Need help with Monetizing a classified website.

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So I have a classifieds ads website for the Wine Industry. It is a B2B website.
The website was up, maybe 6 to 7 weeks ago.

I have 78 members, 168 ads.
Keep in mind it is free to post. The only fee is if they want a featured post.
I was only able to get 1 so far.

The website gets about 1100 visits and averaging 22,000 pages views.
I was able to get 5 000 leads.

My goal is to charge them a fee to post on the website and sale advertising banners.
Now, My fear is that if I start charging, the traffic will die, so I'm wondering if I should wait, get more members and ads. Then when reached a good number, I will start charging.

Just looking for different Ideas or suggestion in how to go about this. I need this to start making money.

Also I want to get more traffic.
Right now I have invested in a SEO, they are working on my on-page and then they are going to do the off-page.

All my traffic is coming from my leads. I was thinking of outsourcing someone to collect emails, and increase my email marketing etc....

I have tried PPC with Google, but it was to expensive, so I stop it.
Any Idea in how I can increase traffic, paid or free.

Thank you for your help or suggestions.
#classified #monetizing #website
  • Profile picture of the author LynxForte
    BDE4Life,

    Keep the posts free. Continue to charge for featured listings.

    Begin to sell banner advertising. Keep prices low for now, but expect to grow. This is your best bet at making money for now.

    Begin to do social networking. Build a blog with useful content and seed that out for links. Build your brand as a great place for B2B wine ads.

    Don't do PPC yet, too early for it. Later on it may make sense.

    Your goal should be to build a community around your site and to become a credible sources for information regarding wine.

    A site like yours makes money off featured listings and banner ads. Cutting down on free posts will limit interest.
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  • Profile picture of the author kjamesnv
    1. Place Ad Sense and Google (Double Click) Banners on your site. They probably won't generate tons of revenue but it will help.

    2. Find some wine/ liquor accessory suppliers that have affiliate programs. Or use Amazon if you can't fine any but the commissions will be lower. Put up offers for Wine glasses, Bottle openers, wine books, Wine refrigerators, wine racks etc.

    3. Find a travel agency (with an affiliate program) that does wine tours of Napa Valley, Europe or whatever. The commissions on these can be BIG but the volume will be low. Still a few of these sales each year can really help.

    4. Focus on ways to get more traffic. Run contests and generate some interesting content like a newsletter to get visitors to keep coming back.
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  • Profile picture of the author LynxForte
    In my opinion, the Google AdSense ads make the site look cheap. I'd stay away.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnpriceonline
    I ran a hunting and fishing classifieds website from 2008-2011 and started out just where you were. I kept asking myself why I created a website that was designed to be free. This of course was before the freemium model was explained to me. I had financial success in three areas.

    • Private Advertising - You're in a unique space because of your industry...I know this because I'm in the firearm industry and deal with the issue of advertising. Finding people on private networks to advertise on is essential to our ecommerce store success. Because you're in a unique space that targets a customer that Google/Twitter/Facebook won't allow advertising on, people will have to use you. Continue to build your free model and attract wine product suppliers to advertise with you early on at a special rate.
    • Traded Advertising - I would go to similar sites (not competing sites but in the same industry) and I traded banners. I of course got the benefit early on from the traffic they sent me but over time they were able to benefit from my growth.
    • Affiliate Sales - I found suppliers that offered great affiliate plans and I would integrate the products on the sidebar and with your banner ads.

    Good luck. PM me if you have any questions. I would be happy to help!
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  • Profile picture of the author coach23
    Sure you have heard the saying, "give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat forever!" Well I heard an addition that applies to your situation. No reason not to sell them the fishing tools (rods, string and so on) and teaching instructions and so forth. Hood luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author mendel10
    To have more visitors, build a blog based on the activity of these classified website
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    Am a great user of different android apps. When am free you will always find me playing android games going from one level to another. My experience from this is what I share with the world. I use these apps on my tablet, phone and PC. The whole experience is awesome and it took me to starting a tech blog.

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    • Profile picture of the author RemoteProgrammer
      I think you should also sell the banner ads at higher price. You always get some ad space on header/footer/right left col. You can cost them on CPM / Number of days basis. If you have a adsense account you can setup Google DFP (Double Click for publishers) or setup a 3rd party adserver and sell those ad spaces.

      I found google DFP very good, but only one big drawback. I could not allow my advertisers access to see their stats. I am developing now my own mini ad-server for this purpose.

      For PPC, you can try chitika. I saw their rates (I checked as a publisher) 10 times lesser than google adwords. So I am sure you can get traffic (may be from new sites who have not qualified for google adsense) at less price.

      You can setup an in-house affiliate system too. But do not expect traffic magically from affiliates. It is a long term benefit but onetime setup. The number of traffic will go on increasing.
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      Remote Programmer - PHP Development From India. Since 1999.

      Think Long Term, Think RP
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  • Profile picture of the author BDE4Live
    Thank you for all the replies, I will mention new details that I did not mention before.
    I do have a blog, getting about 15 views/day.

    I don't advertise much, my focus is on the main site. I also have a forum, but zero activity. I'm trying to create interesting threads so it picks up.

    I have adsence, but nothing, about .50c a day. On average.
    I'm trying to advertise banners, but having a hard time. I think I have to start calling them, skype because email is not working. Any advise on selling banner would be great.

    I will also try the exchange of banners, see what appends. Will keep updating if any interested.
    So far 10$.
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