Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 25
So I got to thinking, having read a post somewhere-or-another that the Fool charges about $35 CPM to advertisers...

...and I wondered, "What have I been worth?"

I have 31 boards as "favorites", and I've read about every post on them since I put them there. However that happened over time, so "how many posts have I read" is a great mystery if you're into the precision game.

But since I can't be, my reasonable stab at it is: 160,000 posts. One board has a grand total of 8 posts, another has 42,000, but I didn't start reading it until around #10,000, I guesstimate. And I similarly guesstimate all the others, and add some fudge.

Anyway, add 1,000 more for posts I've followed from the "Best Of" board, and perhaps another 1,000 for tracking things down on the Rule Breaker/Maker/Quaker/Shaker Strategy board, reading the front page, blah blah blah, oh and I've posted nearly 3,000 messages, so I get, OK, about the same, 160,000.

At $35 per thousand, I've chipped in $5,600 over the past two years. But wait! I also took a seminar: $50, and once, finding myself without something to read at an airport, bought a Fool book: $20.

So I'm a $5,670 customer. Assuming the $35 CPM is accurate, which I highly doubt. If it's closer to $10, as I have read for some other sites, then I'm a $1,670 customer.

Either way, I'm just doing my part. Of course the number of times I've actually "clicked" on a banner is much smaller. Much much smaller. Approaching, um, zero.

Except one time when I went to Amazon.com because of a book recommendation I read here. However I didn't do so by use of a link, I just typed in the URL, so I don't know if that counts.

I don't remember if I was on the internal AOL Fool boards back when it was pay-by-the-minute, but I'll leave that out because it couldn't have been that much anyway.

I just wanted to counter the criticism, as has occasionally been issued, that I am "worthless".

How about you?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 5
Goofy said:
I just wanted to counter the criticism, as has occasionally been issued, that I am "worthless".

Bogey has already visited this approach with us here and at NADA. He discounts it. We are not worth that much. The boards are worth very little, he's said it again and again.

Rick
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

I just wanted to counter the criticism, as has occasionally been issued, that I am "worthless".

[...]


Don't worry, Selena, I'm not going to link to it this time.

jps

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
<<I just wanted to counter the criticism, as has occasionally been issued, that I am "worthless".

How about you?>>

You forgot to increase your value by the content you created (at no charge) and reduce it do to the fact that you and I have actually had civil agreements and disagreements. They hold that stuff against you here.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Hi Goofyhoofy,

as far as I understand it, you´d need to actually click 160,000 times on ads to "be worth" that much. If you don´t click -> no money for the Fool.

Jörg
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Hi Joerg,

as far as I understand it, you´d need to actually click 160,000 times on ads to
"be worth" that much. If you don´t click -> no money for the Fool.


I really don't think that fool gets paid for the clicks. Usually the amount of
clicks per ad gives the media research an idea of users' interests or response
to their ads on the the boards. Of course, they will also get some feedback
regarding turnovers for their product that is advertised on this site. The
problem is, that these clicks can easily be manipulated. There are some sites
that will offer you money just for clicking on ads. My brother also told me, that
you can develop a software which does the clicking for you. So the question is:
can clicks give you reliable information about the interest or acceptance of
your offerings?

i.g. compare it to a special interest magazine. The magazine will be bought or
subscribed by persons interested on a specific matter, in this case finances.
Consumers who are not interested will not buy the magazine, therefore, you can
classify the media that your core group uses more easily. On the fool board there
are quite a few people who don't show any interest on financial issues and post
just for fun and this may lead to higher expenses per contact.

I understand that fool profits on users who order books bei amazon.com over
this site. I don't really know if this works for the German posters since they
usually will buy at amazon.de. I don't think that this could be a problem but I'll
just post the question on <improve the fool> anyway.

By the way, this is my idea of product placement:

http://ireview.mac.com/WebObjects/iReview.woa/wa/GoReview?u=3756290&wosid=Lv3000fU400VA700Kj&t=c&site=41&cat=800

TMF has a great apple board and the posters do not only own apple shares but use
Apple professionally as well. It's a very informative board and it usually eats up
my time in the evenings.

