How Would You Monetize a Tropical Fish Website?

26 replies
I have a site that has #1 rankings on Google for several keywords on tropical fish. Weirdly, the adsense clicks range from $0.03 to (rarely) $0.80 and people don't click nearly as often as they do on my other niche sites. I recently added a link to an ebook about maintaining tropical fish and that gets nice clicks and NO sales. How would you monetize these thousands of visitors?

TomG.
#fish #monetize #tropical #website
  • Profile picture of the author steveweber
    Maybe do some reviews on aquarium equipment?? And then have some affiliate links for the equipment. I bet Commission Junction might have some advertisers in that area.
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  • Profile picture of the author Diana Lane
    What about putting a discussion forum or something similar on there where the users can rave to each other about all the latest fishy products - knowledgeable people creating the buzz so that you don't have to.
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  • Profile picture of the author JL Melvin
    Put together an Ebook on Tropical Fish

    - Introduction
    - Tips to Purchasing your First Fish
    - Tips to Purchasing your First Aquarium
    - Setting up your Fish's New Home
    - Tips to Keeping your Fish Healthy
    - Cleaning & Maintaining your Fish's New Home

    etc...

    Offer it for a good price - give away a "Hot Tips" report with an opt-in and then pitch the ebook to them.

    That's one way!

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author Diana Lane
    Sorry, a bit brief earlier. The phone rang.

    What I meant about a forum was that Google has got your visitors believing that it's the top resource on tropical fish, and perhaps when they get there, they realise that while it may be great, it's not the most current and all the ads are for things that are old news to them.

    Since there are so many of these users, why not add a forum that's monetized in some way with Adsense and let them add their views and experiences on what's hot and current. Your Adsense ads should pretty much always display links that interest them then. What's more, the forum would see to it that they weren't just a horde of visitors passing through, but a growing horde of visitors that stuck around.
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  • yeh use other items you can promote to. equipment. also cpa offers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Junaid Gamieldien
    If you're an expert on the topic, or can recruit one, then how about:

    - a good but cheap ($7?) ebook just to get people into your net ?
    - plus an unannounced bonus -> free membership site trial?
    - which becomes a cheap ($10-17 per month) membership

    No need to capture credit card info upfront - the free membership would then feel like a very big deal and establish the trust bit, IMO.

    With the traffic you must be getting, I'm sure such a setup would pay you a LOT better than adsense?

    BTW, I used to be a tropical fish hobbyist/breeder for about 15 years and I was SOOOOO into it that I would have forked out $7 no prob - and then stuck with the membership too...
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  • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
    These are good suggestions. Junaid, what would be in the membership? Also, the forum, how to seed it so it doesn't look too sparce/abandoned?

    TomG.
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    • Profile picture of the author Junaid Gamieldien
      Originally Posted by tommygadget View Post

      These are good suggestions. Junaid, what would be in the membership? Also, the forum, how to seed it so it doesn't look too sparce/abandoned?

      TomG.
      I'm not experienced at all with paid membership sites, but I don't think you even need a forum to start with.

      I think that a members only content site that has high quality lengthy articles on specific topics will fly. You could for example split such a site into specific sections, as follows (just brainstorming here):

      1. fortnightly featured species (or genus/family)

      - a bit of history about the specific fish or family
      - water and general tank conditions needed - and how to prepare the tank for them
      - common diseases, if any, and how to treat them
      - whether they're fine in a community tank and which other species they mix well with
      - how to breed them - high-level overview only
      - some nice photos of the specific fish at various ages
      - a video clip of the featured fish in a nicely set up tank

      Once a new fish is featured, you could 'allow' members to send you or load video clips of their specimens, their experiences, their tips on caring for said species, etc. - nice free content to boost your own

      2. A section that provides a detailed monthly 'how-to-breed' article/video-article for a specific species

      3. fortnightly video interview of a successful tropical fish hobbyist
      - tips
      - tricks
      - general advice
      - video 'show and tell' of the featured experts tank(s)

      4. A general tank set up and care section for beginners

      5. A section featuring common diseases and how to treat them

      6. Product reviews section (anything from filters to food to medicines) - with affiliate links of course

      7. etc.

