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Best way to make money from my medium volume but very LOYAL traffic
I run a niche site that is local -- good repeat traffic, great page views

 7:17 am on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I run a local website that is well known and people use weekly if not daily. In short it is a "garage sale" for a local community, people buying and selling things. I get a commission on every transaction, which is nice.

But the traffic, oh the traffic! If there were some way I could capitalize on it in another way.

(PLEASE KEEP IN MIND...SELLING ADS TO LOCAL MERCHANTS ARE NOT AN OPTION - I'm just not interested in going this route).

What's the best way to make money off this specific traffic?

I'm asking this in the adsense board NOT to get an answer like "you should do adsense because I do". I know that most adsense publishers are tried and true with many other ways to make money from their site. Be it affiliate links, (selling ad space to merchants), along with using adsense.

If anyone has a related experience with a site like this, opinions are valued here.




 7:31 am on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Adsense has a tendency to show local ads when they're available, but it doesn't seem that would be the *only* income source - it would probably be a minor one, but it all adds up. For the something else, you could do some affiliate links for various things that are common to people all over - like services or purchases that people can do at a distance.

With heavy, heavy traffic your easiest route would probably be some CPM arrangements where you're paid per thousand impressions rather than by the "action" like when affiliate links convert. Nothing flaky of cours, substantial things for the sake of maintaining quality reputation.


 7:54 am on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Marcia, thanks for the insight.

The CPM sounds interesting...does google do that? How much are we talking per thousand? Are we talking visitors, or page views, or what?

If you couldnt tell, I'm new at the "making money from your traffic" except for the obvious outlet of customers making purchases.

I want them to make me money, but they dont need to know they are!



 9:42 am on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)


Google does do CPM (though I'm not sure if you can do *only* CPM) at a *minimum* cost to the advertiser of ~USD0.25/thousand, so probably ~USD0.15/thousand to you.

But you might just want to use AdBrite as a mechanism to handle all the billing, etc, for you, which costs you 30% and 90 days.




 4:14 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Since this is a local community, you might try something like Amazon or BN.com (Barnes and Noble) as affiliates, as you can pick and choose items geared towards local users (while running these ads alongside Google).

For instance, local maps/atlases, books about the area, etc.

This might make up a bit for where Google would leave off.


 4:29 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

...NOT to get an answer like "you should do adsense because I do".

OK, you should not do AdSense because I do, try it because it is easy to set up, is very flexible, and has very few strings attached.

I was dubious for several months before trying it and made many inquiries such as yours. Finally I began in Sept. '04 and wished I had started earlier. I should also mention that while I'm VERY PLEASED with my current AdSense income and the "work to dollar ratio," my first few months were disappointing.

My site has a wide diversity of subjects and formats. While there are a just few of my pages where AdSense doesn't "get it" and doesn't serve well targeted ads, mostly it is quite good. On those few pages where AdSense doesn't work, I simply don't run them.

[edited by: andrea99 at 4:34 pm (utc) on April 18, 2006]


 4:30 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have the same situation, except that in addition to being somewhat local (or at least, restricted to the state of Michigan) my site is also mostly seasonal, geared towards the summer holidays. While in season, I get upwards of 20k visits per day (for a one page database driven site) but after that, it kind of drops off to around 400 or 500 per day. I make a little off Adsense, but not much. Would be great to figure out a way to capitalize on all that traffic while I have it.


 5:10 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you have a high volume of traffic, you may want to try a CPM network like fastclick or tribalfusion so that way you get paid on traffic volume instead of per click.


 5:52 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

(PLEASE KEEP IN MIND...SELLING ADS TO LOCAL MERCHANTS ARE NOT AN OPTION - I'm just not interested in going this route).

Just not interested in going after those maid service/roofer/lawyer/plumber AdSense clicks that pay so well when they know you're delivering visitors who live in their specific area? Weird.

Oh well, I know a guy who refuses to wear socks. No accounting for taste.


