Helium.com Builds Direct Sales Force, Ad Safe Areas

Post written by Fred Aun

Helium.com, which cuts its writer-contributors in on a share of ad revenues, is on the verge of hiring a direct sales team.

Helium aims to begin selling direct in the early part of 2008, and its goal is “to build tighter partnerships around brand advertising,” according to President and CEO Mark Ranalli. The site is visited by two million unique users monthly, up from 100,000 six months ago, but it’s still trafficking inventory largely through ad networks.

Ranalli says the site and its writers are “building little buckets of community” where people will gather to read and write about their passions. He adds the site’s story-ranking system creates havens of content where advertisers “can feel far more confident they are advertisng next to high-quality content and content packaged into the brand.”

Unlike many other sites that are based on user-generated content, Helium offers contributors a share of ad revenues based on the popularity of their articles. It just unveiled a new member benefit and referral program called “Invite a Writer,” where members can introduce friends to the site earn an extra 5 percent of article earnings for every article written by the people they invite. Helium also allows members to donate to non-profit organizations some or all of their earnings.

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