This is an interesting experiment by high profile travel photography blogger, Trey Ratcliff (pictured)
Ratcliff, who runs the blog Stuck in Customs, wonders why blogs such as his don't get more attention (i.e. money) from advertisers.
He wonders this because Stuck in Customs isn't exactly small fry in the world of travel photography. Ratcliff shares the following data on his website:
- Over 200K unique monthly visitors
- Over 80 million total photo views
- New photo posted every day – each one is seen between 500K-1 million times over its lifetime
- Visitor Demographics – mid income and higher – 80% travel enthusiasts, 80% photography enthusiasts
- On average, the photos get 175,000 views per day
- Audience grows 17% by quarter
So, in order to prove a point to himself (and the advertising world generally), Ratcliff decided to try an experiment.
This, from his Stuck in Customs post:
We have a great product we sell here called the HDR Video Tutorial and I decided to experiment on “traditional” media. We know it is a great product because it already sells like hotcakes, HDR is popular and we have less than a 0.5% return rate.
I allocated about $30,000 to buy ads in magazines.
As for the advertising specs, I did the following to keep things consistent:
- Full Page Ad
- First third of the magazine
- 3 months (1 full page for each month, for 3 months in a row)
I chose these three magazines with the following total advertising spend over the three months:
- Popular Photography - $12,000 – April, May, June
- Shutterbug – $6,000 – April, May, June
- Photoshop User (NAPP – Kelby Media) – $8,000 - May, June, July
Want to know how the magazines fared in selling Ratcliff's product (compared to an 'unknown' photography blog)? Here are the results.