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WidgetBucks – A New Advertising Option for Your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 2nd of October 2007 Advertising 0 Comments

Earn $$ with WidgetBucks!I’ve just heard about a brand new advertising option for bloggers by the name of WidgetBucks that is launching as we speak. I’m yet to test it live on my sites as it is brand new – but from my initial looking over of the service I’d say that it has promise. The nearest thing that I could compare it to would be Chitika eMiniMalls as it is an interactive ad unit that flashes through different purchasing options for readers for different products. Here’s how one of their ad units looks (there’s another at the base of this post):

Widgets come in a range of sizes and can be customized to different colors. They will also let you target 13 different categories (each category has sub categories) if you choose to manually set them – but will let you run it in a ‘contextual’ mode (called ‘MerchSense’).

How Do You Make Money?

You make money on a ‘per click’ (CPC) basis and WidgetBucks claim that those who’ve tested them are getting $3-$6 CPM. Payment is via Check but you need to hit $50 before you trigger your first payment.

$25 SignUp Bonus

In fact this is actually easier than it might seem as they start every publisher off with $25 in their account as a signup bonus so all you need to earn is another $25 to get a $50 check.

WidgetBucks will allow you to run as many ads on a page as you like and you can use this system with AdSense according to their FAQ.

Tracking is on a Widget by Widget basis and the reports page looks pretty good.

What I like about WidgetBucks

Keep in mind that I’m yet to test it out and am writing this as a first impression review

  • I like the ad units – they are very clickable
  • There is a good range of colors and ad unit sizes to choose from
  • Reporting looks good
  • Reported CPM is reasonable considering you can run multiple ad units and other ad systems on your page
  • This strikes me as being a good system on ‘product related blogs’

What I’d like to see Added

  • My experience with these types of ads shows me that the more targeted the ads are to your content the better. If you’re writing about a particular model of MP3 player you want to see an ad for that MP3 player served. When Chitika made this available in their system my earnings skyrocketed – I hope that WidgetBucks has a way to do this shortly.
  • Referral system (which I’m using in this post) – it pays $5 when the person you refer earns their first $25. While this is ok – it is nothing in comparison to other referral systems that payout a % of the earnings of those you refer. While there is some incentive to get some sign ups there’s little incentive to help those you sign up to increase their earnings once they are signed up. update – great news, they’ve taken notice of this complaint and have increased this to 10% of earnings for 10% (something I’m proud to say that I suggested to them!).
  • The smallest ad unit is 468×60 – while the 5 units are pretty good to choose from it’ll be good to see if they add more later – particularly smaller ones.
  • I’ve never really been a fan of ads that have lots of animation. These could be annoying for some blog readers.

I’m sure I’ll discover more that I like and dislike about WidgetBucks as I test it more – but overall it looks like a system worth testing out to see if it works well on your blog or not. I’ll be giving it a go in the coming days and look forward to hearing how you find it too.

What do you think of WidgetBucks?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I love how we are all writing about this at the same time. I feel like I’m in a race to beat John and Darren!

  2. Who posted this first, Darren or John? I think it was a tie. lol

  3. I think it is good opportunity for us to earning more money…

  4. I saw something about this last week, but they hadn’t gone live yet. Now that they are, I’ll try it out and see how it goes. Time will tell.

  5. Sounds interesting — too bad the membership verification email is blank when it’s sent out — HTML only perhaps?

  6. About the $25 bonus. It looks like you get then AFTER you earn your first $50. So your first payment would be for $75-plus with the bonus included.

  7. oops. “then” should be “that”, sorry.

  8. I’m curious how this post was indexed in Google for the search term “widgetbucks” 1 minute after it was posted. Wow, that’s some powerful PR right there. lol

  9. yaro – yes, looks like we all got notified at the same time.

    chris – it was something we were not allowed to post about until a given time – I suspect we all put it up at the same time.

    stuart – maybe a bug they need to weed out

    Trollhattan – no – it says on their FAQ ‘When you sign-up with WidgetBucks, you’ll automatically receive a $25 bonus into your account to get the ball rolling. This means you are half way to your first payout with WidgetBucks.’

  10. Chris – yes – that is fast. Looks like Google are crawling ProBlogger pretty often, or taking our RSS feed or something! They also have a little ’22 minutes’ next to the search result too!

