In case anyone else is interested (and to group my findings) i'm going to update this thread with other useful WebmasterWorld posts I find.
I think $1,000 a month for a site of this size and topic isn't that bad. Most celebrities ads don't pay much (there isn't much profit to be made on CDs, posters, ...) and discussion forums are notoriously known for having a very low AdSense CTR.
You can try some other AdSense ad formats, colours, ... And try integrating Ad Links, put it close to your menu, it might boost your income a bit.
I think a CPM-based ad network can be much beneficial.
How is the hot social networking site for teens monetizing their traffic?
Think you might convince of few of their advertisers that your traffic has value to them?
Frankly, celeb traffic has to be some of the lowest value traffic, but you might get some income from "brand exposure" type ads - if you can find them.
Maybe it's time for a consult with a marketing firm that specializes in advertising to teen traffic? You might search out the adhouse for teen ads and see what you can work out. A bit of free advertising in return for a consult? They can charge their clients for the ad space and they can clue you in at the same time?
Just groping around in the idea closet for helpful ideas. Extreme, but well executed, if you get this idea to work it might open up a few . . . this and thats . . .
We have a friend of the family who swears by the ~weathly teen niche. (She owns a clothing chain in Canada).
They aren't quite in university so living with their parents w/out rent or expenses. Most of them either have part-time jobs or get allowance. They also tend to be very brand sensitive while spending most-to-all of their incomes.
Enter into the internet and I would guess they are much more savvy today than my generation having grown up w/ the net.
Does anyone else here market to the teenage niche? Do they purchase online and using what forms of payment?
It's a bizzarre sort of demographic I'm getting right now as there are some visitors looking for nudity & related while the majority are teenage fans.
Target cell phone accessories/ringtone affiliates... This is a prime demographic for this.
Try becoming an affiliate for ASOS - the products are perfect for your market and their site converts really well.
Trying each of these suggestions, I'll provide some feedback later. Thank you :)
I was going to post to this topic when it came up originally.
It seems to me that a pay per lead (if you could find one) would make the most sense. Most teenagers have cell phones and email addresses but not many have credit cards so you're not going to sell much to them unless they can use mom's or dad's card.
Just my 2 cents worth.
try fashion items like cell phone cases, ipod cases, t-shirts, shoes, beauty and skin care products, and ringtones is a no brainer.
A CPM solution would definitely be something to check out.
Adsense is notriously bad for forums, so check around and look for suggestions on placement. If you go with "aggressive" adsense placement you can get ok CTR rates.
Seems like a great demographic to me. Although as far as i know many brand advertisers do not want to be on user created content (your forums). Try Fastclick, Tribal Fusion, or BURST for CPM stuff.
I've tried pay-per-lead affiliates for scholarship sign-ups and military recruitment. Not a lot of success there. Some success with the cellphone stuff.