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  1. #1
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    I am so frustrated. Right now I have 2 sites - both are content sites. I am in the process of building a shopping site that is purely shopping. And I am hating it. The datafeeds are driving me crazy - my frustration level matches my headache!

    Here are my questions:
    1. Is making a site that is a directory a bad idea? Could this come across as just a glorified link farm?
    2. At what point do you just do what you love and not make making money the top priority? I love writing - I am a writer at heart. Not a programmer. grrrr.

    I really want to boost my income and know that so many of you have huge success rates with shopping.

    Thanks for letting me vent...



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  2. #2
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    1. I hope no one here at ABW feels the need to tell others what’s best for them when building a site. You need to build what fit your needs, read what others feel concerning there own experiences, and then decide.

    2. It all depends on your specific financial needs. If you do not need the income then WRITE. If you require an income than do what the rest of the world is doing “work“ for it!

    When I found the technology that makes my work easier I actually started to enjoy what I do for a living. As life moves on so have my needs and my business model. You have to do what’s best for you!

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Zimmy:

    Sandra's absolutely correct.

    Look, there are plenty of people who make money writing. Can you make enough to make yourself happy? Only you can answer that question.

    There are plenty of ways to make money online and, as Sandra suggests, you'll have to decide which one works best for you in regard to technical skill level, your interest and financial rewards.

    Consider, too, that the Web isn't the only place to make money online. You may find that the Internet is only one place to employ your skills.

    As one writer to another, you have my empathy. But the situation is far from hopeless.


  4. #4
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    zimmy, I also started out with content sites, three of them, one of which is a directory to which I've added my own unique (and topical) content. This year I started a shopping site. Like you, I find it dead-boring to work on, and very ungratifying, and it hasn't earned me much money.

    I have however found ways to monetize my content sites. Look long and hard at the keywords on your content pages, they're the clues to how you can earn money from those sites. If you have, for example, a fan site for a TV show, sell merchandise related to that show. If you have a site about vintage Mustangs, sell merchandise related to that, or cars in general.

    I typically put one product link on each content page (for impulse purchases), and I link from there to one or more sales pages related to the content page. The SEs are more generous to me in the listings because my sales pages relate to the topic of my content pages.

    I'd rather make content pages than sales pages, but content pages don't pay the bills. If you'd like to get into a little more depth about this, drop me a PM. I'd like to talk to other content site owners about monetizing traffic.

  5. #5
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It all depends on your specific financial needs. If you do not need the income then WRITE. If you require an income than do what the rest of the world is doing “work“ for it!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I am sure that you aren't implying that writing isn't work.

    I appreciate both of your comments and encouragement - I am going to press on and finish the site I started. For now anyhoo.



    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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  6. #6
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    Rhea,

    Thanks - I sent you a PM...



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    -Christopher Morley

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Rhea, zimmy, et al ... monetizing content is what we do best!

  8. #8
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    If you have a content site that gets some decent traffic, just sell advertising. Lots of sites pay to be on good traffic sites.

    There are people who do nothing but blog and make money selling advertising
    http://www.blogads.com

    Another place
    http://www.marketbanker.com/mb/

    Or you can just do it yourself.

    I have a site that's geared to online shopping and saving people money so i would pay to be on a site that gets good traffic since everybody is my target.

    People pay people to write content for them.
    So if you love writing i think you can find a way to make money with it.

  9. #9
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    The answer to your question is simple after you answer the following:

    Why are you in this biz to begin with? My guess is to be your own boss and do what you love to do.

    You will then do it well.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  10. #10
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Content sites are great attractors of PageRank and inbound links and traffic in general. You can leverage this to help with your shopping sites.

    IMHO you need a portfolio of content sites (a long term investment) and shopping sites (generally short term investments) and maybe some hybrid ones.

    However, there's no right and wrong way of doing this affiliate marketing thing.. find whatever works for you and go for it
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  11. #11
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I wonder how many of us content site folks there are on ABW. Do you think Haiko would consider making a forum for us? Our situation is different from that of people who make strictly sales sites. I think we could benefit from brainstorming and sharing ideas.

    Oh, Haiko!

  12. #12
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I wonder how many of us content site folks there are on ABW. Do you think Haiko would consider making a forum for us? Our situation is different from that of people who make strictly sales sites. I think we could benefit from brainstorming and sharing ideas.

    Oh, Haiko!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>




    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    The big shots are only the little shots who keep shooting.
    -Christopher Morley

  13. #13
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    strictly content here

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> At what point do you just do what you love and not make making money the top priority? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    When I have a few Million! Then I'll sit on my butt in Hawaii!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> IMHO you need a portfolio of content sites (a long term investment) and shopping sites (generally short term investments) and maybe some hybrid ones. ~Dynamoo
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Shopping sites aren't a short-term investment. They may seem that way...and then one day you realize how long it's really been since the merchant has actually had some of the products for sale!

    Then it's time to invest some time doing updates, and what the heck, might as well run some ads and get the traffic up, and while you're at it, it's about time that site had a real logo... pretty soon it's a long-term investment!

    As for hybrid sites, hybrid sites are what happens after looking at a content site not making money for a long time--and not being able to stand it anymore! Then suddenly a STORE grows off the back of it!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  15. #15
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leader:
    As for hybrid sites, hybrid sites are what happens after looking at a content site not making money for a long time--and not being able to stand it anymore! Then suddenly a STORE grows off the back of it! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Yep. I have proven myself capable of ranking with product pages ane even content pages. I just need to do it more consistently.