Rowan

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Hi Rowan, hi Goofyhoofy,

I just asked our German controller about it. You´re right, the Fool gets money for every page view. So the figure is about correct. I´m sorry.

The price indeed depends on the click rates and the audience.

Best,
Jörg
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
Jorg wrote,
...You´re right, the Fool gets money for every page view. So the figure is about correct...

While we're tallying what we're worth, add someone who had paid for four seminars (avg cost $50- must be pretty high profit margin, low overhead) and gotten a fifth free for opening a brokerage account, which I'm sure is a also a revenue generator.

I am sure the responders to this thread and others who post regularly on TMF and buy their products are not the revenue generating problem for TMF. It's the countless millions of community members that never issue their support financially. But the real qustion here is - should these community members have to buy something from a supposedly FREE financial information site?

I personally don't think so. I have bought products and services that I thought were worth it and have been pretty pleased with them. But I did not buy anything here until I felt like I knew that I could be assured of paying for something of good quality worth paying for. I am sure that a member "off the street" is not going to buy anything right off the bat, either.

Now, I might consider paying some sort of fee structure for the general community services here (community, financial info) However, I probably would not have in my first few months here.

Perhaps one revenue generation idea might be a preferred subscription model- entry level info is all free including some community services (not very different from today), and additional in-depth information and communities are fee-based. TMF already does this with their research reports. I am sure it could be done with some pay-for "TMF research" message boards on a trial basis to see if the community would support it. Use of these message boards might be included with paid subcription to the research reports themselves, or perhaps paid for separately by community members who do not wish to purchase the reports but want to discuss the issues in more depth than on the free boards.

Before you shun the idea of paying for some boards, recognize that in spite of the 25 million visitors here, the company is still in financial distress enough to lay off 1/3 of the workforce. It is entirely possible that if some additional revenue generators are not found soon, more "restructuring" or actual service closures may result. And I'm talking about more than the Soapbox closure. Remember, some people already pay for financial services elsewhere (e.g., IBD).

I am not saying active members are the problem AT ALL here, just that active members may be able to be part of the solution as stakeholders who would benefit most from the success of TMF.

Just one opinion in the masses.
-slaramee (Scott)
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 12
So I'm a $5,670 customer. Assuming the $35 CPM is accurate, which I highly doubt. If it's closer to $10, as I have read for some other sites, then I'm a $1,670 customer.

Either way, I'm just doing my part. Of course the number of times I've actually "clicked" on a banner is much smaller. Much much smaller. Approaching, um, zero.
-Goofyhoofy


Sorry to be late to the party and to bring back a worn out thread but as a buyer of banner ads and someone who is attacking this same problem from the other side of the equation than the Fool I am fascinated by this topic.


I was quite surprised to read the message from the Gardners regarding the layoffs blaming their problems on a cut backs in internet advertising budgets. I can only speak for us but my company (a major credit card company) our internet budget is much higher and our account goal from the internet is also much much higher than in 2000. But in our experience buying ads at a $35 cpm is not at all cost effective. I would have a hard time arguing with my boss that a $500 internet account is better than a $50 direct mail or telemarketing account. Goofy is not the only one who doesn't click on banners.

There are two types of marketers, direct and brand. Direct marketers have the advantage of being able to measure the results of their advertising spending. We can measure the effectiveness of each banner, each mail campaign, each telemarketing effort and each magazine and television ad. If the effort is not cost effective we stop it.

When I look at the advertisers on the Fool, I see a lot of direct marketers, you can only open a limited number of brokerage accounts. It makes me how effective the advertising is for them. I read somewhere, a while ago that one of our competitor's online bank, Wingspan, had a cost per account of $1,800. I don't think you can ever make that up.

My opinion is that the VC money from the other websites continues to dry up, and the direct marketers continue to refine their measurements for cost effectiveness the cost of banner ads will continue to go down. Banner ad prices got way out of whack because of the amount of money spent by Internet companies flush with VC money looking to build a brand. The message from the Gardener's makes me think that they are under the illusion that banner ad rates eventually may go back up to where they were at the peak of last year.

