Audience Participation Time

AdPulp will be five years old next week. In blog time, that’s aged.
We may be old, but we don’t dally. At the time of this writing there are 7137 entries in our database, not all of which were written by me. I’ve only written 6016 of them, thanks to the kind and expert help of Danny G., Shawn, Matt Bergantino, Tom Asacker and Wade Sturdivant.
This is probably a good time to reflect on the path to here and now, but I’m more curious about the road ahead. Will we keep on keepin’ on? Will we increase revenue and become a profitable media enterprise? Will we be able to pay contributing writers? Will we break important stories? Will we be swallowed up by a larger fish one day? These are all good questions. I wish there were equally good answers to the questions, but we’re not at the answering table just yet.
When I compose these navel-gazing posts I sometimes wonder if you care. I realize it’s asking a lot to care. I know you have other more pressing concerns to occupy your mind. However, I also know that we have fans and that some of our best fans do, in fact, care. Some of you have told us that you’d pay for this content and others have paid for it by choosing to run ads here. Believe me, we appreciate the support, both emotional and financial.
There is no elegant way to say this, other than to blurt it out. We need more of you to step forward and help now. There are many ways to help AdPulp financially. You or your clients can run an ad, or an ad campaign. You or your workplace can become a site sponsor. You can hit the tip jar every so often (now would be good). You can buy the books we advertise in the eyebrow above. There are also non-monetary things you can do to help like writing a guest post, keeping us informed of breaking news in your world, inviting us to speak at conferences and so on.
None of this would matter if AdPulp was just a side project, a nice little hobby. But that’s not what AdPulp is. Technically yes, we fit this daily project into our larger work lives, but AdPulp is an established micro-media brand with a unique editorial voice and a smart, engaged industry audience. In other words, it’s worth something. Exactly what it’s worth is to be determined. I’m asking you to help make that determination with us.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. The silence here is deafening.
    As my buddy JB likes to say, “I’m going to poke you, if you don’t wake up.”

  2. Five years! the internet isn’t even that old. happy birthday dudes. don’t stop.

  3. @VW We won’t stop. This compulsion jumped the tracks a few thousands posts ago. BTW, a huge bow to you for your kind contribution just now. Seriously!
    You know I prefer to write about advertising, not my own struggles as a writer and entrepreneur. However, if anyone ought to know the importance of “the ask” it’s me (and obviously you). Right?

  4. I wonder if a blog will ever be a profit center – unless you’re pulling in ridiculous traffic. Blogs tend to be more of a brand support vehicle versus the brand itself. Maybe you would gain more profit by selling AdPulp branded coffee mugs and t-shirts. I’m not kidding. Or rather than sell ad space, agree to post about agencies’ projects for cash. I’ll bet attention-hungry shops might go for it. Again, the overall notion is to create products and services with ties to AdPulp versus asking people to start paying for something that has been free for nearly five years. AdPulp Porn would definitely generate revenue.

  5. @High Jive
    Good points all. How about this for a service with ties to AdPulp? I’m a copywriter. And what this site really is, is “an ad” for me.
    However, you slice and dice it–and believe me, we have a long list of things to try like selling merchandise–the net result is we need to bill for our time here. Something every ad person can relate to.

  6. You know what? I didn’t even realize you guys were offering your creative services. The HIRE US link is something that regular visitors like me ignore – it’s like the ABOUT link.
    And your “Content, For The Win” ads are becoming like the Google ads, in terms of being something I ignore. Of course, I’m not currently looking for freelancers, so maybe I’m not the target. Plus, when I am, I tend to use local talent that can come onsite.
    But maybe it also goes to your own contention that the Web is not the place for advertising – including advertising yourself. I’m an AdPulp visitor for the content, not the ads. Plus, I don’t come here to shop for freelancers.
    I wonder how Steve Hall does at AdRants with all the “services” like job listings, etc. Then again, he gets ridiculous traffic – at least ridiculous for an ad blog. I’m not sure how your numbers compare to his.
    George Parker occasionally wonders these same things. I’ve never considered turning my own blog into a revenue generator – although mostly because I’m completely certain it would not raise a single cent.
    Not sure what the answer is.

  7. @High Jive
    You’re giving voice to some of our very real struggles and the struggles faced by other digital publishers. You, an ad pro, don’t see the ads.
    Because you (and all browser users) are in control of the info seeking experience, ads are simple to ignore or navigate around. But I don’t believe this is a new problem exclusive to the Web. I think we’ve simply failed to measure a blank stare during a TV spot.
    One thing I know is we get more action from a post than an ad, something that makes our 2nd slot Advertorial box a good buy IMO. There is a way to promote ourselves and others’ goods and services here. It requires experimentation and commitment.
    Win, lose or draw, we bring all the experience gained here everyday to the clients we serve in our day jobs. As more clients invest in online content, we’re more prepared than most to counsel them. There’s value in that and there’s value in connecting with like minds in this nutty biz. AdPulp pays in many ways–it always has. But that’s not going to stop us from continually seeking more from the site/brand.