What's new

Yep, that’s a new ad on the right side

zircon_st

Lead Developer
I would be very surprised if you could make more money from Google Ads. Based on my experience with it you'd probably earn 10% or less. Don't bother IMO.
 
OP
Mike Greene

Mike Greene

Senior Member
Moderator
I would be very surprised if you could make more money from Google Ads. Based on my experience with it you'd probably earn 10% or less. Don't bother IMO.
It would be interesting to test and see, but you're probably right. Plus, I don't think Google ads would be good for the site.
 

Vonk

Member
"FWIW, animation won’t be allowed, so it shouldn’t be too obtrusive."

It isn't endearing and it is annoying. Gifs and animations are the spawn of the devil on a site devoted to text.
 
This is one of the very few websites where the ads don't bother me a bit, as they are almost all items of direct interest to me and from companies that I know are legitimate. That is, with the possible exception of that "botdog" one. :)
 

Fredeke

Senior Member
@Mike Greene : I use an adBlocker, because I can't stand ads.
But now that I realize your situation, maybe there's a way I could make a donation to VI-C ?
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
This is one of the very few websites where the ads don't bother me a bit, as they are almost all items of direct interest to me and from companies that I know are legitimate. That is, with the possible exception of that "botdog" one. :)
Most of my ads where I go are DAW related, even Facebook.
 
OP
Mike Greene

Mike Greene

Senior Member
Moderator
@Mike Greene : I use an adBlocker, because I can't stand ads.
But now that I realize your situation, maybe there's a way I could make a donation to VI-C ?
I appreciate the offer, but the forum is financially healthy, so no donations necessary.

With that said, most people disable their ad blockers for the site, because almost all the ads here are relevant. Seriously, if you're not seeing BotDog's frogs, you're missing out! :grin:
 
OP
Mike Greene

Mike Greene

Senior Member
Moderator
On a related note, guess how many people are paying for that sidebar ad right now? Did you guess zero? That's right, literally no one has bought that slot since Sonokinetic did their 12 Days of Christmas ads. (I gave free ones to BotDog and Spitfire because they're my friends and the slot would be empty otherwise. Oh, and Realitone, too, even though that guy's kind of a jerk. Good looking, though!)

It's crazy, because I honestly believe this is the best ad slot on the site. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I'm totally fine financially, and when we finally officially release Hip Hop Creator in a couple weeks, I'll be glad to be the only advertiser there, so it doesn't bother me at all. I just find it very interesting.

I find myself in a funny position here. As forum owner, I want to sell ads. The more money the forum can make, the better, right? But as Realitone owner, I'm competing with the other developers/potential advertisers.

So as forum owner, I want to explain to my competitors how marketing works. (With all due respect, I think many of these companies are totally clueless on that topic.) I want to show them what my ad budget is, and how, even with a small number of products, Realitone is doing pretty well. Advertising works. Especially here, because I can then show them my Realitone numbers as an example, and how VI-C ads are far cheaper than KVR or Gearslutz ads, and also cheaper than a few other sites where I advertise.

But as Realitone owner, I don't want to tell them any of those things, because these are my competitors. And I especially don't want to reveal what other places I advertise, because other than KVR or Gearslutz, those sites are ones I had to discover on my own!

The choice is easy, because Realitone is far more profitable than VI-Control, so if 8dio and East West and CineSamples and a dozen other companies don't want to advertise here, that's fine by me. Especially since posting and updating the ads can be a PIA.

I just find it baffling from a business standpoint.
 

Fredeke

Senior Member
With that said, most people disable their ad blockers for the site, because almost all the ads here are relevant. Seriously, if you're not seeing BotDog's frogs, you're missing out! :grin:
Yes, other users told me about that. It's fantastic.
On my other computer there's no adblock however, so yes I know the banners are more relevant than usually.
I'm really surprised you're not selling more. But then again, the market is more restricted if you don't accept generic viagra campaiigns ;). Thank you for that btw.
 
Last edited:

Lindon

VST/AU Developer
On a related note, guess how many people are paying for that sidebar ad right now? Did you guess zero? That's right, literally no one has bought that slot since Sonokinetic did their 12 Days of Christmas ads. (I gave free ones to BotDog and Spitfire because they're my friends and the slot would be empty otherwise. Oh, and Realitone, too, even though that guy's kind of a jerk. Good looking, though!)

