Publisher Spotlight: PaleOMG

Jul
3

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.

Lijit’s RTB efforts deliver more money to online publishers

Jan
26

Many of you are witness to a shift in the world of online advertising that sees ad networks being replaced by programmatic buying technologies like real-time bidding (RTB) and private exchanges. Technologies like these deliver greater return to both advertisers and publishers by enabling them to connect directly to each other. Advertisers set a price for what they’re willing to pay to access a publisher’s audience, and publishers gain greater control over their inventory while at the same time exposing it to a larger pool of demand sources. RTB is what enables this interaction between advertiser and publisher to take place.

Publishers are the core of our business, and because of that we are constantly looking for new ways to deliver higher CPMs and fill rates. When it comes to RTB, the more DSPs we integrate with, the more access brand advertisers have to our publishers’ inventory. The more demand from brand advertisers, the higher the return we can deliver to publishers.

Today we are pleased to announce our latest RTB integration with XA.net, our newest partner. The partnership with XA.net comes on the heels of a handful of other recent integrations with industry-leading DSPs including MediaMath, m6d, Chango, and MyBuys. With these and many more planned for the coming months, publishers should continue to see higher returns from Lijit’s online advertising services.

Feedback?

Why Publishers Should Embrace Programmatic Buying

Nov
30

Those who “own” inventory are concerned that through exchanges, advertisers and trading desks have access to the same premium placements at lower CPMs, thereby diluting direct sales opportunities.

As a premium publisher, you probably invest in a sales team to monetize your inventory. You sell a unique readership, social engagement capabilities, contextual relevance, and other site-specific aspects that help value premium inventory at premium prices. Your team works hard to close direct deals with high CPMs to make sure the value of the inventory is not diluted so they can keep cash in their pockets!

On the other side of the coin is the brand advertiser. Brand advertisers also have concerns about exchanges because they are hyper-sensitive to brand alignment. They work hard to protect their brand from the “Wild West” we call the Internet, and are über-sensitive to the variability of content across the web.

Buying direct from premium publishers ensures contextual relevancy and protects against brand conflict. It’s the safe route that allows a brand advertiser to lock in contextually relevant real estate and track ROI.

A “true” private exchange turns potential dilution of inventory, internal struggles with the sales team, and contextual awareness into a big-time publisher opportunity. In a true private exchange, the sales team continues to work with advertisers to sell premium inventory. Let’s not forget what’s important to advertisers: (1) contextual placement and (2) guaranteed inventory/unique(s).

A “true” private exchange gives priority bidding to the select advertisers that have negotiated a higher mid-tier CPM. The CPM is higher than on an open exchange because it’s backed by data, yet lower than a premium CPM because it’s not guaranteed.

The industry needs to embrace true private exchanges. A “true” private exchange solves a real business problem for both the publisher and advertiser:
(1) Publishers can place inventory on a private exchange at a $3-$10 CPMs and offer it to a “select” set of advertisers
(2) Publishers can use the private exchange to build a process and compensation plan for the sales team
3) Advertisers feel safe using a private exchange that guarantees contextual placement and protects against brand conflict.

The private exchange is a true private marketplace where the prioritized advertiser with the highest bid wins.

Using SSPs, RTB, and Private Exchanges to Reach the Independent Web at Scale

Sep
22

On Tuesday, September 20 Lijit’s CEO and Founder Todd Vernon had the privilege of speaking at Federated Media’s Signal Chicago conference. His presentation, titled “Using Supply Side Platforms, Real-Time Bidding, and Private Exchanges to Reach the Independent Web at Scale,” provides a brief overview of the latest technologies in online advertising.

In this session, Todd discusses the following:

  • How to use SSPs (supply side platforms) to source inventory
  • How brand marketers can use audience analysis to reach desired themes and conversations
  • How to expose audience and content segments to automated buyers
  • How to use audience futures to reserve media through private exchanges

Check out his quick, 10-minute presentation below. Enjoy!

How to turn your hobby into a business: lessons learned from Lijit publisher Kurt Kohlstedt

Sep
13

Longtime Lijit publisher Kurt Kohlstedt is the Founder and Executive Editor of Webist Publishing and Misnamed Media. His collection of sites include WebUrbanist, WebEcoist, Dornob, and Gajitz – which each have their own theme relating to creative, innovative, and sustainable art, architecture, and design.

