In a nutshell it offers publishers a chance to put businesses in front of a tightly focussed readership so that the two can meet and hopefully generate a long running connection between the two parties.
Here is my explanation to businesses of how to advertise on This French Life, so I won't go into great detail on that side of things, but I thought I'd write a piece on how I am making it work from a publisher's perspective.
I have come to realise that the advertising service can be seen as a way to support and connect people, which ultimately benefits my own site, because if everyone ups-sticks and heads out of France my site is snookered.
So I have looked at ways to ensure that advertisers get plenty of 'bang for their buck' and offered a price of 50p per 1,000 page views, this lets people pay £10 and their advert will be displayed 20,000 times, which is not a bad deal.
Something that I do stress, and which is pretty unique when compared to other competitor sites, is that a business owner's advert will appear on every page of the site (approximately 3,200) - very often people will only have the chance to appear in different sections.
And it is with this in mind that I have placed the advertising strip at the top of the right hand column of my site because I know it is a 'hot spot' and so readers will be able to see the services on offer.
When I first started using Addiply I of course did not have a vast number of people signed up so the first strip of adverts displayed just three available blocks, and I even opened an advertiser account myself and placed my own advert in there so it appeared populated.
There is a bit of psychology at play here, because like a forum without any posts, no one seems willing to go first but with an advert from myself I began to see people take up the option to try it out.
Another thing I do is every Friday write a very simple thanks to site advertisers post so that people who read the site via RSS are notified of those businesses helping the site, and I also include a link to the page that highlights how to advertise on the site.
One little techie point about this thank you post is that I place a no follow tag around the links to the websites of those companies currently advertising.
The only reason I do this is because search engines penalise so-called paid for links, and whilst I can vouch for all the websites that advertise on This French Life and would prefer to offer up a regular link, I don't want to run the risk of being penalised in search engine results.
I do think it is worth writing a simple guide to the advertising option as it not only allows browsers of the site to read it, I offer a link to it at the top and bottom of each page, it also lets you quickly send a link across to people who contact you directly.
You will also see that on this page I highlight those advertisers who have used the service which act as testimonials.
And I wouldn't be afraid to drop a line to people you write about in articles, especially events that are set to take place soon, as often organisers will have a little money set aside for advertising and I would say, impartially of course, that a locally focussed website is the best option.
It is still early days in the life of small, online publishers running financially viable operations, but if you begin to see things from the perspective of enabling connections to take place between businesses and readers I really believe the balance is tipping our way.