Trying To Cut Out The Middleman
It’s not a big secret that ReviewMe reviews like this one and text links from Text Link Ads are two of this blog’s biggest money maker. The main gripe most web publishers have with these services is they take a pretty big commission for getting you a sale. A few enterprising webmasters have tried to bypass the middleman by creating plugins that allow you sell your own ads.
Simon Emery’s OIOpublisher Direct isn’t the first to offer a WordPress Plugin that allows you to sell your own reviews or text links. I’ve profiled two such plugins already; WordPress BankRoll and WP Text Ads. However, OIOpublisher is far superior to the other plugins and best of all, it’s free. That’s right, the plugin that can make you money doesn’t cost you money.
What Is OIOpublisher Direct?
OIOpublisher Direct is more than just a WordPress plugin. It’s a total advertising solution. At least that’s what it’s trying to be. Whether or not they’ll make it depends greatly on how fast they can penetrate the market. Unlike the WordPress BankRoll plugin which only does reviews, or the WP Text Ads which only does text links, the OIOpublisher Direct plugin offers the ability to directly sell reviews and text links (including contextual text links) on your blog. The free plugin pretty much puts the $127 WP Text Ads out of business.
The plugin is the most complete I have ever seen as far as advertising plugin goes. Once uploaded and activated, the plugin adds a Business tab to your WordPress control panel. This tab allows you access to all the OIOpublisher Direct features. From editing the plugin settings to entering your PayPal email, it’s all here. There’s even a Biz Tip tab to give you optimization tips. To keep you friendly with Google, OIOpublisher Direct gives you the option to do text links with or without a nofollow tag.
The plugin works with self hosted WordPress blogs only. OIOpublisher Direct does offer a hosted solution for bloggers without WordPress. The hosted solution offers all the features that the stand-alone version possesses, with the exception of a few options.
While the idea of selling your own reviews and text links and keeping all the money for yourself sounds great, in real life it doesn’t work this way. Most blogs can’t sell their own ads because they don’t have the traffic level it takes to do that. ReviewMe and Text Link Ads are successful because they provide a marketplace for their publishers and advertisers to get together.
The OIOpublisher Marketplace is currently the weakest part of OIOpublisher since the service is brand new and there isn’t many publishers listed. Simon’s success with this project is pretty much tied to the success of the marketplace. He needs to get a lot of publishers signed up in order to attract the advertisers.
OIOpublisher makes no commission from sales resulting from the marketplace. Advertisers buying from the marketplace buys direct from the publisher via the WordPress plugin. So how does the service make money? OIOpublisher charges a fee of $19.95 per month to get a feature listing in the marketplace. All publishers signing up to the marketplace get the first month listing for free. If you write a review of OIOpublisher, Simon will give you an additional three months of free listing. That should be enough for you to test out the service.
You do not need to be listed in the marketplace in order to use the plugin. However, since the listing is free for the first few months and no commission is taken from sales resulting from a marketplace listing, I don’t see any reason not to list your blog. At the very least, you get a free backlink.
Best Review Gets $200
Not only will you get three more months of listing when you write a review about OIOpublisher, but your review will be entered into their promo contest. The prizes range from a free listing for a year to $200 in cash. It’s a pretty good method to increase exposure and sign ups to the service.
Make Money Online with OIOpublisher
OIOpublisher has an affiliate program that pays you 20% of any marketplace listing purchase. This is not a one time commission either. Every time your referrals makes a purchase at the Marketplace, or renews a purchase, you get 20% of that purchase. That could result in some nice passive income potential. To sign up for the affiliate program, all you have to do is sign up for a free OIOpublisher account. You will need to get an account in order to download the plugin.
Marketing Partners Wanted
OIOpublisher is looking for a marketing partner to help spread the word about the many benefits of the system. If you think you have what it takes to effectively market a site like this, get in contact with them.
The role will include everything from on site optimization to increase usability and brand awareness, to making sure that as many bloggers as possible know about the the site. Anyone accepted for the role will get a (negotiable) fixed share of profits generated from marketplace listings. You will need to present strong evidence of past success, which you can email to them via the contact form.
Overall, I am extremely impressed with what Simon Emery has been able to produced. Not only is his plugin the best I’ve seen to date, but he has a very good understanding of marketing. I expect the marketplace to have hundreds of blogs in the next few days. Who knows, OIOpublisher may actually give ReviewMe a run for their money.
*Update – Any publisher signing up in the first 30 day will get a free feature listing for life. After the 30 day promotion period, a listing will cost $10 for six months.