Interview with Todd Garland of BuySellAds
I’ve recently switched from selling my ads directly to having BuySellAds take care of it, and it’s been an absolutely awesome experience. As a result of that experience, I do not agree with Chris Brogan yet that advertising is completely broken, but it does need a good level of reinvention.
So, to introduce you to the company and to Todd Garland, who runs the company, has been kind enough to answer a series of questions for me. If you’ve got advertising on your blog and it’s either taking up too much time or you’re not selling enough, you might want to give them a try! But don’t do that before you read on and see how incredibly passionate and smart Todd is about all of this.
Hi Todd, could you introduce yourself and buysellads.com to the readers of yoast.com?
Sure thing, my name is Todd Garland, I live in Boston, MA with my lovely wife and smelly dog and I run BuySellAds.com. BuySellAds.com is a self-funded startup (so far) advertising network targeting the design and development community. We’ve been around now for almost a year and we are doing very well. Selling a ton of ads, helping publishers make money, and helping advertisers create killer campaigns to target the web design and development niche. I’m young, 27, and have been building websites for what seems like forever now (10 years) and was most recently employed at another hot startup, HubSpot where I was their designer/front-end engineer/SEO guru (one of many SEO guru’s in the company I might add).
Why did you start BuySellAds.com?
I started BuySellAds.com because I was frustrated. I was operating two
hobby websites (csselite.com and 13styles.com) and selling ads directly to advertisers. I also bought ads to help promote and grow those sites too -so I was solving a frustration that I experience both as an advertiser and a publisher. None of the well known ad networks could solve my problem… they are a pain to deal with, they don’t give publishers enough control, and they take too high of a commission.
You’ve won me over as a publisher for BuySellAds by providing me with excellent service, and allowing me to do the transition with old advertisers on my own pace. Is that something you try to do for everyone?
Well, yes, everyone gets great service – regardless of how big/small the
publishers/advertiser is. Great service is something none of the other ad networks had (in my experience). It is important to me and I want people to feel like they’re getting that great service every time they have a question or need a hand. In terms of helping with transitions, of course… we have transitioned many blogs over to our system who are already selling ads direct and I can proudly say that it’s happened seamlessly every time.
What is, in your opinion, your added value to advertisers?
- Our system is very simple. Fixed 30-day rates on a subscription basis. No other ad network does this, and I can’t figure out why – it just makes sense.
- They can trust us. We always do what is right and we’re very reliable. When you buy direct from publishers who are not in a network you never know what you will get.
- You can manage all of your ads in one central location. Many of our
advertisers previously had to manage these ad buys individually, site by
site, publisher by publisher. This was very time consuming. It’s now very efficient. You don’t have to contact anyone, you don’t have to go back and forth on pricing, size, payment, etc. – it’s all here in one place and when you are ready to pull the trigger it’s done, the
ads go live, that’s it.
- You no longer need to “discover” new placements. New sites that are
worth advertising on are always coming into the marketplace and we’re always recruiting new publishers. We keep our eyes out for advertisers and make good recommendations to them all the time.
- We know our inventory. Too often advertisers are stuck dealing with
people who have no clue where they should be advertising. We know our
inventory very well and make honest recommendations vs. just trying to spend their money.
And to publishers?
- Automated. They don’t need to waste their time dealing with advertisers, remembering when to put up and take down ads, figure out how to get paid, etc. You install the ad code and you’re up and running – it takes only a few minutes to get setup.
- We don’t get in the way. Our ad code is unobtrusive, flexible, and we don’t plaster our brand all over your site like the other networks. We just blend in nicely – I bet visitors to your site didn’t even notice a change when you switched over to BuySellAds.com.
- We help you find advertisers. Like I said above, we know our inventory, and when an advertiser comes to us or when we seek out great advertisers we know exactly where their ads should be in our network. We are always sending out proposals, making recommendations, etc. Publishers in this niche NOT in our inventory are missing out these days. You, Joost, went from 4-8 advertisers in how many weeks? A couple I believe… ;) 3 weeks indeed, quite an achievement
- You can trust us. We do what is right and we’re always willing to help and give advice on pricing, placement, etc.
- Highest payouts of any ad network on the planet. We pay out at 75%,
which is unheard of and includes credit card processing fees (usually up to 5%), publisher payment fees, ad serving fees, support for the publisher and their advertisers, etc.
How is the online ad market doing at the moment, is it suffering from the recession?
Well, I think we’re different. All of the ad networks you see that are
struggling right now are struggling for two main reasons:
- They rely on targeting to produce results and their targeting is awful.
- Their prices are inflated and they have been robbing clueless advertisersfor a long time and now it is catching up with them.
BuySellAds.com is very different. We don’t do any targeting, the advertisers do this themselves by self-selecting the placements they wish to buy. Our prices are good – they’re not inflated or anything, they make sense and are cost effective.
My best take away from all of this? Even in a market that might be shrinking, those who provide excellent service and a good added value will always prevail.