When the site was in a “No Comments” period, I received a few interesting emails that warrant further discussion, about the blog (generally) and advertising (specifically). We will soon see if the upgrades to the database fixes those node glitches we’ve been having. But the other issues riased are worth discussing.
Some background first: Thanks to a notoriously short attention span, I always seem to have a dozen small projects running at any given time. Some of these slip quietly into oblivion, while others become new web projects, published books, or full time jobs.
I’ve always promised my wife that none of these ideas would become giant monetary sinkhole (I’ve been told that is the job of a boat). Foremost of these potential money pits has been the blog.
In the beginning, it cost nada — $11 a month on Typepad (up to $15/mo now). The increase in traffic eventually made it necessary to move to my own domain. That cost a few bucks ($250, then $500 a month on Rackspace). Then came the graphic designers, the software programming, and all other costs.
We were rapidly approaching sinkhole territory.
That’s when, after 5 years, I finally added advertising. The switch to Federated Media in May 2009 caused advertising income to bounce. Its on a long delay — about 5 months from ad service to payment — so the revenue kicks in Oct 1. It is a low 5 figure monthly number, with about 35-40% of the potential page views monetized.
The upside of advertising is that I can expand the blog work force significantly. I already have plans to add a few interns, editors, and graphics folks. We might do another (money losing) conference in the spring, and have an occasional contributor dinner. The management of the all of the admin details is a giant time suck, and if I can offload that onto someone else, I can spend that time researching and writing (rather than patrolling comment spam).
The idea is to keep improving what the site offers — and some of that means more help.
As always, your feedback is welcome . . .