Advertising on Offbeat Home & Life: the past and the future (hi, Federated Media!)

By on Jul 22nd

offbeathome-federatedmedia

Ancient History: Native advertising

Back in late '00s, the business model I had in mind for the Offbeat Empire was quite different than where it is today. I'd figured out how to make Offbeat Bride financially sustainable, through a combination of native advertising: sponsored posts, business directory, and banner ads all sold by me directly to the advertisers. I figured "Hey, that revenue model works great — I'll launch other content verticals with that same revenue model!" In 2009 I launched Offbeat Mama (which became Offbeat Families), and in 2011 I launched Offbeat Home (which became Offbeat Home & Life).

The revenue models were the same as Offbeat Bride and the traffic growth patterns matched Offbeat Bride, but the business results were drastically different… it became clear within a couple years that the native advertising model that worked so well for Bride wasn't going to translate to the other sites.

So in 2011 I added ugly third-party banner ads to Offbeat Families and Offbeat Home & Life, partnering with a company called Glam Media (now known as Mode Media). I hated the ugly banner ads, but they covered some operating expenses, so it felt worth it… at least for a while.

Continue reading »

HOLY SH!tB@ALLS and editorial meeting re-enactments

By on Jul 18th

holyshitballs

Oh hi. Wait, what? It's summer, which means my postings here on the Empire get a little sparser because I'm, you know, actually leaving the house sometimes to go for walks or go camping or take selfies or whatever. BUT! This week I made staffers promise that we'd do favorite comments, because they're fun and ridiculous.

Offbeat Bride

First up, did you SEE the wedding we posted on Offbeat Bride today? Holy fantastical fucknards. Holy groom codpiece. Holy Mother of the Bride in full historical regalia. Holy Ork-themed food. Catherine sums up the comment thread:

Continue reading »

Weeping angels and taint weeks: behind Offbeat Home & Life's highest traffic spike ever

By on Jul 7th

weeping angel tutorial

While y'all were off enjoying your long holiday weekends, Offbeat Home & Life was busy having its highest week of traffic EVER. Forget fucking basil, you guys… Offbeat Home & Life's traffic spike was all about making Weeping Angels out of hacked up Barbies — EXCUSE ME, BARBIE-LIKE DOLLS. (Several Barbie collectors in the comments wanted to make sure we clarified that issue.)

Here's how the spike stacked up with Offbeat Home & Life's traffic patterns:

Continue reading »

Offbeat Bride's weekly reach: Facebook vs. our own website

By on Jun 27th
At the top, the number of people who see our posts each day on Facebook. At the bottom, the number of users who see our posts on offbeatbride.com.

At the top, the number of people who see our posts each day on Facebook. At the bottom, the number of users who see our posts on offbeatbride.com.

Here's a mind-blower for you: Offbeat Bride's weekly reach on Facebook is now about 370k people. Our weekly reach on our own website is about 250k people. This means that Offbeat Bride is now reaching more people via Facebook than we are via our own website.

I've written a lot over the last year about my major shift in Facebook strategy. The tl;dr version of this strategy:

Continue reading »

The Offbeat Empire needs a contract designer for 10 hours of work

By on Jun 17th

In my epic post yesterday, I mentioned that I'm in the early stages of a template redesign, and that I need some help.

I'm working with my developer Kellbot to code a base design that we like, but I want get enough of our existing design elements integrated into the new design that it feels familiar to longtime readers. It's going to be new, but I need a designer to help us soften the blow.

Here's what I'm looking for:

Continue reading »

There but for the grace of pageviews go I: where blogging and my business are going

By on Jun 16th
at wework

At one of the many coworking offices where I've worked recently. This one was WeWork in NYC.

Let's start with some required reading

Last week, I sent an email to all the Offbeat Empire staffers with the subject line: Required reading. The email contained a link to this post: State of the blog union: how the blogging world has changed. This post was written six months ago, but whatever: it's a big fucking deal.

The author Grace Bonney (publisher of the hugely popular Design*Sponge), runs down a list of issues that have been at the forefront of my mind for a couple years including:

Continue reading »

Favorite comments: the second most magical place on earth, poop, and MORE

By on Jun 6th
From left to right: Wolfgang, Caroline, Ariel, and Megan.

From left to right: Wolfgang, Caroline, Ariel, and Megan.

Another week of Offbeat Empire comments, and another week of dramatic interpretations by Offbeat Empire staff! This week we have the debut video from Offbeat Bride's newest editor, Chris Wolfgang. (She's the one who produces the pretty posts in our wedding porn category — you may remember her "peacock wet dream" reference this week?) Also in attendance via video this week: the Managing Editor of Offbeat Bride and Offbeat Home & Life, Megan; as well as Caroline, our copyeditor, assistant editor of Offbeat Home, and resident Mistress of the Dark; and me.

Trivia: half of of these editors have not showered today. Can you tell which ones?

Continue reading »

Schemes for 2015 Lovesick Expos (and musings on business partnerships)

By on Jun 5th

January and February 2014 were super exciting crazy times for the Offbeat Empire, with a year of schemes culminating in the six Lovesick Expos nationwide. (Actually, I guess the official name was Offbeat Bride presents Lovesick Expo? I should know this! God knows we put enough time into co-branding the name exactly.) Above, you can get a taste of the good times via a video recently released by Tom & Jon over at Lovesick Inc.

There was a obscene amount of planning that went into the Offbeat Bride/Lovesick Expo partnership, and it was one of the most complex business partnerships I've ever launched. I have a couple other long-term business partners (I've worked with mywedding.com since 2007, and they've been built into offbeatbride.com's navigation since 2011; and Brilliant Earth has been built-in since last year)… but they're always been strictly digital placement partnerships. Partnering with Lovesick was the first time I've done a partnership that got me off the internet (!!) and into a whole different market: event production.

Making this leap was a very intentional choice I made both for business reasons and personal reasons.

Continue reading »