It's crazy, because I honestly believe this is the best ad slot on the site. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I'm totally fine financially, and when we finally officially release Hip Hop Creator in a couple weeks, I'll be glad to be the only advertiser there, so it doesn't bother me at all. I just find it very interesting.

I find myself in a funny position here. As forum owner, I want to sell ads. The more money the forum can make, the better, right? But as Realitone owner, I'm competing with the other developers/potential advertisers.

So as forum owner, I want to explain to my competitors how marketing works. (With all due respect, I think many of these companies are totally clueless on that topic.) I want to show them what my ad budget is, and how, even with a small number of products, Realitone is doing pretty well. Advertising works. Especially here, because I can then show them my Realitone numbers as an example, and how VI-C ads are far cheaper than KVR or Gearslutz ads, and also cheaper than a few other sites where I advertise.

But as Realitone owner, I don't want to tell them any of those things, because these are my competitors. And I especially don't want to reveal what other places I advertise, because other than KVR or Gearslutz, those sites are ones I had to discover on my own!

The choice is easy, because Realitone is far more profitable than VI-Control, so if 8dio and East West and CineSamples and a dozen other companies don't want to advertise here, that's fine by me. Especially since posting and updating the ads can be a PIA.

I just find it baffling from a business standpoint.
Mike I spent a long time thinking about this post - so finally :

You want to convince developers (so that'd be people like... me) that ads here are worth the effort, but you dont want to say how valuable they are directly. Sure. Fine I get that. But you have some free advertising space and you give it to Spitfire? Who lets be honest pretty much "get" your advertising model, and who really really really dont need your help.

Why dont you just pick some of the developers who've been here for years and years and years helping out newbies, contributing to the overall value of this as a forum, in ways that frankly no one from spitfire has ever done, and offer them some "free" slot or two so they can see for themselves how great this advertising malarky is.

To be honest here its more than a little saddening that people like Mario, myself and Big Bob (god rest his) were here for a very very long time helping people out (and as I recall you were one of those people we helped out) yet when it came to handing out largese you went with your "friends" at Spitfire.

Your mileage may vary.
 

SBK

Active Member
its nice that the adds are about the music business, imagine if there were irrelevant adds :D
 
OP
Mike Greene

Mike Greene

Senior Member
Moderator
Mike I spent a long time thinking about this post - so finally :

You want to convince developers (so that'd be people like... me) that ads here are worth the effort, but you dont want to say how valuable they are directly. Sure. Fine I get that. But you have some free advertising space and you give it to Spitfire? Who lets be honest pretty much "get" your advertising model, and who really really really dont need your help.

Why dont you just pick some of the developers who've been here for years and years and years helping out newbies, contributing to the overall value of this as a forum, in ways that frankly no one from spitfire has ever done, and offer them some "free" slot or two so they can see for themselves how great this advertising malarky is.

To be honest here its more than a little saddening that people like Mario, myself and Big Bob (god rest his) were here for a very very long time helping people out (and as I recall you were one of those people we helped out) yet when it came to handing out largese you went with your "friends" at Spitfire.

Your mileage may vary.
You make some valid points. I should clarify a few things about my objectives, though.

I would love for VI-Control to make me lots of money. But ... it can never ever make as much money as I can make from composing or from Realitone. The forum is too small, so it just isn't possible. More importantly, trying to maximize the profitability of the forum would involve lots of time. Time that is better spent on my main businesses. (Composing and Realitone. And don't even get me started on how much more time my wife thinks we should spend on vacations and stuff. :grin:)

If I took the monetization of the forum more seriously, I would approach MOTU and Universal Audio and Steinberg and Slate and all sorts of companies that would probably be open to advertising here if I approached them. Our ads truly are cheaper than KVR or Gearslutz, plus this is a more free-spending community than other forums, so I think it would be an easy sell. But that would involve more work than I'm willing to do, plus having these additional advertisers means current advertisers' ads would get diluted. So I haven't done that. Tacky as this may sound, I don't need the money that badly, so I'm fine with things as they are.

I've shifted the ad structure here to a monthly subscription model, so that I don't have to deal with so many emails when ads expire. (Those emails are a real time drain.) It's still possible to buy an ad for just one month, but I charge significantly more for that in an attempt to dissuade people from short term ads.

I do want to make more money from the forum, but my bigger goal is to spend less time dealing with advertising issues, so I'm looking for that sweet spot of medium (not maximum) money with minimum time.

