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.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.
Most of my ads where I go are DAW related, even Facebook.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.
I appreciate the offer, but the forum is financially healthy, so no donations necessary.
Yes, other users told me about that. It's fantastic.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!
Mike I spent a long time thinking about this post - so finally :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.
You make some valid points. I should clarify a few things about my objectives, though.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.
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.I couldn't even begin to start calculating how much free advertising I should give to each person.
Mike,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. )
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.
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.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,