CMF Ads: Why It’s Good To Have An Ad Or Two In Your Sidebar

When I started blogging, I came to it with a couple of preconceived ideas.
Firstly, I felt that my blog needed be an ad-free zone, it would be purely for the writing and not be sullied by such notions as commercialism.

The second idea was to do with The Man in a Santa Hat.

Everywhere I went, this bloggers face and image was there to be seen, this guy in the Santa hat. Quite quickly, I concluded that this man in the Santa hat must be a major player in the world of blogging. Why? Simple. Because his face was everywhere.

It took me a while to realise how inextricably linked my two little preconceptions were. Firstly, I had no readers because I wasn't putting myself about and secondly, Santa-Hat-Man looked (to me) like king of the world... because - when it came to putting himself about - he did.

After a few months of posting maniacally, and seeing nobody come by to read any of it, I realised that it’s not really enough to simply post stuff and wait. You have to bite the bullet and go and put yourself about a bit .
And that’s really all that the Man in the Santa hat was doing, putting himself about a bit. In fact here he is:

His blog is called ‘Thoughts From Down Under’ and he’s still going strong. He doesn’t know me from Adam but he sure was a big influence back in the day.

He thought me about the importance of being visible.

In discovering that a little ‘blog advertising’ is an amazingly powerful thing, I also learned that it’s not about monetising, commercialisation or selling out. It’s not about devaluing the temple of your blog with market stalls. It’s really just all about getting your blog out into the world where it surely belongs.

At this stage, I have tried a few ad networks and I want to tell you that the one you see over at the top of my sidebar – CMF Ads – is simply the best I have found.

I’ve held off telling you about CMF Ads a few months so that I could confirm to myself the most startling fact about the network.

Simply – it don’t cost nothing.

I have ads running here on my blog and my ads are running on multiple other blogs too and it isn’t costing me a red cent. In fact, if I chose to, I could be turning in my earned credits for cash. But that’s not really the idea. The idea is to put yourself about a bit and it works.

So how does it work? Okay. You put the widget on your blog and set a price for advertising there (CMF credits are the currency that’s used and they are priced at $0.25 each). People come and advertise, you earn credits and, to really make it work, you then spend them by placing your ad on other people’s sites.

The ingenious part is that you can sell many ads in the one little box and those ads will rotate around evenly, showing a different one every time the site is clicked on. This ensures great value from the one little box. All the credits you earn are yours to keep and you can cash them in with CMF at a percentage of the face value, if you ever desire to do so.

There’s a great ‘CMF Forum’ too which is worth a ‘hang-around’ even if you’re not using the ads. There’s some fun to be had there but, perhaps more importantly, some of the most helpful, willing and knowledgeable people are only a shout away. Have a look through it, you’ll see what I mean.

I actually kick-started my advertising by buying a few CMF Credits ($10 in my case) and then I went on a advert buying spree but that isn’t a requirement. You can just set up, get some ads on your blog and wait for the credits to roll in exactly thirty days later when the first ads end. At this time, I do not see a situation where I will have to spend any more money on keeping this advertising system working constantly for me.

The beauty of the thing is that there’s so little time or effort needed to keep it ticking along smoothly. It really is a very sweet arrangement indeed.

Now this isn’t a sponsored post or anything like that. I just wanted to tell you about this because it’s been really good for my blog, that’s all.

In fact, they explain it all so much better here.

The only interest I need to declare is that the owners of the CMF Network – Turnip of Power, Razzball and Ben Barden– have all been known to me long before they set this up, I’d like to call them friends if I can be sure that they wouldn’t throw something at me. I helped a little with Beta-Testing the system and that was a fascinating process in itself. Apart from that though, I have no involvement in CMF beyond my Forum participation and my enthusiasm for the concept.

I remember after those first months of posting and hoping somebody would drop by, I asked the only blogger-friend I had then, “what should I do?” She told me I had to advertise a little, it wasn’t enough to sit around and wait.

Know what? She was quite right.

Finally, if you fancy giving it a go and crave the easy life, here’s a link for you:

CMF Ads - Low cost, no-nonsense advertising


Unknown said...

I don't really have much to add - Ken said everything brilliantly, and it's all spot on. So as another person who uses the CMF Ads network, I will "second" everything that Ken said.
Now, politely finish reading the rest of the comments, and then get thee over to CMF Ads and join in!

Susan at Stony River said...

I'm developing a phobia of Learning Something New. I'm still bumbling about like a noob on Facebook and have sworn off Twitter forever; I'll have to work myself up to this I think.

CS McClellan/Catana said...

I keep seeing CMF everywhere and wondered, so thanks for the enlighenment. Would you consider doing a comparison of CMF and Entrecard?

Kat Mortensen said...

Yes. I second the request re: CMF vs. Entrecard. I signed up with Entrecard and found it a pain because I had to spend so much darn time perusing other people's ads (and most of the ones I could afford were crap!)
I'm intrigued by CMF and will check it out.

Thanks, Ken.


Laura Brown said...

I've got CMF Ads up. Mostly due to yourself and Reggie. I let you two be the guinea pigs. Want some cheese? Or whatever those fluffy rat things eat. If I find you gnawing on my wooden leg I won't be pleased.

