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Old 18th September 2006, 09:54 PM   #1
Marcus
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Default How Do I Build a Content Site?

I intend to build a content site, capitalizing on pay-per-click/action focused advertising.

I found a content which I believe would be very popular for a niche market.
I determined a target market for 7 years. Presently, I need to find out what is the process of transforming my content site in a revenue producing company; therefore:

Is there any written information on:
- The process to advertise on my content site
- Ranges of prices/revenues received by similar companies for advertising
- Statistics for numbers of users visiting content sites in the first, second, ..., third year of operations
- Any other information helping me to do my breakeven analysis and calculate indicators like ROI?

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Old 19th September 2006, 10:40 AM   #2
Logan
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Default

Hi Marcus, welcome aboard

Your questions are a bit confusing to me, and maybe I don't fully understand. But my understanding is that you already have a content site that is well established and you want to see what money you can earn via advertising.

There isn't answers out there for this, as every site is unique. The best approach, imo, is to get setup as a publisher with a contextual advertising program like Google Adsense or Yahoo Publisher Network. From there, integrate advertising and see what you make. Even then, optimizing and working on improving the integration of your ads can impact the amount you make, return, etc.

One way to research some info about what advertisers are paying is to view what they are bidding ppc in overture/yahoo but typically you will find search bidding to be higher than contextual. It may give you a feel for the demand somewhat though.

Hope that helps get you started in the right direction.

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Old 19th September 2006, 12:51 PM   #3
Kelvin
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Thumbs up Focus on content

Hi Marcus,
I am not very sure of your question(s) - but I can pick up some elements of what you are conveying. You say that you have some "content"; that it is a "niche" and that you would want to monetize it with advertising, ultimately wanting advertising to be your monetizing model, right?

If so, I think you have to be clear on each of "content" and your "monetization" model. It is clearly beneficial to focus on the "content" part first, make it good, real good. Then only think of monetization, which you would develop as you learn more options. Having good content will drive traffic to your site and by then you would have plenty of choices to go any which way you may wish! Best wishes!

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Old 19th September 2006, 06:51 PM   #4
Marcus
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Default Details

Thank you for your response, Kelvin!

I should have mentioned in the first place that I was working on a business plan: I would not start my business without it. Because of my business plan, I needed to find out in advance about both aspects that you have mentioned above: content and monetization. About content I did not ask anything, but only about how content site firms do their monetization, or what the choices about which you have mentioned are.

I am just trying to make myself clear, because this is what I have in front of me right now:
• I have a “content” in mind, done some research and found out that there is demand for it
• I’ve determined my niche market
• I’ve calculated my Target Market for 5 years

What I need
Information (books, studies, statistics, articles, etc?) about:
• Choices of monetization
• Purchase patterns of users
• Percentage of clicks per user per day/week/month in a content site in the first 3 to five years of operations
• Average numbers of users visiting content sites per month, in the first three to five years
• Comparisons (studies, articles, etc?) of purchase patterns percentage of clicks per user and average numbers of users visiting content sites

Why I need that information?
In a few words:
• To calibrate my technology, I need to forecast user numbers, their activity and volume of work
• Together with information about the cost of my site and of my operations (etc), I can figure out the financing requirements for my start up
• “Monetization” will help me perform my break even analysis, and, later,
• ROI (return on investment).

Hoping that I have clarified a few things, could I ask again if there is any written information about what I need?

Thanks.

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Old 19th September 2006, 07:01 PM   #5
Marcus
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Default less confuzing?

Thank you for your response, Logan, I feel welcome!

I am replying to you in the same way I replied to Kelvin, hoping for some help.

I should have mentioned in the first place that I was working on a business plan: I would not start my business without it. Because of my business plan, I needed to find out in advance about both aspects that you have mentioned above: content and monetization. About content I did not ask anything, but only about how content site firms do their monetization, or what the choices about which you have mentioned are.

