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Ways to monetize your site

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  • Ways to monetize your site

    If you want your site to succeed (make money) you need to have a long-term strategy.

    Below are 3 ways you can monetize your site:
    1. Adsense
    2. Direct Advertisers
      • Forum Sponsorships
      • Newsletter Sponsorships

    3. Membership Upgrades

    This is basically targeted for large sites but small to medium sites may find some of the advice helpful.

    Remember: These are long-term strategies. It will not change your bottom line overnight.

    Google Adsense

    Adsense is by far the best way to monetize your site. There's very little work in getting started.

    Sites with more than 10 million pageviews* per month should be earning A MINIMUM 6 figures per month with Adsense (+/- $15,000). If you are not close to this then you need to reconsider your strategy.

    * Time on Site as well as number of Unique Visitors also needs to be considered.

    Why You May Be Earning Less...

    There's no focus on content.

    Content is KING. There's no other reason why someone will visit your site. Create unique and compelling content!

    Advertisers generally do not like advertising on "forums".

    That's not to say that they won't advertise on forums - it's just that they don't expect a good ROI. Which is why advertising on forums is not as high as it should be.

    The trick here is to rebrand and create something unique. Change your site into something that advertisers as well as members will appreciate.

    It's all about how they (sponsors) perceive your site.

    Never trick your readers into clicking your ads.

    I never use Adsense Link Units because they don't stand out as an "advertisement". Visitors should always know what they are clicking on. The worse thing you can do is redirect a visitor to another site without them acknowledging that they are clicking on an advertisement. Advertisement should be obvious to the reader.

    Don't use ad Links. ie. Vibrant, Kontera, etc

    On small sites it may help your bottom line but on large sites it's actually hurting you. If you are going to redirect your visitors away from the site make sure you are getting max CPC. Leaderboards, Medium Rectangle, and Skyscraper offer the highest CPC.

    The goal is to keep the reader on the site - to visit other pages. Hopefully, by the time they leave they are happy with their experience. As the saying goes, a happy customer will always come back for more.

    Randomly remove ads if page is short.

    Why display all ads on the page if thread consists of only 1 post? Focus should be on the content not the ads.

    Bottom line...

    Change the way how your visitors (and sponsors) look at your site. The more positive it becomes the more sponsors will bid to display their ads on your site. The more bidding the more money you make.

    I'm going to end this with...

    Don't be afraid of change and have patience.

    Direct Sponsorships

    Direct sponsorships should be made available only for those who have a specific budget amount. I say this because you may find yourself overwhelmed by the number of sponsorships if cost is low vs Google Adsense.

    There are 2 reasons why a sponsor may contact you directly:
    1. They want to maximize ROI - lower cost vs Google Adsense.
    2. Or, They never used Adsense.

    With Google Adsense and now Direct Sponsorship how will we manage the ads?

    The best way to do this is through Google Ad Manager.

    With Google Ad Manager there's no need to include Adsense code on your pages. Google Ad Manager will manage all of that for you. For unsold inventory, you have the option to display Google Adsense.

    Another benefit to sticking with Google Ad Manager is that it works seamlessly with Adsense and Google Analytics. You will now be able to measure, analyze, and act upon trends to ensure that your bottom line continues to go up.

    Forum Sponsorships

    If you don't have Google Adsense or Google Analytics installed on your site - do so now. Together, the data collected will ensure that you are not underselling or overcharging when it comes to Direct Sponsorships.

    There's no doubt that you probably have multiple forums on your site. What you need to be aware of is that not all your forums are equal. Forum Sponsorship costs will fluctuate from one forum to the next. You will be surprised at the difference.

    The data provided by Google Analytics may surprise you.

    Newsletter Sponsorships

    First and foremost prune your list. I"m talking to those with 10+ year old list. About 50-70% of that 300,000 member list that you like to brag about are no longer viable. They are no longer interested in your newsletter.

    You may think it's improving your bottom line but it's actually hurting you.

    Sending a newsletter out costs money and resources. If you never pruned your list you're just throwing money away.

    If you have a 100,000+ (pruned) list charge about $1,000-$5,000. (Always provide discounts)

    Oh, I almost forgot...
    Never automate the content for your newsletter. Newsletter content should be handpicked. Content should be valuable to your readers.

    Membership Upgrades

    Everyone should provide membership upgrades. Regardless of the extra features that your provide you will find that many just want to "donate" to their favorite site.

    Some additional perks that you can offer:
    • Increase PM quota
    • Signatures
    • Avatar size
    • New Title
    • etc, etc

    Membership upgrades shouldn't be your focus - just make them available for those who want to donate.
    Liquid Layout = Less Ad Revenue?
    How to Monetize Your Site

    More features does NOT equal progress (Less is More)

    Administrator: - #1 Community for vBulletin Modifications - #1 Community for Nurses

  • #2
    Great ideas!

    One more idea. You make great money if you verticalize. If you have affiliates and some of their products result in great sales, you can think of selling them yourself. Even creating the products yourself. But of course it can be very hard to do that.


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