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What do you do with a PR7 site.

When the site makes no money?

     
4:07 am on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So I've recently discovered myself to be the proud owner of a PR7 site. (I've been working on the site for years, but it recently hit PR7.)

The site, while a good resource, makes pretty much zero money: almost enough with Adsense to pay its own hosting bills, but not much over that. It's been more of a hobby site for me for years, but now I've started wondering if there's a way to cash in on that, and/or if I SHOULD try to cash in on it.

Basically, there are products on this site that I'm giving away. Looking at my numbers, if I were to charge $5.00 each for the products (and if I had similar numbers of people buying as there are taking), I could quit my day job. Similar products are selling for anywhere from $10.00 to $300.00, but of course, there are also other sites giving away similar products for free.

I'm assuming that if I did start charging (even $5.00 a pop), I wouldn't have the same number of sales as I have giveaways since some people are overseas, don't have credit cards or Paypal, won't pay regardless, etc.

I also feel ... well ... kind of guilty about charging for the stuff after giving it away for so long. Plus, I have to wonder -- is my site PR7 because it's non-commercial, so would charging for stuff make it drop way down anyway?

Okay, I'm rambling, I know. I'm just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this they'd like to share with me, even if it's "Don't do it" or "Go for it." :-)

JK

4:55 am on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I also feel ...kind of guilty about charging for the stuff after giving it away for so long

That's a common dynamic (one of many) of online marketing.
5:01 am on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Your PR should be safe, it doesn't care if your commercial or not.

You will not be able to sell nearly as many as you give away but that shouldn't be a problem. You should still get good traffic and can still generate cash via ads. I'm sure that between the sales (assuming you have some) and the ads you will see at least a slight revenue boost if not a large one.

The main risk will be due to sites dropping their links to you since you are no longer a free resource.

What are the possibilities of keeping what you offer now free and selling an upgrade with more features etc? You could also start selling what you have now and offer a "stripped down" free version.

Freq---

3:34 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, Freq. I've actually thought of that also (charging for a "premium" package with extras or whatever). I do have a DMOZ entry, so I did wonder if going commercial would lose that. Maybe I should just leave the ".org" non-commercial, and set up a ".com" for the pricey stuff.

Also, thanks, keyplyr, for the note. I was wondering if it was just me, since my friends think I'm an idiot for giving stuff away free anyway. :-)

JK

5:30 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I do have a DMOZ entry, so I did wonder if going commercial would lose that.

Probably not, unless your site is listed in a "free widgets" category - and therefore would no longer be a fit for the category.

5:59 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sell sell sell. Quit the day job. Get a new hummer. Buy a new house and a yacht and enjoy!

Or is that just a pipe dream, I thought websites took care of themselves and never needed any maintenance...
<spellcheck>
plurals...
</spellcheck>

<geekalert>
I am a geek
</geekalert>

6:17 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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PR7, yawn... Does the site have any traffic?
7:39 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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PR7, yawn

hahaha! Yeah, that's pretty much how I feel about it. :-) The PR hasn't seemed to do much for me so far except make the little green bar look purty.

The site has fairly steady traffic, yes, but not a lot. I'm a bit haphazard about tracking, but Webalizer says between 5K and 6K "visits" per month. "Hits" is about the same number. Ad network stats (like Adsense, YPN, CJ) show around 500 - 700 "impressions" per day, but that's sitewide.

Nobody's going to be paying me to send them traffic, in other words, or if they were, they'd be sadly disappointed. :-)

Maybe I should have asked a different question to start with, such as, "Does PR have anything to do with *anything* anymore, and if so, what?"

JK

[edit]

Sell sell sell. Quit the day job. Get a new hummer. Buy a new house and a yacht and enjoy!

Heh. Thanks, Pico_Train. :-)
[/edit]

8:12 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Jolly, what is the subject matter / theme of your website?
8:18 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Depending on what the inside pages are, you should be able to sell text link advertising and make a 1-2K a month. Not enough to make you rich, but it'll help pay any costs associated with running the site.
8:51 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You could leave your PR7 site the way that it is, and use that high PR to give a quick boost link to a couple of new sites that are designed to make you money.

You might want to consider that when you start selling something, it often takes the fun out of doing it as a hobby. Now it is your job.

