Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The WNC Online Ad Network

Good blogs and websites come from a place of passion. They’re about engaging the reader, telling a story and sharing information with a broader community in ways never before possible. Unfortunately, for all the energy and time put into them, it can be difficult for blogs and some websites to generate even a little coffee money for the people who create them.

This can be disheartening, even for the most driven and talented bloggers. Even with a great site with an active community of readers, turning pageviews into cash is a challenge. Beyond signing up for a national service like Google’s AdSense, many of us wouldn’t even know where to begin.

What if Xpress could help? In 2010, we created the WNC Online Ad Network, which seeks to build a stronger online community by bringing together local websites and blogs. The initial idea — which we hope will evolve — has been that participating sites have a button ad space (125 by 125 pixels) which rotate ads for other participating sites. In 2011, the network served over 653,000 impressions across dozens of Asheville and WNC-based blogs.

This year, we’re expanding the network to include commercial advertisers, drawing from the deep pool of local and regional businesses. These are companies who see the value in supporting local blogs and websites, and are looking to reach the kinds of readers you already have.

So, what’s in it for you? We sell ads into the network, and then we split the revenue 50-50 between Xpress and the participating blogs. Payments to each sites is proportional to the impressions served by that site divided by the overall number of impressions served by the network. For most bloggers, this will mean an occasional coffee-money check in the mail. For others, it could be significantly more.

While having a little extra cash is nice, our end goal is to build a regional alliance of bloggers and website operators and provide a means to support their passions. The network helps us each grow deeper roots into this community, and to encourage the passions that keep this area so fascinating.


Button Ads: 125 by 125 pixels, in either .png, .jpg or .gif formats. File size up to 40k.

Served across a growing network of diverse member blogs. Currently, 25 participating blogs.

Delivered 653,000 impressions in 2011.

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