Laura Brown said...

Anyway, blog traffic is tricky. For one you have to spread yourself a bit thin to both maintain your blog (making posts, fixing things that break or need updating too). You also have to do all your own promoting. Sometimes a day has gone buy and I've posted nothing but I've spent hours blabbering about myself in comments on other blogs, or joining things I won't even remember in a week. Lots of things you can do as promotion and it all sucks up a big sack of time.

I feel running ads is usually a waste of time and space. If you only make a few pennies in a month what is the point? Think of your space as having some value. If you are not raking in the smackers (dollar amounts) then you should be getting something else for that space. Traffic or links to other sites you also run. Something! That is why I like the link exchanges. But even then you can't just go ahead and join them all. Not that I haven't done that. But, stick with those that you are benefiting from. Rather than clutter up your sidebar with rubbish, plan it out and dispense wisely.

Good night Twinkle Eyes.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken - thanks for the great review. :)

Catana and Poetikat, there is a great comparison post over at Technically Easy: Entrecard out, CMF Ads in.

We can certainly answer questions you may have - if you join the forums and post in CMF Support, we'll be happy to help. (I'm one of three admins over at CMF Ads.)

Ken Armstrong said...

Carole: Thanks Carole. I don't think it's all that brilliant but there are some very good articles on the subject, See Ben's comment below.

Susan: I wouldn't want to be forcing anyone into things. :) It is good though and really simple.

Laura: Plan it out and dispense wisely. Sage words indeed... and from one so young. :) (there's only one photo of me with twinkling eyes and I use it altogether too much.)

Catana: I'm not equipped to do a technical 'compare and contrast' between CMF and EC but Ben's comment below points to an excellent post on this subject.

I found EC to be very good for getting traffic to my new blog and it directly rewarded the work I was willing to put into it. I also made some great friends there. I think CMF and EC sit together in my sidebar quite nicely.

Poetikat: EC forced my to be sociable - visiting blogs, dropping, commenting and it turns out that, as a blogger, 'sociable' is one the best things you can be. CMF enables me to be sociable without the card-dropping, which can be a time-consuming process.

Ben: Thanks Ben and thanks for the service. I second your recommendation of Technically Easy's post. People: Ben is the most fearlessly helpful person I have ever met - he is an incalculable asset to CMF Ads. go on, ask him something on the Forum, see how great he is. :)

Anonymous said...

Great post, Ken.

re: EC vs. CMF -- EC works for some people, CMF works for everyone.

Ken Armstrong said...

Thank you Stan: I've now 'collected' two of Three Wise Men of CMF Ads in my comments section. Can I land the third? It's like collecting Baseball Cards - except I've got the Baseball Guy already. I crave Turnip. :)

Anonymous said...

I've never tried CMF Ken, but your latest post here is enough to send me over for a look-see.

Anonymous said...

Nice post about this CMF Ads topic. I'm glad I stopped by your blog to learn more about CMF Ads!

Jena Isle said...

Hi Ken,

I've been with this CMF when it was just starting, then they instructed me to register again, but I can't seem to follow the instructions and I'm not that patient with these things, so i dropped it.

Yes I remember those starting days when we were both trying our very best to expose our blogs. now you've gone way , way ahead of me, with more than a hundred subscribers,. Congratulations!

I'll try to look into it later. Thanks for the valuable information. When it comes from you, I'm sure it is true and genuine, that's how much I trust you.

Happy blog hopping.

Ken Armstrong said...

Christy: I hope you find something useful there. I did. :)

Turnip: Thanks for completing my little collection. The day that I can teach you anything about CMF, I will eat my asshat. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this article Ken! I just started with CMF so am still working on figuring it out. I take it advertising is build a bit of traffic so I'll have to work on getting advertisers to get some credits. So far I like what I see.

Ken Armstrong said...

Jena: We both have a long road to travel yet. How many blogs do you maintain now? (I have one) :)

Mom's Home Cafe Cooking: Being sociable on the CMF Forum is a great way to bring some potential advertisers around. I hope it works out good for you. :)

Jon said...

I've been with CMF for about a month now and I think it's great. I remember seeing that man in a Santa hat when I first starting blogging, too. It's funny the things you notice when browsing through other peoples sites.

Dave King said...

I'm another who has been wondering about CMS adverts, so thanks for filling us in, Ken. I shall give it a bit of thought, and may well take the plunge. An extremely useful post.

Anonymous said...

You know that you don't have to sell me on CMF. That's funny about the 'Santa hat guy' - I remember him as well. I guess we all have our own 'Santa hat guy' - mine was Bucky over at the WV Blogger. I remember thinking that is who I wanted to be when I grew up! Anyway -- looks like you are getting us some fresh blood in the forums. Thanks for that. CHEERS!

Ken Armstrong said...

Jon: I remember seeing you too! :) Enjoy the Rugby?

Dave: One of my pleasures has been seeing your wonderful blog get some of the attention it so richly deserves. CMF could possibly help you with that, I think.

Linc: Yay! You've come around and I'm not talking about wimpy emotional shizz. Wanna beer?