Automattic has teamed up with Federated Media to – finally – allow WordPress.com bloggers to make money from online advertising. The project is called WordAds and if you’re on WordPress.com you can express your interest for the program here.
From the WordPress.com blog, including a fair bit of snark directed at Google:
Over the years one of the most frequent requests on WordPress.com has been to allow bloggers to earn money from their blog through ads.
We’ve resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn’t terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google’s AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad.
You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense.
WordAds, which is optional, will let bloggers make money from their blogs by showing “high quality ads from brand advertisers” – this is where Federated Media will come in.
Note that not every WordPress.com blog will be eligible for the program. According to the sign-up page, only publicly visible blogs with custom domains will be considered. Furthermore, selection will be based on “level of traffic and engagement, type of content, and language used on a blog”.
Automattic’s Jon Burke also threw out an interesting stat in the blog post: apparently, more than 50,000 WordPress-powered blogs come online on a daily basis.