Advertising

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Dirk Hoffman

A quick post to say I’m considering hosting some advertising on The Inner Ring. A few people in the cycle trade have been in touch to express interest and I wanted to gauge your reaction to this.

Rest assured that if this happens the site won’t be full of flash script and blinking adverts. My idea is to include one advert on the page and no more, perhaps a bit like the image on the top right visible if you open this post alone. This ensures the reader can browse in peace but it can also offer a certain exclusivity to the advertiser.

It might or might not happen but if you have any views, suggestions and ideas, let me know. One of the pleasures of The Inner Ring is the comments and input from readers, a really big surprise for me. And whilst this is only a personal blog, I’m always interested to know what readers might think.

Dan March 3, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Go for it. You do great work writing this blog. A little income would be well deserved.

Kent March 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm

The advertising example you’ve provided is fine with me. I think you deserve something for your work, other than just our respect and thanks. And you probably get thanked by about 1% of us that follow you.
So: Thank you. Now go get a pay check.

jza March 3, 2011 at 10:26 pm

DO IT. $$$

Harris March 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I agree with Dan, You do great work, and clearly dedicate a lot of your time to providing us with interesting and incite full commentary. The example you have on this page is great. It’s exclusive for the advertiser, and not obnoxious to the reader.

Andy Rubio March 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm

I’m with Dan, I’ll even turn off AdBlock Plus for this site!

Starr March 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm

I seriously doubt you’ll lose any followers because of a few ads.
The content draws readers, so make some coin while you can.

Struan March 3, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Bonus points if you can get Dirk Hofman motorhomes to advertise. Although to be more realistic it’d have to be done in random comments and only on articles about matters Belgian.

Noodles and Waffles March 3, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Go for it! You deserve a little kickback for all your hard work.

bryan March 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Anything that will keep you posting high quality entries is fine by me.

Wielsucker March 3, 2011 at 10:50 pm

My dream is to race for Dirk Hofman Racing.

Gillis March 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Hate to be the negative nancy here but I thought I’d share my view point.
It’s a fact that these days we are constantly bombarded with advertising in one way or another. It’s impossible to avoid. Heck, even looking at a simple race photo is technically advertising. I’ve found solace in visiting your site because, besides your great journalism, it’s probably one of the few if not the only sites i regularly visit that has no advertising. I felt it lent to a certain unbiased feel to your writing. Now that’s not to say you’re not due any profit for your work or that I would stop coming if you started. It’s just something I have appreciated about your site greatly. All that said, the little square up top doesn’t look that distracting.

TdF Lanterne Rouge March 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm

It’s a bit of a tradeoff – but if you can make enough money for it to be worthwhile, go for it, you’ve earned it. Just don’t take the flashing Selle Italia ad or I’ll have to endure seizures while reading here. ;-0

Joe March 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Do it. I’ll click on it given the value you provide. Remind folks about readability (www.readability.com) for those who want to keep to a pure text site. It’s the only way I can read certain other sites.

ant1 March 3, 2011 at 11:26 pm

anything that makes it more likely you’ll do this for a long time is a good idea.

this comment brought to you by: Dirk Hofman Motorhomes

Ozz March 3, 2011 at 11:46 pm

+1 for nice ads. The fact that you asked us for an opinion says alot – Thanks.

Paul March 4, 2011 at 12:08 am

I all for it, particularly if it’s cycling specific advertisements. I’m surprised you’ve left it this long. You more than deserve any revenue generated.

Dave March 4, 2011 at 12:21 am

I found you via Cyclocosm and continue to come back for the quality and timeliness of what you write. I think that if you aren’t compensated for your time in someway, either financially or otherwise, then you will most likely not continue for very long.

