Tips for Successful Blogging during an Uncertain Time

During this time of uncertainty many are looking for a positive outlet. Blogging is not only a great way to get your feelings and ideas out there, but it can also be a great way to bring in incremental revenue.

For those already blogging, now is as good a time as ever to make sure you’re getting the most out of your blog by keeping up with current demand and showcasing quality content.

High Demand Topics

Depending on current trends and seasonality, users are looking for certain content. Providing this in demand content will not only bring users, but advertisers are also looking to be around certain content. Right now we are seeing high demand for bread recipes, dessert recipes, diabetic (low carb) recipes, salmon and sous vide recipes. Seasonally we are moving into Mother’s and Father’s Day and grilling season. These topics are always evolving so check back to see the latest.

Engaging Content for Highly Viewable and Valuable Ads

Premium advertisers are always looking to buy ads that are highly viewable. Simply stated, viewable ads are ads that are in a users’ view on the screen for at least one second. Nearly all high-paying campaigns are for ad units within the 80-90% viewability range. Creating engaging content is a big key to increasing ad viewability. Keeping users on the page for longer and placing ads near that content will help your overall ad viewability. Additionally some quick fixes for increased viewability are to use adhesion, aka “sticky” ads. We offer our publishers sticky ads for both desktop and mobile. These ads are ideal for capturing premium ad dollars.

Make sure you are running a Compliant CMP

We can’t emphasize this one enough. Not running a valid CMP is going to have a serious negative effect on revenue. With updated privacy laws, such as the California CCPA law, those cookie banners are no longer sufficient to comply with privacy laws. A site must run an IAB framework CMP to be compliant with current laws. Many advertisers are no longer buying ads on sites without a verifiable CMP. This is not unique to Gourmet Ads, but on every site and every ad network. Finding and setting up a compliant CMP can be very complicated. The new laws require increased detail in the notice as well confirmation of consent before any ads are served. At Gourmet Ads we offer all our publishers, free of charge a compliant CMP to run. The CMP runs out of our ad tags so there is also no setup on your end.

To become a Gourmet Ads publisher now apply here

Current Gourmet Ads publishers needing any help can email support at publishers@gourmetads.com

Recipes and Crafts for your Spring Holidays!!

Spring is here and with it brings the Easter and Passover holidays. This can be a wonderful time of year, filled with Easter Egg Hunts and Family-filled Seders.

However this year may be a little different. With most of us prevented from celebrating with extended family and friends, families are looking for new traditions to help then get into the holiday spirit.

That’s why we’ve asked our publishers to share some of their best Easter and Passover recipes and family activities to get the little ones excited!

Easter Crafts for Kids:

Our publisher Crafting Kind Kids specializes in keeping little hands busy, see here for some adorable ideas:

Spring Coloring Placemats

14 spring and Easter Crafts for Kids

Farm Wife Crafts is another one of our craftiest publishers and she has some great ideas for projects ideal for increasing fine and gross motor skills with the Easter holiday in mind:

Easy Chick For Painting

Fingerprint Canvas

Easter Recipes:

Our Publisher More than a Mom of Three knows how to please a crows with these drool-worthy treats:

Easter White Chocolate Bark

Easter Grass Cupcakes

Keeping it Simple Blog does just that with simple recipes that taste anything but!

Olive Oil Cake

Italian Berry Cake Mascarpone Cream

Our Publisher, Grandma’s Honey House is a place where great food is made with love and we could all use some of that right about now!

Easter Kaleidoscope Cookies

Easter Treats for Grandkids

Passover Recipes:

Passover is one of the Holiest Jewish holidays and is a time of reflection and gratitude. Our Publisher Kosher Eye has tons of Kosher-for-Passover recipes for the whole family:

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Traditional Charoset

The entire team at Gourmet Ads wishes you all a great holiday and hope you can find some joy in the little things.

 

What is CCPA? And Why it should be Top-of-Mind for all Digital Publishers

If you’ve heard the term “CCPA” floating around, you’re not alone. It’s big news for digital publishers.

