Jan 19, 2011

[Geeky Guide] Monetization in 2011

Geek Guide on FacebookI've decided to take a different track this year in terms of the advertising here on the Geeky Guide.

For the past few years, I've been a very passive Google AdSense publisher. It really started as an experiment in Google's ad platform and sort of my vote of support in their advertising program, which tends to ultimately support Google.

But of course a little blog like this one can generate only so much traffic in its formative years and without major traffic, AdSense doesn't pay off as quickly as I'd like to. But that's not too bad - it gave me a chance to focus on generating more quality content for you geeky readers and to better establish the identity and tone of the blog as a whole.

So now I'm trying to expand my efforts in two major areas - so yeah, this is a bit of a disclosure post apart from the "Advertising" link above. After all, I don't want to hide anything from you guys - I've been up front since the beginning and I plan on continuing to manage this site in this way.

Affiliate Marketing
The first big shift is a bigger focus on my Affiliate Marketing efforts. Affiliate programs seem more in line with what the Geeky Guide does since (1) I can continue to honestly support products that I like and (2) it's still up to the reader to buy or not. I doubt I'll pull a lot of revenue given how I don't see myself hard selling products just yet, but at least if I do my job and write passionately about the things I like, then maybe you will like it too. It could be win-win in the long run.

My current affiliate programs are through Amazon Associates and the Google Affiliate Network. I'm still trying to get approved for Think Geek's affiliate program, which I feel will be a great fit for the Geeky Guide profile, for obvious reasons. However I think I don't seem to stand a chance given I haven't heard back from them just yet.

Ad Networks
I'm still going to continue my Google AdSense efforts - they're too big to ignore at this point and I've already invested so much into the program. But at the same time I think I've found a good complimentary ad network in the form of adBrite, which focuses on selling ad space in a more traditional manner and not using a contextual system (hence not directly competing with AdSense).

I'm leveraging AdBrite's option to compete directly with other ad networks like AdSense. So if they can't offer me high enough CPM rates, it'll revert to AdSense ads instead. So it seems like a modest gamble at this point with a controllable amount of risk.

Direct Advertising
Ultimately this is all connected to my ultimate goal of directly managing my own advertising and offer ad space directly. I doubt I'll have any takers in the near future, but it's definitely a door that I want to keep open. And the opportunity to do this has become a lot more real with my recent discovery of Google Doubleclick for Publishers, which is an ad management platform. With this I can rotate affiliate offers in a single ad space or have third party ad networks compete directly with Google AdSense for space.

So once I get some direct advertising offers, then I can immediately slot in the ads using DFP and hit the ground running.

So yeah, it looks like it might be an interesting year. And I'll definitely keep you all posted in terms of my progress and what this ultimately means for the future of the Geeky Guide.

Art credit for the graphic above foes to Tobie Abad, my beloved partner. Thanks for making the graphic!
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