In case you haven’t heard, I’m a co-founder of a start-up called CrankyAds.
CrankyAds is an ad management tool that allows website owners to rotate banner ads, YouTube video ads and text link ads on your blog or website. You create ad zones on your site, determine how much to charge, and then sponsors can purchase ads directly on your site via the CrankyMart, our online marketplace.
CrankyAds also includes a bunch of nifty features to help you make the most of the ad space on your blog site. For example, you can choose to run Google AdSense in your ad zones whenever you have not sold ads directly to sponsors, so you are always monetizing your space (CrankyAds handles this automatically once you copy and paste your AdSense code in).
You can also use CrankyAds to rotate affiliate offers or upload your own ads to promote anything you want, for example your own products and services.
CrankyAds is a simple system to use. It’s designed so you can spend your time focusing on building a great blog or website, and let CrankyAds handle all the advertising for you.
CrankyAds Now Open To Everyone
The one major frustration with CrankyAds is that you could only use our service if you run your site on WordPress, via a free WordPress plugin we made available for download.
We knew this was frustrating because we have had a lot of people come to us asking to use CrankyAds on a non-wordpress site. Turning people away is not a good thing, but that’s what we had to do.
I’m happy to announce that we just released a new version of CrankyAds, which removes the need to use a WordPress plugin (the plugin option is still available for WordPress users).
You no longer need to install any plugins and control of all aspects of your ad campaigns, from setting up zones, to approving and cancelling ads, is done in the CrankyAds Manager. This simplifies the process so everything is controlled in one management console.
Slow And Steady Development
Walter, lead developer on CrankyAds, put in a lot of hours to make the code to produce the new version of the manager. Mick, lead designer, also put in some solid hours to do the new manager design. Thanks to both these guys for their hard work.
We’re hoping now that we have freed up CrankyAds to any person with a website that more people will take advantage of our service. We’d love for you to give us a try if you are thinking of monetizing your site by selling ads. We welcome any feedback too once you have used CrankyAds.
We have one more key new feature to announce in the coming weeks after we have tested it. Once this feature is released what I envisioned for CrankyAds, at least version 1.0, will be live.
What’s amazing about the journey to this point is how much longer it has taken than I thought it would. I figured it would take about a year to get here.
I made the first forays into CrankyAds development at the start of 2010 hiring a development company, then partnering with Walter and Mick in 2011, to find it now 2013 shows just how challenging software development is.
Considering the long hours Walter has put in, it shows just how much code is needed to make even the most basic of functions. As a result I have really had to reign in my expectations on what we can create.
This on one level has been good because it focuses us on what is really really really important. On another level it is extremely frustrating because I’d love to build absolutely everything in my head, but I can’t. I suspect every software company founder has this issue.
The option to go for investment and bring on a team to speed things up is always there, and we have chased investors at times. We decided to hold off on that direction, which frankly I think is a good idea until we have better traction with our service. I wouldn’t want to throw money at something until we had a better idea of our path to profitability.
The encouraging sign in all of this is that our trend curve is edging upwards every month, albeit very slowly. We have publishers that love our plugin and a handful use it to make money every month.
The real challenge in all of this is keeping the whole project sustainable long enough to give it a chance to hit that tipping point. As a team we have agreed on a clear direction for the rest of the year and we know what features we want to give you guys. The rest will be up to you, our CrankyAds members, to see what you like and use.