Experimenting with SocialSpark Ads from IZEA

This post contains affiliate links.

I have told fellow bloggers repeatedly why I have been using the IZEA SocialSpark platform since I started blogging in 2008 as a means to earn from my blogs by doing sponsor review articles.  Recently IZEA has introduced a few new concepts to SocialSpark like "Deals" which create your own branded deal site where you get a commission based on each sale you make.

Well, I didn’t have much luck in the SocialSpark deals but there haven’t been a ton to fit my niche specifically either, SocialSpark Ads however is a different story altogether.

What is SocialSpark Ads

SocialSpark Ads is basically leveraging a banner ad that is run by SocialSpark based on Google’s Ad platform.  I think it is basically SocialSpark using Google Doubleclick where they are able to sell that advertising space to advertisers who want to specifically target your blog, but it also uses AdSense in unsold slots.  (IZEA please correct me if I have these details wrong).

What happens as a result is IZEA is able to give you a minimum eCPM for your blog if it has 51% or more traffic from the U.S. and this minimum can vary but the fact that you will get a minimum per # of PageViews can be rewarding.  The minimum for my DragonBlogger.com is .50 eCPM, which means if they sold no ad slots, it would get 50 cents per 1,000 pageviews of that ad.  This technically means my site with 50,000+ pageviews per month should get $50 per month from one 300×200 SocialSpark Ad banner, which would be more earnings than a 300×200 BuySellAd slot which is what I replaced with the SocialSpark ad for my experiment.

My personal blog ironically which gets so much less traffic has a $1.00 minimum eCPM because has more relevant U.S. traffic probably.  I also run a SocialSpark Ad on my poetry blog as well.

Can SocialSpark Ads Earn You Money?

The short answer is yes, it can earn you some site revenue but my experience so far with my smaller blogs is that it comes pretty close to Google AdSense revenue for the same ad spot.

image

Now, I still leverage Google AdSense and AdSense has a 3 ad maximum, so there is a way to leverage SocialSpark Ads as an additional ad.  Without a doubt SocialSpark Ads allows me to earn from my blogs that aren’t able to sell 125×125 ads easily and won’t even get listed in BuySellAds for having too low traffic.

For my DragonBlogger.com site I only installed it a week ago, so it is too soon to tell how SocialSpark Ads will perform on my site after 30 days, but I can show that it’s earning me at least $1 per day right now and probably more.  This means it will earn me more than Luminate or BuySellAds.com which means it would be a program I encourage and would keep around.

SocialSpark Ads Payout

The payout delay for SocialSpark Ads isn’t so bad, but they don’t’ credit your account until almost 2 months after you first install the ad, then it appears to be monthly after that.  SocialSpark does transfer you the points and you can cash them out whenever your balance hits $50 or take a $2 penalty and cash out sooner, which is faster than collecting from Google AdSense where your balance must reach $100 in order to collect a payment.

SocialSpark Ads Limitations

Currently SocialSpark Ads has restrictions that require the ad to be above the fold on your blog, which means the ad must display as soon as someone hits your site, they can’t have to scroll to see the SocialSpark ad.

In addition, you can’t use more than 1 SocialSpark ad period on your blog the code doesn’t support multiple SocialSpark ads, so the theory would be if you earn $40 from 1 ad with minimum eCPM, why no earn $80 from 2 ads?

SocialSpark has limited banner ad sizes currently and only offers 728×90, 300×250 and 160×600 ad sizes.  They don’t support the 468×60 which are popular at the top of posts, or some of the more obscure formats, so make sure you have a spot available above the fold that can fit one of these ad sizes.

Summary

Overall if you are already using the SocialSpark platform and you aren’t earning from AdSense or just aren’t earning much, it is worth connecting your blog and seeing what kind of minimum eCPM you are seeing offered from SocialSpark.  You may just get more from replacing your AdSense banners with SocialSpark Ads banners, or if you have unsold BuySellAds banners that are 728×90 or 300×250 then you may want to consider replacing it with a SocialSpark Ad banner.  Just note that there are no 125×125 banners for SocialSpark ads, and they only have 3 ad sizes (728×90, 160×600 and 300×250).

If you haven’t tried SocialSpark yet and you are a blogger, I encourage you to sign up for SocialSpark and give them a try, I have made over $3,000 from SocialSpark since 2008 and really enjoy the quality advertisers and opportunities they send my way.

You blog. You Profit. Sign up for SocialSpark!

If you have anymore questions about SocialSpark or SocialSpark Ads, let me know and I will be happy to answer them.

 

-Justin Germino

Updated: March 31, 2012 — 10:55 pm