    The content helps immensely with that!
    Dr. Strangeweb, or how I learned how to stop worrying about SERPS and love the WOM.

  16. #16
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    A STORE grows off the back of it?

    Suddenly I have an image in my mind of my silly content sites all having grown a hump!

    One thing that's really odd is that one of my content sites has as many sales pages on it as it has content pages, and the sales pages get the most SE traffic. The other two have fewer sales pages than content pages and it's the content pages that get most of the traffic. Guess I better make more sales pages.

    One hump or two?

  17. #17
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> One hump or two? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    As many as you think will sell!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Suddenly I have an image in my mind of my silly content sites all having grown a hump!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's approximately the image I was thinking of, LOL. For my hybrid sites, it always seems like I "grafted" a store or two or three onto my content sites (even though the items are related) as opposed to originally making those sites with stores in mind.

    At least those grafts "take." If I tried to do it the other way (content onto sales) I don't think I'd have nearly as good of results!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  18. #18
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I think by "short term" investment I should have been saying "get rich quick". Depending on how you build your sites, they might quickly flourish and die off again, netting some useful income on the way. Content sites are much more slow and steady - you might only turn in $20 a day with AdSense ads for example, but that'll be $20 *every* day.

    There's nothing wrong with building sites that may or may not survive shifts in the SERPs, but it's always useful to have something solid to come back to.

    Yeah.. you can always grow a hump on your content site. Tuck it away so that it doesn't interfere with the content but still gets direct visitors from search engines.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>That's approximately the image I was thinking of, LOL. For my hybrid sites, it always seems like I "grafted" a store or two or three onto my content sites (even though the items are related) as opposed to originally making those sites with stores in mind. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I like the term hybrid. We've taken several of our special sections and "grafted" a hump or two onto them (Leader - I believe we discussed this in a PM thread) and they've done quite well. In fact, we've used that as a model for the new special sections we're generating as we speak. It's proven an effective way for us to integrate more AM while opening up opportunity for selling ad space/sponsorships to local and regional merchants.

  20. #20
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    Hi everone! My first day here.

    This is how I look at it. You are either a content site selling ads for ecom sites, or an ecom site actually filling orders. Both can happily co-exist and both are needed in the "food chain".

    My thinking is to stick to one kind. If you are a content site, then build more content sites, since you know how to do it (or expand your content site).

    I don't see newspapers (which are like content sites) abandoning their core business and opening up shops. Same here.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I don't see newspapers (which are like content sites) abandoning their core business and opening up shops. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


  22. #22
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    I'm new to all of this, but I come from a background in the consulting business (still my day job). Our consulting firm has three main thrusts in its particular niche: policy studies, analytical studies, and custom software development. All are inter-related. When the firm started 30 years ago, they didn't do software projects, but now software is the biggest profit-maker because we got into it incrementally by automating various analytical and policy processes.

    I think that type of synergy can hold true in this space. Content, Affiliates, and Merchandise/Services feel to me to the same sort of relationship as Policy, Analytics, and Software. You can make money doing any of the three, but as you grow you can make a heck of a lot more money doing all three and shuttling customers across your brand's capabilities.

    I'm starting with a content site, a blog with features to be hanging off of it, because that's the easiest thing for me to market through my participation in various content discussion boards. Right now, I have AdSense on the blog pages, and affiliate text links in some but not all of the posts; so if I write about the Sports Night DVD, the link is to a merchant, but if I write about Culver's frozen custard, there's no affiliation there.

    Eventually, I want to replace AdSense with links to my own ecom sites, but right now getting more specialized content while keeping my day job is the top priority. But the idea of "a page a day" holds true either way - I'm committed to five pages/week of new content plus time fine-tuning the underlying CSS and adding photography.

  23. #23
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by phillyBurbs.com:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I don't see newspapers (which are like content sites) abandoning their core business and opening up shops. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Philly, for less smart people like me, I appreciate some comments next time instead of icons. I am in learning mode.

    You have a newspaper site (?), and sell stuff. That is cool. I am referring to actually inventorying stuff and selling it, and collecting money via credit card (and dealing with fraud). Anyone can set up cj links, etc. That was not my intention when I said "shop".

  24. #24
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    Just my humble opinion, but...my first site was a freebie site. I may not make a ton on it, but I enjoy working with it. And with Google ads and the properly placed affiliate links, we are making a small profit. As long as you enjoy the site...and it is doing what you need...keep it up!
    And if you like writing, then consider selling your services in that department. Lots of webmasters can't write their own content...take advantage of that.

  25. #25
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Okay, here's a couple of questions for you guys. My answers are indented, below the questions.

    1. Do you prefer to build content or sales pages (i.e., which is more fun)?
    -- CONTENT

    2. Was your first site a content site or sales site?
    -- CONTENT

    3. What type of site was/is it? (Describe please.)
    -- ORIGINAL HUMOR (PARODY, SOCIAL ISSUES)

    4. Why did you create the site?
    -- CREATIVE OUTLET, VENTING

    5. How many content sites do you own?
    -- THREE

    6. How many sales sites do you own?
    -- ONE

    7. Visa or Mastercard?
    -- JUST KIDDING

    Feel free to add any of your own questions to the list.

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