Automattic Launches Blaze Ad Network for Jetpack and WordPress.com Sites

Automattic is bringing Tumblr’s Blaze ad tool to WordPress sites with its launch today on WordPress.com and Jetpack. Blaze made its debut in April 2022, to the delight of Tumblr users who will gladly shell out cash to get people to look at their cat or promote a game they made. It’s an affordable way to attract new followers or just send out something funny into the universe, starting at $5/day.

WordPress.com users can now to go to wordpress.com/advertising, select a site, and promote content with Blaze. Jetpack users have access to the ad network inside the WordPress.com dashboard.

After selecting a post, users are taken to the design wizard where they can add an image, title, a snippet, and a destination URL. The URL can be the post or page or it can direct visitors to the main website.

When Blaze first launched on Tumblr there was no way to target the promoted content – it just displayed to random users. Now there are a few more options. When promoting content from WordPress.com or a Jetpack-enabled site, users can narrow the audience by device: mobile, desktop, or all devices, select from a few main geographic areas (continents) or serve it everywhere. There is also a dropdown with topics of interest, but they are fairly general, e.g. Arts & Entertainment, Automotive, Business, Education.

After selecting the audience, users can set the budget for the campaign, starting at $5 with a max daily budget of $50. With a minimum of $5/day for a week users can expect an estimated 5,900 – 8,000 impressions. For $25/day, users can expect 29,700 – 40,200, and up to 59,500 – 80,500 for $50/day. Site owners can monitor the success of their ads in the Campaigns tab.

Content sponsored by Blaze will be promoted across WordPress.com sites and Tumblr pages, an audience that accounts for an estimated 13.5 billion impressions per month.

Blazing has become somewhat of an art in the short time it has been available on Tumblr. It will be interesting to see how ads originating from WordPress.com and Jetpack go over with the Tumblr audience.

Creating advertising content that works across the disparate audiences between WordPress and Tumblr-powered pages may be a challenge for some site owners. Tumblr users can only target audiences by location for blazed posts. It’s possible that WordPress’ additional targeting options can help funnel the ads to sites where they will be most well-received, but the announcement says ads will be promoted across WordPress.com and Tumblr.

Blaze campaigns require approval to be in compliance with Automattic’s Advertising Policy before being published. They are currently moderated in approximately 30 minutes but this may change in the future as more users try out Blaze.

Automattic is treading new ground in creating its own ad network that any user across Tumblr and WordPress can tap into. It’s a strategic move to extend access to the world of WordPress, given that it’s such a large audience, and it will be interesting to see how the company improves the targeting options to meet the challenges of serving both audiences.

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5 responses to “Automattic Launches Blaze Ad Network for Jetpack and WordPress.com Sites”

  1. So this is to exclusively to promote posts on WordPress.com? Is the reach bigger than a social media platform like Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn?

  2. Not surprised to see this! Native ads are a low-hanging revenue opp for any platform with a trove of eyeballs and first-party data. I suspect they’ll expand to cover contextual placement by keyword soon enough.

  3. This is good news and a great step for WordPress. I told all my food/recipe blog customers about Blaze almost as soon as I saw your post about it, Sarah. I told them Blaze may or may not work for their sites but they ought to give it consideration as an economical way to advertise without the deamplification risks associated with social media ad networks. I hope Blaze works well for WordPress and my customers.

    Would be nice if Blaze paid publishers to advertise on their sites or offered ad service cost reductions to those who both show ads and purchase ad space.

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