Making millions from ads new article

The latest business 2.0 article contains a lot of info on  new media sites.

Techcrunch,   $60,000  in monthly ad revenue,   $50,000 profit  from party last weekend.
Boingboing   $1 million/year
paidcontent   $1 million/year   5 million  page views/month
fark       $600-800k/month   40 million pageviews/month

I really need to get myself an ad sales force.   At 20 million pageviews a day my site is several orders  of magnitude bigger then all these sites  but my CPM is far lower.

There is a lot of talk about john battelle’s  FM publishing.    I expect they will do well in the short run,  but it would be foolish to think that Google and yahoo are not working on something to extend brand advertising to large companies/sites in their ad network.   Offering  fortune 1000 advertisers traffic breakdown of the top sites in the publisher network along with demographic data taken from toolbars  they could really change the game.    I believe in 2 or 3 years we will have some kind of seamless ad market out there, and hopefully the provider will get less then 10% of the ad revenue.

34 Responses to “Making millions from ads new article”

  1. joeduck Says:

    Interesting as always, and I think you are right you should consider a more aggressive advertising scheme.

    Also FYI: I’m noticing your blog, like mine, has indexing screwed up at Google. I think it’s a wordpress thing?

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  3. RMX Direct » Says:

    [...] Markus of PlentyofFish.com writes on his blog about some coming changes he foresees in the ad network world: Offering fortune 1000 advertisers traffic breakdown of the top sites in the publisher network along with demographic data taken from toolbars  they could really change the game.    I believe in 2 or 3 years we will have some kind of seamless ad market out there, and hopefully the provider will get less then 10% of the ad revenue. [...]

  4. John Webster Says:

    Hey Markus,

    This is off topic and I think I’ve mentioned this before, but could you do a post on Adbrite, what you think of that company? We’ve created a guide for both advertisers and publishers and would like to hear what you think of the site and Adbrite themseleves: http://www.adbriteguide.com/. Let me know.

  5. » Business 2.0: Blogging for big bucks Says:

    [...] Related links from blogosphere: GigaOM, B2Day, Valleywag, Mathew Ingram, Blogging Stocks, Socialtwister 2.0, The Paradigm Shift, Joe Duck, blackrimglasses.com, Joseph Scott’s Blog Technorati Tags: Brian and Lisa Sugar Business 2.0 Drew Curtis Fark.com Federated Media John Battelle Michael Arrington Paidcontent.org Popsugar Rafat Ali TechCrunch [...]

  6. G Says:

    Its funny to see this web 2.0 guys boasting that they are making real money in the internet considering some of us oldtimers are making 7 digits working from a spare bedroom for years with zero payroll & minimum overhead.

  7. threz Says:

    I think the lesson to be learned here is.. party more!

    Markus, why not have an “exclusive” $100/head plentyoffish party every month?

    I’d go :-)

  8. AYCR Says:

    Hi Markus,

    “I really need to get myself an ad sales force”. You absolutely right.

    Recently I read almost everything you posted in WebmasterWorld and in this blog and trying to understand how you can in such a short period of time generate 500+ Millions pageview of traffic but only monetize it at the rate of $0.60 CPM? With my site having almost 30 times more CPM I think it still very small. In one of the posts in WebmasterWorld you mentioned that:

    “I found that you should just ignor monization issues. I focus most of my time on trying to increase my dailly visitor count. If i don’t increase my users/pageviews by 10% a month there is something wrong. If you focus all your time on trying to make money, your site tends to not grow.”(http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum89/13958-2-30.htm)

    You did an exceptional work to grow your traffic, but don’t you think ultimately site efficiency is your new growth parameter especially when you see you can grow your CPM rates 30-40 times? Do you believe you can grow your traffic another 30-40 times in the near future?

  9. M Says:

    Hi Markus:

    I love this blog, thanks for sharing so much of your success.

    I agree that you should look at different ways to monetize your traffic; that Google cheque you have posted sure shows you have the cash flow to do so. Hire a consultant to come up with a gameplan and a rate card for selling ad space, then get an HR consultant to help you find and hire a few people for that salesforce, and off you go.

    As to ACYR’s comment – ACYR, I’m sure your website has 30x the CPM that Markus does, ours has even more. But with Adsense, the more traffic the lower the CPM. This happens for a number of reasons: a) limited advertisers, b) limited advertiser budgets, c) limited customers in a given niche drives up the cost of reaching those people. So Markus will never have those kinds of CPMs, at least not for the vast majority of his traffic.

    On the other hand, if Markus sells out even 5% of his space (30 million of 600 million page views) at a $2 CPM = $60,000 more a month. And so on. More than enough money to support a sales force. Meanwhile he keeps running AdSense or Yahoo’s product (when they start offering it to Canadian publishers) to fill in the rest of the space.

    Markus: The other thing you can consider with a sales force is taking it beyond your site, and helping to monetize other big traffic sites out there. My guess is that the more varied ad space to sell en masse, the better…?This also gives you an alternate revenue stream if the dating field continues to be undercut by social networking as you suggest.

