Has anyone been contacted by the Forbes.com Business and Financial Network?

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I got an email back in December asking me to join the Forbes.com Business and Financial Network and add 2 banners (like the one above) to the right sidebar and bottom footer image. I got an email from my contact form saying:

> Hello Hank! I’m assisting [secret lady’s name] at Forbes.com with an exciting new
> initiative she’s working on, a blog network comprised of
> best-of-breed financial and business blogs. Among the many
> advantages to joining are the targeted financial/business ads that
> Forbes.com will be serving across the network. The goal of the
> network is to provide Forbes.com users with unique content, which at
> the same time will help drive traffic to your blog and help you
> further monetize it.
>
> We think your blog would be a great fit for our network, and we’d
> love to hear from you if you are interested in learning more about
> it. If so, please reply to me with a convenient time for you to
> talk with [secret ladys name], along with all of your contact information, and
> I’ll make arrangements for her to contact you. If you would rather
> contact her directly, her e-mail address is [secret ladys name]@forbes.net and
> her phone numbers are: T: 212.xxx.8997 or C: 917-xxx-9093.

I’ve shot back 2 or 3 emails basically stating that I don’t want to sell out to “the man” and I don’t want to have huge banners on my page that don’t drive traffic. Specifically I said back:

Hey [secret lady’s name]- I added the 2 toolbars, but I’ve got to be honest, and
nothing against you folks, but the ads are really big. Many bloggers balk
at blogs with such large ads, especially 2 of them. I’m all for building
a business relationship, as clearly I’m in it to turn a few bucks, but I
don’t want to lose my loyal reader base in doing so; is the point of
these ads more to drive traffic to Forbes or to get a loyal base of
financial bloggers on board for something else?

A few other options possibly:
Maybe it’d be beneficial to “sponsor” blogs? Give them $X to put a
smaller banner at the top of the blog (no ads, just something that says
“Forbes Blogger” or something with a link to Forbes somewhere. There are
a handful of sponsored financial blogs out there.

The positioning of the banners is another one; ideally I’m sure you guys
want to have the ads at the top of each blog, but again, the size is a big
thing in the blog world; we’re trying to appease our readers by keeping it
clutter/ad free, but need to pay the bills ourselves for doing such;
again, a smaller text only bannner at the top of the pages might do you
better than a gigantic one at the bottom or sidebar as far as getting
folks to recognize it.

How about posting your ad IN the actual article? Section off a part of
the main_index and insert something small in the post. I think you’d have
a much better reception there…

Again, just a few of my opinions. I like what you guys are doing, but I
like thinking of better ways to make things work; and I’d be willing to
bet you’re not going to drive the point home if most people put your
banners at the bottom and right side bars; positioning seems to be the
king in the finance blog realm… 🙂

I’m going to keep your ads on at the site; we’ll see what kind of traffic
comes from it, but just thought I’d help with my 2 cents though – hope you
have a good new year!

To no response so far. I’m considering just dumping the whole deal and gaining back some space on my page for the redesign in the works. Has anyone else dealt with this yet? Pros? Cons? Impressions? Ideas? Wanna start a revolt? 🙂

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  • Hi,

    I got a similar email around December also. I noticed that the “secret lady” had an email ID that said @forbes.net.

    I just ignored it and the SL went away.

  • eric

    Tack my name up too. I am gald you wrote this post because now I can vent a bit about it anonymously! These ads are really too big and it pisses me off that they don’t get back and don’t settle for anything less than those banners. If I don’t hear back from them or see something good to go off from this post, I am likely just going to cancel my membership. And even more on top is that they said it would drive traffic and I have seen absolutely 0 traffic from the huge banners so far. I like forbes, but this is a bit bothersome certainly. Thank you for allowing the vent Hank! I hope THEY read this post! Maybe I will send this to them to start a fire under them!

  • Me too – I put them up in Dec and was told days later that the campaigns were not starting till January. I removed them, and never heard another word from these people.

  • @fathersez – yea, the “top secret lady” is making me a little frustrated myself… I like Forbes, and I like the idea they have, but this isn’t working…

    @eric – vent away! I hear everything you’re saying.

    @David – #3 of 3 so far, I’m thinking I am about to dump these guys shortly unless anyone can come up with a reason to stay!

  • Hi,

    I also received an invitation from them, but I have not heard back from them since I signed up and was approved. I wonder what is going on. And yes, I agree the banners are a little too big.

  • I got an email from them too. Thanks for the writeup on this as I do not want huge banners on my site either.

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  • @Smarty – thanks for the post. I’ve still not heard anything – not very impressed.

    @SingleGuy – glad to help!

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  • hank-

    We are considering joining up with the Forbes network (we got our invite in March, April?). We really aren’t in it for the ad revenue, but more the traffic. I see that the ads and badge are still up here.

    Has the traffic started to come in?

    NtJS’s last blog post..Whatever Is Next: Credit Profiling

  • @NtJS – I probably should have posted something about it and may still, but I have recently given them another stab because I did hear back from her regarding some of my questions, and you DON’T have to have more than 1 banner up.

    You can just have that one, and the selection of ads they run is actually getting deeper, so I thought I’d give them a whirl. Over the past month they’ve actually produced a decent enough chunk of change. I’ll keep them around for a bit longer I figure to see if it increases.

    The big thing was the change of advertisers they had on the site. They fit well now with the “personal finance” realm I think much better than before.

  • Glad to hear that things are going better. I’m also glad that one banner was adequate. Compensation would have to be quite high to make up for more than one of those banners.

    Have you seen much traffic driven from Forbes.com?

    NtJS’s last blog post..Carnivals / Festivals