I don't want to tell anyone how to run their business, but if I were a Fool SE, I would buy copies of Worth, Smart Money, Fortune and Forbes. Their is no reason why every marketer who is investing ad dollars in ads in those magazines shouldn't also be buying ads from the Fool.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
ajhalligan said:
I don't want to tell anyone how to run their business, but if I were a Fool SE, I would buy copies of Worth, Smart Money, Fortune and Forbes. Their is no reason why every marketer who is investing ad dollars in ads in those magazines shouldn't also be buying ads from the Fool.

There you go, more expertise. I learn more here from the community than anywhere else. (I assume ad professionals know all this stuff, but I don't.)

Without overstepping, I would suggest picking one or two from your list, ajhalligan, the ones with the highest circulation. TMF aims lower, it seems, than Forbes. TMF is populist education in the best sense of the words.

Rick
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1

Sorry to be late to the party and to bring back a worn out thread but as a buyer of banner ads and someone who is attacking this same problem from the other side of the equation than the Fool I am fascinated by this topic.

I was quite surprised to read the message from the Gardners regarding the layoffs blaming their problems on a cut backs in internet advertising budgets. I can only speak for us but my company (a major credit card company) our internet budget is much higher and our account goal from the internet is also much much higher than in 2000.

...direct marketing and brand marketing...

I don't want to tell anyone how to run their business, but if I were a Fool SE, I would buy copies of Worth, Smart Money, Fortune and Forbes. Their is no reason why every marketer who is investing ad dollars in ads in those magazines shouldn't also be buying ads from the Fool.


You got it, sir--you are dead on. But maybe the Jardineros don't want our money for some reason, it's too green or something. Maybe--and this is may be more likely true--all ideas have to originate in their minds, or at least seem to, before anyone can even admit anything is broke, or can move forward on the proper direction.

jps
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

Without overstepping, I would suggest picking one or two from your list, ajhalligan, the ones with the highest circulation. TMF aims lower, it seems, than Forbes. TMF is populist education in the best sense of the words.

I would suggest someone picking up the cuffing fone more than one time a day. There's no reason why anyone with a tongue can't coldcall 20 places a day to rope three or two or even one. That's just the way it works. Just like dating.

jps



Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
That's just the way it works. Just like dating.

Dang. I guess that means I will have to move. I'll miss the rivers.

Rick
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
I don't want to tell anyone how to run their business, but if I were a Fool SE, I would buy copies of Worth, Smart Money, Fortune and Forbes. There is no reason why every marketer who is investing ad dollars in ads in those magazines shouldn't also be buying ads from the Fool.

Ajhalligan

TMF won't make it on ad revenue.

TMFTom9


My whole point in the thread on CPM was that it's a matter of cost per thousand of what? Jps, Trick, and others have pointed out that that it's the product (i.e., those choosing to write on the TMF boards) of TMF that counts to a greater equivalency than the products sold directly by TMF. Wonderpup even laid down a schedule of attacking the deficit.

Why not say to the advertisers in Worth, Smart Money, Fortune and Forbes that you'll scan in their whole page ad (using material they print in these magazines) that are also click-throughs? I know this sounds somewhat intrusive but what if every tenth post the visitor clicked on the full-page ad would pop up as a side bar and can be clicked on to enlarge and double clicked for a pass through to the advertiser's site?

Bet you a dollar to a donut if TMF did this they'd be copied Real Fast. This is why TMF has to be the firstest with the mostest in this. Like hitting the advertisers Monday morning next week and get stuff on the site by Thursday. No kidding.


TMFTom9 is decided wrong: not only will TMF make it on ad revenue; it's the only way they can create a positive cash flow beyond product sales.

One last point: There's a lot of high-priced talent writing on TMF boards who are as concerned for TMF's survival as TMF is itself. However, it should be pointed out this isn't free advice but advice given freely. I do truly hope that TMF is distinguishing the difference.

If TMF wants to talk directly with me on the above proposal I am available at my regular price of $435 an hour.

MichaelR
Print the post Back To Top