fyi- Some APUG Advertising Changes..

Discussion in 'APUG System Announcements' started by Sean, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Hi All,

    I have spent the last month heavily researching website "monetization" through advertising. Not because I am trying orchestrate a money grab on APUG but because the community as a whole is missing out. There are sites half our size generating 3 times the ad revenue we generate. I have found that it should be possible to continue having low key targeted ads while significantly boosting revenue. It's my intention to pour this money right back into APUG. I am a firm believer in re-investing in your business. What I want for APUG via boosted ad revenue:

    -hiring a variety of writers to provide subscribers with 2-4 original professional articles per month
    -overall more original quality subscriber content in many areas
    -subscription fees cut in half
    -gallery viewing open to all
    -a lot of coding done to improve the site, coding is very expensive..
    -more marketing to let the photo world know we are here and strong

    The 1st phase of this has been implemented which are the text ads. They will be a mixture of google adsense + anyone who wants to advertise a text link specifically on apug (notice the 'advertise on this site' link under the ads). I will monitor the ad content and add as many unrelated ads as possible to the block list. Most will be somewhat relevant but others will not. Previous APUG text ads were quite a failure generating only $50 a month.

    The 2nd phase of this is getting our banner ads into the hands of a professional management firm. The load I have trying to manage these 38+ companies and huge waiting list is getting too much to handle, I need to focus on the community a lot more so want to cut back on some back end tasks. The banners will NOT be google ads but will be managed by a well known 3rd party company and we will have a "Private Label" account where only our advertisers sign up to serve the banners. I will not need to manage it and service/flexibility to advertisers will increase a great deal. I have notified the advertisers by email.

    Those are the basics and more details will follow. I am fully aware how important it is to support these companies and will still be working with them. These changes are to keep APUG evolving to the vision I have had for some time. I'll assume some will be unhappy with the changes but be patient, if this helps build our revenue we can really take things to the next level. Also, what is implemented will not necessarily be set in stone, it may take trying several different approaches to find the right solution.

    Thanks,
    Sean

    P.S. It may take the Google text ads several hours before the ads show relevant content. Also, we have no one signed up yet, so once we start getting sign ups those ads will be serving and reducing some of the less relevant ones..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2007
  2. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Sean,

    Personally, I'm fine with the current subscription levels. 25 USD a year seems like a bargain for all the worth I get out of the site, and the amount of time I spend searching for archived discussions etc.

    Thanks,

    Tom.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2007
  3. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Good luck with your plans moving forward. If the advertising is no more obtrusive yet makes more money, more power to you! I'm delighted with your plans for re-investment but frankly...I have no objection to you raising your standard of living. I think this site is great and that you deserve to benefit from all you do and provide.
     
  4. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Tom's right, Sean. Keep subscriptions flexible, where those who value APUG and can afford it, can subscribe for more than the basic amount.

    Keep dreaming big Sean, I'm loving this ride :smile:

    Murray
     
  5. Sanjay Sen

    Sanjay Sen Member

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    Sean,

    I like what you've said. Good luck with the plans!


    Best wishes,
     
  6. arigram

    arigram Member

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    APUG is the only site in which I have not blocked the ads, because the companies make products that interest me personally even if most of them are out of reach.
     
  7. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Another vote to keep the status quo on subscription levels.

    My own personal view would be also to continue the limitations on Member access. Altruism is all very well, but there should be some form of incentive to become a Subscriber.

    I'd also like to applaud the more proactive moderation that has been conducted in the last few months. It's very encouraging to see.
     
  8. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Same here, I actually bought from some of the advertisers, and that was very useful.
     
  9. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Many's the time I'd love to be able to share a URL for an image in the galleries. Being able to so would probably help grow this community. I think that only Subscribers should be able to post images and comments, however.
     
  10. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Agree. My subjective view is that the quality of discussion on APUG has increased in the last month or so. The "chest clearing" exercise of a few months ago might have been a good thing.

    Tom.
     
  11. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Good point.
     
  12. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    I actually prefer that the galleries be accessed only by subscribers. It allows me more freedom in putting up images that I might not otherwise share, knowing that they can't be Googled. With a few (not many) of my subjects, there are privacy issues. With some images, I consider them problem children, posted to get comments from others, and might not want them in general circulation.

    I appreciate that there is more than a bit of discontent from nonsubscribers over APUG's closed galleries. If the galleries are opened, I hope that it can be done in such a way as not to be searchable by outside search engines.

    Sanders
     
  13. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Perhaps a provision could be made so that you can label some or all of your images as restricted to the subscribers? In my case, I don't mind showing my work publicly, but there will be as many different opinions as there are APUG subscribers, so maybe just having the choice to control access on a per photo basis would solve the issues.
     
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  15. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Yeah, I'd hate to see a change that would cause people to share less in the galleries. Perhaps a check box to indicate that an image should be public or not public that would tell the database how to handle restricting the image.
     
