Goodbye Passionfruit Ads, Hello Adproval

So soon after the demise of Google Reader, the blogosphere is once again getting ready to be thrown into turmoil. Yesterday, Passionfruit Ads announced they will be moving to a new subscription based model for access to the site. What does this mean? Starting September 1st, you will now have to pay a $9 monthly fee to sell, swap and maintain your ads via Passionfruit. Not cool Passionfruit. Not cool.

Now for the larger blogs that sell hundreds/thousands of dollars a month in advertising, this isn't big deal. However, to the smaller blogs who simply use Passionfruit to swap ads for no profit until they've built a customer base willing to pay, this presents a huge problem.

I'm sure you bigger bloggers can remember what it was like to be a baby blogger trying to navigate the big bad blogosphere. If not, please allow me to refresh your memory. Swapping ads is the most effective way to build up your readership and lay the foundation for actually selling ads for profit. Without swaps, we lose our ability to connect/network with other bloggers. The likelihood of making money exponentially decreases. After all, who wants to purchase an ad without a test drive first?

So what are some of your options?

1. You can bite the bullet and pay $50 bucks for the yearly unlimited service that they are offering their pre-existing customers.
2. You can return to self-hosting your own ads. Which can get quite tedious, but will be much more cost-effective for the smaller blogs who don't make big bucks in advertising.
3. Adproval.

As you can see I'm a big fan of option number three. Once I recovered from the news of Passionfruit I set out on a mission to find some alternatives. And then one of my blogging buddies mentioned she'd heard of a site called Adproval. So off I went. As I checked out the site I began to feel hopeful that perhaps I could continue swapping/selling ads.


Basically, this service is the hotter cousin of Passionfruit. You just enter in your blog information, set up your ad spots, install your code so that it displays your ad options, enter in your payment information and viola, instant success.

There are quite a few added bonuses with Adproval though. For one, you can customize your ad store to match your layout. If you want pink text with a blue background, no problemo. Secondly, you get paid instantly. Score! (Note: you will have to sign up with Amazon Business, but it's super easy. It took me 3.5 minutes.)



Now, I'm not saying I hate Passionfruit, but at the same time, I just can't afford to continue to work with them. Like I said, if I were making the big bucks in advertising, I could understand the cost, but there's no point in using this service if I'm using all my profit in paying for this service. So Goodbye Passionfruit, it was a pleasure doing business with you, and Hello Adproval, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship ;)

Questions, comments, concerns? Be sure to leave a comment below.

Note: to all my current sponsors/swaps. I will be making the switch to Adproval once your sponsorship with me expires in August. 


87 comments :

  1. I had heard about there upgrade, but I had not heard about the fee. Thanks for the info on Adproval!

    Holly

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  2. THANK YOUUUUUU! I've been googling alternatives. I can't just spend $50 on that or do a monthly bill. People have said why not just charge one ad spot for $9? I just don't see it working out. I could sell one ad and I'll be making no profit. I could sell nothing and lose money.

    I wish there was some sort of baby blogger level or something. I don't mind Passionfruit taking a fee from each ad and not giving those extra features. Just keep it free for the new & small bloggers.

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    1. I agree, picmonkey and raffelcopter each have services available for members who don't want to upgrade. And because they offer the option I upgraded and paid for the service. I don't appreciate Passionfruit just suddenly switching it up because they think there's no other alternative. When will people learn, treat your customers right and they will stick with you. If not, we'll find another way.

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  3. What a very informative post, Reese! :) I'm still on the fence about the whole paying thing on top of already paying Passionfruit a percentage of the profits anyway! I'll be checking this out & if I like it I'll be sharing it with my followers, too! :) Cheers!

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    1. Thanks Anyonita, I hope you like it. I'm loving it so far!

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    2. I'm pretty sure beyond the monthly subscription, Passionfruit will no longer be taking a cut of Ad sales...just to clarify. At least, that's how I read it!

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    3. That's correct, but for bloggers who sometimes make zero dollars a month in ad sales because they're trying to swap to build up a customer base, that presents a huge problem. But for the larger blogs, this is probably pretty sweet. Since I'm still not swimming in the big bucks on ad sells, this news was pretty sucky :(

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  4. I'm really pissed about PF's new structure. Thanks for sharing this information. I don't understand why they don't follow some of these other models- Free w/ limits and an upgraded option if you want unlimited possibilities. I'm definitely switching to adproval...especially since I can eliminate paypal and have money deposited directly into my account.

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    1. I know, I was telling someone else that I choose to upgrade with PicMonkey and Rafflecopter to get the additional options, but to take the choice from me and force me to pay for your service, that's not cool. I hope they are prepared for the fallout they're going to get. Even if it's just us "smaller" bloggers, there's a lot of us, it will be quite noticeable. Good luck with your move to Adproval.

