It has been over six months since launching SidebarAds and there have been recent changes. The past six months have been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride when it comes to the success of SidebarAds. Now seems as good a time as any to provide a status report.
We were off to a great start getting a couple advertisers early on. Since then, though, it's been hit or miss. While we've managed to get new advertisers on board, it hasn't been consistent and I often failed to do any follow-up to ensure that advertisers would continue their campaigns. The recurring theme from before is certainly the lack of automation.
While the custom ad system that we have in place provided a new level of automation over what I had before (read, nothing), there was still plenty of areas where I had to manage that myself, such as approving ads, handling payouts, and so on. I'm actually in the midst of making a number of admin changes in order to make it easier to manage the campaigns and ensure that advertisers don't get forgotten.
On top of that, we've officially hired an ad manager: Matthew Oliphant. He'll be managing things in his spare time, helping advertisers with their campaigns and getting new advertisers on board.
Relinquishing control is something that I need to learn to do in a few aspects of my life and I'm really happy to have Matthew helping out.
SidebarAds has also expanded in other ways. When we originally launched, Roger Johansson and Paul Stamatiou were part of the gang. Shortly after launch, Nathan Smith's Sonspring and Rogie King's Komodomedia came on board.
We've had a lot of requests from people looking to join the network, putting SidebarAds on their site, and that was something that I honestly didn't foresee. We've had to take it slow and steady when it comes to adding more sites to the network to ensure that we had enough money to pay everybody (in other words, that we had enough advertisers).
While we're not looking to add any more sites as of right now, if you're interested in joining the network, definitely get in touch. We've got a list of sites that we'd eventually like to add.
Licensing the Engine
One of the other surprising parts of this whole enterprise has been the inquires from a few people interested in licensing the engine that we use to power the network. Other people want to create their own boutique ad network using the same system that we have. While we don't have the number of features that other ad tools have, we are now looking at what we need to do to get the adminstration tools in place to power such a system.
There have been some definite surprises over the past six months and once again, it'll be interesting to see where things stand six months from now.