Serious Eats Is Serious Business

20111118-selogo.jpgWe're making some changes to the way Serious Eats makes money, and we want to explain how and why, and to ask your help on making sure this new endeavor helps us continue to grow and build the best food community on the Internet.

The short version is, we're going to be selling all of the advertising on our sites ourselves, instead of using a partner to do it for us. We think this will drive a better experience for you as readers, and it'll help us make more money to invest into the site since we won't be sharing revenue with a partner. To do it, we're building a team to sell ads.

What does all this mean to you, our faithful and ever-growing community?

  • We'll have total control over the ads you see, so there should be fewer ads that make you scratch your head and say, "What's that doing on Serious Eats?"
  • We'll be working with advertisers to bring you relevant sponsored content that is the kind of content you already come to Serious Eats for.
  • You can help us by being part of the conversation about which companies should be advertising on Serious Eats.

Perhaps most importantly, it tells us and you that we're growing, and growing up as a creative business. Once we're up and running and selling the way we plan to, we'll be able to bring you more of the stuff you've told us you love about Serious Eats: more posts, more recipes, more video, more mobile functionality, more tools that make it easier to communicate with us and each other, and more ways for community members to contribute their own content. All of this won't happen overnight, but over the next 18 months you'll be seeing more and more of the stuff you, our cherished community, has asked for.

In the meantime, don't be shy about telling us the companies and brands that you think belong as part of our advertising community, or to point to the way other sites or apps do advertisements that you think we could learn from.

A Little Background

When we launched Serious Eats more than 5 1/2 years ago, we did what most blogs do and worked with other companies for selling and serving our advertisements. We always hoped that one day we would be able to take off those training wheels and take control of this key aspect of our creative business endeavors.

Our Ad Sales Team

The good news is, that day is here. Starting Monday, thanks to the tireless efforts of our General Manager Alaina Browne and our new ad sales and ad operations team, we will be selling and serving our own ads. Heading up our ad sales team is our brand new Ad Sales Director Jen Weinberg. Jen answered our post announcing the position and seeking candidates with such genuine passion and enthusiasm for Serious Eats, and had so many years of selling digitally for Conde Nast and Martha Stewart, that we knew she was the one. Jen is already pounding the pavement, burning up the phone lines, and firing off e-mails to prospective advertisers and their ad agencies. She is being ably assisted by our sales planner, none other than our very own cereal columnist Leandra Palermo, and new ad ops administrator Ben Fishner, who also doubles as our Apps Only columnist (at Serious Eats everybody multi-tasks).

So please raise a glass and toast our new in-house ad sales team. While we're happy that they work for me and for Serious Eats, in the end, we're most happy that they, like our whole team, ultimately work for our community. Skol. L'Chaim.