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Blog monetization start-up Skyscrpr is launching a new service for small and medium-sized blogs to sell, manage, and place their own ad inventory … all in about 5 minutes flat.
“The site actually springs out of our own needs in prior publishing startups,” co-founder Paul Burger told me yesterday. “We were trying to monetize through advertising — our own direct-sale advertising.”
But the creation of media kits, management of inventory, and billing/collection were simply too onerous. Realizing that this was a problem for most small and medium-sized bloggers who don’t want to just collect AdSense pennies, they built the ad-management and optimization solution they wanted for themselves.
“Out of the gate we’re focusing on three things: placement, management, and the actual sale,” sad Burger.
Placement is simple: after signing up and entering the site, publishers are presented with a framed view of their site. They simply drag and drop ads right where they want them.
I tried it on my own personal blog … the grey block at left under my tag cloud is an ad unit — a skyscraper, ironically — that I simply dragged into my sidebar:
Above: Skyscrpr: drag & drop ad placement
Image Credit: John Koetsier
To manage ads, publishers log in to a dashboard and review sales, performance of existing ads, and suggestions for improvement. Currently, the suggestions are just that, but soon Burger expects to have a more sophisticated solution:
“We’re getting to a point where soon we’ll be able to auto-optimize ad placement and mix,” he told VentureBeat.
That means that, after initial set-up, Skyscrpr would vary ad selection, placement, and frequency to maximize blogger revenue. This feature will not be available at launch tomorrow, but Burger expects it within a few months.
Above: An infographic-style media kit
Image Credit: Skyscrpr
The sale itself is, of course, the most critical component: nothing else matters without it.
“Tomorrow we’re also launching automated media kits,” Burger said. “We create a beautiful infographic-style media kit automatically based on your Klout, Compete.com, and Twitter information.”
Then Skyscrpr allows advertisers to purchase inventory right there on the publisher’s own blog, and handles all the payment details. The company will be taking a cut of the proceeds, of course, but it’s not yet disclosing the exact percentage.
At launch, only direct on-site sales will be enabled, but an ad marketplace that will aggregate all participating bloggers’ inventory and will allow advertisers to purchase audiences and demographics is forthcoming.
“[Advertisers will] be able to slice and dice and pick exactly what [they] want,” says Burger.
Skyscrpr is funded with angel and founder money, plus $20,000 from the GrowLab accelerator/incubator program. The company is currently raising a seed round, which it anticipates closing in late August.
Here’s the publisher or blogger on-boarding process:
Image credit: Jorge Salcedo/ShutterStock
VB’s research team is studying mobile user acquisition:
Chime in here, and we’ll share the results