On the subject of finding new revenue streams, Lucas Grindley has an interesting take that argues the old model of charging advertisers up-front for space has it backwards:
Generating an audience first requires attracting advertisers. It’s NOT a chicken and egg situation. Luring advertisers is more important than users.
To get on the advertiser’s list, posting an ad absolutely must be free. Otherwise, you’re asking the employer to take a risk and abandon one of their old standbys.
If it’s free to post an ad, then all you have to do next is convince the potential advertiser it’s worth their time to fill out an online form. Here’s a sure-fire way to persuade them.
Print the ad.
That’s right. After completing the online form, the reader’s ad will appear in the newspaper for free.
It’s really not as odd as it sounds. To protect their market share, newspapers around the country already give readers free ads for merchandise under a certain dollar amount. But I’m saying let all ads appear in print for free.
You can read the whole piece here. Stay until the end. It’s worth it.