I've been a member of the TradePub partner program for several years now. I thought it's about time for me to share my thoughts on the program. Let me begin by telling you that TradePub offers free trade publication subscriptions to your readers. You get pay for each qualified subscription. How can you go wrong with that? Your readers get free magazines and you get paid for it!
Here's the catch. The magazines are very specialized (ie – engineering, pharmaceuticals, information technology, etc). Go to my free magazines site to see for yourself. The magazines doesn't have mass appeal and you have to have the right web audience to make this work. In addition, I should stress that you only get paid for qualified subscriptions. Each magazine publisher has their own qualification criteria. For instance, if you groom dogs for a living, you will not qualify for a free engineering journal. Based on my experience, about half of the people who apply for a free magazine are rejected.
I'm not sure if I am allow to say how much the payout is, so I will speak in generality. Each subscription pays better than what most people earn for an Adsense click. However, it's less than the commission for a typical Amazon book purchased from your site. Partners are paid monthly, but there's a two month lag. One month to audit (like I said before, about 50% are rejected) and another month before they send the check. I think you need to accumulate at least $50 before they issue you a check. I don't earn a lot from this program, but every little bit helps. Here are some more pro's and con's about the TradePub partner program.
- The ads are not contextual so there's no conflict with Adsense and YPN
- You get to give your readers something useful for free
- TradePub does not have any restrictions on ad placement
- TradePub ads are great for Adsense alternative ads (instead of PSA ads)
- There are a lot of banners to choose from (the ad above is one of their banners)
[Update: TradePub now offers real-time stats]
- Hosted off of your site
- No tracking channels
No real-time stats (you get weekly email updates and a monthly audit report)
- No referral program
- You're competing with TradePub once readers apply for a free magazine
- You have to code the links yourself (can be simple)
[Update: Today, I noticed FeedBruner is running TradePub ads in ProBlogger's feed.]