Archive for the ‘Monetizing Your Site’ Category
You are a small business hoping for an additional income stream, so you turn to placing ads on your site. Did you just loose a client? Are you loosing authority?
Have you seen a good website go bad? Or have you lost respect for a site, which makes you wonder about the business behind it? These and other thoughts popped into my head this week while I was negotiating an ad for one of my sites and while looking at other sites. I think that there is nothing wrong with modeling your site after a successful web page, so why not look at what they have done to discover how it can be used in your own pages. I study. Typically, I do not look at the advertising placed on a site, because I am there for the content, yet those bits of marketing may have something useful for me. Like most people surfing the web, I have mixed reactions to someone trying to sell me more stuff, but this week I encountered a couple of badly handled sites that left them looking a bit less trustworthy in my eyes.
Read the rest of this entry »
Monetizing a site beyond what your small business offers can be a way to generate more income.
There are many ways to advertise on your site, and it may be wise to consider what your policy will be. By listing a link to another site, you are effectively advertising it. When you mention a product that you use or sell, you have advertised it. You may think that you will never put up ads on your site, but many shops conduct advertising. Take a look at a grocery store. You will find ads in a holder on the shopping cart, in banners and displays in the aisles, and on monitors at the check out. Your site also offers such opportunities. Advertising is worth considering, but as mentioned, writing about a product, providing a link, or showing a picture of a product is a form of endorsement/advertising. To keep the trust of your visitors, they should understand what motivates you to provide this information.
What is your advertising goal, and what do you find acceptable? There are different forms to an Advertising page. Some websites focus on establishing their authority by giving their PageRank value, along with other metrics. Some explain to you what they will sell you, and how much it will cost. If you look at my Advertising Policy, you will see a page that discusses what I will and will not do. My concern is that a site user will understand what I am trying to accomplish, while giving potential advertisers a cue to what they can expect. Look at the links in my blogroll to discover how differently sites can handle this page. I would suggest going over mine. I cover the basic means that a person can advertise on my site, and how I deal with it.
You should think about an Advertising Policy before or shortly after setting up your site, because you will be contacted. When you are starting, the most common type of advertiser will be a person looking to build links to their site. I currently have one SEO (search engine optimization expert) wanting me to list a particular site. This case is interesting, because she is identifying herself as a concerned citizen, who believes that my adding of this link will be of benefit to my readers. She has forgotten that she contacted me previously. I like the SEO who is honest about what he is attempting to accomplish, because they are typically willing to link back to you. I also have been contacted by companies. In one case, I discussed a particular product, and a firm called me to say that they also made that product, would I include them as a link? Would I review their product? A few times they contacted me without informing me that they worked for the firm that they were suggesting. My point is that anyone contacting you out of the blue claiming to be a reader of your site, and they think that including information about a specific brand, should be suspect. (Maybe they really have nothing to do with that firm, but it is better to be safe).
Advertisers will sneak their marketing onto your blog through the comments. Spam is common to blogs, but there are advertisers who look for posts that are related to their product. The worst case is a pure ad which provides no furthering to your post. The best is a firm which gives more content to your site through the answer, helping your clients. The questionable are firms that make a general comment, but they are not really marketing or adding to the site. If you obtain the comment “nice post”, “good site” or similar, they were looking for the link back to their site that your comment section allows. Sometimes the comment is general; however, it is not a prepackaged phrase. If I find their site acceptable, and it does not seem that they were simply looking for the link, I go ahead and approve the comment.
Building trust with the user begins by explaining what you are doing with data you collect.
Wether you realize it or not, you are collecting data on people by setting up a website. The analytics software which tells you how many people came to your site, their IP address, which region the came from, which pages were visited, and all of the other metrics that indicate your site’s performance come from data collected from your visitors. What this software has not collected is a specific name, phone number, and address. This data can be collected by the website’s computers leaving a cookie on the visitor’s computer. Whenever you visit a site, and you find a message saying that it sees that you are new here, the site’s server recognizes that you do not have a cookie from that site on your computer.
If you operate a blog, you are collecting a name and an email when a visitor comments. You could also be collecting that same information when they fill out a form or send you an email. For some sites, this is an opportunity to send messages to those visitors. Better sites ask permission first. However, you may not be looking at or storing those names and emails. If you are collecting them, your visitors should know and agree to how you will be using them. For example, business associations sell the data they collect to marketers. I belong to one association which is very aggressive about finding people to sell my data to, and I hate that fact, but I have to be a member for my profession.
Collecting data is necessary, and your visitors will probably understand that fact, but they should understand what you are doing with collected data. Offering them the chance to look over your intentions helps them to understand you and your site, which leads to the all important trust factor.
Iwas trying to rack my brain to come up with a reason why you could ignore this page on your site, or what may be a bad reason for having a privacy statement on the site. I could not come up with one for a legitimate small business. It is a wise decision.