 6:30 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

You need to ensure that your content highlights the local nature of the site. Be prepared to tweak content and meta tags to improve the targeting.

From the description of the site you will probably do better as an Amazon affiliate than with Adsense but traffic on both will vary so it is worth mixing them.

I wouldn't expect to make a living out of a site like yours but you should be able to cover costs with a little in hand as pocket money.


 6:39 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am in the exact same shoes as you, but with a few alterations.

The way I make money is laid out like this, and I have read what your preferences were but at least hear me out first.

The first thing I ever did was sell Banner-Ads to some local car parts and car maintenance shops for $50/yr. I sold two of them, both with 2-year contracts. (By Contracts, I just mean they each paid me $100 and that entitles them to two years worth of ads...nothing too fancy)

I chose to do this because I didn't know what kind of response I would get. Well via my ad-tracking, I've sent a little over 1.7 million banner impressions and about 2,500 clicks in the last 6 months to both of them, so I would say they are getting their money's worth. I chose that price because I only have to display two banners and my site hosting is paid for the entire year.

Then I discovered Adsense. My website is a forum...and so I have very high traffic and an ever-expanding user-base. I expected about 14 cents/day which bye my calculations would equal $50/yr, or about as much as I would charge for a years worth of advertising. Wasn't looking for anything crazy...just a few extra dimes for my basically free time keeping this site up.

Now it's currently been about 3 months that I've been running adsense and I've made about $95. Yeah yeah...don't quit my dayjob, right? But that's about $30/month I wasn't making before off of one website. It's a tank of gas, I'll take what I can get :)

I guess it's all up to you. How much money are you wanting to make? Are you wanting to become financially independant one day with this? Or are you just looking to make some extra change per month?

If you dont' want to sell banner space to local merchants...are you saying you just don't want to sell banner space at all? I guess I'm confused there. Don't leave any money laying on the table...as my boss says about 401k and other company benefits.


 7:44 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

With the traffic I get, yea, I could probably sell banner space, particularly to companies specializing in what I'm displaying. However, this thing basically has it run itself with minimal time and effort from me (apart from compiling the database every year) otherwise it's not just not worth doing. I have no idea how to charge for advertising, or how much, nor time to do the research - if it WERE a site that I intended to live off, that would be different, but - yea, this is gas money. I have no costs whatsoever except for my time, but my time is the limiting factor.


 7:57 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Now it's currently been about 3 months that I've been running adsense and I've made about $95. Yeah yeah...don't quit my dayjob, right? But that's about $30/month I wasn't making before off of one website. It's a tank of gas, I'll take what I can get :)"

Now its about a 1/2 tank gas :(


 8:55 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)


Try that in the UK...

"Will Sir be wanting a thimble for that petrol?"

B^> / 2




 9:10 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

what netmeg said...

the local merchants would be great...except I dont have the time to research, organize, and attempt to sell ad space.

that's why I came to the adsense board. I want something quick and easy to set up, all internet based.

Adsense sounded like the way to go. at $0.15 CPM i'm not going to make enough.

How much would I get per click with adsense? What is the typical CTR rate on these?



 10:57 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

What is the typical CTR rate on these?

That would be difficult to say because few people are willing to violate Google's terms to divulge theirs.

I was at a similar place before I tried AdSense, I wanted to know up front.

But there is so very little risk and effort to trying it for your self, why not just sign up? It's easier than asking folks to violate their agreement with Google, and your answer will be reality, not some stranger spouting off on a message board.

(Sometimes I spout off as you may know, I'm not implying that you are all spouting off :: smile :: )


 5:08 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am pretty much in the same boat. I have 3 sites, each geared towards their own city.

One of the sites does much, much better than the other two traffic wise but gets horrible CTR. But thats because the average visitor looks at 15-20 pages.

I have tried affiliates ads and CPM. Neither did well at all. Until something better comes along, I'll stick with AdSense and try to get that CTR up.

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