Kurt is the quintessential mid-size Lijit publisher who has used online advertising to successfully transition his hobby into a business. Read on to learn how Kurt got his start and how he built his business using analytics and online advertising.

How did you get your start in the world of online publishing?

I was finishing my graduate degree in architecture and slowly began to realize that I was equally interested (if not more) in writing about design as I was in becoming an architecture professional. It was at that point I decided to give online publishing a shot as a full-time career. I built an audience by testing out various topics and found a nice balance between what I liked to write about and what people liked to read. I launched my first site, WebUrbanist, in the middle of 2007.

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Ad Tech Economics

Aug
17

The economic rules governing the advertising technology industry can seem a little counterintuitive when referring to pixels and cookies versus physical goods or financial instruments. Further, when it is as easy as installing a snippet of JavaScript on your page to start making money, companies can seem more like pyramid schemes than players in a fundamentally sound market. However, believe it or not, the advertising technology industry is governed by the same economics that govern most every other industry. And supply, demand, price, and quantity are some of the most fundamental economic concepts that can be applied to ad tech with just a little translation.

Ad “inventory” is essentially synonymous with “supply.” This is the available ad space on a website. Thus, publishers are the suppliers of the industry. And the price a publisher is willing to accept varies depending on content, seasonality, audience, location of the ad zone on a page, and many other variables. Considering the way that ad serving works, with an individual advertisement being passed from advertiser to network, to exchange, to SSP, to publisher, etc, this might seem backwards. But the best way to think about it is the way the money flows. Ad “inventory” is available for purchase, just like product inventory in a store or a warehouse.

On the other side is “demand.” “Demand” is essentially advertising spend. “Demand” by advertisers also varies based on seasonality, content, audience, etc. for the same obvious reasons. Where the supply and demand curves meet is the nexus we use to identify “price” and “quantity.” Of course, we, the ad tech industry, have our own word for “price” which is “CPM.” And we express the concept of “quantity” with terms like “ad traffic” and “fill rate.”

Once you boil the industry down to these fundamentals, it seems less populated with buzzwords and more with terms reflective of actual economic opportunity. Terms like “demand side platform,” “supply side platform,” and “ad exchange” make sense despite the fact that they sound more like they come from Wall Street than Silicon Valley or Madison Avenue (or Boulder, Colorado in our case). In fact, these terms are reflective of a healthy and fundamentally sound (although ridiculously dynamic) market with incredible economic opportunity for years to come.

Just take a look at LUMA Partners‘ Display Advertising Technology Landscape to get a sense for the sheer number of companies involved in this highly competitive and fast growing market:

The latest numbers from eMarketer estimate that the US online ad market will see dramatic growth this year with spending to increase 20.2% to $31.3 billion. eMarketer also predicts that by 2015, total US online ad spending will reach $49.5 billion, more than 58% higher than this year’s estimate. Now those are some ad tech economics!

Lijit Product Updates: Reader Demographics

May
9

We just completed another round of updates and improvements to our publisher products. We’re putting a lot of energy behind building out our ad services and publisher analytics and we’re expanding our offerings with every software release. So what’s new?

Reader Demographics:

The most important part of being an online publisher, is understanding your audience. On top of all of the other great audience analytics we provide to help you understand your readers, we now offer reader demographic data right inside your Lijit dashboard. This new statistic allows you to see the overall makeup of your online audience, and further understand who you are creating content for, and the demographic distribution of people frequenting your site.

Why are demographics important?

  • Understanding your readers

The best way to effectively create relevant content for your readers, and to attract new readers, is to know who they are. Understanding the makeup of your audience is key to ensuring you are producing content that will engage and resonate withyour audience.

  • Monetizing your site

Advertisers looking to reach the right audience for their online display advertising campaigns always consider demographics when making targeting decisions. You will be better equipped to attract and sell advertising for your site if you understand the demographic makeup of your audience

Check out your dashboard to see the demographic makeup of your site and start down the path of better understanding your readers. Just goto www.lijit.com, login and check it out at the bottom of your Lijit dashboard.

