Thanks for all of the questions, guys ( and gals..:-) ! In light of a very busy schedule and a severe case of ADD – I haven’t gotten to many of the really good inquiries submitted over the past couple weeks – for that I do apologize – and for those of you who I promised privately to post answers to your pressing questions – don’t give up on me..:-) I will do my best to give each of you a personal reply – sorry for making you wait – and of course, the ones that serve the broadest cross-section of our readership ( which is growing I am very pleased to say ) I will post here for your review. I’m going to tackle the shorter Q & A’s over the next few days – the ones that would require ( or really would be best served by a more detailed explanatory sort of response ) I will table until I have the time – and mental acuity to cover as deserved. Thanks..:-)
Hi Ian –
Thanks for the helpful tips. I am starting a consulting site to offer debt advice in my local community. I liked your advice using CL. My question is what should be the best way to make money with my site? I have a blogger site that has adsense and I was figuring that was the best place to start on my own domain as well. Should that be the focus, or would you recommend a different program. I see you have different affilaite programs on yours – anything in particular you recommend? BTW – I did buy a google adsense optimization guide – if I get a fair amount of traffic I’m pretty sure my CTR will be high based on her recommedations.
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Congratulations on starting your site.
Here are my thoughts:
1) I wouldn’t worry about optmizing your adsense ads for your new pages – because, well – I wouldn’t put adsense on your new consulting service pages at all…:-) The key, in my opinion to properly monetizing your site ( any marketing endevor for that matter ) is really having a clear cut, well defined plan for what is the most important driver – or purpose to what you are trying to achieve. Google ad’s just muddy the waters – dilute your message, and again – in my opinion, add a certain measure of diminshment of your offering.
For example – if you were providing a resource for Debt Consolidation – putting adsense or yahoo ads on the pages would be a natural companion. It works – is complimentary to the information you are publishing ( and providing ) as a free resource to your readership – and gives you a natural way to * recommend * so to speak service providers who can help these folks further – through their sponsorship of your pages. I have these sorts of sites myself, many people do – it is the most elemental form of making money online through information publishing -and I do recommend it. ( although – many variables have changed pricing and payouts over the last 12-18 months, making these contextual advertising less desirable as a long term monetization strategy in the big picture )
However – what you are trying to do – is sell your own services – as a debt consultant. Contextual ads are going to showcase your competition – and – show your readership you are willing to send them on to that competition for potentially a few dimes and a nickle per click. People have some degree of ad blindness these days – but they do have ad awareness – meaning if your page is plastered with ads – they know a little bit more about the spirit of your * soul * so to speak – and while maybe a tad of an overstatement – -I do believe will be inherently less invested in your message.
I would – therefore – if your primary mechanism behind expanding your blogger site to your own domain is to attract more business – make that the centerpiece of what you are offering. Your Services. What you can do for them. Minimize the background noise ( which is what adsense really is on a site like yours ) and focus on the primary message – which should be – informing the reader about your services, the benefits they will realize from lessening the debt load – and the unique and efficient way you do the same for them.
You must have an opt in form on your site. You Must clearly identify and give them an easy path to get there. Offer a bonus, a whitepaper – a free report – and entice people to sign up for your list. Look – even on this site here – I have three or four ways to sign up for my list. It is the primary driver for me, in what I do. Because I want to build relationships with my readers – and while you can do that to some degree through ordinary updates – it is much more powerful in a one to one basis. The people who sign up for my list invariably get more messages from me, more benefit from whatever expertise I may have, and ultimately are like 400% more likely to hire me to help them with their business.
I do not have adsense on these pages – and it was never even the glimmer of the beginnings of a thought in my otherwise cognitively disheveled consciousness.
I do however have other recommended resources, yes – you are right. These are the very same services I use in my business, or have used at one time to help me improve and build upon my process and success. I would never have ads on my pages for things I do not recommend or have neve used. I don’t believe in it and dont’ appreciate when other people shill their shit at me either.
However – I am also an affiliate marketer. So one of the ways I indentifiied early on that I could profit from this site – very simply was sharing with people like yourself – the very same resources I use to make my business go and grow. The information on this site is free – and being able to point people in the right direction, and get a commision from helping them at the very same time seems like a pretty attractive proposition to me. But it is still a tangential, supplemental focus of my site – and my promotional practice. As it should be yours. Focus on you – your strengths and what you can do to improve the lives of the people who will benefit from having your expertise in their lives – in fixing their credit, resolving debt service issues, or whatever it is that you focus on. Make the rest of the stuff rest comfortably in the background and you will do well.
Again – the heirarchy of goals should be very simply:
1) Encourage and reward people to sign up for your list
2) Encourage and reward people to sign up for your RSS feed ( ie – instant notification when you break new news on debt, discounts on site, etc )
3) Contact you in some other way from the site – ( contact form/email direct, etc )
Of course – just hiring you carte blanche without the need of any form of relationship building to begin with might be number 1 – but, in my experience, usually takes some combination of the first three to get started.
Thanks, good luck – and keep in touch!
Look – I am such a big believer in the power of building a list of good people – that I just hired that little goofy looking character up on the top of right side of the page to encourage and * point * them in the direction of my Aweber newsletter. And be forewarned – if you leave this page three times without signing up – he will flip you the bird on your fourth visit. And if you stop by seven times without signing up – he turns around, bends over, and……Well, you get the point. Sign up for list and spare us all the embarresment.