OIO Publisher - putting you in control of your ads

On my never ending search for the perfect Ad Manager, I've recently been trying out OIO Publisher. Unlike Google Ad Manager (see my earlier post), OIO Publisher isn't free, but the asking price of $37 is very reasonable.

So, what do you get for your $37? OIO Publisher is primarily aimed at Wordpress users and they provide you with a plug-in - actually, a suite of plug-ins - which are transferred to your server in the same way as any other plug-in. Once transferred, activate it and you'll find a new OIO Publisher option in your admin panel.

OIO Publisher satisfies many of my own personal requirements, which include:
  • Accept payments via PayPal
  • Automate placement of ads by advertisers
  • Integrate easily with Wordpress
  • Be easy to use
  • Provide click tracking stats

Putting it to work

I've only been using it for a day, and I'm very impressed. I initially created a 2x2 block of 125x125 ads (they appear to be the "standard" for blog ads these days). In your new admin panel, you tell it you want to create a new "Zone". This is an ad slot or block that will appear on your site. You set the dimensions of the ads, number of rows and columns, price per slot and you can also specify a default ad or ads to appear in unsold slots. Once defined, you get the ads on your site by simply adding a few lines of code into your template, or by using a sidebar widget.

You can see it in action on FlightSimX. I've got 3 default ads (affiliate ads in this case) and have left one as an "Advertise here" block. A potential advertiser can just click on that spare slot, add the URL of their banner, the URL of the target site, pay via PayPal and it's in place. You have the option of specifying that you want to approve ads before publishing if you wish.

In addition to banners, you can also create text ads and inline ads.

I'm still only touching the surface at the moment. There's customised tracking stats for both yourself and advertisers. You get an API key so your ad slots can appear on the Marketplace on the OIO Publisher web site so people can find your ads. There's a whole bunch of options in there that I haven't even looked at yet. I'll report back when I've had more time with it.

I love the ease of use and flexibility it offers and at only $37, it's a steal. You can use it on as many sites as you like and it offers a tremendous amount of functionality.

Of course, the real benefit in running your own ad server is that you get all the proceeds. No more paying ad services 40%+ of the cut, although obviously you're on your own. You have to go out and get your own advertisers. I'm still undecided regarding this method of advertising for the blogs that I'm running. I plan to try it out for a month or 2 and see how it compares to my usual mix of AdSense and affiliate ads.