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    2. I understand the frustration from swappers but I also understand why they had to do it... BECAUSE of swappers. Basically they are spending loads of money on their own servers to host and serve everyone's ads and there is a whopping majority of users who just swap... I.e. are using those paid servers absolutely free to offer a free service. When that starts becoming a huge trend, it definitely hurts the business and I understand why a monthly fee would be necessary. I do however like your idea of offering limited access accounts or something along those lines for people not willing to pay, or even maybe a trial period.

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    3. As a smaller blog I understand the frustration of dedicating an insane amount of time to try to build up your reputation in the blogosphere as a great blogger to advertise with. Unfortunately, at least in my case, swapping ads has been the most effective way to do that. Most "baby bloggers" I know are only swapping temporarily until they have a following large enough to begin charging.

      I've said a few time now that I do understand why PF moved over to a new pay model. I do understand the situation with the servers. But at the same time after nearly a year of dedicating time, money and resources to growing my blog enough so that people are interested in advertising with me, I can't afford $9 a month. Especially when I have no way of knowing whether the next month I'll still have people who are sponsoring me.

      For now, Adproval is the solution to my current issue. I'm sure in the future they will run into the same problem PF did, and find it necessary to modify their payment plan as well, but this is the best I can do for now.

      One of the greatest lessons life has taught me is that you have to learn to roll with the punches. This is me rolling ;)

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  5. Because I'm too busy...oh who am I kidding--lazy--to look it up myself..what is the fee structure for Adproval? And will your advertisers need to sign up with Amazon business as well?

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    1. The fee structure is the same as Passionfruits old model. 10% of your successful sales goes to adproval. And I'm not sure that advertisers will need to sign up with Amazon, but give me a minute or two and I can find out for you : )

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  6. I've been thinking about this since they made the announcement over at PF. Wasn't quite sure what I was going to do -- but I just found the answer thanks to you. Checking out Adproval RIGHT NOW!

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  7. I was sad when I read about Passionfruit. I was starting to get the hang of it. Well, thanks for the heads up about Adproval!

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    1. Me too, but so far the people at Adproval have been all around awesome, so I'm looking forward to working with them ;)

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing this with me on G+...I was wondering what I was going to do b/c I didn't want to pay for Passionfruit. I'm off to check out Adproval.
    Thanks,
    KC

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    1. You're so welcome! Very rarely do I send emails to people from google+, but I know a lot of my friends were freaking out over this Passionfruit ads thing, so I figure this warranted a direct email to let everyone know about Adproval. So happy to help!

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  9. Thanks so much for this information!! Such a bummer about PF.

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    1. You're so welcome. And yes, it is a bummer :(

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  10. I'm not doing anything with ads on the sidebar yet, but this is great to know if I decide to! Glad to find out about it, as I was aware of Passionfruit. Thanks!

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    1. Michelle, you definitely have a big enough reach to sell ad space to bloggers/businesses. I've seen people with follower counts as low as 100 making a nice bit of money. You should definitely try it out.

      Let me know if you have any questions. I would love to help you get started selling ad space :)

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  11. I'm doing away with Passionfruit, no sense since my blog is not monetized.

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    1. Same here. I've recently started making a bit more off ads, but not enough to warrant 9 bucks a month. That's practically half my profit. Adproval it is!

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  12. I had seen Adproval before, just wasn't sure the name when we talked earlier in the week. I think the main thing PF is concerned with is that the ad swaps (millions a day, they say) were costing them a lot of money...and they weren't making anything on it. But, it will be interesting to see how well they do with so many leaving and unhappy. I'll have to look into Adproval! Thanks, girlie!

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    1. I'd seen then before too, but forgot the name as well. It wasn't until last night that I realized I'd been to the site before. Duh :)

      I do understand why Passionfruit did what they did. So rather than completely shut down advertisement on my blog (which is what I would have had to do had I not found Adproval) I'm finding an alternative :) So far I'm loving it!

      Let me know if you have any questions! P.S the Charlotte Meetup group has a conference planned for November. They just updated the conference schedule, so I would check out meetup.com for the lastest info regarding our queen city blogger conference!

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    2. I think they could have limited the number of swaps per user / per month or something and charged if you went over that or something rather than just jumping to a whopping $9.00/month.

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  13. wow! you really broke it down in a way I can understand. I'm so nervous to take the plunge into advertising but it seems pretty simple with Adproval. I love the point of view on your blog and your family is adorable!

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    1. Thanks Jamie! Always happy to help out a blogging sister :) Don't be nervous about "the plunge" it's less complicated than you think. I promise!

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  14. Thanks for all of the info!