  11. It Darren, these widgets seemed to have slowed your blog load time down considerably. I read through the entire post several times and then scrolled down to see that the widget at the bottom still hadn’t loaded–and I have a reasonably fast connection. I could definitely tell the difference when I clicked to go to a new page too. Seems like everything has slowed down.

  12. noticed that too sunny – perhaps having two on the same page is causing it to strain a bit. Even one on a page takes 1-3 seconds for the unit to load for me which is really too long for anything to load on a page.

  13. Probably just all that problogger super traffic wave :)

  14. Darren, were you on an e-mail list or something – where did you hear about WidgetBucks?

    I got an e-mail about it this afternoon from a friend, but nothing official.

  15. I also noticed a very slow page load….either way, it’s great to have a new service to try out, thanks for the info Darren!

  16. Darren, they do have an option for paypal under “settings”…..did you write that the pmt is by check because you have info that there is a charge to get paid by paypal…or did they only have the pmt by check when you wrote this? They don’t have anything about pmts in their FAQs so I’m wondering if you have inside info….

  17. Ad looks good. Just checked their history, they booked domain on July-17-2007 and came up with this site with in just 2.5 months! Thats Amazing?? !!

  18. The verification e-mail that I got from WidgetBucks was blank too. Makes it kind of hard to sign up!

  19. The wdigets have way too much movement happening too quickly for me. They’re the kind of things that would drive me away from a site and keep me away.

    If the movement was more subtle and happening less frequently I’d be fine, but at the moment too much changes and it changes too quickly. It’s drawing my attention too well keeping me from the other parts of the page.

    Maybe that’s something that actually works well for conversions since they do draw my eye. But because they don’t give me a chance to keep my attention anywhere else I wouldn’t feel any need to come back to a site using them.

  20. Hi Guys,

    I’m with Mpire, makers of WidgetBucks. Our CTO looked at the pages you mention, and some comparables, and doesn’t think the page load should be affected. The widgets would only effect load time the same way an image would, in that the rest of the page HTML loads while the image (or in this case swf) is loading. Once the flash widget loads, it goes and retrieve a trivial amount of XML (

  21. I am using widget box . Let see what response I get from widgetbox from my blog.

  22. We’ve been listening to your feedback as WidgetBucks takes off and have decided to respond rapidly by improving our Referral Program. Mpire will now pay a 10% Referral Fee on commissions for a year. If someone you refer earns $100, you get $10, etc. The new details are going up on our site now. Thanks for the suggestions. Sean, VP Product Marketing, Mpire

  23. it’s good to have alternative to Chitika of which is still too proud to admit smaller sites or sites with non-specific product contents as in their inventory …

    even though a reader visit a site because he/she was interested in stocks investing (for example), the reader could have other hobbies as well such as computer gadgets etc … not doubt the target will not be there, but still …


  24. Chris – got an email from one of the people working for WidgetBucket earlier today – no special email list.

    JoLynn – yeah they do seem to pay by paypal – although their FAQ page didn’t mention it so I got a little confused.

    Mindanao – looks like their verification emails screwed up – hope they work that out!

    Sean – thanks for stopping by to update us. Can you look into the blank emails some people are getting to verify joining? Great news on the referral program!

  25. Peter says: 10/02/2007 at 7:50 pm

    Looks great, but there’s little in the way of categories. Many niche sites will be out of luck (like me) unless their context sensitive option will display products from niches not listed, but I don’t have time to check it out yet.

  26. davinian says: 10/02/2007 at 8:04 pm

    Anybody planing on explaining how to fill in the “MySetting”?

    When I select UK as my country I have to fill in my Tax ID and Payee / Taxable Entity before clicking Update.

    Tax ID is my National Insurance Number, but what is my Payee / Taxable Entity? Can anybody explain?

  27. I’ve just signed up.. its very easy to sign up.

  28. Matej says: 10/02/2007 at 8:22 pm

    Hey guys did you received an e-mail when you signed up?

    It’s probably delaying or something because I’m waiting 40 mins. already.

  29. Looks like a good program, hopefully better han AuctionAds whcih started off great for me now returns zilch.

  30. Interesting new program. I like the look of the widget blocks, except for the speed thing! The changes are way too fast, and like someone else says, it makes the page look too busy. If not for that I would definitely give it a shot. Does anyone know if there’s any way to slow those transitions between products down?