Oliver March 4, 2011 at 12:26 am

I guess I have a different viewpoint.
Well, I think that advertising is a pretty noxious thing as a reader (it makes you drool over stuff you can’t afford, worse, can sometime lead you to buy it) which pervades pretty much all of our lives, it also usually renders most writing stale at best (for fear of upseting the adverstiser) or just plain corrupt (see the bicycling magazine “reviews” for example, or the rapha “sponsored” blogs). And I’m not saying that velonews or cyclingnews started out with the intent of being not much more than a provider of infomercials and a training ground for future writers of press releases for specialized or Trek; I’m sure it was a gradual process.
I don’t think that the fact that the inner ring is such a breath of fresh air is unrelated to the complete lack of adverts. (For example if bike brands, or rapha become advertisers? It is possible, and there might be a conflict, or at least the appearance of one)
On the other hand, you spend quite a bit of time doing this, and you do an excellent job (I thoroughly enjoy it) , so I can understand you want to make some money from it. I just hope that say, in a couple of years, the irreverent tone is still there!

ian March 4, 2011 at 12:31 am

I’m in favor of your including advertising.
You do great work, and I can only anticipate that you will continue to handle these matters with the taste and thoughtfulness that you usually exhibit.

Getting paid is completely worthwhile, you’ve proved your worth.

Jratt March 4, 2011 at 12:38 am

Quite frankly, your blog is far more interesting and informative than mainstream websites and You deserve to make money for your excellent work. That being said, I do like the purity of the site , and if you chose to host advertisements I’d hope your posts remain un- biased, not catering to your advertisers….INRG is a excellent source for inside info…

hummm March 4, 2011 at 2:25 am

I do agree with Jratt.

It is important to keep your editorial independance.
The danger is to become commercial, sycophant and start review bikes and stuff…

Keep the great work, keep the freedom.

limonata March 4, 2011 at 2:35 am

Do it, it’s well deserved.

Jonathan Vaughters' Sideburns March 4, 2011 at 4:06 am

I’ll have to meet with the AIGCP before we decide anything. I’ll blog about my decision tomorrow.

hamncheeze March 4, 2011 at 4:29 am

I like the simplicity of your site, but at the same time your readership has grown in leaps and bounds in the past 2 months (and I’m relatively new myself). Surely you are putting more time into this blog than you imagined at the outset, so you might as well take the plunge and make a bit of coin from it.

M.S.E. March 4, 2011 at 4:52 am

I’m fairly new to your site( 2 months), but you have earned some compensation for your time and labors, especially if tastefully done. If readers do not like it they do not have to visit your site.

Matt March 4, 2011 at 4:58 am

Advertising allows peace of mind, or at least buys a couple of sandwhiches while you work! Go for it…but please vet those advertisers and don’t just take whomever comes down the pike. Is it possible to keep the advertising as unique as the editorial content? Oh yea, and I’d love to be one of the first!

Matt

xyxax March 4, 2011 at 5:23 am

Do what I do and sell Inner Ring memorabilia on E-bay.
you definitely deserve to be paid. Don’t tell the advertisers but we tend to tune out that side of the page anyway after awhile. Habituation.

dino March 4, 2011 at 6:10 am

i agree with your approach. go ahead with the ads but skip the flash script and blinking adverts.

HELLNO March 4, 2011 at 6:26 am

What is wrong with everyone? We argue whether Fabian has a motor in his bike, if Bert doped, or if radios should be used – But no one wants to say “Hells no” to advertising! I’ll say it – HELL NO!

Ok, I am not serious at all. I’m just amazed that in this day and age I believe all comments are actually in agreement on something. I do believe this is an internet first.

Ken March 4, 2011 at 7:12 am

Do this

David N. Welton March 4, 2011 at 9:20 am

Give it a try and see how much it actually brings in. A month like April should be great to judge – lots of racing going on and interest is picking up.

SQUADRA March 4, 2011 at 10:02 am

i enjoy reading & commenting on your excellent website articles.
Such an intelligent cycling website should offer some return for your efforts.

NicO March 4, 2011 at 10:12 am

You’re definitely entitled to include some advertising on your site. As your readership grows and the cost of maintaining your site (time, bandwidth) goes up, well a little walking around money as compensation seems only fair. The fact that it will be discrete only serves to reinforce what a quality addition inrng.com has been to the online landscape for fans of procycling.

Alex Murray March 4, 2011 at 10:49 am

Go for it. I agonised for ages about having advertising on Chasing Wheels, but in the end I’ve taken a couple of ads. It covers my hosting bill and the occasional slice of cake.

