How to go BIG like Associated Content did

You’ve heard of Yahoo, right? How about Associated Content? Well, you will soon.

Yahoo, the world’s largest online media company – you know, the one that’s destination for more than 600 million unique visitors every month – just bought Associated Content, a media company barely six years old but worth more than its weight in SEO keywords. Actually more than $100 million, to be exact. Wowza!

For a startup that’s still in its formative years, that’s not half bad! Associated pays freelance writers for content on any subject imaginable, and then advertisers pay to have their brands linked to the articles – a little idea that creator Luke Beatty came up with and called “search advertising.” Brilliant!

The business plan is grounded in low-cost and crowd-sourced content, paying as little as $5 per story. The company claims to review more than 50,000 action-oriented pieces of content each month, and developed technology that supposedly predicts the verging trends in desired consumer content. It’s great publicity for advertisers because Associated can almost guarantee a sale (third-party research claims that consumers who search Associated are 80% more likely to purchase than the average Internet user). And consumers have a resource compiled from their fellow consumers. It’s no wonder that deals are going down.

According to Advertising Age, many major media publishers have also signed contracts with Associated for use of its content. You may have heard of Thomson Reuters, Cox Newspapers, Hachette Filipacchi and USA Today – some of the huge publishers who are now fighting to work with this recently unknown company. Why didn’t we (or you) think of this?! Yahoo has been considering the Associated deal since last year, looking for ways to boost its content offerings.

Combining information searches with brand advertising to become an invaluable public resource on everything – what a scheme. And the result of a startup just five years ago? Incredible. So, how do the rest of us get so lucky to have Yahoo – or any multimillion dollar company, for that matter, we’re not picky! – knocking at our doors?

It’s that BIG IDEA. Or maybe it’s the small, simple idea that’s just slid under the radar. The one that make s you say, “Why the heck didn’t I think of that before?!” Some people say there is nothing new. Maybe it has all been done before, maybe it hasn’t. But like Associated Content just proved, it just takes one great idea to go big.

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