Process Post #10
Today, our PUB 101 class included a guest lecture from fellow SFU Publishing instructor, Trevor Battye. During the lecture, he highlighted a few different ways that a website can be monetized, including content marketing and advertising. Content marketing refers to sponsored content (either created by the brand or by the staff writers), while advertising refers to purchased space (visual, audio, or text) to promote a brand.
In his talk, he noted that many people are often hesitant to implement advertising on their website, because of fears that it will drive readers away. However, Trevor argued that as long as you’re providing value to your audience in some way, people won’t leave.
This prompted me to look closer at some other similar sports blog websites that I’m aware of, to see if or how they were utilizing advertisements to monetize their websites.
The first website I looked at was HockeyBuzz, which has a very amateur feel to it. What I noticed immediately when clicking on the Canucks section was the abundance of advertisements bombarding my screen. On this screenshot alone, there are six different advertisements, most of which are tech-related. While this might be influenced by the fact that I’ve browsed Best Buy’s website in recent weeks, these ads really aren’t relevant to me at all, especially the Ford and DentaLife ones. The ratio of advertisements to content here is so overwhelming that I couldn’t be bothered to stay more than a few seconds on the website.
In terms of following Trevor’s advice and ensuring that you’re providing value to your audience, this website fails miserably. As a result, it kind of scares me away from the thought of advertising on my website, which is clean and free of clutter.
Moving on, the next example I looked at was The Canuck Way, which is part of FanSided. As you can see below, it’s much more aesthetically pleasing than the first example, and the content actually outnumbers the advertisements. While the advertisements might not be of particular value to me, the fact that they are less in-your-face makes them much more tolerable.
I also noticed an example of content marketing in the second screenshot, which is a sponsored piece by ultimatehealthreview.com. The article title, “drink this before bed, watch your body fat melt like crazy” doesn’t really fit into the website’s theme and the image certainly doesn’t fit among the others, but perhaps the fact that it does stand out so much will result in more clicks and more dollars earned for the blog. It also isn’t a huge reach for sports fans, who might be athletic themselves, to be interested in a post about melting fat.
While I don’t feel like my website is at the point of being worth monetizing, with such a limited audience, I don’t mind this website as an example to model mine after in the future.
The last website I looked at was Canucks Army, which is actually the most popular of the three blogs. For that reason, I was somewhat surprised at the amount of advertising that showed up immediately upon entering the website, but I did find them to be somewhat relevant and valuable to their targeted audience. Of course, the SportChek advertisement of Canucks = apparel has a direct connection to the website’s content and is likely to garner some clicks among fans who want to represent their favourite team. The Codigo tequila advertisement is also something that is suited to the website because if there’s one thing hockey fans love to do while watching, it’s drink alcohol. The Freedom Mobile iPhone 12 Pro ad is a little overwhelming and covers some important content on the website, but at least it’s just a quick ‘X’ away from being removed.
These three websites all take somewhat different approaches to monetize their websites and provide some food for thought when considering monetizing Great White Sport in the future. Right now, however, I’m comfortable with my website as is, as somewhere that I can write about my interests.