Back in December, I was sitting at the kitchen table while David was making dinner, and I asked (somewhat out of the blue, as I do), “Who do you think I know who knows someone at Say Media?” I explained that Jane Pratt‘s new site xoJane (unexpected Sassy reference… or it was unexpected until this morning’s Tablet Mag article?) was run by a company called Say Media. Say is a digital media company who also does creative ad work for blogs. The company was created by a merger with Six Apart (the creators of TypePad, one of the earliest blogging tools). Long story short, I was fascinated by the idea of a media company that would be down with Jane Pratt‘s mix of sassy feminist controversy.
A week later, I got an email from Alt Summit that I was going to be on a panel with Sarah of Say Media. Two days later I got an email from Sarah saying she’d read APW while planning her wedding and loved the site.
The universe can be obvious sometimes.
But let me back up. Growing a business, or more specifically, growing a business ethically, is tough. It’s so complicated that it deserves its own post (soon!). APW has grown in the last six months in ways that feel either awesome or terrifying, depending on the day. And the funny thing is, a growing business costs more to run. Everything from server costs to staff costs goes up as a business grows.
So! Over the course of the past year, it’s become clear to me that it would be best for the business for APW to partner with an ad network. But I was picky. I refused to partner with anyone who saw us as “a wedding blog” and wanted to sell you a bunch of wedding stuff you didn’t need. No. I also wanted to partner with people I liked, people that I felt would really listen to me, and people who respected what APW is all about. (I have high standards.) And after I met Sarah (and liked her) and had a long talk with her about Say Media (they got me), I decided APW and Say Media were a match. Hurrah!
So, I’m thrilled to announce, that starting tomorrow, you will start seeing Say Media ads on the site. It will work like this:
- There will be one ad that shows up on the main page between posts. Another ad will show up between the post and the comments. This means that you’ll only ever see one ad at a time, and it will never be in a place that will interfere with your reading.
- Say Media takes ads from Fortune 500 companies (aka, no belly fat or teeth whitening or who-knows-what ads), and the company produces all ads in-house. This means there is serious quality control over what you see. You’ll never see a wedding ad (unless I decide to approve one), and we have the ability to pull any ad that seems problematic.
- If you’re interested in a brand that is advertising on the site, you can go into the ad (which keeps you right on the APW page) and get more information. And these are some seriously well-designed ads. I went into a Westin Hawaii ad on XOJane, and they had produced four different videos about the different islands of Hawaii. I didn’t have time to watch them all. (I’ve never been to Hawaii and I’m interested.) When I went back, the ad was gone, and I was annoyed. I’ve never been annoyed to miss out on an ad before, so this seemed like a very good sign. And while we’re not paid per click, interacting with ads you’re interested in does indirectly help support APW. So if you’re into an ad, give it a go.
- That said, if you’re not into an ad, that’s cool too. You’ll be supporting the site just by reading now, which is pretty great.
And because a lot of you are invested in APW and how it’s run, I wanted to let you know exactly what we’re doing with ad revenue. All money we make on Say Media ads is going into a business savings account. We’re saving for new, non-wedding projects that you guys really want (that cost money!). I’m so thrilled to be able to partnter with Say Media to help make big dreams happen.
So, welcome Say Media! Now, on with the show.