Ways to monetize your site

Discussion in 'Monetization Techniques' started by Brandon, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Brandon

    Brandon Regular Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Topeka, Kansas
    First Name:
    If you want your site to succeed (make money) you need to have a long-term strategy.

    Below are 3 ways you can monetize your site:
    1. Adsense
    2. Direct Advertisers
      • Forum Sponsorships
      • Newsletter Sponsorships
    3. Membership Upgrades

    This is basically targeted for large sites but small to medium sites may find some of the advice helpful.

    Remember: These are long-term strategies. It will not change your bottom line overnight.

    Google Adsense

    Adsense is by far the best way to monetize your site. There's very little work in getting started.

    Sites with more than 10 million pageviews* per month should be earning A MINIMUM 6 figures per month with Adsense (+/- $15,000). If you are not close to this then you need to reconsider your strategy.

    * Time on Site as well as number of Unique Visitors also needs to be considered.

    Why You May Be Earning Less...

    There's no focus on content.

    Content is KING. There's no other reason why someone will visit your site. Create unique and compelling content!

    Advertisers generally do not like advertising on "forums".

    That's not to say that they won't advertise on forums - it's just that they don't expect a good ROI. Which is why advertising on forums is not as high as it should be.

    The trick here is to rebrand and create something unique. Change your site into something that advertisers as well as members will appreciate.

    It's all about how they (sponsors) perceive your site.

    Never trick your readers into clicking your ads.

    I never use Adsense Link Units because they don't stand out as an "advertisement". Visitors should always know what they are clicking on. The worse thing you can do is redirect a visitor to another site without them acknowledging that they are clicking on an advertisement. Advertisement should be obvious to the reader.

    Don't use ad Links. ie. Vibrant, Kontera, etc

    On small sites it may help your bottom line but on large sites it's actually hurting you. If you are going to redirect your visitors away from the site make sure you are getting max CPC. Leaderboards, Medium Rectangle, and Skyscraper offer the highest CPC.

    The goal is to keep the reader on the site - to visit other pages. Hopefully, by the time they leave they are happy with their experience. As the saying goes, a happy customer will always come back for more.

    Randomly remove ads if page is short.

    Why display all ads on the page if thread consists of only 1 post? Focus should be on the content not the ads.

    Bottom line...

    Change the way how your visitors (and sponsors) look at your site. The more positive it becomes the more sponsors will bid to display their ads on your site. The more bidding the more money you make.

    I'm going to end this with...

    Don't be afraid of change and have patience.

    Direct Sponsorships

    Direct sponsorships should be made available only for those who have a specific budget amount. I say this because you may find yourself overwhelmed by the number of sponsorships if cost is low vs Google Adsense.

    There are 2 reasons why a sponsor may contact you directly:
    1. They want to maximize ROI - lower cost vs Google Adsense.
    2. Or, They never used Adsense.

    With Google Adsense and now Direct Sponsorship how will we manage the ads?

    The best way to do this is through Google Ad Manager.

    With Google Ad Manager there's no need to include Adsense code on your pages. Google Ad Manager will manage all of that for you. For unsold inventory, you have the option to display Google Adsense.

    Another benefit to sticking with Google Ad Manager is that it works seamlessly with Adsense and Google Analytics. You will now be able to measure, analyze, and act upon trends to ensure that your bottom line continues to go up.

    Forum Sponsorships

    If you don't have Google Adsense or Google Analytics installed on your site - do so now. Together, the data collected will ensure that you are not underselling or overcharging when it comes to Direct Sponsorships.

    There's no doubt that you probably have multiple forums on your site. What you need to be aware of is that not all your forums are equal. Forum Sponsorship costs will fluctuate from one forum to the next. You will be surprised at the difference.

    The data provided by Google Analytics may surprise you.

    Newsletter Sponsorships

    First and foremost prune your list. I"m talking to those with 10+ year old list. About 50-70% of that 300,000 member list that you like to brag about are no longer viable. They are no longer interested in your newsletter.

    You may think it's improving your bottom line but it's actually hurting you.

    Sending a newsletter out costs money and resources. If you never pruned your list you're just throwing money away.

    If you have a 100,000+ (pruned) list charge about $1,000-$5,000. (Always provide discounts)

    Oh, I almost forgot...
    Never automate the content for your newsletter. Newsletter content should be handpicked. Content should be valuable to your readers.

    Membership Upgrades

    Everyone should provide membership upgrades. Regardless of the extra features that your provide you will find that many just want to "donate" to their favorite site.

    Some additional perks that you can offer:
    • Increase PM quota
    • Signatures
    • Avatar size
    • New Title
    • etc, etc

    Membership upgrades shouldn't be your focus - just make them available for those who want to donate.

    Source.. on vBulletin.com
  2. Cerberus

    Cerberus Admin Talk Staff

    May 3, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Very informative post, though I think you should add contests. I honestly love raffles. A raffle is great because a lot of people pay a little bit and it ends up being a lot and someone wins something. Also, posting contests are great if your site is monetized for adsense. I have even seen themed posting contests where you have people post on various subjects of your choice. Which is a great way to improve content for specific keywords. But, I really think alot of site owners do not utilize the contests like they should in order to monetize their traffic ..But that is my opinion..
    Brandon and cpvr like this.
  3. bosconian

    bosconian Regular Member

    May 15, 2013
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    Very nice article. I am starting a blog and want to make some money with it. This article has provided me many of tips on how to better use Adsense.
  4. limcid

    limcid Regular Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for posting this article. I hadn't considered the differences in value of the different forums, and charging different rates for sponsorships.

    With Adsense, it's easy to get into the mindset of seeing your site as one entity.
  5. fermlour

    fermlour Regular Member

    May 11, 2013
    Likes Received:
    I really liked the post and I find interesting the idea of ​​selling direct advertising but my question is, I had an adsense account banned fi, it is possible to create another?
  6. moneyman

    moneyman Regular Member

    Jul 1, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for the advice. However, I am at the moment making money with my niche website with CPM, Pay per click and Cost per action advertisements. In addition, I use pay per download sites to make some extra bucks. Anyway, I try to use as little advertisements as possible to make the surfing experience for a visitor more comfortable and not annoying.
  7. nafretiti

    nafretiti Regular Member

    Jun 24, 2013
    Likes Received:
    United States
    This was really an eye opener, I haven't thought of things like this before and now can implant them into my website. I only have a blog right now but think that this could really go a long way, there are ways to be approached by sponsors and people who want to do guest posting and everything. For the long run I'll put some of these tips you've provided to use and see things how they change and grow my website, may even have to take up my personal domain in order to host my blog so that people can find it easier. This is on my saved list to look at later again and try to work it into what I have currently, never thought of this before and so many thanks again.
  8. Sylvain

    Sylvain Regular Member

    Mar 15, 2013
    Likes Received:
    wow nice article :)

    Do you have number for Adsense for web sites with less traffic ?

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