One of the main issues professional bloggers face is the dilemma how to monetize their sites. There are plenty of different ad networks available and they all promise the golden pot at the foot of the rainbow. As part of a promotional campaign, I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Noonan from RevResponse (1). I must honestly admit that the answers were not only satisfying but also stimulated me to look deeper at the offering of RevResponse. More even, I am embedding RevResponse on one of the main sites I manage.
Read the interview with Karen and give RevResponse a try if you are looking for a different way to earn money with your blog, this could be the dark horse you were looking for.
Hello Karen, thanks for your time. First of all, could you in short introduce RevResponse to our readers?
RevResponse.com is a performance based B2B specific affiliate network which gives related website publishers an exciting new way to generate revenue while providing their users with free content of real and tangible value. Simply put, web publishers and/or bloggers join RevResponse, we give them access to a library of hundreds of free business and technology related magazines, ebooks, downloads, webinars, etc. Then, RevResponse partners promote the offers in that library to their audience via blog post, newsletter inclusion, ad space, text link, etc. Lastly, we pay the partners when their users request the free resources.
What makes us different from typical ad networks that display links of questionable interest to readers, or affiliate networks that pay only when users part with their hard-earned money, RevResponse pays website publishers to present free content that’s of genuine value to site visitors.
One of the first things visitors to the RevResponse site notice is the $1.50-$2.50/lead. These numbers seem rather high, how is the conversion generally and also, it seems that some of these leads seem higher than leads from eg. Amazon. Where’s the catch?
Actually, the payouts range from $1.50 per lead to up to $20 per lead. To be honest, a $20 is difficult to generate simply due to their targets. I think it would be safe to say that the majority of our partners average a payout of $2-$10 per lead.
The catch, as you call it, is that not every form a user completes will convert into a paying lead. Our clients set qualifying criteria which must be met in order for a lead to generate earnings for our partners. Because we do not pay for every lead submitted, we pay higher for the leads that do convert.
When visiting the learn more page one thing that immediately caught my attention were the screenshots of contextual ads and widgets. Even one with the Google logo. Often when signing up for a new ad network the directory for especially contextual links seems rather limited and very repetitive. How is RR better here and also do you offer the user the option to also include eg. Google Adsense ads for when the inventory empty is or reverts to standard, low converting contextual ads, as offered by several other networks?
We offer our partners a variety of promotional methods. As you noticed, we have different versions of ads and widgets which dynamically display offers based on relevance, likelihood of conversion, geo location of the user, and more. The widgets “know” which offers perform best for each specific partner and display ads with that logic in mind.
You mention that many other networks have limited and repetitive ads and links. When creating our network we set out to avoid that pitfall. I firmly believe that the beauty of the RevResponse program is that they are very few limitations for promotions and creativity among our partners.
We encourage our partners to think outside of the ad box and promote the free B2B resources in any way they can. We’ve even rewarded them for doing so. Look at our ‘Most Creative Promotion Contest’ and December’s winner here.
What are the main advantages for a blogger to apply and opt for RR compared to other networks?
What sets us apart from other networks is that we are paying bloggers and web publishers to give something away for free. The business resources which we make available to our partners are valuable industry resources like subscriptions to Business Week Magazine, eBooks about social media, PDF guides for web design, and more. Our partners then get to give those items away to their audience for free. It’s a win-win. We pay our partners and they please their users by giving them free stuff that enriches their profession and career.
An interesting detail seems to be the ‘no popups or redirections’ feature offered by RR. Can you explain how this functions? Does it mean the blogger does not have to embed the much loathed java hover popups or do ads get completely loaded in a hover popup?
Correct. We’re not a looking to bombard users with intrusive ads that destroy the user experience. To the contrary, our entire model is based on keeping your audience on YOUR site. We call this a Co-Branded Content Resource Center. When a partner joins RevResponse and is approved into our network, they are provided with a partner URL. For example, if you were to join RevResponse, we’d provide you with the URL: http://blogherald.tradepub.com. Then you could customize this page to match your site UI seamlessly. In doing this, your audience members will access the free offers we make available without ever leaving your branding. The idea is to keep your audience happy and to keep a 3rd party completely out of the picture. Partners can also integrate our XML feed to dramatically expand the amount of content available on your site for organic search optimization. Better yet, we allow you to install your own ad tags on the Co-Branded Content Resource Center to further monetize those pages with your existing CPC/CPM network providers.
Here is an example of a partner’s Co-Branded Content Resource Center:
6. The Top 10 Ways to… mention both following options:
- Monetize Your Site Communications
- Leverage Your Social Networking Sites
What does the promoter have to imagine with this? Are these affiliate links to drop on Twitter or on facebook pages? Or do you offer complete widgets for these networks?
For these promotional methods as well as many other creative promotion options, the partners can get as inventive as possible or be as simplistic as using a text link. For monetizing site communications, partners often just add a link to their Co-Branded URL in their email signature or add simple messaging to their site registration page like: “Thank you for registering with us. We are happy to offer you the option to subscribe to a variety of FREE business publications. Browse the selection here.” This messaging simply links again to their Co-Branded URL.
For leveraging social networks, partners can integrate our RSS feeds (they too are publisher specific!) to auto-tweet. They can pick and choose specific offers to ping out to their Linked In contacts, etc. We do not have widgets specific for these networks.
7. Last but not least, based on feedback of your users, what would you say is the main reason to opt for RR?
The main reason a partner will join RevResponse is for access to our free business resources. We hear time and time again that the value of our network lies in monetizing offers that are both free and valuable to our partners’ users. For any web publisher with a B2B focus, joining RevResponse is a no-brainer. You make money by providing added value to your users. It’s a win-win.
(1) Yes, that means that this is a promotional, sponsored post.
Be sure to check out RevResponse and give it a try. I will update soon with my experiences and even a RevResponse walkthrough.
Author: Franky Branckaute
Franky is CEO, Editor and 21/7 Muppet on Duty at Splashpress Media. Occasionally he even sleeps. More sporadically even he also blogs about the professional online life at iFranky. He also is regular Guest Lecturer on all things blogging and ‘web 2.0’ish’. Follow him on Twitter.