    I just found your blog today and I really like it. I'll be following along. =)

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    1. You're welcome and thank you Tanea! Be sure to ask if you have any questions. I would love to help :)

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  15. I could hardly believe the Passionfruit news....I haven't decided yet if I'll go back to the old-fashioned button route or the adproval route....

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    1. I know Rachel :( Still mildly in shock here as well. I definitely can't go back to manually managing my ads. It was honestly waaaaayyyy too much work. I shudder just thinking about all the hours wasted on photobucket trying to resize all my sponsors buttons so that they were the correct size, and don't even get me started on having to actually remember to take the buttons down once the sponsorship ended... In the words of the ever wise Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for dat." ;)

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  16. Cute blog. Thanks for sharing. VERY helpful!

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    1. Thank you :) And thanks for stopping by. If you decide to work with Adproval, let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

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  17. Ooh! This is amazing news! I thought I'd have to go with my former DIY model of doing ad swaps... but Adproval sounds really promising! Fingers crossed they don't pull a Passionfruit on us though, huh?!

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    1. lol Jen, I was thinking the same thing myself. I think eventually Adproval may run into the same issue. But for now I'm just going to close my eyes and hope for the best!

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  18. I was disappointed that Passionfruit began charging a monthly fee, but I completely understand with all they do. However, as a smaller blogger, I don't make enough money from selling ads to continue to use PF. I read about Adproval yesterday & signed up. Can't wait to figure it out more!

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    1. Yep Breanna, I think this is the general consensus smaller bloggers have arrived at. We simply cannot afford the $9 a month. I've dedicated so much time, resources and energy to try to make my ad spots more appealing, but until I begin getting a larger influx of bloggers interested in sponsoring me, there's not much else I can do.

      Let me know if you have any questions about Adproval. I would love to help you get situated. Use baby bloggers have to have each others' backs ;)

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    2. The fee has nothing to do with blog size. You are aware that the old fee was $1 per ad (not 10% like you have previously stated) so small blogs that sold cheapy ads, but more of them were paying more than the 'bigger' blogs that sell less, but charge more. That didn't seem fair now did it? Think of other ways to feature your advertisers- if 79% of people view blogs via a reader (like bloglovin, feedly, blog mobile versions etc) they aren't even seeing your sidebar anyways!!

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    3. Sorry, I think there may have been a mix-up in communication. When I'm referring to the smaller blogs, I'm talking moreso about our inability to sell a consistent amount of ads because we just don't have the visability across our media channels to generate interest from potential sponsors. It's not how long we've been blogging that is a turnoff for potential sponsors, it's the size and reach that can sometimes be our downfall. Of course, if you're resourceful enough, you can find ways to work around that.

      As far as 79% of readers viewing through a reader and not getting direct exposure to the actual ad, I've found other ways to mitigate this loss of exposure. For instance I do very frequent social media blasts when my sponsors have something they want me to focus on. I also utilize stumbleupon and reddit (which are great for increasing traffic). For a while there I sent a monthly newsletter with a sponsor introduction. There are all sorts of ways to generate traffic for sponsors without actually having people click on their button. Ultimately that's what I'm being paid to do. Generate traffic and increase visibility.

      I'm just happy to be a part of such a resourceful community who always manages to find an alternative in response to an obstacle! You sound as if you know quite a bit about selling ads youself. Please feel free to come back and share some more of your thoughts and concerns. Sometimes this sort of dialogue is necessary to help generate new ideas!

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  19. Thanks for this information. I hadn't even read the email they sent out about the changes, so I'm glad I read your post! Adproval sounds great. I will check them out! I pinned your post on Sverve and on Pinterest!

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    1. Thank you Kat! Happy you found this useful.

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  20. Found your blog while looking for alternatives for Passionfruit. I'm a super small blogger and also can't afford the new fees. I'm definitely going to check out Adproval! Just wanted to thank you for writing this post! :)

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    1. You're welcome Christine. I hope everything worked out for you!

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  21. Thanks for the vote on Adproval. They reached out to me a week ago via email, so I did some Googling and landed here. Adios, Passion Fruit!

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  22. I am beyond grateful that you broke this down the way you did! I've left the PassionFruit email about how they're robbing us in my inbox as a reminder to actually re-read and understand it! I'm now deleting it. THANK YOU :)

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    1. they are robbing you?? thats like being upset you have to buy a bottled water at the store instead of asking to use the water they pay for- for free.

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    2. Thanks Steph! Happy you found this helpful. You know us bloggers, we take the hits, transform it into something even better, and keep on rolling ;)

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  23. I am so glad I found this post! Thanks for the advice :)

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    1. I'm happy you did too! And you're so welcome :)

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  24. This is sooo helpful! I joined PF months ago with hopes of being able to use it ONE DAY (I haven't started blogging yet), but now it doesn't seem possible.

