We’re in this game for the moolah. The money. Dollar, dollar bills y’all.
As such, anybody and everybody who owns a job board (or any sort of online business, for that matter) is constantly looking to improve their bottom line and maximize potential profit. To do that, however, you can’t just rely on a single monetization strategy (like a single payment per job listing) — you need to diversify your income to ensure that you aren’t putting all your eggs in one basket.
Why Diversification is So Important
Never put all your eggs in one basket.
We hear that a lot, don’t we? But how many of us truly understand what the proverb means? Not many, I’m willing to bet. And even fewer follow up on that advice and actually do spread their eggs around in multiple baskets.
To show you first-hand the importance of diversification of monetization strategies, here’s a fictional example.
Joe runs a job board. He knows that he should be diversifying his income and setting up multiple channels through which income can flow in, but he never really got around to it. Then one month, Joe’s job board takes a huge hit in organic traffic. After investigating, he finds out that one of his competitors conducted negative SEO on his site — cleaning up the mess is gonna take him some time.
However, the only monetization strategy he has set up is a pay per job listing. And since so few job seekers are visiting his site, his customer base is also taking a hit. Joe needs every dollar he can make to pay his bills and rent, but his only revenue stream has all of a sudden dried up.
So what steps could Joe have taken to make sure that his entire income stream didn’t take a hit? For one, he could have had a membership packages available for job posters and seekers with 6-month or 12-month contracts that provide him with recurring revenue. Or, Joe could have setup third-party advertising on his website to ensure he was milking every dollar possible out of his job board.
A lot of people say that you should play to your strengths, and leave your weaknesses alone. While that’s a correct proverb and one that I fully support, the only way you get to know what your strengths are (notice the plural) is if you diversify and test enough monetization strategies.
Has the importance of spreading your eggs around sunk in yet? Good. Without further ado, I present to you 5 monetization strategies for job board owners.
1. Membership Packages
Image source: Howard via Flickr.
We briefly discussed this monetization strategy with the example of Joe. Frankly, it’s one of the most effectual (though highly underused) income streams around for job board owners.
I love memberships because they provide you with recurring revenue. That means money heading to your bank account on every single month … practically on autopilot, because the only thing you need to do is get a customer to sign up and then convince them to stay on.
Don’t know what you could charge a monthly membership fee for? Here are a few ideas:
- resume access (e.g. $0.10 x number of resumes you have per month)
- regular job listings (e.g. 5 job listings per month)
- access to a forum where like-minded recruiters & employers share time-saving hacks and tips for sifting through job applications
- access to educational resources concerning recruiting/employee training, etc. (provided by you)
Chunk that all together, and you have a nice little membership package you can charge a premium for. For multiple levels of membership, just give access to more or less items.
2. Third-Party Advertising
I also mentioned this option in Joe’s example. Whenever I do, people are quick to point out to me that hosting third-party advertising on your site can quickly repel and drive away potential traffic and customers. Because no matter how professional your website looks, hosting ads always makes you look at least a teeny weeny bit unprofessional.
But you know what? Sometimes, you just have to be okay with that.
It’s not the end of the world if you lose a couple hundred visitors or repel a few customers. Why? Because the money you make with the ads could easily offset your losses and leave you well in the black.
It’s all about the bottom line, people.
I wouldn’t recommend signing up for Google AdSense (or most ad networks), however, as they are notorious for serving up irrelevant ads which a) don’t get you many clicks and b) can drive away more customers & traffic than you can afford.
The simple alternative is direct ad sales, where someone with a business relevant to your job board pays you for ad space upfront. The same process can happen through a third-party program like BuySellAds.
3. Featured Listings
I know, I know. Featured listings is old news, right? Practically everyone who’s updated their job board after 2007 has them.
But hold on — don’t tune out just yet. While you may have an extra payment process for featured listings in place and may even be making a little extra money with it, the fact is that you could be making a lot more by offering multiple levels of featured listing.
I got this idea from a job board that I personally frequent as a freelance blogger. When posting a listing, a recruiter can opt for different levels of “featuredness” with differing amounts of payment. For instance:
- highlighted for thirty days ($50)
- highlighted and at the top of the list for 5 days ($50)
- highlighted and at the top of the list for 10 days ($100)
Image source: Steve via Flickr.
