WordPress.com to let bloggers earn money through ads

The popular blogging platform is introducing a new feature called WordAds that will allow users to make money by allowing ads to appear on their blogs.

Screenshot by CNET

WordPress.com bloggers will now be able to earn a few bucks on their posts courtesy of advertising.

The popular blogging site is kicking off a new feature called WordAds, according to a blog posted earlier today by WordPress.com ads lead Jon Burke. Partnering with Federated Media, WordPress.com will display advertisements on qualifying blogs, letting their owners earn some cash from each ad.

WordPress, which Burke said signs up 50,000 new blogs every day, had apparently received requests over the years to allow advertising on the blogs created by its users, but resisted the temptation because of the poor quality of other online ads. In a dig against Google, Burke said that it "seemed like Google's AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense." Ads from Federated Media, which was founded by John Battelle, apparently changed his tune.

The new WordAds feature will be optional and geared toward bloggers who want to earn money by allowing "high-quality" ads to appear on their blogs, the company said. The program will be available for WordPress.com blogs, but not WordPress.org self-hosted blogs, according to a company spokeswoman.

Only publicly viewable blogs with custom domains will be able to join the program. But bloggers who want to participate can always sign up for a custom domain. Further, WordPress will filter the blogs based on the amount of traffic, type of content, and language, and cautioned that some blogs may not be selected.

No other details have yet been revealed, but Burke advised bloggers who want to learn more to fill out an online form to reveal a bit about themselves.

The news wasn't a surprise. In October, Federated Media announced that it had finalized an agreement to provide advertising to the WordPress community.

Updated November 30 at 11 a.m. PTto clarify that the program is specific to WordPress.com blogs.

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