From time to time, on the boards in the Forum or at chat, the topic of advertising and promotion comes up. Invariably, I mention ProjectWonderful, and just as predictably am asked, “What’s that?”
We’ve all heard over and over again that to be successful on the web, you have to put yourself out there. Promote, promote, promote! Blog, tweet, facebook… Blow your own horn and sing your own praises. The whole idea is to reach the largest audience possible, which certainly makes sense.
Some people are not comfortable promoting/advertising themselves. Others are short of time to devote to self-promotion. Still others are confused about what to do at all. This is where ProjectWonderful can help.
ProjectWonderful sells advertising. The short story is that you set the characteristics of the audience you wish to reach, then ProjectWonderful does the work to find the sites where your target market would see your ad. You select which sites you advertise on. You get to chose how much your ad costs and how long it will run. You can set a monetary or a time/date cap on each ad. You can end ads at any time at your discretion. The cost for an ad is per day (not per click), and you can advertise for zero cents (not a typo) per day or several dollars per day. All of these things are completely up to you. The initial cost (the deposit into your account) is a minimum of $5.
I can hear you… “I can’t afford it.” “I need some sales before I spend any money.” Certainly the choice is yours. But if more exposure would help your business, you might want to reconsider. If you set your maximum expense to 15¢ per day, $5 will last you more than a month!
Before you can actually bid on a site, you need to create your ad. Under Advertising click on My Ads, then Create a new ad. The next screen will present you with the dimensions available for your ad. Just pick the one you want before you click on Next. The square choice might be the easiest to use, as it is probably the dimensions of your current profile picture on HandmadeArtists. You can also use your shop banner, or you can create something completely new and different. The look of your ad can be changed at any time.
How to Get Started
Hover your mouse over Advertising and click on Search for new places to bid. You can search for advertising spots using a number of criteria; traffic, bidding, sizes and categories, site description, referrers, and ratings and restrictions. You can also target the visibility of your ads to global regions. Make some choices and click the Search button at the bottom of the screen.
The next page will display a list of all the websites that meet your search criteria. It includes a brief description of each site, the average page views of each site and the cost per day to advertise there. Each column of the results is sortable by clicking the column header. So many choices!
Once you’ve found a site that looks promising at a price per day you can afford, simply click Place Bid on the far right hand side of the screen, enter your bid amount, and see if you’re the high bidder. If you are not the high bidder, it costs you nothing, and your bid stays active until you are the high bidder. If you are the high bidder, your ad will be placed on the site’s website.
Under Advertising, My Bids you can check all of your ads and see how they are doing. Project Wonderful will tell you what ad, where, how much you’ve spent on it, what the traffic has been since your ad started, how many clicks your ad has received and what the average cost per click is. If an ad seems to be under-performing, you can cancel it at any time. You will also get a daily email giving you all of this information.
If you are overwhelmed by the search for specific places for your advertising, you can let ProjectWonderful do all of the work for you by starting a campaign. You set the daily spending amount and the advertising site criteria. ProjectWonderful will then continually monitor all of the possible advertising opportunities for you, placing bids, etc.
Whether you’re not good at advertising and promoting yourself, or you just want some extra exposure, ProjectWonderful is a terrific option even on a limited budget.