Managing Unsold Inventory

Unsold inventory is an ad impression on your site that has not been sold by Six Apart Media. In the event that an ad has not been sold, you have the control within the system to tell Six Apart what to put in the ad slot. You can use the unsold space with a Default Ad to promote internal products, drive traffic to another blog or you can use it to make money by uploading a redirect.

Default ads are “filler” for unsold inventory.  We strive to sell out 100% of your inventory through our national sales team working with top brand advertisers.  When your blog requests an ad from Six Apart Media, we serve as many paid impressions as possible based on targeting, CPM and inventory. Currently, when Six Apart Media hasn’t sold out 100% of the inventory, an unpaid Public Service Announcement (PSA) is served to ensure something shows up. In this case, if you have a default ad set up, it will pre-empt the PSA, so you are earning the most from each ad placement. If you choose not to set up default ads, Six Apart Media will implement default ads for you.

Setting up Google AdSense as Your Default

Take the following steps to set up default ads:

Step 1: Obtain ad tags from your Google Adsense account

Step 2: In Adify, under the Sell Tab, check the Ad Space for which you would like to set up your default, and under Edit selected ad spaces, select Manage Unsold Inventory.

Step 3: Select Redirect to another provider and paste in the Google Adsense tag. Click Save.

Step 4: For each additional ad space, repeat steps 2 & 3.

Setting Up Your Own Default Ads

Take the following steps to set up your own default ad:

Step 1: Under the Sell Tab, check the Ad Space for which you would like to set up the Default, and under ‘edit selected ad spaces’, select ‘Manage Unsold Inventory’.

Step 2: Select ‘Use my own ad’.

Step 3: Select ‘Upload image and rich media ad’.

Step 4: Select image size and browse and upload your .TXT or .HTML file. Be sure that your file’s dimensions exactly match those of the ad space, and also make sure to include a destination URL.

Step 5: Click ‘Add’. You have now added this file to your ad library. You can access this file and place it as your Default Ad. Check the desired ad, and click ‘Add selected ads’. You will see your selected Default Ad next to the ad space.

Getting paid for default ads

Adify does not track the performance of unpaid default ads. Your earnings will show up as unpaid impressions and you will receive a lump sum payment as a line-item on your monthly statement.

Our default price will fluctuate and we aim to stay competitive with Google Adsense. This is a strategy we’ve implemented as a service to our customers in order to serve something more favorable and rewarding than unpaid PSAs.

Setting the Pricing When Redirecting to Another Ad Network

If you redirect your ad spaces to another provider, set your minimum just slightly higher than what you earn through your redirect ad solution. For example, if you earn a $.50 CPM through a redirect to Ad Provider X, set your minimum at $.51 (or if your Google AdSense has an eCPM of 11 cents, your minimum CPM should be set to 12 cents). If you do not redirect your inventory to another provider, set your minimum at $0.01. This will ensure that you are included on the maximum number of campaigns sold by Six Apart Media.

To set pricing, go to the sell tab and click edit selected ad space > edit ad space pricing

Default Ad Reporting

The number of Unsold Impressions is the number of times your default/redirect ran.

Six Apart Media Default Ad Standards

Default ads served by Six Apart Media will adhere to the same quality standards as our premium ad inventory.

Search Engine Optimization


There are two keys to unlocking the power of search engine optimization (SEO): Relevance and Popularity

Relevancy and popularity are the foundational elements that will create long-term success for your blog. When you understand what these terms mean and how to use them to your advantage, they will help you attract loyal readers and valuable referral traffic from other blogs and websites.

  1. Relevance: the measure of how appropriate a given web page is for a particular search term. Pages or sites that are judged to be more relevant are given higher rankings.
  2. Popularity: the quality and quantity of the sites that link back to your site. These links aren’t directly in your control; someone else has to link to you. In a sense, each inbound link is a “vote” that endorses the quality of your content; the more prominent sites (with higher “voting power”) that link to you, the higher your rankings will be.