  16. dr5chrome

    dr5chrome Member

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    Mr. Ross.

    This is basically a google text ad. GOOGLE-adds will not let one advertise specifically on APUG. One gets shoved into the masses, you can not 'just ' advertise on APUG.. GOOGLE also decides to charge 'what-ever' they want for key-words. once you are set, thinking you are paying so much for a click, it all of the sudden jumps, sometimes to $20 a click!

    GOOGLE ads will also let in 'digital' related ads! ...this is something you want on this site??

    We have tried this before and is not less than a rip-off. How companies get duped into paying loads of money for this service is beyond me. I cant compete in such a system. I would much rather see you go with YAHOO ads. This is a much fairer system and will not rape the advertiser as google-ads does.

    There must be a better solution. Small companies such as us can not compete in the google market.
    How about putting up the old ad-text as well as the others.

    dw

    www.dr5.com
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2007
  17. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Thanks for the comments everyone. I should know in a week or so if the google ads do any good. I can leave multiple options for subscriptions down the road as requested. If the gallery is ever opened for public viewing the option to make your own private is a great idea.

    As for DR5's comments, as far as I can see, via doing a test sign up, you can set it to advertise only on apug.org (by clicking the advertise on this site link it does just that) and it is via CPM which is paying per 1,000 views which starts at 30c per 1,000 ad views. For those previously paying $15 per month for a text ad you could set your adsense account with a budget of 50c per day for 30 days and see how it goes.. Some who never considered advertising may have a new book for example so sign-up to show a heap of views say $40 of ads for 2 weeks for a boost, etc.

    Ad relevance would be a major issue to me if these ads were banners in the header but I can accept the content since they are just footer text ads. If people sign-up for text ads then things should shift to being more relevant..
     
  18. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Just don't put any changing or animated ads. They are very distructing and cause me a headache and I will definately block them.
     
  19. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Ditto. Nothing like a good block of bouncing smiley faces to bring on a migraine..
     
  20. dr5chrome

    dr5chrome Member

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    ..we're trying. from our end, as before [in the past]. GOOGLEads is very confusing. so far, we have not been able to create an ad that functions especailly as an apug related ad. as before, the googleads customer service is non Existent.

    we would like to contribute, but this is not working as indicated and i do see that one ad has appeared. if anyone has constructive help, we would be happy to set it up, as sean reflects. i have spent all day on this, must get back to work..
    UPDATE: i did one last check and managed to find a page that allows to pick from a specific site. on our end, apug is not listed. sean, please tell us how this will pan out in the end. i might be mistaken, isnt ad placement up for the highest bidder as well? is this function off?

    dw

    www.dr5.com
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2007
  21. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Well, we've had another advertiser sign up with zero issues and their ads are serving. With your emailed login info I have gone in and re-setup your account. It is advised you go via the link in the google ad on this site only the one "Advertise on this site", that auto sets the ad up for apug. I have reconfigured your ad from scratch so let's see how it goes. It may take a few days for apug to get into the google system 100%. Thanks,

    Sean
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    sean -

    seems like there are ads we might not want to have here via google ..
    i just saw 5 ads for chatrooms. some were for teens, others were to find a "date" ... and i would rather not say what the others were for ...
    if the membership seems to get all in a huff about nudes posted in
    the gallery, they might get equally in a huff when they see porn or adult rated chatrooms advertised at the bottom of the page ...

    is there a way to block those ads from appearing here, or is it part of the deal?

    just wonderin'
    john
     
  23. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    You must be talking about the who's in the chatroom pages, i'll remove them from there..
     
  24. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    Most of the google ads so far on the index page, for me, have been for digital products. At last check there was a site for 16 and 35mm cine film, one for a guide on buying digital cameras, one for a black and white photoshop plugin, and one that professes to be for black and white film, but is selling books on photoshop plugins...
    Outsourced advertising to google does seem like it'd compromise the analogue-only stance of APUG though - there's just a lot more websites for photoshop filters out there than there are for darkroom techniques. One of the main reasons APUG's ads work is because they are so focused, and why I don't just ignore or block them. But whatever will keep the balance of relevance and profit while improving things I'm all for.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2007
  25. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I've seen quite a mix and will pull them if it doesn't get better but I plan to give it a few weeks. For one it takes a while for special bots to index the site for better ad relevance. Also, if no one clicks the digital ads it sends the message no digital ads work here and stops sending them. Also, if we can get a few people signing up for the ads their ads will show the most. I am also investigating ways to replace key words that might trigger a digital ad, for example the word "digital" can be replaced with an image of the word digital that looks the same but being an image does not trigger the ad agents. That's all in the works..
     
  26. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I have removed the google ads from the chatroom pages, gallery pages, 'My APUG', search pages, biz directory and homepage. The ad relevance on those pages was WAY off. The ad relevance overall still needs some work but should improve over the next week or two. Also, google is apparently close to releasing keyword blocking which would be ideal, then I could for example ban any ad containing the word "digital"..