So I'm not going to put much effort into convincing anyone that ads are effective here. I do enjoy musing about what I see, as I did in my previous post, but if people don't want to advertise here, that's absolutely fine with me. The Tier 2 concept was an "easy" way of further incentivizing advertising, but that's as far as my efforts go. I definitely wouldn't want to do any test ads for people who wonder whether ads would be effective, because that would be a whole bunch of emails and effort on my part for a minimal amount of money. (Again, if I'm going to put effort into trying to make more money, composing and Realitone are far better places to put that effort.)

Regarding people who have helped me on (and off) the forum, that list would be huge. I couldn't even begin to start calculating how much free advertising I should give to each person. In your case, feel free to post in Tier 1, and if you like, I'd be happy to pay you for whatever time you spent helping me out, but as far as free ads go, that's not a precedent I'd want to set. Literally dozens of companies could claim I owe them, too, and it would turn into a political disaster.
 

chillbot

Sock Muppet
I couldn't even begin to start calculating how much free advertising I should give to each person.
Not sure it matters or makes a difference but just wanted to clarify that botdog samples did indeed pay for our banner ad. When I asked about how to get the sidebar ad as well Mike threw it in for free but I felt like that was more due to the charitable nature of the project and not because we were buddies.
 

Lindon

VST/AU Developer
You make some valid points. I should clarify a few things about my objectives, though.

I would love for VI-Control to make me lots of money. But ... it can never ever make as much money as I can make from composing or from Realitone. The forum is too small, so it just isn't possible. More importantly, trying to maximize the profitability of the forum would involve lots of time. Time that is better spent on my main businesses. (Composing and Realitone. And don't even get me started on how much more time my wife thinks we should spend on vacations and stuff. :grin:)

If I took the monetization of the forum more seriously, I would approach MOTU and Universal Audio and Steinberg and Slate and all sorts of companies that would probably be open to advertising here if I approached them. Our ads truly are cheaper than KVR or Gearslutz, plus this is a more free-spending community than other forums, so I think it would be an easy sell. But that would involve more work than I'm willing to do, plus having these additional advertisers means current advertisers' ads would get diluted. So I haven't done that. Tacky as this may sound, I don't need the money that badly, so I'm fine with things as they are.

I've shifted the ad structure here to a monthly subscription model, so that I don't have to deal with so many emails when ads expire. (Those emails are a real time drain.) It's still possible to buy an ad for just one month, but I charge significantly more for that in an attempt to dissuade people from short term ads.

I do want to make more money from the forum, but my bigger goal is to spend less time dealing with advertising issues, so I'm looking for that sweet spot of medium (not maximum) money with minimum time.

So I'm not going to put much effort into convincing anyone that ads are effective here. I do enjoy musing about what I see, as I did in my previous post, but if people don't want to advertise here, that's absolutely fine with me. The Tier 2 concept was an "easy" way of further incentivizing advertising, but that's as far as my efforts go. I definitely wouldn't want to do any test ads for people who wonder whether ads would be effective, because that would be a whole bunch of emails and effort on my part for a minimal amount of money. (Again, if I'm going to put effort into trying to make more money, composing and Realitone are far better places to put that effort.)

Regarding people who have helped me on (and off) the forum, that list would be huge. I couldn't even begin to start calculating how much free advertising I should give to each person. In your case, feel free to post in Tier 1, and if you like, I'd be happy to pay you for whatever time you spent helping me out, but as far as free ads go, that's not a precedent I'd want to set. Literally dozens of companies could claim I owe them, too, and it would turn into a political disaster.
Mike,

I understand where you are coming from, and I'm not suggesting a change in your business priorities - Realitone first everything else after that (well except the family stuff right?), and thank you for the offer re: Tier 1.

I get your Tier 1 / Tier 2 approach attempts to incentivise advertising for little effort on your part - but I think your original post points to this not really being very successful. Plus I think this Tier 1 / 2 model really really distorts and widens the gap between the "we can afford lots of advertising" companies and the "we can nearly afford no advertising" companies. You are choking off access to most of the forum audience for the very companies that need it most. It's hard to call it unfair but when its people in these smaller companies who are contributing most (via posts) in this forum, it seems to be at odds with the ethos of this place. So I'm going to ask you to seriously re-think this strategy, and in the end to abandon it as "doing more harm than good".

As to giving away largese to people who have helped you out, well I was using you as an example - but I really mean members of this forum (and you know who they are) who contribute on a regular basis to make this place what it is, and helping out everyone not just you.