  31. Anyone else not able to click on the ads? I have seen them on a few site now but clicking on the ads does nothing!
    I’m using firefox on linux if that makes a difference.

  32. I think I’ll give it a try for a month and see how it does. (its takes a month for me to tell if an ad is going to work or not. . .) But only because there isn’t a special emailing list.

  33. This does look like a very promising system. I may have to try it out, though I’m not sure how well it will work for me, since I don’t write any sort of product/gadget blogs.

  34. This looks like a great program, but I’m a little uneasy about this line in their Terms of Use:

    “No Guarantee. Mpire makes no guarantee regarding the level of impressions of or clicks on any Ad, the timing of delivery of such impressions and/or clicks, or the amount of any payment to be made to Client under this Agreement.”

    It’s not guaranteed that I’ll get paid? I’m hoping that they are trying to say they can’t guarantee the amount of a CTR. If I make $1,000, I’d be expecting a check for the same. Can someone clarify this?

    Other than that, it’s a great idea that I hope to sign up with. Thanks in advance.

  35. I think that there is a bug.

    The system keeps on asking for TAX exemption even we have clicked “YES” to indicate that we do not need to pay tax.

    I hope someone from WidgetBucks will look into it promptly.

  36. I think Chtikia is the better choice in this type of advertising. The main reason is the level in which you can customize the ads and sizes.

  37. a little too animated but i’ll give it a try

  38. The Tax ID radio button has been pointed out to us. Non-U.S. citizens obviously do not have a Social Security Number, so we’re updating the WidgetBucks site so they have a way to complete the form without that. Thanks for the feedback. Sean, VP Product Marketing, Mpire

  39. Excellent post! I read Problogger every day, and I’ve got to say I think this is a very good ad solution. Of course, with a blog that has only 5-20 impressions per day, I doubt I’ll see a whole lot of revenue from it.

  40. This is an outstanding post. Great I have immediately registered for widgetbucks and will let you guys know how much i make from that.

  41. looks pretty…. :)
    as pretty as amazon widget on my online store :)

  42. I like the idea of these banner ads, but as others have said, they move around too fast. As a reader, I would find this ad to be extremely annoying, and I’d be firing up AdBlock.

    Perhaps if, instead of sliding the new products in from the left and right every few seconds, it gently faded them in and out, it would be less of a distraction, but still visible and interesting to look at.

  43. I noticed that running multiple Widgetbucks ads on mysite causes a serious slow down of my loads. I did a little review of Widgetbucks as well…


    ….and at the same time I was testing WB on my page templates in two spots. WOW! Bogged down for sure. I had remove the two ads in the template and stick with just one sample ad in the post liek Darren did.

    All good now….

    I listed the load-up issue in the Cons section of the review.

  44. Darren – Happy to provide info here. Thanks for posting about WidgetBucks. Our tech team is pushing an update within 2 hours that will give Non-U.S. people a sign-up choice, and will also make the sign-up page secure with SSL. Regarding the empty e-mails, we’re seeing those occur when people try to sign up multiple times. We’re changing the messaging on that to help guide people. – Sean, VP Product Marketing, Mpire

  45. Is there https access? I just realized that it defaults to http. I’d be uncomfortable sending private data over an unsecure connection. Can someone clarify this, please?

  46. Sean,

    I only ever tried to sign up once and got the blank email. Should I try signing up again?

  47. Stuart – Yes, please. Given the number of people who’ve signed up today, I know it’s possible. You’re account may already be active. You can also just try signing in with the password you chose. Sean

  48. I hope this can supplement my Adsense income especially when they have a free $25 just for signing

  49. Sean,

    Tried to login with the address I signed up under. Said “invalid password”. then tried to sign up again, said “email address is already in use”, then used forgotten password link to reset password, new password email I received is blank.

    Not having much luck here!

  50. Hey Darren;

    We added the widget in a prominent location on most of our pages late last night. Their reporting says we’ve only had 2,800 ‘impressions’ so far, while our other tracking methods show there have been at least 7500 page views today with the widget on them. We have had 1 click. Yes, ONE. And $0 earnings – not even 1 cent. Quite a disappointment since I thought this would work – the color schemes were perfect & everything.

    Funny though, our AdSense CTR went up about 10% average – I’m going to leave it for another day or two to gauge the performance. If still no-one clicks – it’s a bad experience for my users, no money for me, & on to the next widget.

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