I’m getting some negative feedback on the in-text ads, which doesn’t surprise me. I have to keep reassuring people that it’s only a trial and I want to see how the ads perform. I can report that initial earnings have not been stellar. So it’ll be a pretty easy decision to pull the plug unless something revolutionary happens in the next few days.

So you understand where I’m coming from, it’s important for me to monetize the content on Theater Hopper to help support other projects I’m pursuing. Things like publishing books and producing t-shirts. Or bankrolling things like convention appearances.

The recent redesign significantly cut down on the number of ads that were being displayed on the site. Obviously this affects the bottom line. I’m trying to figure out a way to make up the difference without going all banner-crazy again and cluttering things up.

I have two ideas:

  1. Advertising in the RSS feed. This is long overdue, actually. I’m all for delivering content using means that make it most convenient for the user to read it. But people utilizing the RSS feed do not visit the site and that limits opportunities across the board. The RSS feed will not become ad-heavy, but I do intend to more thoroughly align the feed more closely to the experience the main-site provides.
  2. Sponsorships. Instead of a half-dozen tiny ads junking up the site, how do you guys feel about one large ad in the upper right hand corner sold through a one-on-one basis?

    I’m sure you’ve seen those page peel ads on other sites that allow you to put one large ad behind the “skin” of the home page and then peel away on rollover to reveal the whole image. I think it’s a good way to attract content-relevant advertisers while not interfering with the site design.

I know this is a lot of business talk and I probably shouldn’t be sharing these thoughts with you. I don’t want to give you the impression that my pursuit of Theater Hopper is all about money. Please understand that money earned by the site is reinvested back into the site. I consider it a tool that allows me to do more with the characters — things I think you will enjoy.

I’m very interested in your feedback. Please leave your comments below!