As you might have noticed, over the last few months I’ve added quite a few adds on this site. No, I’m not trying to overwhelm you. Instead I’m just trying to pay for the services that support this site. Here’s a quick breakdown on what I’ve tried so far and how I plan to optimize my strategies over the next few months.
What I’ve done so far
To date I’ve attempted to be very subtle with the methods I’ve used to monetize this site. The goal has been to provide a small number of targeted adds attached to affiliate programs, to provide a few more general adds from Google Adsense, and to ask for donations for my software products both on their own pages and in the WordPress settings or Chrome settings for everything I release.
While I’ve wanted to make money (who doesn’t) I haven’t wanted to be obnoxious about it. This site and the software on it, while valuable in its own way, is not my primary income and therefore I’ve been very careful in add placement, add choices, and the persistence in which I ask for donations.
What is working
Unfortunately, the income I’m generating from this site is falling far short of paying the associated bills. I’ve made enough for basic hosting but when you add the startup costs and other miscellaneous expenses I’m realizing that my efforts to date are, at best, inadequate.
Of course not all of this is the fault of my strategy. Those of you who know me and have been reading this site know that, only a couple of months after launching, I had to walk away from it due to too many other things going on in my life. While this doesn’t help the income situation, it does give me hope that, as I start to give this site the attention it deserves, I will be able to pick up a little more income without too many tweaks while, at the same time, lowering some of my costs as most of the start-up costs have already been paid.
As for the ads and donation boxes themselves, the donation boxes within the WordPress dashboards have by far been my most lucrative source of income. Affiliate programs have come in second, followed by Google Adsense, and then donation boxes on Bit51.com.
This isn’t really all that surprising but it does confirm some of the changes I need to make.
What will change
First of all, all of the changes I make are going to be done slowly rather than all at once. That said, the first thing I need to do is make the donation boxes in the WordPress dashboards as well as those on the options pages for my Chrome extensions more prominent. In upcoming releases all my software will become more persistant at asking for donations on a regular basis with a pop-up box or other method.
Next, or perhaps first depending on how my time goes, I’m going to change the layout of the software pages on this site to both make them more attractive and to bring the donation boxes to the forefront of their respective pages. Hopefully this will add a little income from a source that has to date gone no where. Throughout this change I don’t expect to make many, if any, changes to the rest of the adds on this site. Instead I will make an attempt to promote them more efficiently through posts and other methods.
Long-term I would like to add premium paid services to this site and my software and I’m toying with the ideas of paid support or premium features. Regardless of what happens however I promise that the software I’ve published will always be available with at least their curent feature-set to all those who want to download them.
Finally, and most importantly, I plan to spend a lot more time on the content of this site which, after all, is hopefully the reason folks come here. Through my own writing and that of guest bloggers I hope to greatly increase the amount and quality of posts on this site which will, with a little luck, result in a significant increase in ad revenue.
While this site has started to pay for part of it’s own way, it has not as of yet met my goal of becoming self sufficient. While some of what I do is helping without more and better content and a change in how I approach some of my current monetization I know I’ll never meet my goals. As such expect to see many more great things from Bit51.com in the coming weeks and months!
- So how do you monetize your websites?
- Is your strategy working?
- How would you improve your own efforts?