Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How Do You Know, If a Site Will Make Money?

Posted: 18 Jan 2008 05:54 PM CST

I saw today this thread at 5StarAffiliatePrograms with the title "How Do You Know, If a Site Will Make Money?" A newbie to internet marketing started the thread with the following post.

"Well I am hoping for some money. I started a blog that's about technology and games and am not getting much so I am trying Yahoo! ads, starting small just 15 cents and 3 dollars a day. No luck with that either. Also another thing I have tried multiple affiliate programs and I am having no luck at all so I am spreading out a little. But how exactly does one go about knowing if a site will make money on ads?"

Several people already responded with good comments and helpful suggestions. I can only agree with what was said by "MarketLeverage" and Linda Buquet.

You never know if and how much money a new site will generate, however, there are some things to consider in general that have direct impact on how much money you make off a site.

If you start a new site that is a content site or blog, you have to establish trust and a readership first. Would you listen to a stranger, who you never met before and who starts with trying to sell you something? Of course not, if you can, you would shut the door or leave yourself. Building trust and selling does not work very well at the same time in almost every case, except what you are offering has to do with selling (comparison shopping engines are such an example). For the most part should you not think about monetization at the beginning and avoid ads like AdSense or Banners as much as you can or better, altogether.

Once you established credibility and trust, you can slowly introduce some advertising and sales pitches. This has to be a slow and step by step process where you get the chance to check how your increase in commercialization was received by your visitors.

The good thing and side effect of this approach is that by checking how your visitors react to certain things, that you learn at the same time, what their needs are and why they came to your site in the first place.

There can evolve monetization opportunities that you have not even thought of when you launched the site.

When it comes to investment into marketing or something else that you hope will provide another stream of income, be careful with spending too much money and energy on something that did not prove itself. Start new things small with the least possible investment to get enough data to tell, if something looks promising or not. If you invest too less, then you don't get enough data to make a good evaluation, if you invest too much, you might burn precious resources on something that does not work and creates a hole in your budget that is hard to fill again.

The right balance is not a set figure, virtually never. You always have to try and find out yourself what that right balance is for your vertical, your audience, your budget and your goals. If something works, try to do more of it until it is saturated. If something does not work, stop doing it as soon as possible and prevent unnecessary losses.

A Note on the Side
People who were able to establish a blog without commercial intent and gained many followers and readers tend to have a problem with monetizing their blog at that stage. They should have started thinking about it earlier, but waited too long and to the point where the blog consumes too much of their spare time to become a time and financial burden and typical gradual approaches take too much time.

For those folks (and anybody else too actually) are this video by Jeremy Shoemaker and my post here at ReveNews.com from Blog World Expo last November might be of some help. Affiliate marketing is an ideal way to monetize content sites and blogs, but it is not as easy as Google AdSense or Yahoo! Publisher Network for example. To get your head around the subject of affiliate marketing, check out these resources on my site and get going from there.

I hope this helps and good luck with your business ventures

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