For the past week I’ve been beta-testing a new product from Patrick Gavin and Andy Hagans of Text Link Ads called Feedvertising. Other beta testers include Jim Boykin, Phillip Lessen, Brian Clark and several others. This is a service that allows you to monetize your RSS feeds with ads. Text Link Ads will sell the ads for you, or in my case, I just put in ads for some things I’m doing with Marketing Sherpa. You can do it either way or both.
Not only is Feedvertising a potential money maker, but it’s also a clever way to cross promote other areas of your blog, company web site or other web sites that you publish.
Since Patrick was on a plane today, Andy Hagans was good enough to answer a few questions about Feedvertising. Basically Andy says Feedvertising is a way to give RSS feed publishers a lot more control over ads and the market is still very new, maybe too new to make a lot of predictions.
What prompted you to develop this tool?
We developed Feedvertising with the idea that bloggers should be able to monetize their RSS feeds while maintaining complete control; i.e., they can manually add their own ads or promotions, or sell space through the TLA system, or do a combination of both.
What kind of earning potential is there for advertisers and what’s the business model for Text Link Ads with this tool?
The business model for TLA is to help monetize those feeds where the blogger chooses to do so through the TLA system. We think the earning potential is great, as reaching the influencers who use RSS is a very important marketing objective for companies who are trying to gain mindshare among early adopters or bloggers. Right now we are testing the price points, so the exact numbers will probably change over time.
What do you think of the RSS advertising market? What are some innovative uses of RSS where advertising might be most productive? ie, advertising on a blog feed is one thing, advertising on a new product RSS feed is another.
Again, this market is pretty immature, but so are all marketing channels in the beginning. Our goal is to stay innovative as this channel evolves and expands. As long as we stay commited to delivering value to both bloggers and advertisers, the feature set should move naturally with that.
What kinds of blogs are best suited for this kind of advertising? What kind of traffic should a blog/RSS feed be getting in terms of hits or subscribers before it makes sense to advertise?
Without getting into numbers, it really comes down to advertiser demand. If your blog has a smaller number of RSS subscribers, but those subscribers are mostly business executives (or any other valuable audience segment), there is still going to be demand from the advertising side.
That said, we think Feedvertising is a great product for ANY blog, even a new one or one with small readership; at the very least, you can use Feedvertising to cross-promote your own feature pages, or other sites.