Dangerous Prototypes has always been a word-of-mouth operation. We survive on the traffic we get when you submit our projects to your favorite blog. Over the next few months we’re going to document our experience buying advertising, and try to figure out if it makes sense for us. We’ll share real numbers about the price, and percentage change in sales, profit, and site visits during the ad runs.
Our initial targets are three publications that got us interested in hacking, Make, Circuit Cellar, and Nuts and Volts. We’re not limited to these though, if you have other ideas or suggestions please leave them in the comments. We’d really like to consider your favorite regional magazine too, not just the big US-based publications.
Of these three initial publications, all but Make publish ad prices online. We’re certainly at the bottom of the pile: 9th pages, a few inches of column space, nothing huge. We’re looking at options under $400 per ad, with a $1000 total budget. After the break we look at the type of ads that might work for a small open source hardware business.
Circuit Cellar is a serious engineer’s magazine with online and print versions. We like their pricing because it’s so straight forward, but there aren’t a whole lot of options to work with. A 1/9th page ad is the most we can get on our budget, $390.
Nuts and Volts
Nuts and Volt’s smallest regular ad is 1/4 page, and at $635 we can’t even begin to afford one. That’s ok, because they have several budget-minded options that are more our style.
A showcase ad is about 1/12th page and runs $347. An Electro-net ad is a banner ad that appears in print and online, standard banner size is $200. A classified ad is only $50 per inch of length.
We were first interested in advertising in Make’s classified section, ads were around $200. When we inquired about it in the Spring, they had been discontinued. Make does not list their prices, as far as we can tell, so we’re going to ask when this post is finished.
Taking it further
Our next step is to write Make and ask for their rates. We’ll also write the other publications to see if there’s room for price negotiation.
What do you think? Where should we advertise, and what type of ad should it be? We haven’t even started to think about online advertising, but honestly, the web has ads?