How to Make Your Blog Relevant

Provide high quality content. Create an information-rich site that contains useful information that will capture the interest of readers.

  • Use descriptive terms on your tags. Your headlines, titles, and image tags should all contain clear, descriptive language that makes it easy for the search engines to determine the content of each post.
  • Don’t cheat. If you fill your pages with keywords or post multiple copies of the same page under different URL’s, the search engines will penalize you for cheating.
  • Submit an XML Sitemap. An XML Sitemap is a file format specially created for search engines to quickly index a blog or site every time new content is published. TypePad users - go to Configure > Publicity: Publicity Preferences and set Generate Google Sitemap to On.

How to Build Your Blog’s Popularity

Link to other sites. If you want sites to link to you, you’ll have to take the first step. Create a blogroll and include blogs that you read, and blogs that are respected in your industry.

  • Find other sites that will link to yours. These links are called “inbound” links, and they make your site more credible to the search engines. The more prominent sites that link to yours, the higher your rankings will be.
  • Encourage participation. Blogging is a social exercise, and participation is one of the most effective was to gain popularity. Engage in conversations on forums and leave constructive comments on other sites. Take advantage of every opportunity to link directly back to your blog in the comment section. Solicit feedback on your blog by asking questions and responding to commenters.
  • Reach out to sites that send you traffic. If a particular site begins sending you traffic, reach out to the webmaster or blogger by featuring them in a post, or posting an exclusive interview. This will increase the interaction between your sites.


Keywords are specific words and phrases that people use over and over again when they search for things online. By studying the words that people type into search engines, and incorporating those words in your post titles and text, you’ll be able to capture more of the people who are searching for exactly the type of content you’re creating.

Here’s an example: If you are an airline and you want to grab search engine traffic for ‘low fares’ you probably won’t have much success if you use those words. Many consumers don’t call plane tickets ‘fares’ or think of them as being ‘low.’ If you substitute the words ‘cheap flights’ instead, suddenly you’re using the language that real people use when they search.

To learn more about keywords, and find out which ones are important for your industry, check out these resources:

  • Google AdWords Keyword Tool (Free)
  • Microsoft adCenter Labs (Free)
  • Keyword Discovery
  • Wordtracker

Six Apart Media Tech Services

Six Apart Media provides technical assistance and blog tune-ups to TypePad bloggers. Please let us know if you would like assistance with anything related to blogging and we will work with you to find solutions to your problems.

Best Practices for Ad Placement

Ad Tag Placement

  • Place at least one standard ad placement and the Six Apart Media badge (160x90) above the fold on your page at all times. (Above the fold is defined as the first 500 pixels)
  • Place as many of the three ad sizes on your page as your site’s format will allow.
  • Space ads of the same size a minimum of one page length apart (approximately 800 pixels).
  • No more than three ads should be showing above the fold
  • Understand how visitors use your page and place ads in proximity to relevant, highly trafficked content. Track and optimize your performance by moving ads around and using Adify to see what works best
  • If you are placing 300x250 ads between your posts (using advanced templates on TypePad or a custom html format), use no more than one ad tag for every 3 posts.

For the premium advertising campaigns, advertisers use an optimization formula and delete sites that aren’t performing well. The optimization formula is based on factors such as traffic and CTR. Your ads will perform better if they are placed in the highest visibility sections. Likewise, when you place the same sized ads next to one another, the performance drops dramatically and you are likely to be optimized out of a campaign.  

Placing two ads of the same size on one page, requires unique ad tags for each placement (i.e. “Skyscraper Left Top”, or “Skyscraper Right Bottom”). Each ad tag must appear only once per page.

These guidelines for ad placement apply to all ads showing on your page, even if you are running ads from multiple networks. For example, do not place two ads of the same size next to each other even if they are from two different ad networks.

Running the Six Apart Media Badge

Members of our ad network are required to display the Six Apart Media badge. You will need to create the ad space and generate the tag in Adify the same as you would for the other three ad sizes – create an ad space for 160x90, copy the ad tag for that space, and place the ad tag into your blog template.