Remember though, you don’t want to have too many choices, because that could kill your conversion rate.
4. Resources for Recruiters
As a job board owner, you may have a lot of first-hand experience and knowledge about recruiting and employment under your belt. Experience and knowledge that people are willing to pay for.
Jot down the advice you would give to a new recruiter or a small business looking to train or hire new employees, and turn it into a digital product — a series of videos, an eBook, whatever. Can’t write? Hire a ghostwriter. Can’t shoot videos? Hire someone who can.
Not only will selling such resources help you to increase income, but you’ll also be earmarking yourself as an industry expert.
5. Resources for Job Seekers
On the flipside of the coin, you might be an experienced freelancer who, over the years, has applied to hundreds of job listings and applications. You know what works in an application, and you know what doesn’t.
Let me tell you from personal experience — new job seekers will kill for that info.
Well, to be honest, they might not kill, but they sure will pay.
You can package up your advice as an eBook, video series, or (better yet) a mentoring/coaching package where job seekers pay by the hour to talk to you.
If your job board hasn’t been producing the amount of revenue you originally thought it would, it’s a safe bet to assume that you haven’t diversified enough. Invest your time and money into setting up another revenue stream, like membership packages, educational resources, third-party advertising, or multiple levels of featured listings.
You might just find yourself looking at a skyrocketing in your revenue.
Version 4.1.4 was just released and you should see it soon in automatic updates panel, as always you can also download the update from client panel. This update is crucial for you if you are using Apply From LinkedIn feature. LinkedIn is deprecating old Apply From LinkedIn button on 1st August, if you want to have this functionality working you need to update.
What’s new in version 4.1.4?
- Apply From LinkedIn – like described earlier LinkedIn is discontinuing the old apply button, this involves a couple of changes to how the “Apply From LinkedIn” will now work. First of all, the option to apply via email only is gone, all LinkedIn applications will be sent as “normal” WPJB applications. The second change is that to the application a PDF file will no longer be attached, instead when viewing application details from wp-admin panel you will see a button as below
- Searching Candidates and Employers from wp-admin panel – now it is possible to search Candidates and Employers from wp-admin panel, similarly like Jobs.
- Link to Resume on job application - from admin panel you can allow Employers to see full Resume of a user who submitted an application to one of Employer jobs.
- General Job Application – new shortcode [wpjb_apply_form] was added. You can put this shortcode on any Page or Post it will generate a job application form. If a user will fill and submit this form his job application will be saved as a General Application, that is application not associated with any job.
- Google Maps V3 – WPJobBoard can now use Google Maps V3, in order to enable them you need to enter your Google API key in wp-admin / Settings (WPJB) / Google APIs panel.
Along with WPJobBoard 4.1.4 release, new Jobeleon version (1.1.3) was released, it is a recommended update as well.
The list of modified files in both WPJB and Jobeleon you can download from here.
Version 4.1.3 was just released you should see an update notification in your wp-admin panel within 24 hours or you can download it immediately from client panel.
This version has 2 main features as well as multiple minor improvements and bug fixes, so what’s new?
- Bookmarks – while this was not so much requested feature it will be useful once we will release native mobile WPJobBoard application, basically once you enable Bookmarks from wp-admin panel then next to the Apply Online button on job details page Bookmark button will appear. Candidates will be able to browse all their bookmarks from candidate panel.
- Admin only custom fields – there is a small but really useful update to custom fields, since version 4.1.3 it is possible to create custom fields that will be visible from wp-admin panel only. For example recruiter might want to add such field to Application form in order to add private notes about job application.
Additionally the Custom Fields are not added using apply_filters function which makes the whole Forms API much more flexible, although i guess that only web developers will appreciate or notice this change :).
- Membership discounts – when purchasing membership Employer can now enter discount code, additionally it is possible now to create free membeships
- Timezones – proper support for different timezones was added to job board.
- Facebook update – some of you were experiencing “(#200) The user hasn’t authorized the application to perform this action” error when configuring FB integration, this is fixed in version 4.1.3
As usually along with new WPJB version release, Jobeleon is also getting an update, so if you are using WPJB and Jobeleon make sure to update both of them.
