In a few days I'm changing my local pet site here in Orlando to a full resource site. By that I mean I will have sections for pet grooming, dog walking, pet boarding and so on.
I intend to charge anyone who wants to be listed in those a fee per month. The question is,,,, how much?
It still is not getting a huge amount of hits, maybe 800 page views a day. I was thinking of going very cheap.
By doing that, almost all would pay for a spot. So if I only charged 5 bucks a month, that seems very little.
But if you times that by 100 or so it's a nice little side money. Premium ads in the sidebar would be more.
So what do you think, would most go for listing their ad for 5 bucks a month? I know I would. Do you think it should be more? Any advice appreciated, thanks.
If you only charge $5 per month, you will be losing money when you think of all the costs/expenses associated with running a business. I am charging $150 per listing for my accounting website and that is cheap. You must have all your costs/expenses down so that you can know what to charge for advertising.
There's another saying that if you charge too little people might think your/your site isn't worth it. Don't sell yourself short, but don't go overboard either.
Hi there TheSenior, good points you make. I already make money off the site via adsense and sponsor ads. So listings will be just extra.
But yes, why give them away if I can make much more? Plus it's true if your the low guy your site may seem not worth it. Thanks for more to think about.
Hey Bill, I would say $5 per month would be nice. If you gain a whole of traction with it, then increase it at a later date, providing the value is there.
Hope that helps.
Bill, I've done sites like that. You really need to follow one of two models:
Free listings until Whatever Date, 2011, and then some nominal fee like Cags suggested for a basic listing.
Free basic listings (minimal text, no pics, maybe not even a hyperlink), and a nominal amount per month for a "premium listing." You can even follow the Yellow Pages format and have different tiers of listings at different prices. I used to sell real estate listings from anywhere from $75/month (50 words, one photo, no live link) up to $1k/month (full page ad).
What happens with these sites is if they don't start out looking successful with lots of listings, you'll have trouble selling them -- regardless of the price.
I started one where I just included listings for businesses so that the site had something on it before I even started to sell.
Thanks for the advice so far all. Yes Irohner, you make a good point and what someone else told me in an email just now.
I can see I need to do it different than I was going to. List them all for free, then contact them and ask if they want to buy a better ad.
Or put ads on the listing and charge to take them off. Or charge for a big, one page listing and so on.
I never could figure out how sites start a listing and have anyone on it at first?
The answer is as you said, you put them all up for free, then charge for improvements, or to keep them up. Thanks!
Caution: Do not give free listings to the ones you think will be most profitable to you in the long run. If they don't get business from a free listing on your site now, it's going to be really tough to sell them on a paid listing later.
That is true, and is why I also have thought that maybe I should wait until I get more traffic to my site.
It's tough to say how much traffic is enough for a local site. I think I still am a bit short on that and might wait until I'm getting at least 500 unique a day.
Bill have you ever looked into Projectwonderful.com, this could be a test for you to see what bidders are willing to pay. They way it works is the hightest bidders ad is displayed. You can also use like 2 or more ads spaces available at once. It's worth a try if not for that site maybe one of your other sites or blogs.
I think you need to either create an adsense type site or a subscriber based site. Those subscribers are going to create problems with your adsense account imo. You will likely get invalid clicks and if some subscriber gets upset and starts click bombing your adds you put your adsense for all your sites in jeopardy. I would stick to one or the other.
Bill, I would do in tiered fashion. There are not many advertising venues for any kind of business that allow a site to list for free unless they are already a member like a Chamber of Commerce. Even just a basic listing of a name address, phone, and website should cost something, and I would start with at least $10. Then you can offer an advanced listing, and a listing with a picture ad or something like that. Depending on what the industry charges (I have no idea for pet stuff) base your rates on that.
Thanks for your take on it lakeerieartists. The problem is starting the listings. If you have a blank page waiting for people to pay to be put on there, your not going to get any.
Nobody wants to pay to be the only one on a page, it looks bad and not worth it. So I need to list them all first for free, giving basic info.
Then I can ask them to pay to keep it up, only having it free for a month or so, or pay for more info on their listing. Maybe including their website link for extra, more words and so on.
The tiered thing you mention is good, thanks.
Why not create some free listings to start? Just put names and addresses, then if they want more they have to pay. You can list people without asking them as long as you don't put out any proprietary information.
Yes that is basically what I will do. I have some I already made free articles for in my blog section. I will add those but with just basic info.
Then they can pay to add a site link and so on. I'll get it figured out soon!
Hi Bill - I was about to chime in, but, after reading through the posts, lrohner did a much more thorough job addressing what I would be personally inclined to advise.
Unless there's obvious negative ramifications, most people won't pass up something that's free especially if it doesn't take too much effort to take advantage of the free thing (listing) that you're offering.
Based on your sentiments on the current growth point of your site, it seems like drawing advertisers in to give your site a chance to prove its value is a good way to go. If your advertisers are receiving value, most will not squabble over paying a fee down the road especially if the financial benefit your site is providing is clearly outweighing their cost to advertise.
Regardless of what you do, good luck in your new direction!
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