So first - not people who have helped you out, but people who are significant contributors here - they should not be hard to identify - with even some arbitrary approach.

Second - free advertising - Sure its a door you are reluctant to open but as it happens you have already done it - but aimed it at your friends, which I think is a poor decision as I have pointed out. I think you should consider ways to (easily) incentivise companies here - but as you freely admit if the advertising dollar isnt really a priority then cant see why you wouldnt offer them occasional free advertising space. If you based this on a clearly understood set of guidelines for how these people earned their shot then I cant see how I or any other small independent developer could complain.

So for example I cant see how anyone would or could complain if you gave Mario some free advertising slots here. He's clearly the biggest KSP contributor here.

So if you dont need the money I suggest you incentivise the discussion not the large commercial developers.

And thanks again for the Tier 1 access. I *will* be using it.

Lindon
 
OP
Mike Greene

Mike Greene

Senior Member
Moderator
When I bought the forum, I had to put in a ton of time to get it running smoothly. There was the obvious damage control, as well as various festering dramas that arose, but there was also a lot of time I had to spend on the behind the scenes operational technicalities. The forum was marginally profitable, but that margin wasn't much, and I believe that's what pushed Frederick over the edge. There's a lot of time spent keeping the forum running, and the compensation was minimal.

One surprising time drain was dealing with advertisers. They're all nice, mind you, but those emails really add up, and given the relatively low income they netted, it got the point to the point where I was really close to just eliminating the ads entirely and paying the yearly forum costs out of pocket. I know that sounds crazy, but my time has monetary value (an hour on the forum is an hour not spent on Realitone), so financially, taking a minor financial loss on the forum would have been the smarter business move than keeping things going as they were.

So I revamped the ads structure. The forum is much more profitable now and I no longer dread seeing new emails in the forum InBox. It can never be highly profitable, mind you, but it's now financially healthy.

Now, we all know that the best "ad" on the forum isn't a banner ad, it's the Commercial Announcements section. If a developer posts a thread there that keeps getting bumped, that's a great "ad." Which is how the forum should be.

Here's the thing, though. I put a lot of work into this forum, not to mention a lot of up-front money. So I found it really annoying to see 8dio, CineSamples, East West, AudioBro, Kirk Hunter, and several other major companies getting tons of benefit from the forum, but growing alligator arms when it comes time to pay the check. So I created Tier 2. I'll be the first to admit that it has its flaws, but it's here to stay, if for no other reason than it makes me less resentful of the time I put into this.

As far as whether our ads are affordable, this goes back to my previous post (#32) where I mused about some business theories. A company can get their posts into Tier 1 for as little as 39 bucks a month. I contend that if a company, even a small company, doesn't feel a Tier 1 announcement is worth $39, then that choice is on them. Seems to me that if someone wants their company to make more than just beer money, then it's their decision for whether they want to treat it as a business, where advertising is taken seriously. But again, all these companies are my competitors, so I'll end the business advice there.

The bottom line is that Tier 1/2 isn't going away. Several companies did make the switch after I instituted it, so it worked.

On the "free ads for friends" issue, I'm not sure what my original quote on that might have been, but the two free ads I can think of were both as Chillbot described above. Spitfire and Chillbot had new announcements and when they sent me their artwork (for their paid ads), I told them to go ahead and send me a 120x600 image as well, since the slot was basically empty.

In any event, I am definitely not going to start a "free ads" program, whether someone is valuable to the forum or not. First, I'm trying to make less work for myself, not more, but more importantly, that would be a nightmare of emails and hurt feelings as I'm tasked with deciding who is worthy and who is not. I ain't goin' there. ;)
 

erica-grace

Senior Member
If I took the monetization of the forum more seriously, I would approach MOTU and Universal Audio and Steinberg and Slate and all sorts of companies that would probably be open to advertising here if I approached them. Our ads truly are cheaper than KVR or Gearslutz, plus this is a more free-spending community than other forums, so I think it would be an easy sell. But that would involve more work than I'm willing to do,
Why not hire someone to do the legwork, and give them a percentage? Maybe one of the forum members here who has some time, (not me) who knows how to sell ads, (not me) who is nice enough, (not me) can get some of those companies on board for you, and in the process they can earn a few dollars.

As far as the ads being diluted - I get that part, but maybe you can charge a bit more to have some ads in "heavy rotation"
 
Top Bottom