    The big thing here, though, is to keep it all self-contained, and to hire/create a self-sufficient team. My guess is the last thing you want to do is have to wake up every morning and head to an office.

    As for the idea of a seamless ad market attracting Fortune 1000 companies… very possible. But many of these companies are just plain slow adopters. Maybe its because I’ve been online since the mid-90’s, but I don’t put a lot of trust in them coming in en masse. I still think it needs selling to them, and will for a while.

    What’s more exciting to me isn’t the big 1000 companies but the idea that someday, maybe 10 years from now when all these MySpace kids are in business, is all the Mom and Pop shops that will want to bid locally online. The CPM’s will be much lower than they are now, but you’ll never run out of advertisers.

  10. threz Says:

    “don’t you think ultimately site efficiency is your new growth parameter especially when you see you can grow your CPM rates 30-40 times?”

    No, I think Markus is doing the right thing. Comparing plentyoffish to sites like techcrunch is useless IMHO. 99.99% of dating/myspace type visitors are “casual” users. You cannot increase the click thru rate with these types of users without lowering the quality of ads – and then your CPM gets even worse.

    Basically tech blog readers are worth an order of magnitude more than “casual” Internet readers to advertisers and theres nothing anyone can do about that apart from increasing the pageview count to compensate.

  11. observer Says:

    markus, keep these kind of posts coming where it shows how 1,2,3 individuals are rolling in bucks and disintermediating old biz models, you are an ideal role model for this…

  12. brahim Says:

    salut cava tout le mond

  13. AYCR Says:

    threz,

    “No, I think Markus is doing the right thing. Comparing plentyoffish to sites like techcrunch is useless IMHO. 99.99% of dating/myspace type visitors are “casual” users. You cannot increase the click thru rate with these types of users without lowering the quality of ads – and then your CPM gets even worse.”

    Markus has huge demographic and user behaviour information on his hands to run targeted ad campaigns based on user demographics, geographics, interests and so on. I am not talking about Adsense only. Adsense is somewhat limited type of ad provider (because of its contextual nature) for site like plentyoffish. For this type of sites with many casual users you need to find what else interest your users and create ad micro-channels for each demographic or other groups.

  14. AYCR Says:

    In reply to M,

    “ACYR, I’m sure your website has 30x the CPM that Markus does, ours has even more. But with Adsense, the more traffic the lower the CPM.”

    Yes I fully understand that, the revenue from Adsense is a very limited due to its contextual nature for a site like plentyoffish. What i imagine for Markus site is to generate other ad revenue channels by targeting its users based on multiple criteria he collected during users registration and usage patterns.

  15. Markus Says:

    Exactly, but to sell ads based on demopgraphics etc you have to nickle and dime your way there.

    Adwords has to allow advertisers to bid on user demographics and I want to be able to supply those demographics to google.

  16. John K Says:

    Markus,

    I’d be surprised if Google AdSense doesn’t have a way for you to provide demographic data to them. I’ve heard of other page-view oriented sites that claim to be doing that with Google.

    Maybe they’ll call you, or maybe you need to find the right person at Google to ask.

  17. John Says:

    Markus doesnt need the headaches and overhead to expand and hire sales reps who will only become whinny, need, and greedy…Markus makes enough money where he doesn’t have to worry about tomorrow…just invest 20% of your income in real estate..buy 10 income properties a year…and when you’ve had enough, sell your site for $100s of millions, turn your computer off, and live off your pasive income from real estate and baste in luxury with the millions from the sell out…life is good Markus..don’t need added stress!

  18. Matt Ridings Says:

    To those talking about focusing on ‘efficiency’.

    In high-growth and *funded* startup situations (whether self-funding or VC funded) efficiency can’t be your focus. At least it shouldn’t be.

    Yes, there is an incredible amount of waste taking place in these organizations. So what? Companies go through phases, but in general a company focused on growth can only focus on one thing at a time. Growth, or Efficiency. In these organizations efficiency is a bad word because it means that you have stopped growing and need to increase your bottom line some other way…..through efficiency. Efficiency is basically a science, you can always do it later. Growth on the other hand is more organic, and influenced by illogical factors (trends, perceptions, etc.) so you cannot afford to not take advantage of it when the potential for growth exists.

    It doesn’t mean they don’t care about efficiency, it’s just a question of where you put your energy.

  19. Making millions from ads new article « Roz Web Says:

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  20. BSG Says:

    Another great article, thank you!

    With the amount of hits you get, Google should send a damn adsense expert out to your house and help you optimize your CPM for free! They would benefit very much from an extra half a percent or anything really.

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  22. Zoltan Says:

    Regarding demographics, it would take a lot more resources (hardware and software) to provide targeted ads to your users.
    By the way, can you share how many servers do you use to host plentyoffish?

  23. datingdork Says:

    I wouldn’t doubt it if Fark actually made more than that. That place is beastly in terms of traffic. Adsense has definitely empowered individuals to become monetary powerhouses that rival corporate establishments on the web.

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    how does this work

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  26. Bryant Says:

    how you are doing.

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