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How The Publisher Desk Boosts Ad Revenue and Reduce Admin Costs: Q/A with Chris Ward

How The Publisher Desk Boosts Ad Revenue and Reduce Admin Costs: Q/A with Chris Ward

Bethenny Carl
Website Planet had the chance to sit down and chat with Chris Ward, Chief Revenue Officer of The Publisher Desk, a recognized Google Publishing Partner that streamlines monetization, audience engagement, and revenue growth for digital publishers, facilitating transformative results from optimizing advertising strategies to audience expansion.

We will learn more about their story, and what make them stand out when it comes to growing a media company profitability without huge investments.

Let’s introduce The Publisher Desk to our audience. What is it and how does it work?

Drawing from our experiences at major media companies, Jeff Misenti and I co-founded The Publisher Desk to lend those best practices and tools to niche digital properties. Our expertise spans from digital publishing operations to SEO and advertising revenue. Recognizing that content creators often lack this operational know-how, we saw a partnership opportunity. We also operate sites across sports, lifestyle, and business verticals.

Though content is king, its visibility is paramount. Beyond content creation, we address the “how do we get noticed?” dilemma. Our longstanding industry experience fast-tracks clients through SEO, linking strategies, social media mastery, content strategy, advertising sales, and audience engagement. We also provide advanced monetization products, ensuring optimal user experience and ensuring content earns its due prominence.

Our proprietary tools, coupled with Jeff’s and my invaluable experience with global media conglomerates, are our distinction. We believe in the synergy of the right tool and its adept handler. Our recent recognition as a Google Publishing Partner is a testament to our proficiency and innovation.

How does your mission differ from the other companies in your niche?

We prioritize scaling small- to medium-sized publishers. By offering resources, tech, operations, and direction, we empower niche media brands, ensuring alignment with audience interests and pertinent advertisers.

How did it all start, and what are your achievements to this day?

Due to a glaring gap in publisher customer service, we founded The Publisher Desk in 2014. Even within colossal media corporations, obtaining assistance from vendors and partners was challenging, often necessitating the creation of extensive internal teams to achieve success. Recognizing the barriers faced by small and independent publishers, we saw a golden opportunity to introduce a comprehensive solution, creating a one-stop-shop to ensure their success.

Our Account Management services are very important to generating online sales. We do everything from pipeline development to accounts receivable. We can manage every aspect of a well-run sales program, and we can get started as soon as the client begins publishing. Sure, all of that can be learned through trial-and-error, but a lot of digital publishers go broke that way before they get proficient. I can’t stress it enough, we have many years of experience launching, fine-tuning and growing media brands. We are a turnkey solution for digital publishers who need solutions in a hurry.

Can you share any success stories where your product made a significant difference for a business dealing with these challenges?

What I will say, and I guess this qualifies as ironic because we’re in the digital publishing industry, is that our clients found us through word-of-mouth. They had worked with us before or heard of us from people who had, and at this point after 10 years in business, we have many clients who have stuck with us for a long time.

This business is all about measurable results, and our long-term clients are the proof that we garner results. In 2019, we acquired Sportsnaut.com as our way of showing our clients and the market what we can do. The proof is in the pudding, if you will. We have grown it from 175k visits a month to 2.5M today. It is a testament to the possibilities of growing a digital publisher profitably without raising huge sums of money to do so. *

If you had unlimited funds, what improvements would you make?

One of our biggest assets is our people. With unlimited funds, we would invest more heavily in our people as well as add additional employees to help take on different aspects of the business such as: ad operations, sales, platform and monetization efforts.

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