Over the last few months, we’ve built and tested a new “ad” format on Venture Hacks that I really like. I’m writing this post to launch it (voila), describe the ads, and pitch new sponsors.

The ads

You’ve already seen the ads. They’re ‘sponsor posts’ like How to raise money without lying to investors by Simeon Simeonov. They’re labeled with an image like this,

and an introductory message from us: “Thanks to FastIgnite, a startup advisory firm, for sponsoring Venture Hacks this month…”

Why they rule

We expect sponsor posts to meet the same standards as our own posts: startup advice that tries not to suck. I think we’re succeeding. Sponsor posts get 50-150 retweets by cool people and 10-30 substantial comments. They get on the front page of Hacker News and Techmeme:

The sponsor posts often perform better than our own posts. They do well because you read them and spread the word. Thank you. And the sponsors are already great bloggers, so all we have to do is give them a little distribution bump.

Our challenge now is to maintain and increase the quality of our sponsor posts. Upcoming sponsors include George Zachary from Charles River Ventures and WordPress’ lawyer, Matt Bartus from Dorsey & Whitney.

For prospective sponsors

Sponsor posts are a great way to start a conversation with the Venture Hacks community — one of the best startup communities on the Web. They’re a chance for our readers to get inside the minds of their potential business partners — whether you’re a VC, lawyer, startup, or service provider. Past sponsors call it a “no-brainer.”

Sponsor posts get 5000+ views, 50-150 retweets, 10-30 substantial comments, and 50-100 new Twitter followers. We’re the only site in the world where the ads perform as well as the content. Learn more about sponsoring Venture Hacks.

Asking for your help

We want to ask for your help. Who should be sponsoring Venture Hacks? Who do you want to hear from? Who has a great blog that needs more distribution? Please send them a link to this page describing our sponsor posts and ask them to consider sponsoring Venture Hacks. And please send me your suggestions in the comments.

I recently described our sponsor posts to Eric Ries and he called them “ads that are really content you can share.” I like that a lot.

Topics Sponsor

2 comments · Show

  • Jordan Cooper

    You don’t think ads perform as well as content in all “advertorial models?” Daily Candy, Thrillest, etc. The real question is are you commanding the same CPM as them? $300cpm * 5000 impressions = $1500 to Venture Hacks per sponsored post… is that about right?

    • Nivi

      Our CPM is about 2/3 of the way there. But we don’t sell on the basis of CPM and the sponsors don’t buy on that basis.