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  25. Was googling Passionfruit to install on my new blog when I ran across this post. I can't afford to pay the fee and still make any money, as I've only been a live blog for 10 weeks. I'll be using Adproval instead.

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    1. Then don't do advertising! Its insanely simple, you have a blog thats 10wks old- thats barely any content or following, concentrate on that first and don't offer a sidebar ad that isn't even visible on blog lovin, feedly or any readers- so its pointless anyways!

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    2. Hi Elizabeth, 10 weeks is certainly not too soon to consider advertising options. That's ambition, and is the soild foundation of most sucessful bloggers.

      I would check meetup.com to see if there are some local blogger meetups in your area so you can join and network with bloggers who can help you out.

      Please let me know if you have any questions. I would love to help you. If you don't feel comfortable reaching out to me here, you can email me at tasutton22@gmail.com. Good luck to you my dear!

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  26. I'm curious, are you aware of any other alternatives to Passionfruit Ads or Adproval?

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    1. No, but you know of some, I'd be happy to look into them and share!

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  27. So I set up Adproval and got to the payment portion, which is through Amazon Business. To set that up, you have to give them your social security which I just don't feel comfortable doing. I don't understand why they need this information? Is there a way to sign up for it without giving them your social?

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    1. Sorry, I felt the same way since I am extremely careful with giving out my info, but as far as I know, there's no way around it.

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  28. THANK YOU! I couldn't believe it. Gosh darn, passionfruit!

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  29. My thoughts EXACTLY. Moving to Adproval. Thanks for the reco!!

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    1. You're welcome. See you on the other side ;)

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  30. well crap!! I just signed up and paid my yearly subscription to passionfruit! One thing I really dont like about passionfruit is that I have to wait for friday to get paid. If I would have known about this sooner, I would have switched to Adproval right away! Oh well- next year when my subscription is up, I'm moving over for sure!!!

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  31. yay!! I just came across this post via google and im pretty pumped, thanks for the suggestion! I really didn't want to pay for passion fruit I hardly make any $ via adds to begin with!!

    carisa
    www.bunniesandpearls.com

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  32. Thank you for this! I didn't know about Adproval until I read this. Super helpful. :)

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  33. Been searching off and on for weeks to find an alternative and finally found your post - SO VERY VERY greatful you shared this! off to check out Adproval - oh - and let me know if you'd like to swap buttons - I love helping promote fellow bloggers! - also open to having you "guest post" this or a similar topic if you are interested!
    momloves2read(dot)com

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  34. Wow, I had on my to-do list today to get Passionfruit up on my site because it is free. Then I saw it wasn't and Googled to find out why and your blog came up. Thank you for the alternative! You're right about the smaller blogs... not worth the price if you are only swapping links/buttons!

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  35. Thanks for sharing with us! Theresa :)
    www.fashionphases.com

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  36. I just ended up biting the bullet with passionfruit last week.I wish I would have found you last week. Basically a break even. But it could be worse I could lose money. Thank you for sharing.

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  37. Totally going to make the switch! Thanks so much for this.

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  38. Thanks for posting on this! It came right on time as I was looking for a way to begin monetizing my blog!!! YAY! So glad I found your blog. PS Your little girl is so cute.

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  39. Great post, I will look them up. I am trying out Kickadss as well, which seems promising. Caroline

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  40. I'm stopping by from the SITS comment tribe, and I found this post! Thanks for this! I have been thinking of placing ads on my blogs soon, but have been so lost. I will look into this now... And then to browse your blog some more! There is so much information for me to digest here.

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  41. Love this! Thanks for your suggestion! I'm planning on setting this up at just2birds.com

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  42. I tried passionfruit as someone looking to buy advertising space and have to admit it was okay until I needed customer support which is pretty much non-existent. I had ads that were sat pending for weeks but my money was still taken, contacting passionfruit was a nightmare, no response for ages then I was promised a refund which never came. Thankfully paypal resolution center helped!! Thanks for the alternatives. Passionfruit sucks.

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  43. Just came across your post as I am in the process of doing a blog revamp and adding advertising to it. How have you found Adrol? Has it been successful? Love to hear from you about it.

    Fee

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  44. I am relatively new to blogging and very new to selling advertising spots! This has helped me a lot!!
    Thank you to much! And any additional tips would be so helpful! (;

    Hope you had a great holiday weekend!

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  45. Thanks for sharing this post! Very informative and right on time! I was just about to pay for Passionfruit when I read about your alternative so just consider me a very happy camper!

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  46. This is GREAT info! I just set up ads to run on my blog yesterday, and as a baby blogger passionfruit just doesn't make sense for me. Thanks a million!
    xo,
    Lisa

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