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Converting Newsletter Subscribers into Website traffic

100,000 newsletter subscribers and launching a new website

     
8:50 pm on Sep 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hello all! So glad to have joined this forum not sure why it has taken me so long, glad to have finally made it.

I have been running a newsletter since 1983. It's a news publication read now by over 100,000 every week day. I have been trying to grow to over 500,000, the demand is surely there as I am aware of people forwarding it to over 10-20 people... but costs for this can be crazy.

I really want to take this more seriously and feel the time is right to launch a website with all the backlog of articles i have written over the years, including the new ones I'm still writing to this day.

1) What are your thoughts on traffic and how I can convert my daily readers into web traffic...? I was thinking about putting snippets of the article online with a CTA for the website?

2) Do you think i stand a chance of any good turn over with Adsense and make money to cover my costs? I already have adverts on the newsletter but feel as though im selling myself short and could turn over a lot more from services such as Adsense...

Any thoughts would be hugely appreciated. Thanks in advance.

TimTim
3:54 am on Sept 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Put all your back articles online. I assume it's all original content.

Let your readers know about the web site and go from there. If done right should work quite well. I would imagine good traffic would ensue.

Just follow "white hat" and KISS principles.

Good luck.
8:43 am on Sept 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Nothing wrong with the newsletter containing snippets only.
Make sure they are good size snippets and preferably are custom written, not just grab the first N characters.

You may find you get blowback from your current subscribers, so you might want to consider moving to 2 newsletters - one for current subscribers and the snips for new.
9:26 am on Sept 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to WebmasterWorld TimTim

Yep, keep it original and as simple as you can. Do you have all your archived articles available in text format or will you need to scan some of them? I assume a re-write would be a big job.

With that many subscribers I would expect initial earnings probably to be fairly good however I'm guessing that over time your CTR may fall if visitors are mostly repeat users and if your ads are fairly similar.

Exciting times for you, I wish I were in your situation, keep us appraised of how it goes, good luck.
5:29 pm on Sept 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks a lot guys! IanCP, to answer one of your questions...

It is 100% original content. I have even found a few articles posted online already on forums and such but only 3 or 4. I write 10 stories, 5 days a week so i have content galore. I can even imagine companies such as Reuters linking back to articles I have written as I have many of their employees and journalists on my newsletter.

HuskyPup what you say is true. Many repeat visitors will no doubt miss my ads or not be inclined to click any of them due to the sheer amount of times they return. After a while my CTR will no doubt suffer... Hmmm I suppose other alternatives to Adsense and PPC is needed.
1:49 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If your articles are about well-paying topics then you will have a huge problem trying to protect your site from scrapers. They will copy your articles and post them as their own and maybe even out-rank you in the search engines.

There are plenty of discussions in other forums of this site about such cases but not a lot about how to protect your site. Maybe you should hire a security expert to help set up a protection system.
Publish a few articles then wait a few weeks to see what happens.
Good luck
2:22 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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HHmmm Interesting, Thanks for your input Leonard0. I highly doubt I would have that problem. Its a news publication. And the content is centered around specific news and current events. When it comes to news about this particular topic before people look elsewhere I am 100% sure they come to me first. But what can you do to protect your articles? I would think not much....
2:48 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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No, there isn't much you can do to protect your articles from persons who copy them a few at a time, as opposed to mass downloads. Some of your articles may have already been published by your subscribers.
It would probably be a good idea to copyright the articles and file DMCAs against those who infringe.
[added: see the Content, Writing and Copyright forum for more info [webmasterworld.com...]
5:27 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Many repeat visitors will no doubt miss my ads or not be inclined to click any of them due to the sheer amount of times they return. After a while my CTR will no doubt suffer...


That hasn't been my experience. I guess I am ahead of you in one respect in that I publish several newsletters and have the content on a site also.


FarmBoy
5:48 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the info! Roughly How many subscribers farmboy? All in all i probably reach 400k to 500k each weekday. Would be good to see how i may be able to do as compared to your success :)
6:33 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Roughly How many subscribers farmboy? All in all i probably reach 400k to 500k each weekday. Would be good to see how i may be able to do as compared to your success :)


Not something I discuss publicly. I adhere to the "Loose Lips Sink Ships" philosophy.

How well you may be able to do is not affected by me.

But keep this in mind - If X subscribers visit your site from the newsletter, Y visitors will visit your site as a result of search engine searches, links from other sites, etc. So your total visits to your site now becomes X + Y.

FarmBoy
6:49 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Fair enough, personally would never give out my URL or name the newsletter I have been running, That's mainly the only reason i feel comfortable with putting numbers out there.

Can i ask though, did you find it hard to translate the visitors from your Newsletter into constant traffic? Or had you setup your website from before you had started your Newsletter?
10:52 am on Sept 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Taking the point farmboy makes above about X+Y one step further I'm willing to bet it's going to be more like X+Y+Y+Y+Y if you add a service like AddThis below each post.

What you probably can't tell now is how many people forward that newsletter to friends that never subscribe. You'll see that reflected with increased page views though. Also, be sure to place a newsletter signup box in a good location on each page.
1:12 am on Sept 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I think you will be successful, Tim. I have, in the past, done very well starting with 38,000 subscribers. This lead to 10,000 visitors a day right off the bat then down to 3000 once the novelty of it wore off. Good Luck.
12:01 pm on Sept 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks jpch and spaceylacie! Appreciate your input.

Well, the website is almost finished now, just wondered if anyone had some material about good ad placement. Seen a few books and blog posts but can you guys recommend anything?

Spaceylacie 10,000 hits a day would do me fine lol :) i would strive for more but hopefully I can do as well you did.
1:12 am on Sept 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Put your ads right after the header and right before the main content. Or just look at the Google heat map and try those positions! Don't be afraid to switch them until you find the right spot that works for your site.
5:29 am on Sept 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Regarding ad placement, do an image search at google for heatmap and you will see where the user tries to grab content at first glance. This is a good place for your ads.
9:44 pm on Sept 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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TimTim, also don't neglect a Facebook Presence. create a Facebook fan page and put the box on your website so that people can connect on Facebook, then you can publish article on Facebook and bring in traffic.
 

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