CCPA refers to the California Consumer Privacy Act. It is a privacy protection bill for residents and consumers in California. The act was officially launched on Janurary 1, 2020, but there is a six-month no-enforcement grace period, which comes to an end this June.

The regulations behind the CCPA were created to improve data and privacy protection for residents of California. In this regard it is not unlike the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect mid-2018.

What exactly is the CCPA, and how does it differ from GDPR?

CCPA focuses heavily on the sale of personal information. The act itself is designed to regulate how a website uses a user’s personal data and information. CCPA defines personal information as: “information that identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household.” This goes beyond previous privacy definitions of PII data (personally identifiable information) to include anything from IP address to browser history.

While GDPR restricts businesses and websites from unlawfully using user data without consent, the CCPA goes one step further by requiring websites provide a way for users to opt out of this data collection all together. These stricter requirements mean that websites must not only alert users to how they use data, but give users the option to opt-out of their data collection. This includes data used for advertising purposes. And this opt-out requirement is what makes that cookie notice banner you implemented for GDPR insufficient for CCPA.

Do I need to Comply with CCPA?

According to CCPA requirements any business that: “buys, receives for commercial purposes, sells or shares for commercial purposes, the personal information of 50,000 or more California residents, households, or devices each year” must comply with CCPA. This personal information includes advertising. This means that even if you have very little California traffic, you will likely meet the compliance requirement at this limit. And even if you do not, your advertisers all certainly meet this eligibility. This means that all websites that utilize digital advertising must comply with CCPA.

How Publishers Can Be Compliant with CCPA

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) has put forth a compliancy framework for all digital publishers to adhere to. This framework is a list of requirements that must be built into a publisher’s CMP (consent management platform) in order for a CMP to be compliant with CCPA. Holy acronym overload!

At Gourmet Ads we realize that changes like this can be stressful and expensive for publishers to implement, especially some of the smaller bloggers. All these acronyms, technical requirements, and legal mumbo jumbo can make anyone’s head spin. That’s why we have made available a simple, free and fully compliant CMP available for all our publishers.

Manage Consent and Adhere to CCPA with Ease

Gourmet Ads provides a free CMP (Consent Management Platform) for all of our publishers. Our CMP is 100% compliant and 100% free. No complicated setup, no hidden fees. We handle everything on our end.

Our CMP can be easily toggled on and off in your user console and we inject it via your ad code, so no additional setup. Compliancy with CCPA will ensure that you continue to receive top advertising dollars, but it is important that you act now. If you are a current Gourmet Ads publisher there is nothing you need to worry about, we have this handled. And if you are not, now is a great time time to get started.

Easily and for free comply with CCPA by becoming a Gourmet Ads publisher, apply today!

Fall Recipe Roundup

Tis the season for pumpkin spice, chili, and yummy tailgating fare. Users are on the hunt for fall recipe inspiration and your blog should be a top destination. In this mini-guide, we’ll take a look at five trending recipes for fall that you can use as inspiration for your site.

1. Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin is definitely the most sought out fall recipe theme. From pumpkin spice latte copy-cats to pumpkin chili, it’s a clear winner. Users will be scouring for pumpkin themed recipes. Some no-fail favorites include, pumpkin bars, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup and even just roasted pumpkin seeds. And to capture a niche audience try whipping up a batch of keto pumpkin muffins!

2. Apple Cider – Spiced or Spiked!

Apple cider is to fall as eggnog is to winter– it’s pretty irreplaceable. Like pumpkin-flavored foods, apple cider is a classic that will always trend during this time of year. Try spicing it up with a few adult versions, a spike apple cider punch at a tailgate or an apple cider mimosa for a yummy fall brunch.

3. Halloween Themed Treats

Fun foods for a Halloween party a hot search topic in October. Mummy Dogs, Rice-Krispie Eyes and Bat-shaped brownies are cute takes. Classic sensory games like peeled grape “eyeballs” and cold pasta brains are also great fun for little kids.

