers with tips, tricks, and a whole lot of wit.

Read on to find out how Juli got her start, and why she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon!

How long have you been blogging? Why did you start?

I have been blogging for a year and a couple months now. I got my start when I began doing CrossFit and then started a Paleo diet soon after. The owner at my first gym asked me to start a nutrition blog for them and once I moved to another gym I decided I would start blogging on my own. At first I would post recipes I found, and then began cooking all different kinds of recipes to post to my website. I started sharing stories about what I did on the weekends and people seemed pretty into that aspect too. I always have stories to share with people, and my blog has become very interactive.

What is your favorite paleo recipe?

I am a big dessert person and when I was changing over to paleo, I had a couple of freak outs when I thought about how terrible life would be if I could never have cake again. I calmed down when I found recipes for paleo bread, and I have a paleo cheesecake recipe that is the best thing I have ever tasted.

Its scary when you go paleo because you think you will never be able to enjoy food again. I learned that you can still have a sweet tooth and get your treats

You have a large following of 30,000+ page views daily. How have you grown and maintained your audience?

I think the success of my blog has come from my honesty. I talk to my readers exactly how I would speak to any of my friends. I talk about my fears with starting paleo, my successes, being scared about certain workouts coming up, or the times I’ve fallen off the bandwagon. You can feel intimidated by a lot of blogs. I like to provide my readers with an honest outlook. I will have a cupcake if I want a cupcake.

What is one of the coolest things that have come from writing your blog?

One of the coolest things about writing my blog has been the people I have met through it. I get emails from people all the time telling me about how I have inspired them to start CrossFit thanking me for helping them through really hard times, and talking to me about other deep stuff that you would never talk to a person regularly about. It’s cool to have people from across the country and across the world that I have never met contact me because they feel as though they have some kind of connection to me.

How has Lijit helped you as a publisher?

The biggest thing has been my groceries – Lijit has helped me continue to do what I love to do. As funny as that sounds, the money I have made with Lijit has been so helpful in that regard. I cook these meals for my blog and I am not always consuming them. I have different allergies, but I enjoy making all kinds of recipes for my blog. If I didn’t have Lijit to work with, I would not be able to post as often as I do, and share all my recipes with my readers!

What does your blogging future look like?

I love writing and blogging on PaleOMG and that will never change. Whether it is my full time career or something I do on the side, I will continue to write no matter what. I love sharing stories with people and food with people because it is what is important to me. I am glad it is important to other people too!

Do you have any tips for new publishers looking to grow their site?

Be yourself and genuinely care about the people who take the time to read your site. They are what is most important.

Join the IAB and other online publishers for a special event in D.C. on June 4 and 5


In partnership with the IAB, Lijit would like to invite our publishers to represent independent publishers from across the country at the IAB Long Tail Alliance Washington Fly-In. This is the fourth year that independent publishers will meet in Washington D.C. to learn, network, and call on our legislators to tell them that adverse regulation will hurt our businesses and our industry. During this two-day event you will:

  • Meet with members of the U.S. Congress and their staffs to tell the story of your small business
  • Take deep dives into tactics and strategies necessary to grow your business in today’s digital environment
  • Network with small publishers from across the country, sharing tips and best practices
  • Be guests of honor at a special networking reception and dinner at the Google offices in Washington, D.C.

More information plus photos and highlights from last year’s Fly-In can be found here. Or click here to watch a short video from last year’s event.

There is no charge to attend but you must pay for your own travel and lodging. The IAB has secured a special, sponsored nightly rate of $150 at the Washington Marriott.

This is a great opportunity to network, learn, and advocate for your small business. If you would like to be part of this special event, visit to register and book your hotel. Or if you want more information, please reach out to Chris Glushko, Director of Marketing, IAB, at or 212-380-4722.

We hope to see some of you there!

Increase site traffic and monetization with FindTheBest’s interactive widgets


We want to let our publisher community know about a new Lijit partner, FindTheBest. They can help grow your audience and monetize your site with its product, service and reference widgets.

About FindTheBest

FindTheBest is an objective, data-driven comparison engine that helps users find and compare their options so that they can make the most informed decisions.  FindTheBest, which is organized into 9 broad categories, covers hundreds of comparisons from smartphones and investment advisors to colleges and dog breeds—it has been described as an online Consumer Reports for all the big decisions in life. Each comparison is made up of anywhere from dozens to thousands of detailed listings and paired with smart filters, to help users narrow down and compare their options based on the factors important to them.

Drive Traffic, Monetize Site with FindTheBest’s Widgets

FindTheBest’s newly launched customizable widgets (and WordPress plugin for WP bloggers) are easy to embed into blogs and other sites, and help drive web traffic, increase page views, extend the time users are engaged on a publisher site and also help users monetize their site. Many of FindTheBest’s product widgets include “Buy Now” buttons that allow publishers to easily monetize their site at no cost to them.

Getting Started With FindTheBest’s Widgets

FindTheBest’s widgets are free to download and simple to install. To get started, register on FindTheBest and then visit FindTheBest’s Widgets and WordPress plugin page to install and find out how to customize and embed widgets into your site.

