Many of you may recall my comments in the past about RSS and business models, I’ve brought the topic up a lot over the past few months. More than half of many blogs’ traffic comes from RSS, and most of that traffic is blind – we don’t know who is reading or why, or how much. Also, unless you stick ad postings onto your site (a practice I’m not really into), none of that traffic sees your sponsors or advertising, should you have any. Net net, not a great business model for serious publishers.
Feedburner is an application that promises to change at least some of that. (Dick Costolo, the CEO, had been a prince helping me set it up. He’s the guy who co-led our RSS Business Models workshop at Web 2.0). I’m playing with it starting this weekend. For every second post over 50 words, Feedburner will burn in an Amazon advertisement. If anyone actually buys something from clicking on those ads, I get a few coppers in my affiliate account. Loyal Searchblog RSS readers don’t have do do anything to see this new feature, it happens automatically.
Again, as with the advertising on the upper right of the site itself, I am not doing this to get rich (any profits made will be given to schools), but to learn about the options and get smarter on the whole new ecosystem. It won’t be long, I predict, before Feedburner and services like it start rolling Overture-like ads into feeds. Then, perhaps, we can change this lame “headlines and summaries only” RSS approach taken by most of the mainstream publishers.
So, feed on, and let me know what you think of the service, and if there are any problems with it. I think the approach of affiliate PPS (Pay Per Sale) is interesting, and we’ll see if it pans out.