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Thread: Monetising a site - focus v diversification?

  1. #1
    Administrator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Monetising a site - focus v diversification?

    I know that ideally most of us want various sources of income, ie diversification. But, when it comes to discussing individual sites, I've been seeing two opposing schools of thought.

    1. Focus on your one method of monetisation. If it's AdSense then don't create distractions for people by promoting things as an affiliate as well.

    2. Diversification makes you stronger, so if there are five ways of monetising your site, then use them (subject to not adding them all at once and overwhelming the place).

    I would definitely agree that diversion is desirable for a portfolio of sites, but I'm undecided about it for individual sites. Even then, would the size of the site not influence your decision about focus v diversification? A small highly-targeted site, earning from AS, may well be hampered by having aff offerings on there too. OTOH a really large site might benefit from having a variety of revenue streams.

    All the debate I've read so far (maybe not enough!) comes down strongly on one side or the other - but none I've seen so far ever mentioned that different strategies could depend on the size of the site in question. I'm sure that there are other reasons why you might say "it depends", so I thought it might be interesting to discuss them.
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    I don't see anything that can be lost by having multiple ad sources on a site. I mean, I understand if you are the ABC Widget Company, and your site sells widgets. In that case, additional ads might just take customers away from your widget business. But for a general site that sells nothing except ad space, the more the merrier. The only thing to watch out for would be giving the visitor the impression that the site is just one big block of ads.

    So far as your #1 point above, why not distract people from Adsense to your affiliate ads? Either way, they click an ad. As long as your affiliate conversions make those clicks into the equivalent (or more) of your Adsense earnings per click, what's the problem? On top of that, you will catch people who would never have clicked on your Adsense ads as well. Also, by having multiple streams, you can see which one is bringing in the most income for you, and adjust accordingly.

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    I don't think diversification of ad sources adds any kind of worthwhile safety if that's why you're doing it. It's trivial to swap out ads if something happens. If you just want to do it to slow down income from one source so that you are less exposed to sudden changes, realize that you are probably paying quite the premium for the "insurance" against something that rarely goes horribly wrong.

    I think I would split test and shoot for whatever brought in the maximum eCPM.

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    Having read Fish's post, I realise I should probably have mentioned that I was thinking about content sites only when I posed the question. Your strategy might very well be different for a site which sells product(s).

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish
    ...why not distract people from Adsense to your affiliate ads?
    I'm inclined to agree, but the conventional wisdom from those selling recipes for AdSense success is usually quite firm about not creating distractions. To succeed, you have to be totally focused on getting AS clicks. As you say, I'd be quite happy to make money from the site and wouldn't particularly mind which source it came from - money is money and it's all welcome!
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    I think it's best to have one main ad source, so you can also negotiate better deals from advertisers for giving them most of the exposure. But also have some backups prepared for when the main revenue source stops performing that well.

    If you use several different ad sources they should optimally complement each other, rather than compete, or compare against each other so that there is a clear preference.

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    I take a bit of a different look.
    It is a lot harder but I have found it much more rewarding.

    I do it on a page basis not a site basis
    I check to see if the site is a product page, passthru page, landing page, content page or a bounce page.
    and then I check the bounce rate of those pages.
    If its a product then all I try and push is other products of a similar type or someone else has bought at the same time.
    If its a passthru page I tend to put ads somewhere people may click if they are going to bounce but not in such an obvious place people will just click.
    Landing page I don't normally put much on as I want people to stick around and don't want them moving on quickly.
    Content page is normally good for your affills or similar type products for sale.
    Bounce pages are loaded up with adverts and affills anything to make a buck from them leaving the site.

    Of course this is a lot harder because you then need to setup a switch system to load the appropriate monetization method on different pages but once you set it up you can use it on all your sites.
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    I believe that diversification is best when it comes to trying to make money. Like Fish said, when you diversify ads you will catch people who would never have clicked on your Adsense ads as well. More options!

    What I have done is: place a few affiliate graphic links on the home page with Google Ads as well; create separate pages within the same site for each affiliate products and link to those pages from social media – Twitter, Facebook, and Stumble; use craigslist to link to certain affiliate product pages on my sites (very time consuming but the results are pretty good). I do not place Google ads on the individual affiliate pages, and this works out better than it was when I use to mix them all together. I think it keeps potential customers focused when the affiliate ads are placed independent of Google ads.

    I am also in agreement with DomainMagnate here, “If you use several different ad sources they should optimally complement each other, rather than compete, or compare against each other so that there is a clear preference”.

    In answer to your question Kay, the size of the site does influence my decision about focus v diversification. For my small website (under 100 pages) I have placed only one type of ads – Google ads. On the larger ones (over 100 pages) I have placed affiliate ads in addition to adsense. Even though they are content sites, I try to have way more content than ads.

    To wrap it up, I suggest you do some experiment. Add a few affiliates in addition to your Google ads and see how it works out over a period of time. It may actually work out very well for you.

    All the best!

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    I treat Adsense as backfill - if nothing else works, I will put adsense on the site. Other things are usually more profitable, but in some niches adsense is the only thing that works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grynge View Post
    Of course this is a lot harder because you then need to setup a switch system to load the appropriate monetization method on different pages but once you set it up you can use it on all your sites.
    Sounds like sound advice - I guess you get back according to how much effort you put in. In WP all you'd have to do would be set up custom page types for each class of page. In a big site you might do that anyway, but on a small one you could just vary the sidebar.

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