Running multiple ad spaces with the same dimensions on one page

You can have two or more of the same ad sizes on one page as long as they are separated by at least one screen’s distance apart (meaning you cannot see both ads at the same time. You should not have more than one ad space in close proximity to another ad of the same size on one page. The reason for this is that it causes the ads to compete with one another and the performance will be harmed.


Ad Space Pricing

Pricing – Minimum and Rate Card

You should set your minimum as low as possible in order to access the greatest number of ads. If you are not redirecting to another ad network you should set your minimum to $0.01. If your are redirecting to another network, set your minimum one cent above the eCPM you are getting from that other network.

Rate card should not differ from your minimum.

To view the rate card and minimum for an ad space:

1.    Click on the Sell tab.

2.    Go to the Sites screen.

3.    Check the box(es) next to the ad space(s) you wish to review.

4.    From the Edit selected ad space drop down menu, select Edit ad space pricing.

5.    Be sure to save any changes you make on this screen.

Revenue Share

Payment to you for the display of SAM advertisements for which Six Apart is paid by the advertiser on a CPM basis (i.e., the cost is per one thousand delivered impressions) will be sixty percent (60%) of the Net Revenue Six Apart collects for the display of such SAM advertisements on your Site for a given calendar month.


Redirects & Default Ads

While Six Apart Media has already done some of the heavy lifting by implementing default ads for all publishers, you may elect to run your own default ads via another ad provider or your own creative.  Your default ads or redirects will only show when you have completely cycled through the campaigns you have accepted from Six Apart Media, so pricing your redirects properly is critical to maximizing your profit.  See the section on Managing Unsold Inventory for more information.


Glossary of Terms

Ad Size:  The size of the ad you will be running. Six Apart Media lets you choose the following three sizes: 300x250; 160x600; 728x90; 160x90 button

Above the Fold: The portion of the website you see without having to scroll down (defined as the first 500 pixels of your site).

Below the Fold: The lower portion of a webpage that you have to scroll down to access (the space below the first 500 pixels).

CPM: The cost per thousand ad impressions (cost per mille)

eCPM: Effective cost per mille. eCPM is a performance measurement for your site. eCPM is calculated by dividing total earnings by the total number of impressions in thousands. The measurement tells you your overall performance for a particular network.

Inventory: The number of page views that your site receives. For advertising, the page views, or impressions, are determined by the number of times that visitors see each of your ad spaces. Six Apart Media is selling your inventory to advertisers.

Minimum: Your minimum is the lowest amount you are willing to accept for an ad space.  Ads below your minimum will run our default ads unless you set up a redirect to your own default ads or another ad network. You should set your minimum as low as possible in order to access the greatest number of ads.

Pixel Width: Pixels are the unit of measurement used to state the size of ad spaces on a computer monitor. Six Apart Media only offers ad sizes in the following pixel dimensions: 160x600; 300x250; and 728x90

Ratecard: Your rate card value is the CPM rate that you wish to achieve for a particular ad space. Your rate card helps Six Apart Media set sales goals and project inventory. To start, you should set your Ratecard the same as your minimum.

Redirects: When you have cycled through all the campaigns provided by Six Apart Media and Adify, your account allows you to insert your own default ads, or redirect your inventory to another ad provider. This feature allows you to continue to monetize your inventory even after you have cycled through all your Six Apart Media and Adify campaigns. Within Adify, this is controlled through the Manage Unsold Inventory tab. Your default ads or ads from another provider will only show when you have completely cycled through the campaigns you have accepted from Six Apart Media and Adify, so pricing your redirects properly is critical to maximizing your profit.

Sell-through: The percentage of United States based impressions displayed on your site that are sold by Six Apart.