4. Tailgating Trends

Fall is the start of College and Professional Football season. With that comes the opportunity to bundle up and extend the fall eating frenzy to the outdoors. Users are looking for tips on easy tailgate setups, recipes and must have accessories. Reviews for small portable cooking devices or the best coolers can even bring in some additional affiliate revenue and are great to capture contextual ad campaigns.

5. Stews, Soups and Chilis for the Win

After a long, hot summer, who isn’t ready for cozy sweater weather and comfort food. Take advantage of this by posting your best stews, soups and chilis. Users are frantically searching for slowcooker and instapot versions of these fall classics. Throw in some pumpkin and you’ve got a double whammy!

Apply Here to become a Gourmet Ads Publisher

Gourmet Ads has a worldwide publisher reach and offers a global perspective to the grocery advertising world. We allow premium brands to target audiences wherever they are around the world, whenever: And with over a billion monthly impressions, Gourmet Ads is not stopping anytime soon.

 The Gourmet Ads publishing team directly manages thousands of quality food, grocery, cuisine, and wine publishers using our own proprietary ad serving technology, all while being efficiently integrated on Appnexus infrastructure and with major SSPs. 

How to Make Money from Blogging

Earning a living off your hobby can often seem like a pipe dream. However, here at Gourmet Ads this is what we do every day. We help bloggers make money off their passions by making monetization easy, so you can focus on creating the content you love.

Signing up with us is simple, we take care of all the technical stuff, relationships, payments, etc. This guide here will help you in your journey to create the blog of your dreams, grow your traffic and keep you motivated.

How to Grow Your Blog

1. Contribute Frequent, Regular Posts

An active blog is a successful blog. You want to give your followers something to look forward to when they visit, so stagnant content is a no-go. Make sure you’re posting blog content consistently and frequently. We recommend at least three posts a week, blogs that post daily are the most successful.

2. Engage Your Community and Keep the Comment Section Alive

When someone leaves a comment on one of your posts, especially if it is a question meant for you to answer, do so! Engaging with your community in the comments section inspires people to make conversations within your brand. It’s a great way to build rapport with your fans. Active comments also increase SEO rankings.

3. Focus on Improving SEO

Marketing specialists will tell you above all else to focus on kicking up your Search Engine Optimization to bring in more viewers and monetize your blog. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Do lots of research on blog page optimization, mobile optimization, and using keywords with care.
  • Use relevant keywords throughout your posts without bloating.
  • Make sure your images are optimized and will load quickly for most users.
  • Link to other blogs in your posts.
  • Link to internal pages in your posts (best of, most popular, similar, etc)
  • Make it possible for users to subscribe to your blog or receive updates on new posts.

4. Stay Active on Social Media

Social media is fantastic because it is relatively free advertising and marketing. Build up Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for your website or blog and update your pages regularly. Share new blog posts, curate content that is relevant to your industry or brand, engage with other pages, etc. Just make it clear that you’re active and around to answer any direct questions from your fans. This way you’ll pull in even more blog visitors and conversions.

5. Launch Social Media Campaigns

In addition to staying relatively active on social media, it may also be a good idea to launch a social media ad campaign. This can be done through video, visual, or text content. You may choose to pay for additional advertising through social media to increase your advertising campaign’s reach or give your followers incentives for sharing your social media content. These incentives can include coupons, freebies, etc.

So What’s Stopping you? Get Started Today!

Apply Now to Gourmet Ads today to start making your passion your profession

 

Advertising Alphabet Soup: SSP and DSP

When one gets into the digital advertising world, it’s easy to be bombarded by acronyms and advertising definitions that make little to no sense at first. At a basic level, every publisher should know the definitions behind SSP and DSP. DSPs and SSPs are the bedrock of digital advertising, they represent the demand side and the supply side of advertising.

First, let’s break down what DSP means.

What is a DSP?