I am just trying to make myself clear, because this is what I have in front of me right now:
• I have a “content” in mind, done some research and found out that there is demand for it
• I’ve determined my niche market
• I’ve calculated my Target Market for 5 years

What I need
Information (books, studies, statistics, articles, etc?) about:
• Choices of monetization
• Purchase patterns of users
• Percentage of clicks per user per day/week/month in a content site in the first 3 to five years of operations
• Average numbers of users visiting content sites per month, in the first three to five years
• Comparisons (studies, articles, etc?) of purchase patterns, percentage of clicks per user and average numbers of users visiting content sites

Why I need that information?
In a few words:
• To calibrate my technology, I need to forecast user numbers, their activity and volume of work
• Together with information about the cost of my site and of my operations (etc), I can figure out the financing requirements for my start up
• “Monetization” will help me perform my break even analysis, and, later,
• ROI (return on investment).

Hoping that I have clarified a few things, could I ask again if there is any written information about what I need?

Thanks.

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Old 19th September 2006, 09:31 PM   #6
torka
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First, please tell me you're talking about a real, valuable resource on a subject you're honestly interested in, and that you're not simply contemplating yet another low-quality autogenerated MFA (made for AdSense) "niche" site...

Specifically, what sort of technology do you need to "calibrate" and how will our responses to your (mostly unanswerable) questions help you do so?

See, most of the questions you're asking fall into the "how long is a piece of string" category, which is why folks are having a hard time answering, IMO.

For instance, there is no standard (or even meaningful average) number of visitors you can expect for any general type of site. It depends on the quality of the content, the specific subject matter and target audience, the amount and type of competition, the amount and type(s) of promotion/marketing efforts on the part of the site owner, the size and age of the site, etc. etc. etc.

Similarly, the clickthrough rate will vary wildly depending on a number of different factors.

Generally speaking, the more effort you're willing and able to put in toward generating high quality content, the better you are at (and the more energy you devote to) marketing your site, the better you will do in the long run. The best results won't happen overnight, and they will require you to make an investment (time and/or money) to attain.

In business (online or offline), as in life, there's fast, there's cheap and there's good. You only get to choose two.

Your choices of monetization are the same three choices that are available to every business, online or offline. You can develop, market and sell your own product, you can market and sell someone else's product, and/or you can sell advertising. Have you decided which model(s) you will be pursuing, and you're asking for specific recommendations of sources and resources? Or are you asking for advice on which monetization model to choose?

--Torka

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Old 20th September 2006, 01:46 AM   #7
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Default Again Content first!

Hi Torka, Logan and Marcus,
Torka has given an excellent post on the many "wild" factors that can "adjust" your vision or planning. I am not saying that you should not plan - indeed you should. But I kind-of feel that your content could be already pre-written or the MFA type referred to by Torka. To me, I would only know my "content" in draft form before I actually write it - it cannot be just all ready for me to go. How I wish that was possible - if it also satisfy my quality requirements and style.

But that said, better to focus one step at a time. Focus on one , then another . Get all the advertising or monetization models you come across - then look at it and see which one fits your content, if that is the way you want to go. Even if you have all the "facts" today, things change very fast on the Internet! Follow and learn, then think of earning. But with good content, your monetization model will even "flock" to you, .. in due time. Importantly, find the models that suits YOU and your business. Forget the rest! You cannot make all the money in the world. And while there, Enjoy yourself - it gets even better.

Hope it helps and Best Wishes!

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Old 20th September 2006, 09:25 PM   #8
Marcus
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Default Real and valuable piece of string

To Torka:

First, you wanted me to honestly tell you that I was talking about something real and valuable. Here you are: Yes, it (the project, the idea) is (wouldn’t this be a sufficient answer?)! Valuable because I intend to assess the fulfillment of some of our (or should I say Target Market’s…) deepest needs like SELF expression, exposure and feedback, PERSONAL goal achievement and reward - needs otherwise and unfortunately almost completely overlooked and un-served online and offline. Of course, there are trends like blogs and… content sites, which more and more address these needs, but I believe not yet sufficiently for more determined individuals willing not to spend time in unfruitful discussions. I also found out I was not a completely fool: somebody else expressed his desire to find a social networking site with “members buying and selling their own creations as much as they blog, link and post” (The social market place, Business 2.0, September 2006), which is a pretty much similar endeavour as mine. At that date, preparing for my business, I’ve already read two of my books, sought and purchased necessary statistics and calculated my Market Target in a first draft. Now, I continue.