Sponsorships: A sponsorship is an advertising package purchased on one or more ad spaces on your site for a fixed period of time. A sponsorship is a guaranteed purchase, so it always has higher priority than a CPM or CPC campaign. Our ad server will always serve a sponsorship ad first.


Beginner's FAQs

Welcome to the Six Apart Media Ad Program! One small thing, you have no idea what to do next or how this all works? See below for our most frequently asked questions…

Q: I still can't figure out how to implement my Ad Tags. What am I suppose to do?

A: Check out our Quick Start Guide for easy, step by step instructions. Still not sure what you're doing? E-mail us at VIP@sixapart.com and we'll be happy to assist!

Q: How do "Ad Tags" work?

A: The ad tag or code created in Adify that you implement on your site communicates with the Adify Platform. When a reader goes to your site, the Ad Tag code notifies Adify and sends back an ad from Six Apart that will be viewable in the ad space created on your site. The ad that is seen by that reader is counted as an Ad Impression. See Best Practices for Ad Placement for our suggestions/recommendations on Ad Placement.

Q: What types of Campaigns can I expect from Six Apart Media?

A: We have a Direct Sales Team working with the world's largest brands like Cisco, Best Buy, Apple, AllState, Xbox, and Pepsi to bring you premium campaigns with great CPM's. We also partner with over 20+ Network Providers to help fill your remnant/unsold inventory.

Q: How do I choose the types of ads that are seen on my site?

A: You have complete control over the Campaigns/Advertisers that run on your site. Go to the Media Buy Review Tab when logged in to your Adify account where you'll have access to review campaign creative, CPM Payout, Start and End Dates etc. You'll be able to reject out any campaigns you do not want to run. See Campaign Review for screenshots.

Q: How do I earn money from participating in the Six Apart Media Ad Program?

A: Six Apart Media pays our publishers on a CPM basis. This means we pay you a fixed CPM per thousand impressions that are seen on your site. See Payment Information to learn more on when and how you can expect payment from us.

Q: You pay for every thousand impressions? I don't get much traffic. What's the point of participating in the Ad Program?

A: We're here to help you achieve your monetization goals and provide outstanding customer service as well as support. We go beyond just standard banner advertising and have a platform advantage to provide custom programs with premium advertisers. We're not only here to help you earn money but build traffic along the way.

Q: I'm seeing PSA's or blank ads through the Six Apart Media Ad Tags?

A: This may happen if you have your rate card minimums set higher than what the current Campaigns are paying out. Your Adify account will automatically reject out all campaigns paying lower than your rate card. We suggest setting your rate card minimum at $.01 or lower to allow you to run all campaigns from Six Apart. If you are still seeing PSA's, let us know and we'll be happy to take a look.

Q: I have more than one site. Can I add additional sites to the Six Apart Network?

A: Yes, see our instructions in Adding Additional Sites.

Q: I'm still confused and have more questions.

A: Take a look around the Publisher's Guide which provides useful information on getting started or Contact Us by emailing VIP@sixapart.com and we'll be happy to answer all of your questions!


Payment Information

Setting up Payment Information

1.    Print off this W-9 form (or W-8BEN for non-US publishers)

2.    Fill out information Completely. (For non-US Publishers, only complete Sections I and IV)

3.    Scan and email your form to VIP@sixapart.com, or fax to 415-344-0829

Tracking Your Earnings

You’ll be able to track your performance (sold impressions and revenue) immediately. Adify provides real-time updates on the performance of your ads.

Payment Schedule

Starting in June 2010, Six Apart Media will pay out publishers directly.

Payout is net 45, unless your earnings are under $100 then your payment will be processed when your account earns $100.

Factors that Influence Payment

Your payment is affected by your traffic, the volume and CPM of campaigns, and your accept/reject settings. First, make sure that your minimum CPM is set as low as possible (if you are redirecting to another network, base your minimum price on the eCPM of the secondary network). Second, go in and make sure that you haven’t rejected campaigns that are doing well. Also, if you haven’t already, we suggest you redirect to a second provider, such as Google Adsense.