Single-listing widget

Multiple-listing widget

Publisher website monetization 101


You’ve done it! You’ve made a blog, your content is witty, your friends all like what you post, you’re engaging social media to increase your traffic, and someone asks you, why not make a buck or two while you’re at it? I am going to dig into some of the key things you should know about advertising on your site.

There are a variety of ways to show ads on your website or blog, even more companies vying for your hard earned internet real estate (ad inventory), and even more companies still trying to make a quick buck as the display advertising dollars shift from more traditional media to new media sources. One thing to understand, the method of advertising I am speaking to is not in the vein of traditional advertising like in a newspaper where you solicit your favorite local shop to pay you a flat rate to show an ad for a finite amount of time. New advertising is dynamic and will show different ads on your site every time a page loads, this works to your advantage. Direct advertising, media buying/selling, and spot buys are all terms associated with more traditional ad sales. These types of relationships require the most effort on your part to solicit and maintain but can also be the most lucrative if you can set them up.

Read the rest of this entry »

Event recap: ad:tech San Francisco


This past week Lijit kicked off ad:tech San Francisco by co-hosting a party at Roe with our partners AdSafe, DataXu, and m6d. Over 500 industry folks came out to network, watch the NCAA Finals on big-screen TVs, and rock-out with DJ Adam Bomb.  Thanks to all of the Lijit publishers and partners who were able to join us!

For those in the online advertising space who have been to ad:tech before, you know that it’s the networking events that make the conference such a success and this year was no exception. A special thanks to other Lijit partners – Turn, MediaMath, Criteo, RadiumOne and Rocket Fuel who also threw some great ad:tech events!

Check out the great write-up that AllVoices did on the Lijit co-sponsored event – as you can tell, there was tons of fun had by all!

Here are some of our favorite event photos below.

5 Secrets to Building a Scalable Guest Post Campaign


Following is a guest post by Lijit publisher Nadia Jones outlining a number of tips and tricks for building a guest post campaign. Check out all of her great recommendations — they do in fact work because after all, she was able to convince us to post them to the Lijit blog!

For Internet marketers who’ve been in the business for awhile, guest posting may seem just a little bit passé. It used to be a fairly rare form of marketing, since it was usually a method used by individual bloggers to get the word out there about their blog. Once Internet marketers discovered it could be used as an incredibly effective marketing tool, guest posting took off. Now, however, the ubiquity of guest posting, and its general resistance to being scaled up, means that you’ll have to find other, less traditional ways for building a solid guest post campaign. Having done guest posting for years, here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. Identify and reach out to different types of blogs.
    If you want to build a guest post campaign that produces results, you’ll have to identify and appeal to different types of blogs that you reach out to. Many guest bloggers will say that you should tailor your outreach to be very specific to each blogger you want to write a guest post for. While this may be true to a certain extent, many blogs have made it such a standard practice to accept guest posts that you don’t have to take this coy in your approach. You can be much more upfront. On the other end of the spectrum are blogs that have never accepted guest posts before, and may not even know precisely what a guest post is and how it works. These bloggers will take more time and effort in courting them. The bottom line is this—understand who the blogger is and approach him accordingly. Don’t waste your time tailoring a very specific email to a blogger who essential runs a guest post clearinghouse.
  2. Expand the breadth of your outreach by using social media.
    Especially for the super-picky, super-high quality blogs, you’ll have to think beyond email when it comes to your outreach. In fact, email alone hardly ever works. Tweeting at different bloggers, sharing information that is relevant to their respective niches, and commenting on different articles on their blog are all different ways that you can get on the blogger’s radar. Then, once you approach the blogger about a possible guest post opportunity, the blogger already knows and trusts you.
  3. Don’t ever go into guest posting with the attitude that it’s all about the link.
    While “getting the link” may have been the holy grail when guest posting was in its infancy, now, links don’t matter as much anymore. The quality of the blog where your link is posted matters, but even more than that, the content itself matters. For your guest post campaign to be effective, the content that you publish on different blogs must spread far and wide for your brand to get the recognition that will pull more new customers, curious about your brilliant guest posts, in to your sites and services.
  4. Focus on relationship-building with bloggers.
    I’ve touched on the importance of building relationships with bloggers to get a guest post opportunity in the first place. But once your first guest post is published, the relationship should never stop there. Especially when you get published on an A-list blog, maintaining the relationship through Twitter, Facebook, commenting, etc., will give you continued guest post opportunities in the future. It’s much more effective to get several guest posts published on a really good blog than to have one guest post published on millions of blogs that will take anything. Why is this? Simply because better blogs have more cohesive audiences that will be much more likely to share your material, especially once you’ve built that trust.
  5. Keep data on everything to understand what works and what doesn’t.
    This recent blog post from SEO MOZ got me to thinking how important analyzing data is in determining what works and what doesn’t. This article conclusively proved or disproved many of the theories that are floating around about how best to approach a guest post campaign. For example, did you know that females who approach bloggers for guest post opportunities are much more successful in response rate than males? Keeping this type of data and analyzing it carefully will help you figure out how to develop your guest post campaign in the future.

In the realm of Internet marketing, guest posting has always been my favorite strategy, simply because it’s much more personable and requires much more thinking than some of the other strategies out there. As long as you are systematic, persistent, and, above all, genuine, you’ll create a successful guest post campaign, too. Good luck!

Author Bio:

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @