There are a growing number of ways to monetize your website, whether you decide to go for contextual advertising, setting up your own online store or any of the other alternatives cropping up almost daily. One recent trend is the addition of a job board to your blog or website, which makes the best of your niche-targeted audience in helping employers to find suitable candidates. A new service aims to help you do just that, without having to spend a single cent.
But why would anybody want to advertise on your little league online publication when they could go straight to Craig's List or Monster.com? The answer is in your niche audience. Successful blogs and websites carve out a sharp focus for themselves that differentiates what they do from the other millions of websites out there, and where there is a niche focus, there are niche audiences.
The fact is that not everyone goes out deliberately looking for a new job, but if they are tempted to take a look at jobs that seem relevant to their experience and outlook, they might just be drawn to make a career shift.
Companies know that by placing an inexpensive job ad on your niche-themed job board, they have a much higher chance of finding people that are passionate about the industry or interest in which your site focuses on. After all, your site visitors come to your website not out of the need to get a job, but out of their genuine interest in your content. Furthermore, these pre-vetted, pre-qualified individuals are much more likely to be better suited to the job position offered on your site than the thousands of candidates that might apply for the same job through a more generic job ad.
It's a win-win situation: job hunters save time and frustration by being offered positions that suit them down to the ground, and the companies advertising get to cut through the crowds and target exactly the kind of people that they are looking for. And, between the two, is your new job board, a new source of income for your online content publishing business.
In this review I take you through the setting up, customizing and results tracking of your roll-your-own job board service.
Creating a job board
JobCoin is a web service that allows you to set up your own hosted job board in less than ten minutes. Even without further customization, this service may represent an interesting extra source of additional income, which can be up and running without any additional work.
JobCoin supplies you with a hosted job board solution that can be rapidly set-up by filling out a few online forms. To then drive your readers to your new full job listing, JobCoin provides you with embeddable widgets that you can easily integrate in your most popular site pages.
Potential job advertisers can buy ad space from you in slots of 30 days at a time. They can select from a number of pre-defined categories (you decide which ones to have), and can pay online for the ads they want to buy. You set the prices you want.
Regardless of what you decide to charge, JobCoin take a 30% cut of your revenue for supplying the service, and leave you with 70% of the proceeds, payable once a month to a PayPal account of your designation.
It doesn't get much simpler than that.
Setting up a job board with JobCoin requires:
a) making a series of simple choices about how your job board will function
b) deciding what information will be made available to potential advertisers.
- The choice of a job board title
- Providing a description of your target audience, so that potential advertisers have a good idea of your niche
- Setting a reference base price for a 30-day ad, which can be changed at any point
- Filling in your PayPal account details. At the time of writing this is the only way that you can receive payments from JobCoin
- Uploading your website logo, which will appear in the header of your job board. This is optional, and in cases where you choose not to upload your logo, this will be replaced by the title of your job board
- Your choice of JobCoin subdomain (e.g. www.masternewmedia.jobcoin.com). It is possible to map your own domain later, if you wish to
- The creation of up to ten job categories. If you get stuck here, there are default job categories that you can use
And that's all. With those simple choices you are ready to launch your job board and start making money.
I was pleasantly surprised by how simple the whole process was, and given that it is a totally free service is strikes me that there is very little to lose for anyone thinking to give this a shot.
For ten minutes of your time, and very little thought, you could have an extra way of adding valuable revenue to your web site while providing a useful service to your readers. Obviously if you want to make a real success out of this job board, you will also need to get out there and promote it... but setting up the basics, really takes no time at all.
Fortunately, for those who love to get their hands dirty and customize their job board, there are several features that allow you to go beyond the initial basic setup. Here the details:
Modifying and adapting your job board
Once you have your job board ready to launch, there are a number of ways that you edit it and further customize it. These include:
- Category editing - you can change the titles of your categories at any time, and can decide which order they appear on your job board. If you find that you are getting more responses for your web designer jobs than you are for your webmaster positions, you can always swap them around
- Editing and removing ads - as the person in charge of the job board you can remove or edit the ads that are currently running on your job board
- Adding unpaid ads - if you want to place ads of your own, or maybe want to do a friend a favor, you can place ads from the back-end of JobCoin without having to go through the usual payment process that customers will encounter. This could prove useful for internal job advertising, or for offering initial free ads as part of a promotion to get yourself launched
- Creating coupons - if you decide that you would like to create time-limited special offers it is possible to create coupons to distribute to some of your customers. These coupons allow end-users to buy ad space at a reduced price, up until an expiry date that you can select. All you have to do is generate a codeword that you can give to your customers, and they can buy discount advertising
- Adding custom text or style elements - if you want to add some extra text (or HTML) at the top of your job board, you can also do this from the back-end of JobCoin. Furthermore, it is possible to customize and style the whole job board using CSS and HTML should you want to fully integrate the job board with the look of your own website
- Domain mapping - if you decide you would rather have users visit your own domain name rather than a JobCoin subdomain, you can map your job board to the domain of your choice
- Analytics compatibility - if you want to go beyond the basic tracking functions built into JobCoin you can use an analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, pop a line of code into JobCoin, and get detailed results as to your job board visitor frequency and behavior
- Web widgets - you can choose from a range of web embeddable widgets of different sizes, and have random or selected jobs from your listing appear on your main website, rather like an animated ad banner. These widgets are one way of driving traffic through to your main job board page, and they can be customized in much the same way as Adsense ads by taking control of the specific components that make them up: border, size, color, font and other details are all at your disposal
JobCoin is truly flexible. While it is possible to get a job board up and running in under ten minutes, there are extensive additional features for those who prefer to spend time customizing and integrating the service into their existing website(s).
