Tag Archives: monetisation

The Mint.com Model

June 23rd, 2010

I am constantly referring to loose frameworks which provide a model for others to try and leverage with their own ideas.  The Mint.com is one I mention frequently.

In short the Mint.com model is to…

Engage with your audience tremendously well and do so in an ongoing capacity, grab as much attention from the market as you can.  This is exactly what Mint.com does with their blog.

Then provide direct paths to becoming a customer from this attention, you immediately capture both sides.

1) The most amount of attention you can get from your market (and get them talking).

2) Then leverage that attention to provide a stream of customers.

It’s such a nice balance of community, attraction and ensuring business gets done.

You are wrong. Offline and Online all the same.

September 7th, 2008

Every Monday I like to throw some ideas out there and see what happens.

They return to me in the form of ‘I’ve tried that and heres why it didn’t work’ or ‘that’s already been done’ or ‘feedback’.

This one I have been throwing around for ages and talked to a lot of people so I thought now was time to unleash it.

Think about the mass of learnings we make online, monetisation models, usability

Now let’s apply them to an offline situation.


Fundamentally we are all humans interacting with your website or service.  We all have the same basic needs and wants.  We engage with your product sometimes with an end goal in mind othertimes we get sold on that end goal.  

Imagine I have taken over the local cafe.


Hmmmm ok, immediately I think of two things.

  1. Offer coffee for free or very low cost to boost volume. (adsense model)
  2. Offer coffee for free but charge for the experience (freemium)
  3. Offer unlimited coffee at a monthly charge.  Different plans better coffee (saas)
  4. Offer a special coffee that comes nicely packaged with chocolates on the side. (price discimination)


I like this one

  1. Remove barriers to your end goal.  Buying a coffee.  Have a sliding door, efficient ordering system. 
  2. Rather than volume (above) make it usable, friendly help user have a compelling experience (create flow), they are likely to spend more. (something online world hasn’t tapped yet).
  3. How quickly can i read your menu? how does the language affect my selection? do you have a top 10 list or ‘most popular’ items.  

I’d better stop you get the idea using usability you can keep going for a while.


This one is already applied somewhat

  1. Create a community of coffee lovers, run a coffee course, teach them how to make coffee.
  2. Setup a monthly newsletter for your loyal fans
  3. Give your loyal fans cards valid for a free coffee for there friends (help them spread your idea)
  4. Offer free wifi and organise tweetups / meet ups (via meetup.com)

You get the idea.

Other filters you can view your cafe through: 

  • Conversion Rates: Optimise your entry points and languages for certain products.  
  • Authenticity: Have nice personable people greeting you, I’m more likely to open my wallet if I’m feeling good about my experience
  • Colours: Colours affect my perception of the store.
  • Analytics: Do you know what type of customers come when? how long they stay? what they buy? Most effective source?
  • Leaking links: Do you advertise / have signs that are building others brands not your own?

Conclusion: Ben should buy a cafe!

You can see that we have this great platform of learning online, we should all be looking at how we can apply these learnings into new contexts.

Core Users ARE your most profitable

May 21st, 2008

Hows this.  We always hear to identify your core users and target them.

They are your most profitable.

You would think that this relates to purchasing of merchandising or buying products/services.

However I have found it also applies to consumption of advertising.  O you say.  Well…..

Recently we transferred StillSpoiled to WordPress.  During this transition we were removed from the google index.  We get roughly 95% of our traffic from Google.

Our traffic took a hit.  Thinking adsense would as well i investigated.  However this was not the case.

Check out these numbers:

Date Impressions Clicks CTR ECPM Earnings
Tuesday, May 6, 2008 3,587 ** ** $0.42 **
Tuesday, May 20, 2008 216 ** ** $4.20 **

I took a 16 fold decrease in traffic! only to see my earnings drop 40%.  My ECPM in fact went up 10 fold!

These have been fairly consistent.

ECPM adjusts by Google automatically calculating the quality of these clicks.  A higher ecpm means higher quality clicks (and therefore are purchasing/profitable for my advertisers).  Ie my core users aren’t just clicking they are buying.

It seems my core users who have bookmarked my site, know it by name and visit regularly consume the most advertising.

(Most of the advertising sells merchandise to tv shows we write about, so relevance is a factor)

This makes sense if you think about it, in theory my passionate fans will be most willing to lay out cash. Turns out this translates to advertising.

Question is now, should i set noindex on the site? Therefore only letting people find me via word of mouth.

Seems it will be more profitable.

Maybe you should deindex for a fortnight to identify your core users.

What are you doing all the way down here? You could:
- View my about page
- Or for first timers the New Here? page
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