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WidgetBucks is an affiliate program using widget-based ads. The company has raised $20 million in venture capital to-date. Last night they announced a European expansion project that will bring CPC (cost-per-click) ads to publishers displaying widgets to visitors in Europe.
Previously WidgetBucks only served very low paying CPM ads to visitors located in Europe. Now the WidgetBucks widget will display a quick CPM ad followed by a CPC affiliate product offering.
Here’s a list of the countries which will offer the CPM-CPC hybrid and those countries that will remain with CPM ads only:
WidgetBucks launched last evening and when Jim Kukral sent me the press email about the program, it just seemed like another widget affiliate program. Some of the A-list has written about it including Erick, Rafe and Darren. Darren has a lengthy review about the program which you can earn revenue from placing shopping widgets on your blog or Web site.
I thought rather than look at WidgetBucks alone, I could provide some commentary of WidgetBucks vs. AuctionAds.
First a sample ad from each:
The initial issue I have with WidgetBucks is the same issue as with AdSense. They don’t tell you how much you are making and can tweak it at anytime to increase the WB income statement. AuctionAds promises to pay out 100% of the eBay affiliate income.
Rafe makes a good comment which can actually apply to both services, " If you run a site about products, it’s certainly worth a shot." I have found that AuctionAds doesn’t work that great on CN but works better in the reviews section of HTMLCenter.
WidgetBucks can scan the page the widget lives on and serve up relevant products directly; AuctionAds uses only a keyword system (which you can easily hack to use the keywords on a page).
WidgetBucks pulls listings from multiple stores and pays out on a CPC model while AuctionAds uses eBay only and pays out on whatever eBay pays out on.
WidgetBucks is offering 10% affiliate referrals for 1 year; AuctionAds offers 5% for 6 months.
WidgetBucks is much more interactive with fancy hover effects and a scrollbar.
Side note: I noticed that the payment form on WidgetBucks requests your Tax ID and a lot of personal information and it’s not secured! Also I wonder how WB pays you on a click model to Amazon when Amazon pays out on a CPA model?
From my perspective both programs could work very well on a gadget or reviews blog. On a content-based blog, a reader is not thinking of a purchase so it’s a stretch to imagine a purchase. Of course if you can get signups from your affiliate code on either program, you can make money without doing anything. And any passive income is a good thing.
The key is to try and test and tweak and test until you find the best secret sauce. Please report back with your results after trying both programs!