List of modified files you can download from here.
Version 4.1.2 was just released, this is a small update mainly with bug fixes, tiny improvements. The most notable changes are dates and locations API updates, basically you will now be able to format dates and locations any way you want. It will be documented today or tomorrow with example usage snippets.
There is also one new very often requested feature – Apply From LinkedIn. It allows to collect job applications directly from LinkedIn, in order to use you need to configure your LinkedIn integration first, once ready next to “Apply Online”, “Apply From LinkedIn” button will appear. This integration has two modes: “email” LinkedIn applications will be sent to your email address only and “web” using it LinkedIn applications will be saved directly in DB (in wp-admin / Job Board / Applications panel).
I made an announcement on Facebook fan page, but in case you missed it here is what’s inside:
- LinkedIn Post as Company
- Apply From LinkedIn
- Candidate/Employer can always view his profile
- Top search box improvments
- Recent Jobs widget will now sort by date only (not by is_featured flag)
- Schema.org markup for job postings
- Customizable Locations (via API)
- Customizable Dates (via API)
If you are using Jobeleon theme, remember to update your theme to version 1.1.1 as well.
As you can see the site was just redesigned, i wanted to make this update along with version 4.1, however since beta testing takes more time than i originally expected i went ahead with the redesign and published it earlier.
For all WPJB users this means slightly updated client panel, most probably some new features will be coming there soon and since the changes on site also included internal engine the updates API should work faster although i doubt you will notice any difference as the speed improvements are in milliseconds.
As for version 4.1 as i am guessing this is something you are interested most, i do not have an exact release date as it is hard to tell right now if Quality Assurance will find some issues or not, if you cannot wait to get it is best to subscribe to this blog or Facebook fanpage, as soon as new WPJB will be released there will be announcement on both sites (and via automatic updates if you are using version 4.0.3 or newer).
First week of a new year is usually a time of summary, to take a look at the last year (to see what went great and what not so much) and plan for the year ahead of you.
How was 2013 for WPJobBoard?
Not bad at all. The biggest win was releasing WPJB 4.0 and Jobeleon theme. Both of them were welcomed warmly by the community and are real improvement to what WPJB used to be. The biggest positive surprise for me was how often users used Jobeleon as theme since i am marketing WPJB mainly as a plugin.
Good decision was also hiring Jeeni as a half-time QA (quality assurence) tester, fresh pair of eyes really help find bugs and problems in the software.
I can’t think of anything that went particularly bad, i would say that even though the KB articles were rewritten for 4.0 the quality is less than satisfying.
What is ahead of us?
First of all version 4.1 which is planned for middle of January, the codebase is locked there will be just few more small changes there and i will be passing it to QA (if you would like to see what i do have planned there check out our Facebook).
Next up will be probably WPJobBoard officials site redesign, i am guessing this is not something you might be interested in but this is still on my roadmap.
We are planning native Android and iOS WPJobBoard apps. Users are checking their smartphones multiple times a day, showing them instant job notifications on their mobile devices seems like a great idea. It would be huge success to have them ready in the middle of the year.
In order to develop native mobile apps, the WPJobBoard would need to have a full OpenGraph-like API that will allow to remotely manage all WPJB data.
These are the biggest plans so far, other than that we will be doing multiple updates with small (yet important) UI and functionality improvements.
Happy New Year Everyone!
As some of you may already know version 4.1 will be available in middle of January, it will include multiple improvments, updates and a couple of new features. The most awaited one are probably membership packages which i am presenting in this sneak peek.
So, what are membership packages? Well, you can think of them as subscriptions, in wp-admin / Settings (WPJB) / Pricing, Administrator will now have ability to create a new product expiring or not out of existing “Single Job Pricing” and “Single Resume Access” products.
For example such membership package can include 50 featured job postings, unlimited free job postings and unlimited access to resumes for 30 days, but you can also sell it as products for example 30 featured job postings with no expiration date.
I was thinking of scenarios which would NOT be possible to build using membership packages and so far i wasn’t able to think of any, as cliche as it sounds the possibilities seem to be endless, but i guess will see about that once WPJB 4.1 will be released.
So, since 1 picture is worth 1000 words here are 5 pictures for you.