Over the past couple of months, I’ve been working with a company called TinBu on my Burbank and Lowell websites, and I really like their product and customer service, and on top of it all, they are cool people. TinBu is a Florida-based company that provides interactive content modules for developed websites.
Some of TinBu’s modules include gas prices, horoscope, entertainment news, stock report, flight status sodoku, and a bunch of others. Unlike many content providers, TinBu’s modules keep visitors on my sites, as they are all self-contained within my site. In most cases, if a person clicks a link on a module, they will remain on the site – with the except of the gas module which has Map Quest links.
I use TinBu modules on my developed geo websites, which although they aren’t currently news providers, they do compete with the local newspapers and news outlets. Having TinBu modules on my site allows me to compete with the big newspapers – many of which also have similar modules. I’ve found that people are visiting the modules more frequently, and they tend to stay on the site longer.
While all of this is very important because it helps grow the site and stickiness, I didn’t even mention the revenue. I have a revenue share with TinBu for the advertisements that are displayed within the modules. I have never even checked to see their performance, because frankly, I am happy with the content.
Ease of installing the modules was important, and I found each module literally took 5 minutes to install. I added my own meta tags, inputted a couple of variables based on the city locations (per the instruction guide), wrote a bit of content to drive search engine traffic, and voila – the modules were live as soon as I uploaded them. Simplicity at its finest.
The service at TinBu is great too. Pete Hayward (VP of Marketing) helped me get started with TinBu, first by convincing me the company was going to help my sites, and then he helped me set up my account, get approved by their upstream ad partner, and then helped me with the installation of the modules. The whole process has been a breeze.
If you have a website where you think some of TinBu’s modules would be beneficial, I highly recommend you get in touch. It couldn’t be any easier.
Here are a couple examples of TinBu’s modules in action:
congrats, i been wondering on this and who you were using…glad to see you mentioned them and great review on company! looks interesting.
elliot, could you go into detail on these 2 points i have:
1. When you mean revenue share-do you mind sharing the revenue percentage? also is the revenue share just for you or for anyone to sign up from the blue and decides to go with them… (i agree on having people staying on site and content first, however this is important from a revenue point of view and to be a profitable)
2. i know pricing can be all over the map on things like this, how big project is, the many items on site, do you need to 1 module or 5 module, is it a set package, is it billed monthly, a one time expense and etc? i quickly browsed site and couldnt find any details…
congrats again elliot and seems like a great program to use and for a targeted audience!
ps….i assume thats one of the main reasons you flew to florida and meet these people..
***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
1) The revenue share is between my company and TinBu, and we are paid when a visitor clicks an advertisement and leaves the site.
2) There was no cost for me to add the modules. You have a choice between all of the modules they offer on their site (tinbu.com).
I actually met with Pete in New York. Florida was a vacation for me, and I was in south Florida 🙂
We are also using TinBu at Lahaina.com and have been pleased with everything from them. Great product and great service.
Thanks for this update, Elliot. We are developing a group of sites to provide travel information and Ray Neu recommended Peter’s company to us. I’m glad to hear about the ease of use and the various widgets; though I don’t like the gas prices module taking visitors AWAY from the site.
Thanks for the tip & recommendation, Elliot…but my view is that the way they’re presented (which junks up otherwise nice, inviting, professional-looking sites) + sending visitors elsewhere make it/them a poor choice.
I won’t be using it/them on any sites I own or in the future develop, as the drawbacks don’t overcome whatever incremental income that might come in.
***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
The revenue isn’t even a consideration for me. It gives my visitors more updated “news” content that many would search for elsewhere. I am becoming a news outlet and keeping visitors on my site longer. It’s not much different than banner ads that take visitors away, no? The ads might not be as good looking or as profitable as a $1k/month banner advertisement, but it’s the same idea because visitors will leave the site by clicking on a banner.
Instead of thinking about money, it’s more of a decision that their eyeballs, return visits and time on the site are more valuable at this stage. I want people to visit my site for more than travel info about Burbank/Lowell.
I just checked, and in the Lowell area, Lowell.com is close to the top of Google for “daily horoscope”, “daily astrology,” “horoscope” and several other keywords which is driving traffic to that page. As an illustration, out of the top 100 keywords people searched to find Lowell.com on Google in the last week, 5 keywords were related to the horoscope page alone (not 5% of traffic, but 3 of those keywords had more than 1 visitor related to it). This seems pretty good… and after the weekend I will do a bit more thorough analysis at the analytics related to all TinBu pages, but my brain is fried!
If the module was in PHP then you could benefit from the module content as well.
***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
Good point – that’s why I added relevant metas and the content above the modules to help drive traffic…
Free daily Horoscopes and Astrology reports and readings…”
Burbank.com looks transformed. There is sticky content and I believe Elliot’s correct to focus on content, eyeballs, and incentive for visitors to return. Money later. Content and audience first. Things should fall into place.
Elliot, I had a meeting with a chap from the Geo Domain conference in my office yesterday and the first words out of his mouth were, “Great Article on you guys in Elliots Blog!” I had to ask what article? This is actually my first time seeing it so sorry I am so slow to respond.
I am not going to fill up the forum with comments as I could talk for an hour on why our geo content like weather in particular is better than every other single weather product on the market.
Very quickly I just want to address one issue to make sure the facts are being presented, TinBu’s content has NO redirects at all.
The gas module does have a window that opens that does not lead you to any home pages or web site but to a specific map of exactly where the station is. This is not a redirect. It does not close off the original page or redirect away from your page.
This feature was added as a result of specific client feedback to help tourists visiting cities so they could find where a station is located. Just giving a station name and a street address is not helpful to someone that is visiting your city, staying in a hotel somewhere and does not know where the ABC gas station is on 125 Smith Street. For local residents that know where the stations are, they do not need to click on the map obviously. The feature caters to both demographics of people who would go to a geo specific site. Locals if they need it and tourists who always need it.
Other than that there are 0 redirects in our content. This is why we have quickly become the go to content provider for localized content. Only other point I would add is that our content is also 100% customizable as you know so how it winds up looking on a page is entirely up to you!
As a final note just to let folks know, we actually have as many new content modules in production at TinBu right now than we currently have on offer. We are going through explosive growth in terms of new content portals and much of it has come from client feedback. With the upcoming releases for Box Office movies, crossword puzzles, streaming radio, sports, news, mixed drinks and much more, it is only going to keep getting better.
Thanks for writing a note on us in your blog and you have done a bang up job with your sites. If anyone has any specific questions they can reach out to us through our web site!