8:52 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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somerset: I don't want to get too specific about the site here -- I don't want to self-promote, and if I said the theme, I think it would pretty much give it away. I know there's not a lot people can say without knowing what the site is about, but I guess I'm more looking for general ideas and thoughts. :-)

jdancing: what do you mean by "you should be able to sell text link advertising?" Do you mean just charging for a link by the month, or something else?

JK

9:10 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Is it something that they physically get, or something you email them / something sent digitally ie. ringtones, drawings, etc. Im assuming its something digital. If that is the case, you could still give them away, but charge for a 'higher resolution image' or a more personalized version, etc. I think someone already mentioned this above, but I think it would be a good transition into selling the 'item'. Just give someone a reason to give you 5.00.
10:10 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wonder as well with my own site how to convert visitors to income. If you have people coming for your freebies, keep them on the site and then offer other products, or premium versions of the existing products (with help service?) for $5 a program.

Maybe affiliate prgrams with versions from other sites people can buy?

10:15 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>jdancing: what do you mean by "you should be able to sell text link advertising?" Do you mean just charging for a link by the month, or something else?

While many people consider PageRank worthless, there are others who would pay hundreds or more per month to have a link from a PR7 site. I'd definitely look into that. I sell links on a high-PR site of mine to much success.

12:41 am on Feb 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Put it up for sale to the highest bid.
Then someone will probably pay you more than you are likely to make from it and they will have to worry about monetising it.
2:01 am on Feb 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Heh! cabbie, if it was all about the money, I would totally start the bidding.

But I like the site. I've got a lot of work into it, it's a labor of love, and I'll likely enjoy working on it for some time to come whether it makes me a bazillionaire or not.

So, I really don't want to sell it: rather, I'd like to consider whether something like this can be monetized without destroying it.

JK

3:19 am on Feb 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i'm with bigdave. what the point in selling on a site that gets so few visits? Many pr0 sites get more traffic than this.

Use you pr7, to give link to 2-3 other sites you build for commercial profit.

WIth the correct anchors they may well get top 10 in commercial searces straight away, and be pr6

4:57 am on Feb 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[offtopic - feel free to delete]

Every time I see the title of this thread, I sing the jingle:

What do you do with a Klondike bar? (only substituting PR7 site for Klondike bar)

Maybe I watch too much tv.

5:17 am on Feb 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You might want to consider that when you start selling something, it often takes the fun out of doing it as a hobby. Now it is your job.

Very, very true. I wonder just how often this has really happened and vice versa. It gradually happened to me over the years and now what was once a passion can be a job "if I let it".

As for your DMOZ listing. I'd say it will change "if it gets noticed" - the large que will most likely leave your site sitting where it is for quite some time unless you are in a small "active" category.

5:21 am on Feb 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, a package with a PR 7 home page and 5 inside page PR 6 links go for about $120 per month on average. Just Google 'sell links' - plenty of places where you can sell text links.

Another idea, if you don't want to bother with selling links, consider selling the site. If the site is not making money but has some strong natural linkage pointing to it, you will be able to easily get $8K to $12K for it. Heck I've seen expired PR7s with really bad domain names but lots of inbound links sell for $12k recently.

You also could put adsense on it and earn about $20 per month. Not a lot of money, but you will sleep better at night knowing you are "doing the right thing".

5:19 pm on Feb 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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dazzlindonna: Grr! Now I want a Klondike bar.

BigDave/coosblues: Yeah, another reason why I haven't so far put a lot of effort into money making with this particular site is precisely because I enjoy working on it so much. So that is a valid concern: if I make it into a job, will it start to suck? I do have a significant amount of freedom now that I wouldn't if it were a "business."

jdancing: I had Adsense on it for a year or so, but it really didn't make that much. In fact, it made so little that I replaced it with YPN as soon as YPN came out. YPN makes about twice what Adsense did on this site on the average, but even so, it's not enough to get a check but once every, say, 3 months. I've also toyed with various things such as Amazon, various affiliate thingies, Paypal "donate", etc. None of them really seem to do much.

I should also note that I have other, lower-PR sites, that DO make decent money for the amount of time I put into them. It just seems funny to me that the highest PR site is the lowest earner, which makes me think I'm doing something wrong.

Or it may be that it's just not a big-money niche, too... :-)

Thanks everyone for all your comments and suggestions. This has been a really interesting thread.

JK

5:35 pm on Feb 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I agree with cabbie, put it up for sale.

or, as you enjoy working on it, keep it and have it drive your other sites, if thematically [sp] possible.

anyway, PR7, congradulations.

 

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