I co-founded an online newspaper/entertainment blog in NYC with a writer and we can't find a way to monetize it.

My partner has been a writer for big name websites in the past. My experience has been in developing, implementing and selling technology solutions. In the 1.5 years since the launch we have between 25-50K unique visitors a month to the website. The website has covered big name events like the VMA's, the Tony's, and Comicon. We have nearly 1,000 articles on the website with over 100 contributing authors. The brand is getting pretty well known, with people talking about us and an interview that was done but not published for Page 6. Our business model was to use Google Adwords to put up ads on the website to generate revenue. We would then pay our writers based on the traffic they generated, and keep a percentage of the revenue for ourselves. In one year we have only done $100 USD in Google Adwords revenue. Not even enough to pay the hosting bills for the site much less the writers. We are now searching for help or a new partner that has experience in this industry, so we can turn this into a business. If anyone is interested in leading the organization they must be NYC based. If you have built a business on advertising revenue in the B2C space and have advice I'd love to learn from you.


Let me tell you what you need to do. Let me give you the magic pill if you will.
Take Action. Make a landing page, then...don't stop no matter what. Start posting to LinkedIn, Facebook, everywhere, send emails to your friends, your connections, everybody and get them to go to the landing page and sign up for your newspaper.
Once you can prove readership you can focus on finding out what type of articles your readers like. From this data you can decide what type of ads will sell best on your site. Until you can sell ads, fill in the spaces where the ads would otherwise go with your own ads. Make some ads for your newspaper. Come up with a product to sell. Give ads away for a limited time. Don't stop taking massive action.
Best of Luck,
Michael T. Irvin
My books are available exclusively through Amazon Books. Check out my book "Copywriting Blackbook of Secrets"
Copywriting, Startups, Internet Entrepreneur, Online Marketing, Making Money

Best Of Luck,
Copywriting, Startups, Internet Entrepreneur, Online Marketing, Making Money

Answered 10 years ago


Sounds like you've been working really hard on this project. Well it seems you've built the right foundations to make good revenue from this online blog.

What made you choose Adwords as your way of generating income?

There are many different ways in generating incoming and I would personally advise dealing direct with brands which are most suited to your audience. Don't simply sell them advertising space, generate an entire campaign based around their brand, including articles and competitions, (something they can get involved in and also help promote too.)

I would be more than happy to offer more advice (or to be involved.) I'm based in England so could help grow your business around the world.

Answered 10 years ago

The realities of media and publishing are such that it requires massive audience to effectively monetize any content.

It's awesome you guys have built up 25-50K in visitors monthly , but realistically the cost of actually building a 10-15MM unique user audience (profitable) monthly is WAY out of the range of possible for most people/start-ups.

Your sweet-spot and skill so far has been to CREATE CONTENT, and arguably content that a group of people (25k-50k) want to consume.

You will need to look elsewhere for audience - you need to syndicate your content and get paid by larger trafficked properties who are looking for solid programming around specific topics your covering.

This is a very real and tangible way to create predictable revenues month-2-month from your publication.

Happy to give you examples.


Answered 10 years ago

Hi! It seems you have not enough traffic to use media banners like main revenue source. I recommend to use native advertising formats in explainatory journalism genre, when you describe the advantages of different commercial products. You need to follow several points to make it happened and not ruin your media:
1) Make the unit economy model where you should reflect costs of production and price for one article or special project
2) Always mark paid articles that it was created specially for your partners and make it helpful for your users
3) Build a landing page where you describe the format advantages and hire someone who can sale it

Good Luck!

Answered 8 years ago

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