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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador darkstar7's Avatar
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    I have for sometime now been trying to create a blend of AM and bringing in local merchants to sign up for listings on to my site. I see local Directories signing up and getting money for listings from local merchants. Some of these directories are making big money doing this.

    I feel that online malls can do a better job promoting for merchants who can sell over the web. And if the mall advertises in print on a local level, can help various services and merchants that don't sell on the web. By building your local base, you can guarantee yourself an income.

    This is a revenue source that a lot of online malls ignore. We all have access to the same merchants and products. What about becoming the big fish in a regional pond and taking away some market share from the retail malls?

    I'm throwing this idea out because the more of us doing this, the easier it will be to get merchants to sign up in the future.

    Has anyone with a mall done this and is it worth it? I believe it is. Remember there are more than enough of them to go around. Just look at your local yellow pages.
    Luke
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Doug247's Avatar
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    I think I know what you are talking about... Correct me if I am wrong. You are talking about advertising local merchants and also advertising your mall site local via print ads, mailers, and other non-online means. Is that correct.

    For what is worth I am thinking about looking into pricing for print ads to advertise my mall site locally.

    I think it is an avenue that has possibilities.

    Thanks,
    Doug
    Thanks,
    Doug

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador darkstar7's Avatar
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    Actually, I'm talking about local merchants signing up and paying you for listings on your site and you using print ads to both advertise your site for you and them. Just like what retail malls do. Now the side effect of the ads is that more merchants can see that you're out there and will sign on with you. And more customers can see you're out there too. You'll get additional income from them and income from your AM side.
    Luke
    Have you promoted your brand name today?

  4. #4
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    When was the last time you went to the website of the local mall? Most people probably never do.

    I don't believe this will work (an online mall of local shops). This type of thing (advertising local businesses) is best left up to the local portals and newspaper sites (unless you are just looking for a very small piece of the action).

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>This type of thing (advertising local businesses) is best left up to the local portals and newspaper sites (unless you are just looking for a very small piece of the action). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm biased, of course, but think Jimbo is absolutely correct. Leave this business to us.


  6. #6
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jimbo2002:
    This type of thing (advertising local businesses) is best left up to the local portals and newspaper sites (unless you are just looking for a very small piece of the action). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Agreed!
    (note the bold I added to "very small")
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  7. #7
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    Another view:

    If you are in a touristy area, a regional directory in conjunction with a content site could be moderately successful. Your site likely will never be the first stop for a local in need of a pair of socks, but an out-of-towner looking for a B&B or a boat rental for next summer might find your site helpful.

    Wayne

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador darkstar7's Avatar
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    OK good responses and this is why I threw it out for public consumption. Now as a twist what about ecommerce sites that can sell on a national level but don't have an affiliate program?

    And most local mall sites don't do ecommerce at all. They are just brochure sites. And the local portal sites are raking in the bucks doing this. Some are charging from $25 - $1000 / listing.

    The reason I'm posing this out there is because I'm getting numberous requests for link exchanges. And I see potential dollars. Now so far, there are no takers for paid listings but I think there's potential for the future.
    Luke
    Have you promoted your brand name today?

  9. #9
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    When you consider that most towns have some sort of website in place for the local community, how can you possibly compete with them?

    Each town having their own newspaper portal or yellow pages type site with all of the local business listed.

    phillyBurbs.com is a perfect example of a local community website. I just don't see how any mall type site could ever compete with a dedicated local site.

    It is a great idea, but not one that has much potential for an online mall

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    I have seen community websites that don't work because they are trying to attract traffic for all types of business. Pick one area like lawyers or machine shops or anything to do with a single subject. They don't need to be ecom sites.

  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> the local portal sites are raking in the bucks doing this. Some are charging from $25 - $1000 / listing. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you can generate the traffic (and sales), I am sure that you will get advertisers.

    If you are going to concentrate on print advertising, then run some numbers to see how feasible it is (get the ad cost per thousand readers, then figure less than 1 in 100 will visit your site, likely far less than that, and then estimate how much you can charge someone for the visitors).

    The local portals have a huge advantage over you (they have the reach, they are owned by the newspapers which provides content and advertising, everyone is already linking to them, etc).

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The local portals have a huge advantage over you (they have the reach, they are owned by the newspapers which provides content and advertising, everyone is already linking to them, etc). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Again, Jimbo proves very sage.

    And Julian = (& thank-you)

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    It depends on the product or service.

    For example, used cars listing can be sold nationally, then customers can find local dealers/private owners by localizing their search.

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    What's being forgotten when people refer to PhillyBurbs is the quality of the existing local portals in other areas.

    Competing against PhillyBurbs or some other place with some skill, would be a whole different story than competing against some weenie local paper like the Spinal Column.

    The Spinal's site (yes that's really the name of it) is okay, but as you can see if you click that link, it's not big-city prime time either. No national news, very little state news, and it's a weekly so you can forget current events.


    That said, I wouldn't expect to make a boatload of money from a small-town site even though the competing ones may not be much. There probably just aren't enough people interested in what's going on in most small towns. Some content sites get more hits in a day, than there are people in the Spinal's area of coverage--and the Spinal covers more than one town!

    I know some people would pay to have their ad up even if they didn't have an online store, but without a steady stream of traffic it'd be hard to convince most to keep advertising. I think this is one instance where c*ntent would probably be (*shudder shudder shudder*) required. If the advertisers aren't ecommerce enabled--meaning that the visitors weren't being offered any real convenience or anything by coming to the local mall site--there would need to be some kind of draw to bring the traffic in. I doubt people would go to the site just to see ads for places that lack online stores.

    As for what kind of content, that depends. Touristy-stuff could work...IF there are enough people who come to your area on vacation, and you have advertisers who would benefit from that traffic.

    If not, you'll need to keep the locals coming back. Local news is an easy guess for that, and a market that could be fairly open if there's only one local paper/site already. But then you'd have to play reporter all the time in order to keep up with the incumbent news source--and manage to find stories that they miss in order to differentiate yourself.

    A local news portal certainly could work, but it'd take a lot of ongoing, deadline-oriented w*rk to make it successful.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador darkstar7's Avatar
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    So it appears that the consensus is that its a dead dog. O well, O Well. Thank you all for the fine advice. Most of it is quite right. Considering the several of the older well established malls appears to have given up on the idea too. i.e Choice Mall.
    Luke
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  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Wow. Leader and I agreeing on a content site. What is the world coming to?

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Wow! Leader and I agreeing on a content site. What is the world coming to?

  18. #18
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I actually had one a few years back - it did diddly!

    The people who would pay - say the mom-and-pop stores have always done everything the same way for 100 years - have always used their advertising dollars in the same place and are happy with the results.

    And the bigger stores (the local McDonalds or Sears) brush you off and tell you to contact their corporate offices - who of course could care less about your little town.

    And there were the ones who say we don't NEED to give you money since you HAVE to mention us anyway, since we're the only Movie Theatre in town! People KNOW us already. And if you have a site about our town and DON'T mention us, everyone will know you didn't do your homework and you site is "incomplete".

    Anyway, that's my experience...

  19. #19
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    the more i think about this it could work if you had some sort of tourist attraction or activity. where i live im surrounded by lets say "lake". i make a site mylake.com or whatever and get the local fishing rentals/marinia/jet ski rentals/restaurants/ to advertise id be ok. throw up some overtons links(oh wait they are on ebates list) something like that anyway. I might try this after vegas

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