In a fascinating move today the folks at Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, rolled out WordAds, directly competing with Google's advertising offerings. As they state:
Over the years one of the most frequent requests on WordPress.com has been to allow bloggers to earn money from their blog through ads. We’ve resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn’t terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google’s AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense.
Right now there isn't much information beyond what can be found on the application form:
Only publicly visible blogs with custom domains will be considered for this program. ...
Selection will be based on level of traffic and engagement, type of content, and language used on a blog. Some blogs may not be accepted. Entering the form below does not commit you to the advertising program. It just signals your interest in learning more.
Personally, I don't have any blogs hosted on WordPress.com (outside of some experimental sites), so I won't be applying... and I actually share the feeling that most advertising hasn't seemed to me to be very attractive (which is why I don't run any on my sites).
While this is limited now to blogs on WordPress.com, it will be interesting to see if it expands beyond that if the program is successful. Competition certainly is good and having even more options available for bloggers who want to use advertising is good news for all of us.
If your blog is on WordPress.com, will you apply for this program?
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