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Monetizing my site - need an expert!

Website monetization

     
5:08 pm on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I have been running an informative and educational website with almost 800 unique articles / photography / video links for the last few years. Tons of money and thousands of hours have gone into creating the website. The content has even won some awards from respected media associations.

I originally had a small 5-ad Adsense tower ad on my template which didn't do much, a few dollars every month maybe. Over the last 3 weeks I had my template changed and built in 20 or so advertisements from Commission Junction. I have generated 330,000 impressions and $0.00 sales!

My web hosting company is telling me that I have 50,000 unique visitors a month. Various Internet experts have been telling me that my website should be making tons of money, but so far nothing has worked.

I am wondering whether now I should switch to over CPM-based advertising, so I can at least get paid for my impressions. Someone suggested that with 50,000 uniques I should be able to attract direct advertisers as well, which should be a lot more lucrative. But I figure that will require a whole other infrastructure: a media kit, advertising sales, etc., something I am not really able to handle by myself.

In addition, I am also considering to put up a classified ad section on my site with free and paid classified ads. Co-registration is another option, as well as creating ebooks from my thousands of pages of content. In addition, I am currently building a video channel for my website that has monetization built into it.

Is there anyone out there that has the experience and knowledge to turn this website into a successful revenue generating venture?
Looking forward to your responses....

1:40 am on Jan 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You're going to have to test to see what works best for your site. Adsense, "advertise here" links to get some direct advertising, affiliate links etc.
3:19 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You should be making more than $1000/mo from Adsense, it all comes to optimizing the place, format and colors.

I learned this the hard way and I'm glad I did :)
5:15 pm on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It depends on your niche but I agree you should be making money. Some niches are more lucrative than others as you well know.

I get about the same amount of traffic as you so I know. Have also all unique articles, images and videos. Except I have less content, maybe 200 articles. My uniques are about 67k a month. So I'd say our sites are comparable.

At first I had lots of CJ links up and they converted very well. Each page is on topic, and have affiliate links on topic as well. Don't just put one side column for the entire site. Banner ads don't do well for me. Text links are much better. Dynamic ads are the best based on the topic page.

Then I read somewhere that Adsense can help on those pages where you don't have affiliate products to promote and added that in. So with every page I try to squeeze out something and hopefully nothing left on the table. Adsense 300x250 size smack in the middle. Experiment with colors as someone else also mentioned.

So now, CJ and Adsense produce a nice income together. But also caution that on CJ some merchants convert and some don't. You will have to find the right one.
6:41 pm on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for the detailed response - I will keep that in mind, particularly since our websites are so similar in terms of traffic and content. Thanks again!
3:47 am on Mar 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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With that amount of traffic you should definitely be displaying CPM creatives - the higher quality and the more relevant you can find, the better.

Also, a principle to bear in mind with income generation as with many other activities is one I learned over a decade ago when I was teaching English in Japan.

It is this: if you have a desired activity that you would like others to complete, don't make the completion of that activity an end in itself. Rather make the completion of that activity the means by which others may achieve the goal they themselves wish to achieve.

Hence, if I wanted my schoolkids to compose two sentences using the first conditional, rather than setting this as homework (the task as an end in itself), I might offer them the desirable prospect of "no homework" if they could, there and then, rattle off two sentences using the first conditional.

The end result was the same. (I got what I wanted from them). The enthusiasm and motivation with which they completed the task... not even comparable.
8:33 am on Mar 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@trvdrm010

check out these older posts:
[webmasterworld.com...]

and
[webmasterworld.com...]

Maybe some helpful information as the first one is directly related to your niche
8:14 am on Apr 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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trvdrm010, I'm curious to see the site. Can you give me the URL?
rlopes, It's really good to hear that you are bring nice income from AdSense but you have to remember that it really depends on the site's niche. Did you know that clicking on "jahja" (skype competitor) will bring you 10$ ?!
But a click on "twitter" competitors will give you just 10 cents?
Optimizing the Ads is really important. But sometimes AdSense isn't the best alternative.
 

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