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For instance, I have a site about a specific geographical region that has decent PPC and CTR. I have another site which is effectively a TV show fan site that does horribly with AdSense. My observations on this are that the "fan site", which sees a decent amount of traffic, has horribly-targeted ads. The bulk of the content on the site is quotes from the TV show, so most of the text generates ads that has nothing to do with the show or necessarily targeted to the visitors. My only thoughts are to promote DVD seasons of the show via an Amazon affiliate, but I've heard (no actual test data of my own) that Amazon usually performs poorly.
So my specific question, what is the best way to monetize this type of site. And more generically, how does one determine the best way to monetize any given site? I'm not at all against experimentation; I'd just prefer to not have to use up the next few years trying things out if it's unnecessary (i.e. someone can provide some useful input).
What you need to do is to advertise your site on your site.
Do you have prominent "advertise here" banners?
You'd be surprised that you will generate direct advertisers that way.
OR -- add a message board to your fan site and monetize the message board with adsense or direct ads or spam that you generate yourself via sticky messages.
Who is going to your site? What do they buy? Sell it to therm yourself or hook up with a vendor who can do so - maybe he has an EBay store that sells bla bla bla sweatshirts or posters or DVD's.
What I tell everyone -- don't get into affiliate sales unless they pay you 35% off the top.
Otherwise, you wind up giving away 5 - 10% of your real-estate for nickels and dimes.
Sell what they search for. How do people get to your site? If they are looking for a product, good chance you can sell it. If they are looking for information, you aren't likely to make a sale. Selling ad space would likely work better on an info site.
This particular site, which is about a television show, people find it by searching for information about the show. The only thing I can think of to advertise on the site are DVDs of the show via Amazon.
The only thing I can think of to advertise on the site are DVDs of the show via Amazon
I don't like Amazon much and does not covert at all well for me. The ads you can create from their massive inventory do look good though.
Rather than trying to sell a lot of differnt products to people who are just looking for info, you should try making some product specific pages. You will link to these pages from your info pages but hopefully the product pages will also bring in traffic from people actually looking to buy something. One or two products with detailed info per page is all you need.
Would it be best if these product pages were similar to the products mentioned above (DVDs, soundtracks, posters, books, etc) about the show? Should I use Amazon for this, or is there someone that works better for these products?
I use Amazon on several sites; it won't pay the bills alone, but I still earn significant cash from stuff I set up years ago - and mostly from books (before there was much else!).
Once set up, it lasts forever, so it's hardly resource-heavy.
I'm putting in a little work to update the selection, and the technology - the five-year-old stuff still works, but doesn't look so good. And there's been a few new books out(!). But I spend maybe two hours a month on Amazon, and I get a pretty good hourly rate :)
But I spend maybe two hours a month on Amazon, and I get a pretty good hourly rate :)
Since you've got a good track record with Amazon, you're probably the one to ask. What would you estimate your eCPM are, if you don't mind me asking? I know pretty much what to expect from AdSense, but have no clue about Amazon. This would at least give me some sort of gauge on how well I have it setup.
Sorry, I really do not know; I've never looked. I only ever worry about ROI, and anything (Amazon, Adsense etc), that has minimal set up time rarely lets me down - and where it does not work (some sites have negligible returns), there's no worry about dropping it and trying something else.