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WordPress Plugins for Ad Monetization

WordPress publishers will no longer be able to make ad format updates through the official Google AdSense plugin on April 5, 2017, and the company will cease support of the plugin entirely starting in early May, 2017.

Google indicated that it decided going forward that it could better support WordPress publishers with features including its automatic ad formats (read more at wsm.co/###) and other upcoming initiatives, but that is likely little consolation for the revenue and monetization woes of those currently using AdSense and WordPress at their digital presence.

The de facto choice for millions of publishers looking to build a website is, of course, WordPress, and monetizing digital properties running on the popular publishing platform for many meant using the AdSense plugin. Since that is no longer an option, let's take a look at a few advertising management plugins which might just make the prospect of generating revenue a little less daunting for those operating within the WordPress environment.

There are an abundance of plugins, of course, which simplify integrating advertising (although it is just as easy to modify theme templates to the same effect). One of those offerings includes AdSense In-Post Ads, which creates short-codes that can be used inside the body of any page or post to display AdSense (keeping them out of the sidebar/rails) and in direct view of the visitor/consumer.

WP QUADS is yet another plugin for integrating AdSense and currently has over 30,000 installations. Perhaps the most popular ad management plugins however is that of AdRotate. With over 50,000 installations, it is arguably one of the best thanks to its ability to directly include ads from DPF, Chitika, and similar services.

Those publishers looking beyond AdSense, however, may want to consider the Ad Inserter plugin (which has over 40,000 active installs and a 4.9/5 rating). The plugin simplifies adding any advertising code into WordPress and is one of the more robust offerings available (with 16 possible blocks and numerous customization opportunities).

There are also numerous in-text advertising solutions as well. While they are not always the most user-friendly or effective option, many have been around quite a while and with enough traffic can prove to be a viable opportunity. Skimlinks, for example, is an ideal option for product-focused, long form content as the plugin enables publisher to monetize by converting product links within a post into their equivalent affiliate links in real-time. A similar offering comes from Viglink. While more merchants participate in this program, the plugin has not been updated in nearly two years.

WordPress publishers looking to capitalize on the native advertising trend also have several options to choose from. One emerging solution is that of Content.Ads, a network that allows publishers to customize native content to math their site and monetize it in the process. There are also plugins which are network-specific. Monetization platform Chitika, for example, offers a plugin that enables publishers to choose ad units that fit their site's content and audience, offering up both search targeted text and display ads, the opportunity to optimize for mobile users, and choose from in-text ads and "sticky", scrolling ads. Propeller Ads is another popular alternative for those looking to partner with a specific network to monetize their WordPress property. Infolinks offers yet another plugin and it offers a broad selection of advertisements that can be implemented.

The world of Web publishing has changed dramatically since AdSense first emerged, and today, consumers are far less likely to click on ads at all (particularly considering that roughly 1/4 are blocking those ads anyway) as they have gotten wise to the methods that information publishers (e.g. bloggers) have used in the past to increase "engagement" and drive revenue. Fortunately, there are numerous perfectly viable solutions for WordPress websites looking to monetize their content and their digital experience.
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