DSP is short for Demand Side Platform. It is a type of software that is used to buy advertising space through automation. DSPs are used by advertisers and advertising agencies to purchase ads for video, mobile, search, and display. DSPs buy ads via SSPs (Publisher side) through programmatic auctions, AKA real-time bidding.

What is What is an SSP?

SSP is short for Supply Side Platform. It is a type of software that allows websites to sell ad inventory through automation and receive payment. SSPs control the real-time bidding that occurs on the publisher’s site to sell each ad space. The SSPs are what allow the publisher to connect to all the DSPs (buyers).

How do Publishers work with SSPs and DSPs?

DSPs and SSPs are not a “one or the other” set of solutions. In fact, they are two different solutions that work with one another. SSPs directly represent the supply side (which includes digital publishers) and DSPs directly represent the demand side (which includes advertisers). Basically, a DSP will buy advertising space and an SSP will allow a publisher to sell digital ad impressions through auctions that are automated.

If a business has an ad campaign, they will run their ads online via the use of a DSP. Online publishers will sell their inventory via an SSP, which connect to various DSPs, to source the demand and receive the demand from these various campaigns. In turn, the DSPs are paid by advertisers, who then pay the SSP, who then pay Publishers.

It is important for Publishers to establish relationships with top SSPs, these relationships are what bring Publishers unique and competitive advertising demand for their site. However, establishing these relationships can be difficult and often times out of reach for most online publishers. That’s where someone like Gourmet Ads comes into play.

Gourmet Ads as an Advertising Solution

Gourmet Ads provides a custom solution for all our publishers that allows you to seamlessly integrate with all the top SSPs and DSPs in the digital advertising world. We bring all the coveted relationships and proprietary technology that links you with thousands of top advertising buyers and campaigns. This allows you the publisher the ability to focus on creating great content and not having to worry about SSP, DSP, CMP, and DMP (more acronyms for another day!). We make sure you are covered from A-Z.

Apply Here to become a Gourmet Ads Publisher

Gourmet Ads has a worldwide publisher reach and offers a global perspective to the grocery advertising world. We allow brands to target audiences wherever they are around the world, whenever: And with over a billion monthly impressions, Gourmet Ads is not stopping anytime soon.

 The Gourmet Ads publishing team directly manages thousands of quality food, grocery, cuisine, and wine publishers using our own proprietary ad serving technology, all while being efficiently integrated on Appnexus infrastructure and with major SSPs. 

CPM vs. RPM vs. Session RPM : What’s the difference?

Comparing apples and oranges: RPM rate vs. CPM rate vs. Session RPM

Many Publishers considering running Gourmet Ads on their site have run, or are running ads with another ad network. Traditionally, most ad networks used CPM to calculate ad performance. However, over time competing ad networks have come up with ways to conflate ad performance and have introduced new revenue reporting models to do so.

What is CPM rate?

CPM is an acronym for Cost Per Mille (mille means “thousand” in Latin) and is the ad unit rate per 1000 ad impressions. It is the price advertisers pay to have their ad shown 1,000 times. It is reported as an actual rate for advertising and is the common unit for the pricing ads online. It is the only ad unit pricing standard accepted by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau)

What is RPM rate?

RPM is an acronym for Revenue Per Mille (mille means “thousand” in Latin) which is basically “revenue per 1000 page views” of a web page. So unlike CPM, which calculate the rate/price per ad unit, RPM is aggregating all ads on the page and calculating a rate. For example, If you have 4 ads on a page your RPM will be higher than if you just have 2. RPM doesn’t represent how much you have actually earned; rather, it’s calculated by dividing your estimated earnings by the number of pageviews, impressions, or queries you received, then multiplying by 1000.

RPM rate = (Estimated earnings / Number of page views) * 1000

What is a Session RPM rate?

