At Tech Ed last year I spent a lot of time talking with the SharePoint vendor booths trying to help provide feedback and understand the solutions so as an architect I would know who to recommend when. The biggest problem for a good SharePoint solution is awareness. No one knows all of the solutions or even of the top solutions, their is so many solutions it’s tough to know what’s good. One thing I really noticed was how open and willing they were to work with me for $$ and really wanted to share their solutions. With thousands of SharePoint vendors SharePointReviews.com made a HUGE leap in our ability to understand SharePoint independent software vendors and their SharePoint solutions and in an unbiased way.
One conversation I had with Inna Gordin, the master mind behind SharePointReviews and it’s huge success in the community turned into one where I said, how can we get the bloggers and the ISVs together? ISVs have money and bloggers have visitors. How amazing would it be if we could bring these communities together?
Reading the state of blogging on Technoriati (day 4 was blogging for profit, very eye opening) earlier in the year I had learned that more than 40% of bloggers were making money on their blogs. I learned it was completely accepted by the community and as long as the ads weren’t invasive people were happy to help support your sponsors. From the State of the Blogosphere… “Among bloggers who have advertising on their blogs, two in three have contextual ads (such as Google AdSense). One-third of bloggers have affiliate advertising on their blog. One in five negotiate directly with advertisers and one in ten sell advertising through a blog ad network.”
When I was independent last year, my wife was like… why are you blogging and why don’t you make money on your blog? I was like… I do it because I like it. I love helping people. She replied. Couldn’t you do a google ads or something? I figured I’d look into a Microsoft friendly solution. GOOSE EGGS. I came up with nothing…
“Blogs are an increasingly attractive platform for advertisers. The majority of bloggers we surveyed have advertising on their blogs. Marketers realize that bloggers are creating high quality content and attracting growing, loyal audiences.” State of the Blogospere
After Teched I had a few connections with partners like Nintex, Colligo, and Bamboo. So I approached them individually and they each were willing to pay referral fees, but ultimately the tracking was all on their side and despite all the traffic I was sending their way, I wasn’t able to send them an invoice. Ultimately I couldn’t keep track of all that. It was too much. Amazon and showing reviews for books and getting gift cards was the short term solution… but it wasn’t serving those friends I had made in the SharePoint community who could make better solutions by selling their solutions. It really is a WIN/WIN situation. The better the solution and getting the customers to find out about them is a winning proposition…
A paid per click solution for both the bloggers (publishers) AND the ISVs. Inna a very passionate and master mind in marketing made this idea a reality. Now In beta SharePointads.com is live. What an exciting proposition. That will definitely change the way we look at SharePoint and ads.
For the Blogger/Publisher
Not only is it better than Googleads which uses a keyword and then puts up random junk not of my choosing good or bad, SharePointAds is solutions and products that you can feel good about. You can sleep at night. If you want to not promote a category of products or only promote events… that type of functionality is what SharePointAds strives to provide. Now while sleeping you can be making money at the same time.
For the SharePoint Advertiser
A targetted audience that you couldn’t get anywhere else. You want to reach SharePoint people. They live on blogs. They are looking for information.
Don’t limit your thinking to software vendors… think about Events, Conferences, Magazines, Training, Webcasts, Whitepapers even other bloggers looking to promote their content.
Why would I be so excited about something so simple? Making money on blogs allow those who wouldn’t be willing to spend time, to spend more time, on quality content to get views and their rank up. As well it will bring the entire community up a level. I’d love to see Google ads get moved off SharePoint blogs. How cool would that be?
In full disclosure, I am part of the network and you’ll see this going up on my blog! You’ll see Google Ads going away on my blog(s).
Love to hear your feedback!