Blog Ad Foils PayPerPost and Blogads Unveil New Ad Offerings

Known for its enormous tailgating truck, online reality show and controversial blog ad offering, PayPerPost aims to do it up big again — this time by unveiling an array of new ad offerings Monday. The pay-to-blog ad network is introducing new video ad products, targeting capabilities, and a unit that combines disclosure of ad affiliation with an a format enabling more advertiser control. Standing in stark contrast to PayPerPost is the original blog-only advertising network, Blogads, which has introduced a new dynamic ad unit.

PayPerPost, much maligned for not requiring disclosure of blogger affiliation with advertisers, is incorporating disclosure within a new ad offering. The narrow display ads appear below advertiser-inspired posts, and feature a “sponsored by” message along with the advertiser’s logo. For an introductory flat fee of $5, advertisers can include a pop-up box that appears upon rollover of the disclosure unit. While advertisers cannot control what so-called “posties” write in their paid posts, they can dictate what text and image appears within the pop-up ads. They’ll be able to include video in the unit in the future.

Three video ad offerings will also be made available by PayPerPost next week. Advertisers will be able to pay bloggers to create videos about their goods and services, as well as run pre- and post-roll “bumper” ads around blogger-produced video spots. In addition, advertisers can provide multimedia elements for network bloggers to incorporate into their own paid video ads.

“We’re trying to provide as much value to advertisers and bloggers as we can,” said PayPerPost founder and CEO Ted Murphy.

The firm is hoping to woo “high profile” bloggers into its network, too. The reward, according to Murphy: “money.” By automating a system that ranks blogger quality according to measurements determined by Google, Technorati, Alexa or all three, the firm will now automatically separate highly-trafficked bloggers from those with smaller audiences. In doing so, prices paid to higher-value bloggers will rise. Now, advertisers using the network offer bloggers the same price no matter how much traffic their sites attract.

“We will reward people that are developing their blog and developing their readership and their following,” said Murphy. PayPerPost rival ReviewMe already bases ad prices on a quality ranking system, in addition to requiring disclosure of bloggers’ association with advertisers.

Starting Monday, PayPerPost will also enable advertisers to target blogging “opportunities” to specific segments based on topic categories its bloggers typically cover, such as real estate, technology and sports.

To appeal to bigger-name bloggers, PayPerPost is also hoping to score advertiser clients with brands that bloggers enjoy writing about, such as consumer electronics and entertainment media advertisers. Well-known brand advertisers like HP and American Greetings advertise through the service; however, many of its current advertisers are lesser-known sites hoping to garner Web links to boost their search engine rankings.

Advertisers using PayPerPost clearly want to participate in blog discussion, rather than simply site alongside it. But the service certainly has its detractors, who argue the paid posts only serve to clutter the Web with counterfeit commentary rather than genuine discussions that naturally mention advertisers or their wares.

“It’s sad that blogs are being reduced to automated link generators,” said Blogads CEO Henry Copeland, whose network also faced scrutiny when the notion of advertising on blogs at all was controversial. To better serve the advertisers that gravitate towards Blogads, the company has introduced an ad unit that updates linked text each fifteen minutes, using RSS feeds. Copeland hopes the format’s dynamic functionality attracts the political candidates, issue-oriented groups and media outlets that regularly advertise in the network.

“It’s an exchange of information as opposed to just gaming Google,” said Copeland.

If PayPerPost’s use of its own ad service is any indication, though, the company believes in its product. The firm solicited video ads from its own network bloggers for use in its upcoming television spot set to run next month.

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