Interview with Eric Olson from FeedBurner

I´ve asked some questions to Eric Olson, from FeedBurner, right after the creation of Rede Brasil to help people to understand how FAN works, so he accepted that I publish it here. Check it.Hi Eric. Please introduce yourself and your job at FeedBurner.

Hi everyone. My name is Eric Olson and I work on the Publisher Services Team at FeedBurner. We are responsible for recruiting new publishers, being a point of contact for all of our 350,000 publishers, and advocating for our publishers internally– whether it be for new features they want to see, or simply for support issues they need resolved. We also write a blog called the Publisher Tips Blog. The blog provides useful tips on a regular basis to help publishers get the most out of the tools FeedBurner offers.

What is the FeedBurner Ad Network?

Publishers that use FeedBurner can apply to be a part of the FeedBurner ad network. If they are accepted, based on criteria such as number of subscribers and the demand for a particular type of content, the ad network helps them monetize their feeds or their sites, or both. It works on a CPM basis, or cost per 1,000 impressions. Publishers have total control over which ads are placed, as they are able to approve or decline each ad we send their way.

How many advertisers are there today in the ad network?

Hundreds of blue-chip companies advertise within the FeedBurner ad network because they recognize the value in targeting their messages to the specific audience demographics we offer. Representative advertisers include Blackberry, Bose, Microsoft, and Sony to name just a few.

We know there´s no advertiser in Portuguese yet. Why?

We’re definitely focused on the internationalization of FeedBurner as can be seen from our efforts in Japan, our re-seller relationship in Spain, and our ever-growing list of translations available for the FeedBurner application, where Portuguese is available. That said, we simply haven’t moved into the Portuguese language side of the ad market quite yet. However, we did implement FeedBurner Networks which allow bloggers anywhere to unite into a network and display badges on their sites calling advertisers to advertise on their sites and in their feeds.

What payment methods do you offer to advertisers? And to publishers?

Advertisers purchase media in our ad network using all of the standard payment methods (check, credit card, etc.). We pay publishers via PayPal which helps expedite payment to them as well as provide a simple electronic history for reference. If, for some reason, a publisher cannot obtain a PayPal account, we work out an alternative.

Is there any plan to affiliate publishers, so they can refer advertisers to FeedBurner’s ad network and be paid for it?

While there is not an explicit incentive plan for publishers who recruit advertisers, publishers who bring advertisers into the network will get the benefit of increased ad revenue. In fact, it is a pretty good deal since they can continue to do focus on what they do best (publish content!), while we manage the intricacies of serving ads into feeds and on sites as well as the auditing and ad performance issues that come up.

Rede Brasil is an initiative to create the biggest FeedBurner Network for Portuguese publishers. Do you think this can really improve ad sales in Portuguese?

Absolutely. As audiences grow for a particular network, the more attractive it becomes to advertisers. Since we don’t have the bandwidth right now to move into the Portuguese language market, the network will be the primary selling tool. Also, if we get inquiries about buying ads in Portuguese language content we will have a preexisting network to sell them.

How many blogs in Portuguese do you have on FeedBurner?

While we do not have an exact count at this time, I think Rede Brasil, with 131 publishers, is an excellent indication that there is a significant and growing number of Brazilian bloggers.

What if the advertiser wants to insert ads in some specific blogs, not a network?

FeedBurner provides advertisers with a very broad reach – access to more RSS feed and blog inventory than any other ad network. Publishers who participate in our ad network benefit from the promotion opportunities associated with being part of a content channel. FeedBurner offers ad placement by channel (e.g. Business, Travel, PC & Console Games). We also offer more targeted networks within these channels such as Marketing and Advertising, Fashion, and Music, to name a few.

We’ve notice a fixed CPM value on Rede Brasil and other networks. What is the rules to define this price? How can we improve it?

For new networks FeedBurner defines an initial $3 CPM and increases with advertiser demand. We’ve had requests from Network Coordinators who would prefer to set CPMs for their network, and like all feature requests, it’s under consideration, but no changes are scheduled in the near term.

Read the translated version [portuguese].

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