Browser add-ons that block advertisements are an unfortunate reality that can make it very difficult for the modern affiliate marketer to earn money. Advertisers only have themselves to blame for this; Web ads have become more obtrusive, jarring and annoying over the years and it’s only understandable that many people have finally said “enough.” We aren’t talking about a small group of people, here; the AdBlock extension for Google Chrome alone has been downloaded more than a million times.
Unfortunately, this means that if your website displays any banner advertisements, there’s a good chance that a significant percentage of your readers never see them. You can get around this problem by linking directly to the products you promote, but what if you still want to display banner ads for a merchant partner?
Let’s use Linkvania, a ShareaSale merchant, as an example. This is a company that specializes in building one-way quality backlinks. While this is something that all affiliate marketers need, many hate the drudgery of manual link building. In addition, Linkvania has a two-tier affiliate program, which is also something I think many of my readers are interested in. Now, let’s take a look at the source code for a typical Linkvania banner ad:
<a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=199857&u=455322&m=24596&urllink=&afftrack=”><img src=”http://www.shareasale.com/image/24596/50FreeCreditsPromotion468x60vert.jpg” border=”0″></a>
Now, let’s see the code in action:
There should be a banner ad above. If you have an ad-blocking plugin, chances are that you do not see it because it is hosted on ShareaSale.com, which is a known affiliate network that many ad-blocking plugins block.
If you are logged in to your ShareaSale account and looking at the code for a banner ad, you’ll see a screen like this:
Right-click the image at the top of the window and save it to your desktop. Give it a descriptive name — such as Linkvania.jpg in this case, but stay away from keywords such as banner ad and ShareaSale because they may also trip ad blockers. Next, paste the code into Notepad.
Use the Media menu in WordPress to upload the image to your website. After you upload the image, you’ll see a screen like this one:
Copy the contents of the File URL field. Paste the URL into your banner ad code where img src=”http://www.shareasale.com/image/24596/50FreeCreditsPromotion468x60vert.jpg” used to be. In my case, the code would now be img src=”http://theaffluentblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Linkvania.jpg”.
Next, create a new entry for the merchant in your jump.php redirect script. Paste the jump code into the banner ad code where href=”http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=199857&u=455322&m=24596&urllink=&afftrack=” used to be. In my case, the code would now be href=”http://theaffluentblogger.com/jump.php?m=Linkvania”. The full ad code now looks something like below:
<a target=”_blank” href=”http://theaffluentblogger.com/jump.php?m=Linkvania”><img src=”http://theaffluentblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Linkvania.jpg” border=”0″></a>
And here is the code in action:
You should be able to see the advertisement above, even if you are running an ad blocker. While I find that banner ads tend to convert poorly in comparison to direct links, they are still an important advertising vehicle for many websites. This method helps to ensure that your website’s banner ads will be seen by as many visitors as possible, even if some of them are using ad-blocking plugins.