I particularly like JobCoin smart integration of embeddable web widgets, which allow you to easily embed any of your currently available job ads into selected sections and pages of your website.
Since the actual job board resides on JobCoin own servers, once your site readers navigate to your main job board they are always provided a a link at the top of the page that takes them back to your website. As such there is nothing to fear in temporarily redirecting your site traffic to JobCoin, especially given that this may bring extra revenue to your online publishing venture. The more visitors you have on your job board, the more useful and appealing the service becomes for your potential advertisers.
With your job board up and running and customized to your specifications, there are only a handful of extra features in the JobCoin back-end. These can be very useful in promoting your brand new job board as a new destination for your site visitors.
Here the details:
Maintaining and overseeing your job board
The simple JobCoin dashboard packs a couple of extra features that could prove very useful in making your job board a success over time. These are:
- The ability to track site visits - giving you a clear idea as to how many page views you have received in the last hour, day, week, month and altogether
- The ability to track sales - giving you stats as to how many jobs have been posted, when they were posted and your total earnings
- A reminder of your scheduled payments - letting you know exactly when you are next going to be paid by JobCoin. JobCoin pays out on a 30 day cycle to your PayPal account
- Text and HTML code generation for your email newsletter, which can be directly copied and pasted it, lets users know about your latest job offerings and the traffic size to your job board
- Promotional advice - Tips for successfully promoting your online job board
The above additional features nicely complement the core JobCoin facilities as a job-posting platform.
By including instant text and HTML generated code for email newsletters, JobCoin provides you with a new powerful way of rapidly promoting your job board to your existing subscribers, whether you use a HTML or plain text message format. Just by adding this value-added content to the bottom of your newsletter, you may well drive interested readers to your job board, and increase your revenues in for the bargain.
End-user experience of the job board
The back-end experience of JobCoin is very intuitive and doesn't require any great expertise to use, and the same can also be said for the well-featured job board.
Among the features that make the job posting process simple for those interested in advertising as well as for those checking your job opportunities are:
- Built in secure credit card processing - clients can make their purchases directly from your job board, rather than being sent to a third-party website, which is certainly more convenient and should also increase their confidence in your service
- Ad previews - advertisers can view a full preview of the job ad they have created and would want to publish on your site. They can preview the job ad before paying and they can go back and make any changes required until they are absolutely happy with the results
- Coupon promotions - if you have sent out coupon codes in your advertising or promotional material, customers can benefit from a reduced rate, if they buy ad space within a set time limit. This is likely to appeal to your customers' urge to make a saving, while increasing the amount of potential advertisers
- Simple, well guided forms for the creation of ad-copy. There is a 1000-word limit for the copy of the ad, which encourages brevity, and the opportunity for advertisers to select their preferred contact method. Applicants therefore do not have to apply through an intermediary, making the process a simple and direct one
- RSS feeds - JobCoin integrates self-generated RSS feeds for each job category on your job board, making it extremely easy for job seekers to follow new postings appearing on your board without needing to come back to your site periodically.
It is also possible to subscribe to a RSS feed integrating the entire job board, so that the user is notified of all new jobs rather than those limited to a given category. This is a much welcomed feature that will save the end-user considerable time, given that they don't have to keep visiting your job board every day to check for updates
JobCoin is as simple for the end user as it is for the web publisher running it.
I found the experience of writing copy and purchasing ad space on JobCoin to be piece of cake.
From the job hunters' perspective, the job board is uncomplicated, easy to use and search through. RSS feeds are a great addition too.
There is in fact little to complain about, mainly because JobCoin does its job well by keeping things as simple as possible.
Photo credit: Jason Stitt
JobCoin is an extremely well implemented and easy-to-use job board solution that takes a matter of minutes to set up. Dispensing entirely with the need to host, design and arrange a secure payment system for your own job board, JobCoin does all that is required to set up and integrate a full job board on your site right out of the box.
In adding a job board to your blog, website or community forum, you have the opportunity to attract an additional revenue stream while providing a useful service to your readers.
Displaying job ads is as simple as integrating a snippet of code in the code of your website. All job categories can be subscribed to by RSS , giving your readers a chance to keep tabs on the latest jobs the minute they appear.
How profitable such a job board may be for your web site will obviously depend largely on your site traffic, and to some extent on your niche theme. A blog about home-cooking with a hundred views a month is unlikely to do a brisk line in business, and in this light JobCoin will not be a service that suits everyone.
On the other hand, if you are writing within the context of a more mainstream industry and manage to grow a reasonable readership over time, you could certainly stand to add another micro-revenue stream from your online publishing venture.
You are free to charge exactly what you like on your job board, although it is advised that you start low and build up from there.
JobCoin takes a 30% cut of the money you make from selling job ads, which seems reasonable considering that they supply the complete service infrastructure for you.
In short, JobCoin makes it very easy to:
- Set up your own job board
- Customize the design and categories featured
- Accept online payments from potential advertisers
- Integrate the service into your blog via easy to embed web widgets
- Track your earnings and viewing figures day-by-day
If you would like to learn more about setting up your own job board, you might want to check out the following links:
Robin Good and Michael Pick -
Originally written by Michael Pick for Master New Media and first published as: "A Job Board For Your Site: Create Your Online Custom Job Board With JobCoin"