All publishers want to generate more online revenue, right? You know you need to drive traffic and convert users while at the same time creating engaging content. But where do you start when you want to kick your web strategies (and revenues) into high gear?
We recently caught up with Stuart Hochwert of Prime Publishing. They are generating 100% of their revenue online. In just 5 years, this start-up has built 5.3 million subscribers and generates over 15 million page views of its content per week. We asked him about successful web revenue strategies and here’s what he had to say:
Niche Media HQ: What kinds of web revenue strategies have been successful for you and why?
“Like most web sites, we offer banner ads. Direct sold brings us the highest CPM. After that, Google AdSense is what I recommend for everyone as a major revenue source for unsold inventory. That said, every industry has some banner networks that may do well for a specific vertical or niche, may be even better than Google AdSense. There are also hundreds of general networks out there. Some are worthy of testing and do well for us. In addition, some of our sites have video and we sell pre-roll directly. This can be a very nice source of revenue.
We also offer a variety of registration methods on our web sites. People can give us their e-mail address to get our free e-mail newsletters, they can enter sweepstakes and giveaways and they can store their favorite recipes and craft projects under their user names. After every effort to sign-up, we have direct response offers shown to the consumer that gives advertisers the opportunity to place a highly targeted offer in front of a consumer who has just taken an action – signed up for our services.”
Niche Media HQ: Can you give us an example of an innovative sponsorship program that could be implemented easily? How do you measure the success?
“One of our craft sites, FaveCrafts.com, hosted a daily craft giveaway to tie in to National Craft Month. We sold 20 different craft companies a different day and each company also provided the giveaway. In addition, each sponsor provided FaveCrafts.com with a craft project which we tied into our blog, social media, website placement and our daily e-mail newsletters.
To further celebrate crafting after National Craft Month ended we compiled all the sponsor’s craft projects into a free downloadable eBook titled 18 Projects Every Crafter Wants. Filled with amazing tutorials that span the genre from yarn to clay, the eBook contained some great projects from some of the top crafting companies. Readers love free eBooks and this book generated over 168,000 page views (and associated downloads) in the first month. We then converted the eBook and placed it into the Apple and Amazon book stores for those that prefer to read the book on a tablet.
Measurement was easy – how many did we sell, how many entries did we receive, how many page views were generated and how many downloaded the free eBook. We shared all of this with every sponsor, typically on their day of sponsorship and an end of program recap.”
Niche Media HQ: What trends do you see coming soon in terms of new revenue generating strategies?
“Programmatic ad buying typically refers to the use of software to purchase digital advertising, as opposed to the traditional process that involves RFPs, human negotiations and manual insertion orders. It’s using machines to buy ads, basically. Programmatic ad buying has changed the face of online advertising. It allows smaller websites to be included with large advertising buys.
We could never afford to target most Fortune 500 companies since we operate niche cooking and crafting sites. While we have over 15 million page views per week, we are still ‘too small’ to get a ‘seat at the table’ with most ad agencies that represent these brands. However, the banner networks we work with represent us and have access to our site statistics and tens of thousands of other web sites. So, collectively we now ‘have a seat at the table’. Programmatic ad buying is generating excellent revenue for our firm.
Innovative sponsorships seem to appeal to more and more companies as well, for those that want more than just a banner. This could be custom eBooks, sweepstakes and giveaways, sponsored content, videos and so much more.”
Editor’s Note: Stuart will be leading the session “Anatomy of a Revenue-Centric Website” at the Niche Digital Conference in Minneapolis this fall. Here’s another informative post we did earlier this year with Stuart, Successful Online Revenue Strategy from a Pro
More about Stuart: Stuart Hochwert is President & Founder of Prime Publishing, his 4th media start-up. Their group of 27 cooking and crafting properties creates, aggregates and reviews original cooking and crafting content. The brands span digital websites, e-mail newsletters, social media, licensing, e-commerce, business information, and marketing services.
Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com Check it out!