When I first took a look at AdClick Media, I just assumed it was another affiliate network. Those seem to be all the rage these days, but you don’t get paid unless your visitors actually perform an action or complete a sale.
For publishers of all sizes, sometimes a CPC-based advertising network is easier and more appropriate. And that’s precisely how AdClick Media operates. Over the course of this review, we’ll take a look at what this “second-tier” network has to offer and whether or not you should include it as part of your monetization mix.
Simplifying the PPC Process?
According to AdClick Media, its pay-per-click advertising program is designed to be as simple to understand as possible, while still offering affordability (for advertisers), profitability (for publishers), and customizability (for both parties).
The process is relatively easy to understand, because the online forms have been somewhat simplified compared to some other networks. It’s also quite notable that a single account is used for both the advertiser and publisher roles.
You just choose between the two when you log into the system and you can switch between the two on the fly by the easy-to-access link near the top-right of the main dashboard.
Building a New Ad Campaign
Starting from the advertiser side of the equation, you have the choice of creating three different types of ads: text ad, interstitial, and banner ads. For the purpose of this example, I created a text ad campaign.
The size of the ad is largely standardized. If you want to have an image (which is optional), it must be 60 pixels by 60 pixels. You also choose the ad headline, ad body, visible URL, and target URL, as well as the font color for each.
You can see the sample ad I created above for the book I co-wrote with John. Just as with AdSense, the visible domain doesn’t necessarily have to match the destination URL.
What About Publishers?
For an ad network that prides itself in simplicity, AdClick Media can still have a rather clunky interface. This isn’t a problem for the intermediate and advanced users, but it can still be a little daunting for some novices.
Even so, it’s quite clear when you can see the different ad possibilities and their respective statistics from the main publisher dashboard. You can also go about seeing your current revenue figures and creating new ad panels from this main screen.
Creating an “ad panel” is similar to many other ad placements you may find elsewhere. The difference is that each panel is tied to one specific domain and can only be used with that domain. Beyond that, you can choose up to three categories, the default ad details, color options, and ad panel size.
Much like Google AdSense and other CPC networks, you don’t actually get to see any of the advertisers from the publisher dashboard. It’s also not context-sensitive, as the ads are pulled based on the categories you select.
In this way, you have a little less control over the kinds of ads that are displayed on your site and there’s not much you can do to “optimize” the CPC rate you earn (aside from choosing the most lucrative categories). You can work to improve your click-thru rate though.
Payment Details and Referral Program
All advertisements served by AdClick Media give a 50% cut to the publisher, but you can earn additional money through the referral program as well. By doing so, you can earn 10% of each click that the referral’s ad panels are able to generate.
This payment policy also outlines the payment frequency. If you meet the minimum threshold of $50 by the first of the month, you will get paid by the 15th of that month. Strangely, it’s not clear the exact method of payment. I could not find a place to enter my PayPal credentials in my account page, though there is a place for a mailing address. A little more clarity here would help greatly.
In the end, I’m not sure if AdClick Media is strong enough to be a suitable alternative to AdSense. The minimum CPC is $0.05, so the minimum earning per click is 2.5 cents; the smaller number of advertisers will likely minimize your chances of super lucrative clicks. That said, it could be a viable supplement to your advertising mix.