BellaOnline caters specifically to small mom-and-pop organizations that have high quality products but not a lot of money or knowledge about advertising. These FAQs have been developed as a result of our conversations with these advertisers.
Do You Offer Text Ads?
We do not, because our site makes it very clear what is "content" and what is "advertising". This works out extremely well for both us and for our advertisers. First, because our pages do not have "non-matching text content", we get high rankings on Google. The text on our pages is solely about the topic at hand. That means we get a high ranking, we get a lot of visitors, meaning more eyeballs to see our ads. Also, our users have GREAT trust in us because they respect the content we are showing. This also means they are very likely to click on our ads, to support us and our advertisers. We get ad click-through rates MUCH higher than the industry standard of .02% to .2%. Our clickthrough rates at BellaOnline are often 10 to 100 times the industry standard, depending on how well the ad targets its chosen audience.
Do You Offer Static (one-page) Ads?
BellaOnline has millions of pages in its system. It would be an absolute nightmare to manage individual ads on individual pages. We simply do not have the manpower to handle this. The only ads we run are through our ad system, showing up in the top, right, and left of every content page. All ads are done on a topic-wide basis. So you can choose to be on the "cats site" or on the "budget travel site". We do not have any ability to specify ads down to the "Dogs home page" or "site home page" level.
Which Sites Get the Most Traffic?
Remember, you are paying per view. Your aim needs to be to get the most targetted ads possible on the best sites that match. If you are selling dog collars, it doesn't matter if our hair site gets 1 million pageviews a month. Hair people aren't necessarily dog people. If you put your ads on the dogs site - even if it gets less pageviews a month, you are going to get a far higher traffic rate per ad. This should always be your aim - choose up to 6 sites that perfectly match your target audience, and then put ads on each site that specifically appeal to that group's interests. If you just choose the top traffic sites, then you could easily run through your entire deposit within hours, without getting much traffic at all. If you put a "divorce help" ad on the "body art" site just because Body Art gets a lot of traffic, that really doesn't make much sense for your traffic aims.
Can I Start with Less than $50?
I'm afraid not. We actually have full advertising provided to us from external ad agencies. We don't "need" more ads. These $50 ad campaigns are being offered as our way to help other small websites benefit from our efforts. We ourselves are a website created by hand by women working from their homes, and we know how hard that can be. We wanted to provide a way for other mom-and-pop organizations to get the recognition and notice they deserved. Our BellaOnline team has a quite heavy workload keeping the site running, so the amount of work it takes to set up and maintain a set of ads is significant. The $50 barely covers that work. If we did all of that work for an $10 ad campaign that only ran for 2 days, it would not make sense.
Do you Take More than $500?
Our top standard payment is $500, which we find to be what the largest of mom-and-pops can afford. We do have many advertisers who simply keep PayPalling us a new $500 each time the old $500 runs out. That way you can see how your campaigns do over time. We definitely find seasonal fluctuations with ads - romantic ads in February do well, while vacation ads in the summer do well. The more you focus your ad to the current season, the more clicks you get.
I Want to Offer a Commission on Sales
BellaOnline runs on the bare minimum of ads, to be as non-intrusive to our visitor. That means that each spot in which we DO put an ad is prime real estate, it has very little competition. We have designed our site as well as possible to promote and showcase that ad. However, you design the ad to make it attractive or non-attractive. If someone does click, you have designed your website to either entice people to buy or to refuse to buy. Those are all situations outside the control of BellaOnline. We cannot assume the risk or responsibility of someone choosing to buy from your site. We provide the best visitors possible, and the best environment possible. We need to be paid for that environment, just as you would pay to have your ad in a newspaper or on a TV show. It is up to you to assume the responsibility and risk for designing an ad that people click on - and designing a website that they feel willing to buy from.
Do you Take CPC or CPA ads?
No. Our online system is only set up to be able to handle CPM ads. There is no way to insert CPA or CPC ads into our system. We often get email from companies claiming that their CPA ads are so wonderful that they will easily exceed our CPM rates. If you feel you fall into that category, we invite you to sign up for our CPM ads! You can make even more money for yourself, since you will be keeping that "extra bonus" of excess for yourself.
Can I Blast an Email to your Subscription Lists?
No, we never send any extra email to our members. We do not direct mail our members. We do not rent our lists. We do not sell our lists. We do not directly email anything to our visitors except the newsletters they asked to receive. The sole thing a newsletter subscriber gets is that one newsletter - nothing else. So to reiterate, we never spam, and we never sell our names or give any access to them. We are extremely concerned about privacy here. If you would like to be included in the newsletter with a text ad, that is something covered by our standard advertising account.
I Sometimes See a Credit Card Ad in All Three Banner Ad Spots - Is That Normal?
We have two different types of ads on BellaOnline. One is the targeted, site-specific ad system that you are reading about here. With this system you choose exactly what ads you want to run, on exactly which sites, and have a perfect, targeted fit. Each ad only runs once on a page. If you create a skyscraper ad for the Pregnancy site that says "Free Pregnancy Ebook!" that ad will only run once on a page in the pregnancy site - it would never run on both the left and the right side.
If you ever see a page in the BellaOnline network with multiple matching ads (say for a credit card) then that is being run by our "remnant feed". Those are run of site ads placed by large companies where their intention is to simply blast their message out as much as they can, across all the sites. The ads of that type get far less results (as you might imagine). So those bulk ads you see are not involved in this specialized targeted ad system. Your ads will show up exactly where you want them, exactly matched the way you choose, and a given ad will only show up once per page.
We Want to Run a Press Release / Provided Content on your Site
The purpose of BellaOnline is to help train and promote our writers as gurus in their topic area, to help them learn the skills of writing on the web and to build their network of contacts. Our reason for existing is to help those women learn and perfect their talents in writing, and to have that content available for free to our visitors to help our visitors out. Every article on our site is 100% honest, personal information provided by that writer. We never run third party content, and we definitely never run press releases. We never run content for link-exchange benefits - read our Link Exchange page for more details on why we will not do this.
We Want to GeoTarget Only Romania / Arkansas
BellaOnline does not do any geotargeting in any of its advertising, nor do we do any investigative research on our users. We are a firm believer in user privacy. We show ads by topic area. If someone visits the Cats site, they are shown ads that cat lovers will appreciate. We do not drill down further than that into their background, location, gender, or any other identifying feature. If we had to guess, we could say most of our users are from the US, and most are female.
How Fast is your System?
A core aspect of good advertising is that the user actually sees your ad. We do a great deal of tuning on our site to ensure that the entire page loads for the user quickly. Here are some benchmarks of the amount of memory taken up by BellaOnline, compared with other sites, in 2005.
BellaOnline.com - 36k
nytimes.com - 37k
latimes.com - 38k
CNN.com - 38k
about.com - 39k
suite101.com - 39k
boston.com - 42k
Note that every other site in this list runs pop-up ads, meaning users are already being bombarded with extra ads that they are tuning out. At BellaOnline we never run pop-up or over-content ads. This means that users are trained to really pay attention to the content we provide, they are not having to 'dodge advertising'. They trust the content we show. This results in our ad view, click and retention rates being far higher than our competition.
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