Session RPM is the newest revenue reporting model and is embraced by a few questionable ad networks. The RPM definition still stands as Revenue Per Mille (one thousand), but now instead of page views they are calculating and aggregating ads per user session. This move is simply to inflate that reported “rate” even more. As you may notice in your analytics suite, sessions are typically lower than page views (just as page views are lower than ad impressions), and dividing by that lower number gives the optics of higher rates even though nothing has changed. Not only is this dishonest reporting, but can make it very hard to compare various ad networks and may leave you thinking you are earning more, when in fact your ad performance is suffering.

Why do some Networks report in RPM or Session RPM and not CPM?

As a rough rule, Session RPM and RPM will always be higher than CPM because it’s an aggregate of all the ad units seen during a user session or on a page. Let’s say you have a Page View RPM rate of $4.00 from an ad provider. If you only have 2 units, then the CPM per unit will be $2.00. Remove the units of measurement (i.e. RPM or CPM) and $4 is always going to sound better than $2 right? Again this goes even further with a Session RPM by aggregating all the ads seen during a session, a session RPM could be as high as $50 depending on how many ads you have per page and how many pages users are viewing per session. It also gets even harder to clearly calculate.

The other reason that other ad networks report to Publishers on a RPM basis and not CPM is they don’t actually sell all their ads on a CPM rate. Many Ads are sold on a CPC rate (Cost Per Click) some are CPA (Cost Per Acquisition), both of which put all the risk on the Publisher to maximize advertising performance. So, if you run, let’s say Google Ads and don’t get a click, you won’t earn any revenue. Not really fair, is it?

Gourmet Ads’ CPM rates for Publishers

Gourmet Ads prices CPM at the ad unit level and we sell ads on a CPM basis to our advertisers and their agencies. We think of your website like a billboard with an audience of grocery buying consumers, and we believe that you should be paid when consumers are exposed to brand advertising and brand message. For every 1000 impressions, we’ll pay you on a CPM rate. 4 units on a page and you’ll earn CPM revenue for all ads. We commit to transparent pricing for our publishers and our advertisers.

WordPress Hosting

Just about everybody with a website is using or is at least considering using WordPress as their chosen platform.

It certainly makes sense why. WordPress is massive, very customizable, filled with features, and is an all-around excellent choice for web hosting.

For online publishers performance is king. We all want a site that is fast and reliably hosted. Luckily, WP Engine is a great solution for this.

What is WP Engine?

WP Engine is a managed web hosting platform that offers hosting plans to users who have exclusively built their websites, blogs, and online shops using WordPress.

Unlike other “shared” hosting plans you may find online, managed WordPress hosting takes on the brunt of the work that surrounds technical issues, such as plugin management and overall site performance. This takes the burden of technical management and details away from the website owner, so the owner can focus on aspects of their site that really needs attention.

The Benefits of WP Engine

WP Engine is considered one of the best host platforms around, and more good news, WP Engine is extremely affordable with plans starting at just $31 per month for a single website: WP Engine – Startup Plan

They also have a top of the line staging environment setup is super quick and easy to do, and it’s located in a completely separate development area that won’t affect your actual website. It’s also chock-full of tools for WordPress, including image caching, SSL certifications, firewall protection, and malware scans. When it comes to the security feature, WP Engine is also fantastic for receiving accurate and immediate notifications and security warnings in the event of a breach—protection that all online publishers need.

Additional Features of WP Engine include:

  • Built-in automatic browser and site caching system
  • Automatic daily backups
  • Built-in Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • 100% free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
  • Single-click restoration
  • Single-click manual backup
  • Single-click push from production to staging
  • Single-click clear page cache
  • Single-click convert from one single site to multiple sites
  • Domain mapping through IP
  • Automatic dashboard URL redirects
  • 24/7 phone support and help
  • Extremely fast page load speeds
  • Extremely safe and secure (something that is an issue with a lot of third party WordPress hosting platforms)
  • WP Engine user portal and dashboard
  • Reset file permissions
  • Access to PHPMyAdmin (a WordPress database)
  • Easily accessible link to WordPress dashboard
  • Website migration plugins
  • Switch between staging and production without the need for VPN access
  • Password protection for entire website
  • Accurate error logs
  • Git push
  • Manage multiple websites with just one dashboard

Speed Boost

Ask any online publisher and they will tell you that site speed is what they are after. A fast site is preferred by users and SEO experts alike. One surefire way to speed up your site is with better hosting. Sites hosted by WP Engine can rest assured that they are using one of the fastest hosting services in the game. We highly encourage you make this upgrade to grow your user base as well as increase your ad performance, both equal money in the bank.

