Want to make Money $ with a Web Site?
Thanks for the great explanation Dis-membered - the math makes sense but sadly, some of the assumptions are very wrong as applied to this particular site.
If the forum was about a more commercial and monetizeable subject then yes, I could see the CPC being as you suggest and authoratitive blogs may be able to get click through rates of 1% (even more) as you suggest but most visits to this site and resulting page views are people engaging in the community and I think most (quite rightly) become rather blind to the ads. I think forums are doing pretty well if they get a 0.5% click through rate.
Also, you are kind of double counting potential clicks between different ad networks / programs - a visitor can't click ads from three different networks at once so it isn't 100k / 3 visitors as you suggest (adding another advertiser doesn't double the chance of a click) and you can't assume that other networks pay the same as adsense (which is probably the best). I can only tell you that your estimate is out by a factor of more than 10 ... sadly (for me) on the wrong side - i.e. 1/10th, not x10.
So the $billions will have to remain a dream for now, LOL, but at least the ads cover the hosting costs and that makes the site sustainable which is the main thing as far as I'm concerned.
Alow me to express my gratitude for this site. This place has more education-the instant kind - than any univ. I know. Especially for people who are trying to sift the chaff( read religion) from the pudding( reality).
Simon has a great site here (except for that dam* captcha) but I seriously doubt he makes any real money with it... if he does, more power to him. As far as making money with websites it is not as easy as it sounds and probably less than 1% who try are consistanly successful at it. Sounds like Dis-membered is in that group, I know I'm not but will keep trying.
I am the webmaster and editor of several JW themed websites. Early on, I considered using AdSense to help pay my bills, and found that I spent more time in posting ads and headers and links than writing articles about JW issues.
If you never use Google search or Chrome as your browser or Amazon to buy books, then you are a blank slate. In that case, Adsense will post adverts that relate generally to the subject discussed on the page. (I used to see ads for Herbert W. Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong books and tapes and also even Scientology ads here on JWN.)
But if you do, then you will be bombarded by ads based on your own past and recent searches. For example: My wife and I love good steakhouses. My neighbor suggested one he had found some ten miles out of town and we tried it. It was quite good and we decided to go back. Neighbor says, "Hey, Groupon is offering a 50% off coupon for that place. You can get it online." So we did, used the coupon and enjoyed another meal. Next time I logged into JWN there were Groupon ads at the top and bottom - and guess what! One was for that very same restaurant.
So the bottom line is that Simon and other webmaster who might use Adsense or similar automatic advertising services have no idea what ads you will see and can do nothing to make you click them. In fact, most ad services state very clearly that no programming or hidden links can be used to try and trick readers and visitors to click on their ads. Several years ago I received an offer from some spammer claiming that he could make me a millionaire in just months. How? Basically copy the first couple of paragraphs from other websites about celebrities or latest news, etc. His scam was to put a link at a critical spot in the article that would take readers to the rest of the story. But rather than take them to the story first, they would hit a page with six to nine Adsense type ads. They would then have to click on one of the ads before the link would take them to the rest of the story they were reading.
Total scam. He and all of his customers were shut down in a matter of weeks.
I can assure every reader of JWN that none of us involved in JW themed websites or forums are making any money from them. A few that have websites advertising books they have written might be making a few bucks from Amazon.com - but even then the amount of clicks are so small and the commission that Amazon and Adsense pays is miniscule. If Simon can pay his hosting bill each month/year from his advertising commissions, more power to him. But his limousine and mansion will have be paid from other sources (job, stocks and bonds, business investments, inheritance). Running a JW themed website or discussion forum is nothing but a money pit unless your site is set up to focus on constantly asking for donations and long term financial commitments. That is not something I want any part of - and clearly, neither does Simon.
Anyone in IT knows that the time spent maintaining, checking, policing and building forums is rarely recouped at a financial level hence why a lot of forums are labours of love. Whether or not this site 'makes money' or not it was part of the information that saved me from a cult and that is priceless to me. I'll click on a few adds from now on each visit as a small thank you.
As I write this post, I see ads that tell me that I can make money on a website using Double-Click and I can also get a business degree in website design and advertising from the University of Virginia. Adsense is very smart that way. Don't they know that us JWs can't go to university or get degrees?
Yeah I know Lisa Rose, just was not up on all the latest. Ekks!
But look at the postive side, I now know to click on ads! :-)
Dan Vego2, LOL,LOL,LOL!
Sarahsmile must be either constipated or suffering from PMS.
You deserve every penny Simon..
Simon has a great site here (except for that dam* captcha)
Funny you should mention that ... I've just been implementing a new version of Captcha that's much nicer - it can detect if you are human or not just by you clicking a box which makes it much easier to use (but it falls back to the unreadable words still on occasion).
I used to see ads for Herbert W. Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong books and tapes and also even Scientology ads here on JWN
So the bottom line is that Simon and other webmaster who might use Adsense or similar automatic advertising services have no idea what ads you will see and can do nothing to make you click them
Actually, I can see the ads and have some control over them but I think that control is more geared towards sites with full-time people managing them.
It's like whack-a-mole trying to stop some ads re-appearing and it takes some time so I tend to have a blitz at it every now and again.
You can also set some ad-preferences yourself (there is an ad-choices link in the top-right of some ad boxes)