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Posts Tagged ‘revenue’

The CEO of Blue Fountain Media On Creating a Successful Digital Agency

GabrielShaoolianGabriel Shaoolian has come a long way from his humble beginnings. The CEO of Blue Fountain Media was a web designer armed with a laptop and not much else when he arrived in the Big Apple in 2001.

Now, 12 years later, that digital agency has over 200 employees and is raking in $2 billion in revenue with clients like AOL and AT&T. In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s Hey, How’d You Do That?, Shaoolian talks about his journey to success:

You say the site you planned and designed for AT&T does about $100,000 per second. And the site you did for the Green Bay Packers did $200 million in four days. When you started your company, having no idea how successful it would become, did you have any doubts?
There was a point when I was starting out when my friend was doing really well in real estate, and I was struggling to meet my month-to-month expenses. I told him, “Maybe I should do what you do.” He goes, “Well, if you want to come over, we could use someone, but, I see you love what you do. Stick with it.” It was great advice. Do what you love, stick with it. Be patient. I think patience is what’s lacking amongst young people today. Things take time. That’s the best advice that I’ve got. [My company] didn’t happen overnight.

I get emails from LinkedIn all the time from guys that are trying to start businesses… And they’re asking me, how did you do it? What advice do you have for me? I tell them: I constantly invested. I reinvested back into BFM. I led a very humble life for many, many years. And I tell them, look, just do great work. Do good work for your clients.

To hear more from Shaoolian, read: Hey, How’d You Build Profitable Websites For Brands Like AOL and AT&T, Gabriel Shaoolian?

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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Pulse News App Bets the Farm on Sponsored Content

In the era of brand journalism, we talk a lot about “editorial”, “earned” and “sponsored” content–and the respective value of each. Now, leading news app maker Pulse plans to turn the dominant revenue model on its head by relying exclusively on sponsored content for its advertising dollars.

It’s a bold move that reflects the growing influence of branded materials as the line between PR and editorial grows ever fainter.

The company’s primary rival, Flipboard, made headlines as the first app to bring “glossy print-style ads to the iPad”, and Pulse just made a big move in the opposite direction. Their explanation? Mobile is a brave new world for brands, and betting on the success of traditional banner-style promos would amount to “short-term thinking”—however tempting it might be in the moment.

The fact that big-name publishers began pulling their full-page ads from Flipboard this summer strengthens Pulse’s case, because the publishers who dropped out mentioned the downsides of sharing revenue with a third party and noted that they would make more money with traditional banner ads. They also believe that, by partnering with Flipboard, they are discouraging readers from using their own sites and apps.

Publishers who work with Pulse don’t just get increased exposure; they also get a cut of the ad revenue earned “if a sponsored post runs within their content feed or if they bring the advertiser to Pulse”. The fact that advertisers pay on a “cost-per-read basis” is undeniably appealing as well.

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‘Facebook Gifts’ Just Might Work

You’ve probably heard that Facebook just hit the one billion user milestone. The company celebrated the announcement with a teary-eyed commercial and a typically understated blog post by the Zuck complete with a “one billion fact sheet.”

While the stats on the sheet are fascinating, they also bring attention back to Facebook’s biggest challenge: How can they turn that unbelievably huge data pool into real-world revenue?

Over the past two weeks, the company rolled out two new answers to that question in the form of “promoted ads” and “Facebook Gifts”, its new entry into the rapidly expanding world of digital retail after acquiring the social gifting app Karma. Now users can send their friends a lot more than hearts or Farmland invitations. It’s a bit of a twist on the DOA Facebook Deals plan: interested parties can choose from a list of products to send their friends and, in the most important update, the recipient can specify size, style, color, etc. so the gift best fits his or her individual tastes.

The big unknown right now is exactly what sort of gift selection the new feature will include.

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