With over 24million WP blogs already in existence, and over 50,000 new blogs being added daily, it was only a matter of time before WordPress helped its users monetise on those and helped itself to a share of the lucrative ad market. The launch of WordAds this week sees WordPress taking on Google AdSense with a partnership with Federated Media after announcing late last month that this was on the cards.

The observation on the WordPress blog that many of the AdSense ads aren’t always “terribly tasteful” is of course, sadly true, in that this is one of the areas where the algorithm has not always been very accurate, and has meant occasions where inappropriate ads are shown. Which when this is next to your content can reflect more on you than on a faulty algo. Visitors are more likely to remember, and link to, your site where the bad taste ad appeared than to blame the algorithm, which may not be a good thing for PR.

WordPress have not yet announced the revenue split with bloggers, and there are certain provisos when applying to be part of the program such as a custom domain, level of traffic and engagement, content and language, but for anyone with a WordPress.com blog, it would seem to be worthwhile to apply and see if your blog is accepted.

Are we likely to see more competition to AdSense and other Google services? Yes. It is unlikely that the Google bubble is bursting, but there is definitely an appetite for alternatives; although WordPress was always the most likely competitor, there are opportunities for Tumblr, Posterous etc to help bloggers raise money through displaying adverts.

There are other monetisation options for bloggers such as Flattr.com who ran Pay a Blogger day this week. Flattr Whilst Flattr is still a small network, it highlights an opportunity available for businesses – advertising with blogs.

Whilst using Google’s display network is one option, the targetting can never be as accurate as looking out niche blogs whose readers fit with your target audience for your products and services. Many bloggers are keen to take an ad or two, or will write reviews on your products, offer giveaways and so on, so it is worth discovering which blogs your customers and potential audience look to for information and getting in touch.

Finding this info will lead you to interesting content, engagement with your audience and possibly exciting new joint ventures. So, take 2 minutes today to craft a tweet or status update for your social network and ask for recommendations of blogs that your followers and friends enjoy.

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology