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It's actually not a very 'slick' site, and tends to project my personality, opinions, etc. It's not a big traffic site and I neglected it for a couple of years.
About a year ago I redesigned and SEOed (all white hat), and added Adsense. I have it up to 200+ uniques/day. I don't do any advertising and have quite a number and variety of incoming links.
The thing about the visitors, they *do* click on the adsense ads. Weekends I see a 10 - 15% ctr and the money is pretty good. Weekdays drops off to 7-8%
So do I forego about $200/mo from adsense in favor of affiliate diamond and jewelry programs? (I will only consider indie programs)
It's worth giving it a try, but succesful affiliate jewelry sites involve lots of planning and work. You probably won't just put up a couple banners and that's it.
The one area thats the exception is low priced knock-off jewelry. Earrings and necklaces that can be impulse buys.
I think you are exactly right about the major purchases. I have done quite a lot of reading and most "authoritative" sources say that the research leading up to buying a diamond can be months.
I *think* I remember reading that the average buyer of an engagement diamond takes about 8 months to make up their mind.
I actually have quite a bit of original content on buying diamonds, but that doesn't mean it's *effective* content.
One of the problems .. my site has quite a lot of content for precious and semi-precious colored gems, but so far I haven't been able find a good indy merchant with a decent product line.
Then there is the traffic .. IMO, marginal at 200+ uniques a day.
On the other hand, my users click a *lot* of "gemstone" ads on my Adsense ads.
I don't have any idea what level of traffic I need in order to get good affiliate sales.