Skibum, thanks for replying.
I've looked at CJ, and decided it wouldn't work. Don't remember why, but I just figured it wouldn't be profitable.
When I began construction of my site back in 2004, I left a table column on the right side of nearly all of the pages for Adwords advertising.
When I went public with the site, and contacted Google, I was surprised to find that my topic was off-limits.
Okay, I can live with that.
What's driving me nuts is that I have one advertiser who's getting a 5% CTR, and is more than happy to pay for it. I also have another advertiser whose pages look like regular content pages, until the visitor gets to the end. At that point, there's a link to click on for more information as well as pricing. That advertiser gets as much as a 13% CTR.
Meanwhile, I still have over 1600 pages of solid content that consistently rank in the top ten on the major SE's, and I can't find an advertiser.
It's driving me up the wall.
My site offers very low-priced advertising for widget stores. The majority of these widget stores are individually or family-owned operations. And they're all facing the competition of the national chain stores for widgets.
There's one advertiser I'm currently pursuing. That advertiser offers "cheaper than anyone else" widgets and widget parts. The advertiser also offers a free catalogue. The "free" part is the hook, and I'm certain that this advertiser would get a huge number of free catalogue requests.
But I don't think this advertiser wants to spend X amount of dollars promoting a free catalogue. (Nevermind that my first-mentioned advertiser is delighted with the response he gets for his free catalogues; each one brings him a new customer).
My second option is risky. I started my site to offer small widget stores advertising that would put them on the same level with the large discount widget chains.
But, after being treated often poorly by these small widget store owners, I'm very tempted to approach a couple of the large widget chain stores, and see if they would be interested in a discounted price to have all of their stores on my site. One chain alone could bring in nearly $20K, if they agreed to my offer.
I'm just brain-storming here. I promised my little mom-and-pop widget stores that I'd get them on equal footing with the "big guys." But I find myself being used and abused.
And my hosting company is giving me a hard time. I'm using 40 to 60 gigs of bandwidth per month. (Nevermind that the hosting company advertises unlimited bandwidth for the program I paid for).
Here's the condundrum: I have a fair amount of traffic, first-page search results, lots of page views, a 40+% return visitor rate, probably close to 18,000 inbound links from other sites in any given month....my site is doing far better than I ever expected.
Yet I can't find a good advertiser. And that's driving me nuts.
Any further comments or suggestions are much appreciated.