Since the first week in April, I’ve been evaluating an alternate form of revenue stream for the site. It’s no big secret — chances are you’ve heard the lovely Leann (her podcast Tag in the Seam rocks) extolling the virtues of iFrogz and just how cool you will be if you go buy one. But maybe I should back up a bit and talk about this holistically. In fact, I’ll be extra kind and continue this (probably long) exercise in open-kimono-ness behind the more link below. If you are interested in non-evil intended advertising and finding revenue streams, read on. If not, I certainly don’t blame you.
There are lots of ways to succeed by giving things away for free. All of our authors are providing their works to you for free for different reasons, many of which are paying off in spades. And while that’s great for the authors, it’s also kinda fun for me and the staff at Podiobooks.com as well. We often get the question “how do you get paid” when we describe what it is that we are doing here at Podiobooks.com. True, there is no clear-cut revenue stream for us. And that’s OK, because we’re having a lot of fun doing what we’re doing. For me, it give me the ability to play around a bit with preconceived notions of what you can and cannot do in a market place. In other words, I get to break the rules.
I’ve worked in advertising and marketing for coming up on eight years now. Interestingly enough, I despise most forms of advertising — especially online advertising. I think it’s clutter, interruptive and generally a major turn off to most people who encounter it. So I work in the field, but I’m always trying to find ways of being “non-evil” and looking at unconventional opportunities to get a message across — without the tenacity of the HEAD-ON people. If you don’t get the reference, consider yourself lucky.
I know that we’ve cultivated a lot of goodwill with Podiobooks.com listeners over the last two years and that that goodwill is partly what let us survive the massive outage we recently experienced. I’ve burned a few more karma points that time with our “iFrogz” promotional message as well. But I’ve heard absolutely zero complaints (honest) from anyone during that “campaign”, so thanks for the gracious acceptance as we try things out.
Curious how it went? Well, it looks like between 15 – 25 people each day, on average, actually visit the URL we provide in the intro file of our chapters. And more often than not, each day one or two folks actually make a purchase from iFrogz. That’s actually a very good conversion rate, and I’m pleased with the results. But no, we’re not getting rich. We’re lucky to see a couple of bucks as commission from an average sale over there. But still, it’s encouraging.
I think I can do better. I did a lot of things “wrong” with that iFrogz spot. It’s too long and it tries to both brand iFrogz and get you to follow a URL at the same time. That’s just not going to work (IMHO) in audio. Plus, I didn’t spend enough time associating why the product would be beneficial to you. And truth be told, maybe such a relationship doesn’t exist. I own one of their products, but so what? If being in advertising and marketing has taught me anything, it’s that I am most certainly not the average audience. At any rate, I think I can do better.
So in a few days, expect a new campaign with a different (though not necessarily new) advertiser. This clip will be shorter and takes a very different approach to “branding”. It’s highly possible this one will be a miserable failure. Or it might work brilliantly. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Oh, and before you ask the question — these are not exclusive sponsorship deals I slaved over with dozens of phone calls. I just signed up for an affiliate account on Commission Junction and picked out a few sponsors I had personal experience with that might work with our audience. Much easier than actually calling companies and begging for dollars!
Thanks for listening.