While not as large an operation as Cake over the past six years me and a few frienda turned a podcast of friends just talking about AV into a self sufficient site that has brought on one employee full time after four years. That wasn’t our plan, we just wanted to cover expenses so we approached AV companies and asked them to “underwrite”. We then ended up with packages for tradeshows. The reason I say “underwriters” is when we started there was no plan for profit. But we are now a very very low profit company, think three figures. Also we control the adverts not an external advertising engine. Kind of like an analog periodical over the air radio.
As an example the Integrated Systems Europe show just finished. We had a title underwriter that funded our expenses for going to Europe. Their advert is on the event page and get special call outs in podcasts. It is subtle and not tracked. We also decided no advertising/underwritering on the front page that takes one somewhere else. So we have a poll brought to you be Brand X. No link just a name drop.
It isn’t much revenue but that wasn’t our intention; obviously a little different target. But it allows us to control our website and what is advertised.
Also I am using Toni’s rule of accounting at the moment, cash not numbers on paper. (I am the experienced person in the group so I control the fiances and website operations.)Yup, I am a little proud of what happened as a hobby so please pardon my storytelling to get to the point of:
If/when monetizing, do it internally. You control the brand image. Also get a sales person who is commission based, then try to make them the highest paid employee in the company. So a tag like Video could have adverts from Samsung and talking about their new digital cinema screen with Cinema Color Gamut.
But I digress from insomnia and know the group is smart and understand.
I can make you a great deal on some underwriting for our show AVSocial.… (humor not selling, cause I respect that I am a guest.)