Other News:

  • Removed MyBlogLog support

We removed support for MyBlogLog and disabled it’s use as a content and network source for publishers who use our search engine services.  MyBlogLog had a great run and was a key integration partner in the early days of Lijit. Yahoo is shutting down all MyBlogLog services at the end of May, so we decided to deactivate it on our side before that happened.

  • Welcome Widget support

We made the difficult decision to “end-of-life” our Welcome Widget product. Publishers who previously used this feature will no longer see a UI to manage settings for the Welcome Widget, and we automatically disabled the functionality it provided. We’re always looking for ways to enable our publishers to better engage their readers, so keep an eye out for more site tools and functionality in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions | Lijit Advertising Services

Dec
22

image As Lijit’s Ad Services continue to grow, we’ve had a number of questions which we’d heard on more than one occasion…so time for an FAQ! Below find a list of the most frequently asked inquiries of our Ad Services staff. This list will grow over time so check back here to review the FAQ list and learn more!

Lijit makes websites more engaging, keeping readers on site longer, and uncovering rich and interesting content. At the same time, Lijit provides you, the publisher, valuable intelligence about what readers are interested in and searching for. Lijit Advertising Services helps publishers get more value from the unique audiences they attract with the great content they produce.
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The Lijit Ad Network is Open for Business!

Oct
27

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Come on in! We’re open!

That’s right, Lijit Publishers! Our Ad network is officially out of beta and we are rolling! We’ve invested a lot both in technology and people power to provide what we think is a great money making vehicle for you. Our Ad Serving Platform is world class and our direct sales force is working directly with the large premium brands and ad agencies to serve the creative you want and expect to match your site and your reader audience.

What does the Lijit Ad Network give you, publisher?

More money making opportunities! Lijit has historically provided you revenue share from advertising displayed and clicked through on your Lijit search results pages but our Ad Network is all new! What’s new for you:

  • Front Page Ad Tags: Monetize your blog through the simple installation and display of front-page banners, skyscrapers or sidebar units.
  • Premium Advertising: Lijit Network’s sales force works directly with major advertising agencies and brands to reach your readers with meaningful creative that your readers will appreciate…and be more likely to engage with.
  • Better Performance: Knowing your site’s content, reader demographics and reader intent allows Lijit to yield better ad performance over prototypical ‘spray and pray’ ad networks. We want your site to have meaningful, contextually relevant and engaging creative your readers will appreciate and move to act on!

How do you install Lijit Ads?

Easy! We’ve made installing ad tags as simple as installing your Lijit Search Wijit. Check it out…

1) Opt in to share revenue with Lijit. You will see a new tab on your Wijits administration page called Ad Many of you have already taken advantage of this by opting into revenue share from your search page ads and if so, you won’t see this step. For newcomers, you will see this simple screen to fill in your account information (e.g. where we send the checks!) and the opt-in information.

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2) Create an Ad Tag: With your registration complete, you are immediately presented with Ad Wijit (e.g. ad tag/ad unit) creation tools to post on your site. Creating one is super simple. You select from the styles we offer (e.g. a banner or a skyscraper or a rectangle), name it and you’re done! Create as many as you want!

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3) OK, you’re ready to install! Simply save your wijit in the step above and you will be prompted to move to the install screen you see below. Just like your Lijit Search Wijit, we offer simple one-click installs for major blogging platforms like Blogger, WordPress and TypePad in addition to providing you the java script for proprietary CMS systems and web site platforms. Once the code is live on your site, you’re set and Lijit can get about its job streaming in ads!

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4) You’re done!
With your ad tags installed, Lijit’ will take over from here. Our sales force as mentioned is queuing up premium brand and advertising campaigns which will be served directly form our ad serving infrastructure direct to your ad wijit tags. We stream in creative which will match the effective category, demographic and reader audiences who visit your site. Ads will rotate frequently as our model is to continually ensure 100% fulfillment. When a premium ad is not available, we will display remnant ads to ensure a continual money making stream for you.

How do I get paid?

All of the payment and accounting information is managed in your ‘Account’ management console on Lijit.com when you are signed in. Here you can visualize your ad performance, earnings, modify your account registration information and more.

Need Help?

Contact our Advertising team here in our offices in scenic Boulder Colorado. (advertising at lijit dot com) We’re ready to get your site dialed in and ensure you’re making money right away!