I recently went to a independent publishers only conference in San Francisco hosted by Sovrn (Lijit Networks). Sovrn is an ad network company that was purchased by the once mighty Federated Media. I remember trying to join Federated Media’s ad platform in 2010, but couldn’t get in because Financial Samurai didn’t have enough traffic at the time. I was looking for Google Adsense alternatives because Adsense wasn’t cutting it.
For the past several years, I’ve run a Sovrn skyscraper banner ad on the right side of Financial Samurai to help monetize some of the empty space. It’s below the fold, and I haven’t played around with the spot much since it first went on. It generates somewhere in the vicinity of $0.50 to $1 RPM, which is very low, but not to be unexpected for a banner ad below the fold. But I figured, making several hundred bucks a month to fill up white space is better than making nothing at all. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve been too lazy to test things out until now. We should always be testing!
One of the presentations at the Sovrn conference by Pagefair was about the rise of ad blocking. Supposedly, there are some 250 million people who’ve now installed ad blocking software to create a faster, better web browsing experience. The number is only going up with the new iOS mobile software allowing for more ad blocking functionality in Safari. In the world where everybody expects everything to be free online, this is another invention that might further push independent publishers out of business.
It’s very hard to survive off banner ads. Dooce.com, one of the original blogs that started 14 years ago has given up regularly publishing on her site. She doesn’t want to publish sponsored posts where she and her children pose in front of products because it just felt wrong to her. Instead, she’s turned towards consulting and speaking instead. Read More