With the first of the month I received my first payment from Chitika eMiniMalls and went through their audit for the first time. Here’s the experience from my perspective:
The audit disallowed approximately 33% of the clicks which added up to about a 25% reduction in revenue from the unaudited reports I’d been receiving. That’s a pretty fair amount for them to be taking away without any knowledge of how they go about doing so. I’m sure I would have been a lot more upset about it if I considered it a vital income for the sites, but both Nate and I approached it as “an extra” from the beginning.
The ads aren’t really geared for a site like our main one which isn’t product based. We placed them up in an area where we had blank space in the forums and felt putting up another set of google ads there would have just been too much. They are also only visible to visitors to the site – if a member signs in, they disappear. We therefore are happy with anything that we get from them. That being said, when you have one report that you’re going by the entire month and then it gets hacked by 25% the day before the payment comes, it’s a bit disappointing even when it’s “extra” money.
It would be interesting to try them on one of the satellite sites if we create one that is more product oriented. That might be something we try in the future. Had they produced a better return, I might have spent some time putting together a plan to best utilize them on the site, but they’ll just remain as they are as making a plan wouldn’t be worth the effort. As it is, they produce less for the entire month for what we get from google on a good day. For now, they are nothing more than space fillers that bring in a bit of extra money.
The one thing I was impressed about is that the payment came by paypal right on time and without any fees taken out – a nice surprise.
Are they worth signing up for? They are for us – why throw away extra money that you can earn without it affecting your membership? If you have a smaller site or journal without a lot of traffic that isn’t product oriented, I think it would be difficult to earn much with them. It should be interesting to see how the income compares next month to this past month.