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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Can political websites be money makers?
    If I'm not mistaken, political discussions aren't allowed here. Hopefully this question doesn't do that.

    I have used the search function, and didn't see anything about political websites, sorry if I missed it.

    My question is, if someone put together a political website, could it make money?

    I ask, because I've thought of a creative way to poke fun at Bush. I've searched google and no one else is doing it. It isn't vulgar or in too bad taste I think, but could really be an attention grabber. With him being such an intense subject for people on both sides, I'm thinking if I could get the right exposure, I could really get a lot of traffic.

    (Please, don't comment on whether Bush is good or bad, I'm just explaining what the website would be about to help answer the question)

    The content, would basically be content that can be found anywhere, but given in the unique light I've thought up.

    If this can pick up a lot of traffic, could it make money? Would affiliate marketing work (if I can find political themed merchants)? Would I have to do adsense? Or would I like, have to sell ad space.. not too familiar with that. If that'd be the case, I could research in to that.

    Also.. I'm not sure how I could make this continually updated website (Well it could, I think.. lol). That would hurt return traffic, I'm sure, right? Or if it hits off big, the traffic would fall off, but with the uniqueness of it, could fall to a good steady amount?

    Gaw.. sorry, I know some of this is hard to answer.. but I don't want to go deeper into detail for obvious reason, lol. And sorry if this is asking for too much.. if political websites are explained somewhere, please point me there?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Cafe Press has a good selection of political merchandise. Also, you could sell bumper stickers, books, posters with political themes and Adsense.

    Sure, you could monetize a political site.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  3. #3
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    Wow.. thanks for the quick reply, and the info!

    Gaw! I need to sleep now, but I'm excited I've thought up something no one is doing. Excited for good reason, yes? LOL

    I don't know. I feel like a newbie again. XD

  4. #4
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    I have a few political websites. I use AdSense on most of them, but also BlogAds in one case. I haven't had much luck selling items through CafePress, but it sure is easy to set-up.

    I'm not sure a Bush site is worth your time. He will only be in office a few more months and he already is seen as a lame duck president. Most of the attention is now on the new candidates. If you put together something that catches wildfire and gets passed around virally, then it is always worth a shot, but just remember that any Bush related content now has a short shelf life.

    Political sites have the potential to get a large amount of impressions if you build a community or have good content that people return to often. The AdSense clicks won't bring much revenue because the keywords aren't very valuable. However, the audience on political sites is usually educated white males with an average income of $70,000 - $80,000 per year so programs like BlogAds is starting to generate more income because people are bidding to advertise on your site to attract your audience rather than bidding on low cost keywords.

    You also need to realize that political sites are cyclical. A lot of political money and interested voters rush into political sites each election season. My traffic always spikes on election day. Also, Presidential candidates are spending close to a billion dollars on the Presidential campaign this year. In the past, most of this money went to the monopoly media outlets, but now some of that money is making it to the web. I think that the success politicians are having doing outreach and fundraising online will further increase this online spending by campaigns.

  5. #5
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    P.S. Good luck with your efforts!

  6. #6
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardaka
    Wow.. thanks for the quick reply, and the info!

    Gaw! I need to sleep now, but I'm excited I've thought up something no one is doing. Excited for good reason, yes? LOL

    I don't know. I feel like a newbie again. XD
    Now, there is a sentiment that I really can relate to.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Moderator Note: Political discussion as it relates to affiliate marketing is allowed. It's just the political debate threads that are divisive, controversial, offensive, or abusive that are prohibited. General political discussion and political humor are usually allowed in appropriate forums as well, as long as it steers clear of those areas that are likely to lead to prohibited discussions or hard feelings. With the elections coming up, we're being a little more strict than normal. But this thread is perfectly fine.

    If your idea is something nobody else is doing and you feel it could do well, by all means GO FOR IT! I wouldn't worry too much about the short time left - just don't put too much time into it.

    Non-affiliate monetization typically works better with more general sites, but it's good to try every possible way of monetizing it (once you have the traffic). Rexanne has some good suggestions for affiliate programs to try. Also, consider politically oriented magazines. I haven't checked, but Booksonline.com (at CJ) might have some high-commission book clubs or book club banners that are politically oriented.

