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With an arts an crafts type site, it's easy to come up with original content (due to putting up design examples) but how many pages does that really add up to? 20, maybe 30? After I've been around for years my site might have a 100 or so pages and maybe that's it right there. Maybe I just have to wait a few years to get some decent traffic. But it seems like I'm missing something and I'd be very appreciative if someone could fill me in. :)
For those who are successful with similar sites, how did you do it in the beginning?
Buying established sites is another way but it requires experience and amatuers like me are not advised to investing in buying established websites if you do not know how to create one. Tried to buy established sites but it invovles many fields. Surf more around the board before investing big bucks in buying established sites.
Also, if there is a sort of hub for user submitted project listings in your craft area, you can promote your website by submitting singular projects. "knitty dot com" is an example of what i am talking about--of course, that applies only to knitting.
You can also blog about your exploits in your craft and connect with blogging communities that are about that craft.
None of these thing will bring you massive amounts of traffic, but you can start to establish yourself as a bit of an expert or a resource and get some valuable visitors to your site.
How do you first get traffic to an arts/crafts site? In order to generate decent adsense revenue
What you're asking is less of an AdSense question and more of a general web site question - that being how to generate more traffic with a 100 page site. Your traffic largely depends on your visibility. A 100 page arts and crafts site could potentially have 1000's of top 10 SERPs. That's what it will take to generate traffic.
Personally, I think your task would be to grow the site. This looks like a good time to relate a success story from someone once in your exact position :) Two years ago our site had about 70 pages. Traffic was about 500 visitors a day. I began by reading Bretts famous post [webmasterworld.com]. From there I've crawled all over our site (like a little web bot) and started making changes. I've added pages at about the rate of 1 1/2 per day and now the site has close to 1000 pages. Our daily traffic level has increased to about 3,500 visitors.
Early on I reviewed my log files every day. From there I was able to see what people we actually doing on our site. I still watch my traffic closely, and it's easy to see the effect of any changes on the site. A recent navigation change has resulted in significant increase of page views per visitor. Those people are happy.. they'll either buy my widget or click an AdSense ad.
We've created new content, and we have purchased content. Content is still king. Add the stuff to existing pages. Add it to new pages.
We sought out specialty directories. For an arts and crafts site you no doubt have several good directories available. Also consider listing your site in topical web rings. If you join 5 rings, make a new landing page for each one. There's 5 new pages! Add new content to each page!
Study your competition. What is driving their traffic? I'm always open to revising page elements including the page title, description and keywords. Is your competition in the top 10 of the SERPs? That's where you want to be.
I'll say it again, I think your first task should be to expand your reach into the web. The best way to accomplish that is to naturally grow your site. Build a site that real people will want to visit again, and your AdSense traffic will follow. There's no one thing, but several things all working together that will generate new traffic to your site. You certainly can drive traffic with advertising, but that traffic should be for sales and not for AdSense, IMO.
FOr eg., my mother is a potter. The only reason she has the internet at all, is to browse pottery and arts/crafts sites. Apart from that, she really knows very little about the net.
That is a key element, as she is far more likely to click here, and click there, than say, visitors I have to my site -- which is a geek-oriented tech site. In that case, by contrast, my vistors are far more likely not to click on ads on a whim. (they would also be more likely to have adblocking software as well..)
Plus, from what I can tell, there are loads of good paying keywords in your niche.
The one I use lists the most common keywords people typed in when they found your site.
Study those closely, including the lesser used ones at the end of the list.
I found a few real nuggets there, words / phrases that were on my pages almost my accident!
With some thought, I made the same words flow in naturally with the text on other pages.
Don't overdo it. Moderation is the most important keyword when it comes to keywords - Larry