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Monetize traffic/members

Social networking site

     
6:52 pm on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Other than adsense, or direct advertising deals with merchants, what options are there to monetize a site that sells nothing?

Users visit quite regularly to check out new content and they get a lot of value from the site but I dont want to start charging them, or compromise the feel of the site with ads.

Any creative ideas?

2:34 am on June 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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1:21 pm on June 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Keep existing features free but introduce new paid-for value-added features?
8:41 pm on June 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Compare sites like Classmates to MySpace or FaceBook. The latter two are free while the first one charges for upgraded memberships.

Look at how much MySpace sold for and how much FaceBook is valued at. I don't think classmates even comes close. So personally I don't think the "enhanced memberships" is the way to go with social networking sites.

For now just do some testing of ad placements. A 20% increase in CTR (which isn't much - going from 1% to 1.20%) would increase the revenue the same as adding 10,000 new members assuming you have 50,000 members.

[edited by: BradleyT at 8:42 pm (utc) on June 19, 2007]

10:54 am on June 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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12:15 am on May 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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CPC, CPA, or CPM advertising from certain advertising companies. XML feed is a good choice if you have a search box or tag cloud on your website.
11:40 pm on June 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I think where Classmates went wrong was, you couldn't do much of anything on there without paying. There was no reason for any non-paying members to use the site. I believe enhanced membership can work; just don't totally cripple the free accounts. I find that some people will use the free account for weeks or months before upgrading to a pay account--these people won't last five minutes, if the free account is too crippled.