    Once you have traffic, do some serious demographics research on your traffic and you might find some other ideas of things to promote. Weekly or daily polls are a great way to get insight into your visitors.
    Michael Coley
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  8. #8
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    I've tried book sales on my political sites with limited success, but I agree it is one of the best ideas to try on political sites in terms of affiliate programs.

  9. #9
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Do/could US political campaign funds have affiliate programs? Or am I showing my ignorance of US politics

    Cheers

    Chris
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  10. #10
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    One thing that you should think about is to start optimizing for the inaugural balls. Those are big in Dec/Jan of election years through ticket affiliate programs.
    Affiliate Summit - Las Vegas on January 10-12, 2016

  11. #11
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris - AMWSO
    Do/could US political campaign funds have affiliate programs? Or am I showing my ignorance of US politics

    Cheers

    Chris
    There was a program through CJ for the Republican National Committee in 2004, but I haven't seen one for an individual candidate.
    Affiliate Summit - Las Vegas on January 10-12, 2016

  12. #12
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    Thanks y'all for all the replies.

    OICUAM2, yeah.. with his time running out, I agree that could be an issue. Although a website like moveon.org, I believe was first created to tell people to move on from Monica and that has stayed around, but it has evolved a lot since then. And no, not claiming I'd turn into something like that, lol.

    Political sites have the potential to get a large amount of impressions if you build a community or have good content that people return to often.
    By good content, do you mean updating content or just good content in general? The community idea, would that be something along the lines of a forum? I figure if there is a way for people to express their opinion and argue with each other, it would cause more to keep coming back.

    Definitely some good comments here to look into. Thanks again.

    Something I forgot to mention, since my website would be a joke political website in a sense, I'm guessing the conversion rate would be lower, since most people are coming for the new idea, not to buy stuff, correct? And obviously the people who don't like the idea would be less likely to buy stuff, lol.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I use AdSense and Blogads on my political site, as well as cafepress and Amazon affiliate stuff (selling books works pretty well). You can definitely make money, no question.
    Jason Rosenbaum
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  14. #14
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    Cafe Press, seems you could create your own stuff to sell as well. Books on Amazon is definitely another good idea. Thanks.

    And I'm guessing for a new political website (or most of them) you need to source everything, correct? Like if I see something on TV, it would be better to find an online source for that information and link to it instead of just posting about it, right?

    I feel silly asking that, pretty obvious sourcing is good to do. XD

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador IOWNIE's Avatar
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    But could I get in any trouble for making a IOWNHILLARY or a IOWNOBAMA site? If I used "THEIR" name in my site ( being negative or positive ) could they ask that I shut it down?

    Reminds me that I once owned scientology and their lawyers forced me to shut it down....

    Maybe I should just keep iownjohn and save my money?

  16. #16
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    Umm... oh, are you commenting on Cafe Press, seems you could create your own stuff to sell as well comment?

    Someone else should answer that. But I think with them being public figures, that changes things a bit.

  17. #17
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardaka
    Cafe Press, seems you could create your own stuff to sell as well.
    Yep - that could be fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardaka
    And I'm guessing for a new political website (or most of them) you need to source everything, correct? Like if I see something on TV, it would be better to find an online source for that information and link to it instead of just posting about it, right?

    I feel silly asking that, pretty obvious sourcing is good to do. XD
    I have no clue about the "rules" of sourcing but I'd suggest writing your own spin and then link to a source to back you up or show another POV. When possible, write your own "unique" content. If you're writing about a specific issue, link to a source on that issue to give your post credibility or as reference.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  18. #18
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    Yeah, my goal is unique content, but will need to back it up with specific issues or news, and there I think sourcing it would be good.

    Thanks.

    Anyone know the exact copy right rules about public figures?

    If I'm not mistaken, using a public figure's name or likeness is okay, but claiming you have some sort of link or endorsement from them is not okay. I think? lol

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Using the pictures and names is fine. As you said, they are public figures.
    Jason Rosenbaum
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  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    It's really not quite as simple as being allowed to use whatever you want because they're public figures. Copyright and trademark law still applies. If a photograph of a politician - not just public figure, but politician - is in the public domain, then generally, it's okay to use. If the photograph is not in the public domain, using it on CafePress merch is a violation of copyright law.

    Of course, if you take the picture yourself, or if you're using a drawing that you've made - basically, if you own the copyright on what you're using - then it's okay.
    Daniel M. Clark
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