I keep to a strict policy of only accepting advertising as advertising rather than advertorial, such as paid for posts or links. If you make your ad policy clear in the about section, nobody can complain.

The Inner Ring March 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

Thanks for the comments. It’s a bit inward looking talking about the blog itself but all the comments and readers are part of it. We’ll see what happens.

A couple of points. I’m not going to do “advertorial” and don’t want to be biased. Maybe money creates bias, after all it’s an incentive to do many things in this world. But if that happens, feel free to comment if you think I’m swayed by the ads, to tell me if you smell B.S. I don’t think The Inner Ring would be very useful if I did “puff pieces”.

Finally, contrary to frequent emails and the odd comment, The Inner Ring doesn’t take up much of my time. I have a day job, I like riding, racing and more, not to mention a relatively normal life beyond cycling. It’s usually a matter of minutes to type something, find a picture or two and press “publish”. If I give the impression of taking lots of times over the articles, great but whisper it, it’s not really the case. Thanks to technology and having twitter and email open at work, it’s easy to keep in touch.

Raouligan March 4, 2011 at 11:05 am

Hey only if it’s Dirk Hoffam Motor Homes, that’s been the consistently best low budget highest exposure guerilla advertsising I’ve seen for ages real commitment too the banner has been at pretty much every televised cross race I’ve seen in the last season!

If the advertising is by Rapha you perhaps need to do a review of Torm clothing as well just for fun…

Pedaling the road March 4, 2011 at 11:12 am

It’s your blog Matt, do what you like. That said, by looking at your posting frequency combined with the quality of your work, you are putting an enormous amount of time in your blog. Should of course give you some in return.

Bigmiksears March 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I am in agreement with Raouligan – if its Dirk Hoffman motor homes – then win.

You should include in your contract with potential advertising that you are not prepared to bias your position due to the advertising. The success of the blog is the content – if this content is compromised then there goes your success.

Jeff B March 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Go for it. But PLEASE actually get Dirk Hofman to sponsor the site.

LeBurger March 4, 2011 at 6:38 pm

I also think you deserve some money for your work!

This said, I feel that cycling is becoming so extremely commercialized, just look at the bikes people are riding around on. I ride +-8000km a year and just bought a new bike for 1200€: when I go ride and pass other “roadies” they just smile mercifully while on their 8000€ crabon contraptions, even if they touch their bellies with their knees. And this is the most expensive bike I ever owned. When I was younger(10 years ago), there were less cyclists, but it was quite common to see serious roadies NOT spending a fortune on a bike.

I don’t want cycling to become Golf2.0

All this to say that I don’t want you to become one of those people that even MENTION products!!!!!
Cycling is NOT about products!
It is about the passion that breathes out of each of your posts.

Seriously March 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I’ll pay you directly to NOT write anymore articles about naked woman cycling

LeBurger makes a good point that I have to agree with “Cycling is not about products!”

But, I do feel you deserve to be compensated for your work and the most obvious way to do that is to use the current advertising technology. As a compromise I would suggest that you advertise beyond cycling. I would expect that the demographics of your readers is a group that would be of great interest to a range of service providers. So, put up a little “how much do you make, where do you live, how many trips abroad do you take…” type survey and use those results to get some real i.e., non-cycling, advertisers.

stuartrc March 4, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Hmmh – no nasty flash or drop down adverts pls but I will definitely turn ad-block off for inrng.com

cigo March 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm

just don’t forget your little friends on the interwebs when you’re in Monaco, drink in hand.

Jonathan March 5, 2011 at 3:20 am

Your content is exceptional and you should feel comfortable being subsidized for it. Just remember to be transparent about it if your sponsors enter into your content.

LeBurger March 5, 2011 at 10:27 am

Well, go for it.

But if you want to know what it can lead to, just visit PezCyclingnews.com
50 flash banners, pseudo-articles which are actually ads(50% of all), selling expensive kit to readers, reviews which are always positive(I don’t know where they live, but I regulary encounter BAD equipment), reviews of stuff advertised on the sides,…….

Simply disgusting

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