I have written a number of posts about how to best monetize your domain investments. One of the most important concepts I’ve discussed is the importance of fresh content and updating your domains as frequently as you can. If you haven’t read my post about What Makes A Minisite Effective you should definitely give it a read after this post.
Through all of my different posts about monetization I’ve left-out an important concept that makes a much bigger difference than you would think. While content is key and design is important, ad placement is oftentimes left-out of the monetization discussion. While I use multiple forms of monetization on the vast majority of my sites – on some of them Adsense is really only best fit. A good example of this is CheapMercury.com an information site I’ve developed about Mercury and buying Mercury online.
There really aren’t any excellent Amazon products about Mercury or good CJ banner ads I thought would make much sense on this site. Remember, I still heavily endorse using multiple forms of monetization when they offer a real benefit to your visitor. If you want an example please check-out my H1N1A information site which has already received many compliments from visitors to the site!
So if you have a site with Adsense ads and the revenue isn’t coming-in like you thought it would, your first reaction may be to move-onto other projects. I’ve found that little changes can actually go a long way so before you give-up…try something different!
CheapMercury.com has made about $8-$9/month for most of this year. It hasn’t been a major focus of mine but in September I thought I should give it a little love and make some small (and I mean small) changes. I added a small Adsense ad front and center to compliment the sidebar ads and also changed the video on the front page to be a more targeted video about Mercury.
Ascetically I updated the navigation bar to make it look a bit more professional. These were small changes and took a total of 30 minutes to make. At first you might think – “So what! You added one puny Adsense Ad and updated a video.” Yes – these are small changes but the placement of your ads has a HUGE impact on the revenue your site can produce. Also – the relevance of the videos on your site can also help SEO in ways you would never imagine.
Okay – so you’re probably ready for the results right? So here is my revenue before and after the change:
July 2009 – $9.13
August 2009 – $8.64
September 2009 – $20.99
October 2009 – $23.61
November 2009 (in first 8 days) – $11.36
Making those small changes DOUBLED my revenue in the same month I made the changes and the growth has been continuous since then. This month the domain is on-pace to make over $30, triple what it made in August before I made the changes!
Now while I don’t think making $23.61 is a crowning achievment – remember…I have over 100 domains with sites like this, most of which use multiple forms of monetization – so it’s all about power in numbers. If you can make even small tweaks to your sites on a quarterly basis you’d be surprised at the returns you can get. The point of this post is simple – little changes can go a long way!
So before you give-up on that MiniSite ask yourself a question “How long has it been since I’ve updated the site?” If the answer is “never” then you might not know what you’re missing!