What are you waiting for, test your site speed now.

Gourmet Ads and WordPress Hosting

At Gourmet Ads, we know the value of proper WordPress hosting. That’s why we’ve started working with WP Engine as a partner for our valued publishers. In addition to their already great pricing, Gourmet Ads publishers get three free months when signing up for WP Engine:   Get 3 months free when you sign up for WP Engine

What is a Cache and How Do I Clear it?

Have you ever been told to clear your cache? Does this ever leave you wondering what is a cache and what does it do?

Caching is a browser technology that is used to save time and resources. Without technical know-how, caching may seem complicated, but in actuality it’s quite simple and a very helpful tool.

Let’s look at what a cache is and how you can use it for your blog.

What is a Cache?

Caching is the ability of a website to send signals to a user’s browser that tell it to download website elements, rather than re-download those elements each time the site is accessed. This increases website speed because some elements of a site become “cached” on users browsers, and then there are less elements to load each time a user visits a site.

Caching is a must-have for any site that cares about site speed and a good user experience.

How to Use Cache on Your Blog

When a user accesses your blog or website, every element and data aspect of your page must be downloaded by that user. This includes images, text, code elements, and other data.

If there is a lot of data to download on a page, that page may be slow to load for your users. Caching is a way to increase the download speed of your page without removing or reducing page elements. Caching does this by programming your website to tell the user’s browser to save the elements it downloads from the site instead of re-downloading it each time it is accessed. This is the heart of browser caching.

There are many different options to implement caching on your site, most of them quite simple. If you are on WordPress there are many different caching plugins, and other CMS and hosting companies also offer out-of-the-box caching options.

How to Clear Your Cache

On the user end or browser end, clearing one’s cache every once in a while can increase the speed of their browser by removing excessive saved cache data. Additionally, you may need to clear your cache if you have cached an error. So if something online looks funny to you, a good first step is to clear your cache. I’m sure we;ve

One can easily clear their cache through their browser. For example, to clear one’s cache in Chrome, they would just have to go to More Tools > Clear Browsing Data and check Cached Images and Data.

On the blog or website owner’s end the site’s cache needs to be cleared as well. A good time to clear your site’s cache is after you’ve made a change or fixed an issue. Depending on the plugin or CMS you use the instructions for this will vary some. It should be as simple as a selecting an option in your dashboard to Delete Cache.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t need to be done frequently, but should be your first solution attempt if you’re having site issues.

 

 

 

Looking for Great Food Publishers

Gourmet Ads is seeking more food websites

Throughout the year we’re always looking for great Publishers to add to the Gourmet Ads family.  We are working with more and more advertisers that have demand for increased reach in their advertising campaigns. Our advertisers like to be next to rich food and recipe content, especially holiday recipes!

So what is Gourmet Ads looking for?

Essentially, we’re looking for Publishers who create great food and recipe content, have a strong audience of followers and interested in earning revenue from their website.  As the ad unit level we are looking for more Publishers who can run beyond-the-banner ad units like 300x600s, background skins and over-the-page units. We do have a list of eligibility requirements, so please review them before applying.

Learn about the benefits of joining Gourmet Ads as a Publisher or apply to become a Publisher here.

Seeking new Publishers Worldwide

With our global, dedicated advertising sales team, Gourmet Ads provides a solid stream of advertising, meaning Publishers earn consistent revenue as soon as they’re approved. If you meet our eligibility requirements, and have significant traffic in any of the following locations, we invite you to apply today.

Gourmet Ads is seeking Publishers in:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • London
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Asia