I joined FoodieBlogRoll last week, with my relatively new wild foods blog Grazing the Ditches. They claim it will produce some revenue, and is compatible with Google AdSense, as long as you use only text-based ads from Google. So I decided to try it. They claim over 12000 food blogs as members, and with a human-reviewed approval process, I have reasonable assurance that the junk is weeded out.
The sign-up process was pretty simple, and my blog was human approved promptly... within a couple of days. The approval process requires you to add their widget to your blog. The widget is 200x260, which is a little larger than most advertising groups, but not unreasonable.
Once you have done this, if you want to earn money you have to be approved for the Publisher Program. That took another few days. At that point I was able to learn what the requirements are to be a Publisher. Basically you HAVE to display one ad widget, and you can optionally add two others.
The required widget is large, 300x250 pixels, and it must be placed above the fold. I've chosen a template with a rather tall header (and I like the template a lot), so the only way I can make it work is to place it in the body (post) section above the regular entries. One it is installed, you MUST send them an email, and they manually check it again. Paying ads will not run until you do this.
The second one they want you to use is a 728x90 banner ad, that also must go above the fold. They want you to put it in your header. I'm not going to do that because it will mess up my graphic header, and make readers scroll a lot to get to the meat of the blog.
The third one is a tower, 160x600 pixels, that can go in the sidebar and does not have to be above the fold. It's not clear to me if you are allowed to use that one without the wide banner.
I've have the first widget installed for a day now. My first impression of the ads being served is not so great. I thought they would be food related, but so far I haven't seen a single food/cooking ad. Of course, I haven't continually refreshed the blog just to study the ads. However, I've seen three for online advertising, one for an online university, and one for a movie. None of these have been inappropriate material (I'm what a lot of people will call a prude), but they aren't what I would consider high-quality ads. I don't mean their graphic quality... I mean the quality of the product.
So, how is the ad performing? Here's the rub. I won't know for possibly 3 months. They do not post any figures until revenue and results are verified, and that is 45-60 days after the end of the month. I understand why. People have complained when estimates don't match with verifiable results. Some other revenue sites do the same thing. But, it means that I can't even gauge whether this is worth it for quite a while, and yet people will see those ads that I'm not quite happy with for all that time.