Spend Matters: The Commercial Plans

A number of people have asked me recently what my commercial plans are for Spend Matters. Heck, someone even dared to call this a business last week (which in some ways, I guess it is). But truthfully, my plans for this thing are a work in progress. At this point, we're looking for no more than two additional sponsors (to join Ariba and Procuri) to take us into the middle of 2007. In addition to offering logo and content linking space on the right, we're doing some cool new things for sponsors such as offering them podcasts and webcasts (and the ability to re-use content for marketing). But sometime next year when our contracts are up, I'm going to reevaluate everything, and see what type of business model makes the most sense going forward based on the traffic numbers then.

What type of numbers will be talking about in 2007? I'm not sure, but we're up over 1600% from this time last year. Honestly, Spend Matters growth continues to amaze me. Based on our recent month-to-month growth numbers, we should be comfortably past all of the major trade publications in the sector sometime this year if the growth pattern holds. At this point, I’m forecasting that May hits should come in just over 160,000, up nearly 50% from April (in general, our traffic has doubled every 60-75 days or so this year).

This sounds great on the surface, but there's a problem -- I'm not a publishing guy, nor do I have the time, with my day job, to focus my blogging energies on creating a new business model or maximizing the revenue from Spend Matters traffic. In fact, I'd rather focus my free time on blogging more and recruiting additional voices into the mix. Even though I'm as greedy a capitalist as anyone, the intellectual component of writing a blog interests me more at this point than the incremental short-term revenue that could be captured from its growth. So we'll keep looking for those 2 more sponsors to add, but after that, I'll be done on the commercial front until later next year, when we reevaluate the business model. So my commercial promise to you, as readers, is this, at least until the middle of 2007 -- no annoying Google adwords (we're not going there). No flashing Times-Square banners. None of it. Just a handful of sponsors and stronger -- and more frequent -- posts on a range of Spend Management topics. Why? Because spend matters now more than ever before.

Jason Busch

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