You asked me about the sort of technology I’d need, and about “calibrating” it. I’ve read about the necessary technology for my site in “The Complete E-Commerce Book”, 2nd Edition by Janice Reynolds, book in which I’ve highlighted a million times. I have picked there a first choice which will change when I will know more about my site users, their activities and their volume of work, etc. I am just another internet user, neither professional nor geek, but I understand business planning, finance, calculations and supply as I am an engineer with business administration studies. Why calibrating: because I need to structure my technology by the number of users, their activities and volume of work, necessary protection, maintaining, etc, tools and also by the forecasted incoming revenues in order to still have a living business in any eventuality and pay my debts too. As you’ve already noticed, there are not “unanswerable” questions, but only a common language and desire to question and answer, or maybe sarcasm.

To the “how long is a piece of string” thing. It is, again, about terminology, and I am still a beginner in internet business. If you’d have the patience and interest to listen to what I need, and answer, you’d happily find that I’d know to add one and one. By-the-way, what’s your interest in this?

About click rates, target audience, marketing, advertising over the net, and so on, I have started reading in Kent’s book “PPC for Dummies”.

I am not only willing to put in effort, I am making it right now, but I also need some help. I know that will be a time when I will be prepared to discuss with and hire a consultant and vendor. Until then I need to find some leads to information that I could read and use to do my homework.

Tomorrow I will answer some more of your questions.

P.S. Reading Kelvin commentaries, I was stricken by the idea that all of you did not like my attempt because I put monetization before content and user. It is not the case; I am just trying to find pieces of the puzzle.

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Old 21st September 2006, 09:19 AM   #9
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Marcus, sounds like you have some good things brewing. Don't take anyones comments personally, and to some extent you are correct that many presume that you are putting monetization ahead of your users versus the other way around. Obviously you are not and you have considered this. That is a big first step, and based on my experiences the monetization comes on its own.

The monetization will likely change by the time you get there, so forecasting is not very feasible imo.

My two cents, don't try to build the entire empire all at once. You are starting out, establish something small and learn how to succesfully market and monetize that. Once you then have established that initial benchmark leverage what you have learned and expand based on that. Don't try to do it all at once, but instead think of it as step by step. My experience is that by focusing small and establishing a smaller/realistic benchmark you will more likely have success versus trying to hit a home run from the start.

Spending time on forecasting takes away from further improving your users experience by the way. Sometimes a lot of time, for no 'real' value.

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Old 21st September 2006, 07:01 PM   #10
Marcus
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Default Thanks!

I guess that, anyhow, from all three of you, I have gained some useful information, and many advices. After your last message, Logan, I thought that you could have been right; therefore, I would proceed with the next step and return to the former one, later - even my book writes in the next chapter "Designing your web site"!

I enjoyed writing to and reading from all of you.

One last word: I was thinking about an example to make you better understand my position. Imagine that you moved … somewhere in … California, and you were hungry. You were new in the city – but you’ve been around for a while…, no car and not used with street, busses or grocery stores names. You knew, though, that what you needed to survive was food, and you had money in your pocket. You ran out in the street and asked somebody about where you could buy groceries. The person stopped, stared at you a little bit, weighted you from had to toes and answered “You buy groceries only from Vons, which is the only one grocery store in the city, Sir/Madam!”, and leaved. Well, you were left in the same spot, in the street, still hungry, talking to yourself: “is that Vons toward North, East, South, West; on what street; what number; what telephone numbers; what busses take me there, or, maybe, are there taxies in the city”, and so on… On the other hand you feel a little happy, because you’ve learned that there was a grocery store in the city, and its name was Vons, but you’re still hungry. And it is probably better, because the hungrier you are, the sharper finding new choices to feed your need.

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