      Once you have a large enough member base, you can then launch a members only forum and encourage people to post and ask questions, etc.

      Once the forum is rolling nicely, identify the guys that are always keen to answer questions and offer them moderator status (not sure how safe that is). Also give them the opportunity to become affiliates so that they have a stake in your site without becoming actual shareholders. They'll then recruit subscribers from other forums they frequent.

      I think that the $10-17 dollars per month I previously suggested would be cheap actually, but then your retention rate should be quite high. Think of it this way: you'd only need 1000 members to gross $10,000 per month! And you could always sell new info products to your members.

      Holy Crap!

      I think I just described a model that I need to put into action for one of my own niches! I could actually do a lot of the work myself (and have fun doing it)

      I hope this helps. It was quite fun to brainstorm
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  • Profile picture of the author Clark
    CPM Programs (Not CPA but CPM).

    If you get a steady stream (thousands/d) of traffic then CPM is the way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Mayo
    A forum is a great idea. I found these two affiliate programs you might want to look into:

    Fish.com

    Affiliate Program: Learn more about becoming a LiveAquaria.com Affiliate
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  • Profile picture of the author Sleaklight
    You could also add CPM ads. If you have thousands of daily visitors. You can set a CPM of say $1 and you can make a really nice income. I do CPM with one of my sites and it does just fine
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    How about doing some videos (physical product, DVD) of how to get started with tropical fish as a hobby, fresh or saltwater. When I was a kid we had tropical fish, and we always thought it would be cool to have a saltwater tank but the requirements of maintenance scared us away from it.

    You could set up a deal with a local pet shop owner and do short videos about all aspects of the hobby, then put them all together in a "how to" DVD. That would probably sell on ebay too as a physical product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    I've been looking at getting a fish tank for a while and so far not really found the kind of info I want. I've kind of lost interest now but if I'd found the kind of guide being suggested here a couple of months ago I'd probably have bought it. So there's definitely some interest
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    build a list and do a teleseminar on how to protect your
    fish from dying - fish vitamins, etc..
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
    Hey, would you show me your website? I'm a tropical fish hobbyist and I would like to see your website.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave777
    Develop a professional looking business model focusing on a tropical fish directory with different levels of paid membership listings and other forms of creative advertising banners etc...

    Research, study the competition, including existing resources and brainstorm and develop fresh new ideas...

    And don't forget those world-wide tropical fish keyword possibilities!

    Quick example...
    Find tropical fish retailers, breeders, importers, exporters, web stores, forums , clubs, fish facts, tropical fish compatibility and aquarium maintenance ...
    Tropical Fish Find

    Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author gareth
    If I were you I'd have alittle word with John Reese ;-)
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    • Profile picture of the author RobInCharlotte
      Originally Posted by gareth View Post

      If I were you I'd have alittle word with John Reese ;-)
      beat me to it!
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  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
    If you want to take a big leap in earnings immediately into the hundreds or thousands of dollars, it has to be e-commerce. The reason is that you will make much more per visitor and you can use advertising to increase your number of visitors. You can use a drop-shipper to drop ship tropical fish and supplies or even ship directly yourself when you are confident. However, quite a steep learning curve would be required and there will also be some monetary risk.


    Derek
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      Originally Posted by derekwong28 View Post

      You can use a drop-shipper to drop ship tropical fish and supplies or even ship directly yourself when you are confident. However, quite a steep learning curve would be required and there will also be some monetary risk.
      Derek
      There are way more companies that will drop ship than you might imagine. They may not think of it as drop-shipping, though. For example, if you design a tropical fish logo or come up with a zippy slogan tropical fish owners will want to have on various items, CafePress.com and Zazzle.com will manufacture and ship Tshirts, mugs, hats, posters, calendars and much, much more. Your investment is zero. Your risk is zero.

      Marcia Yudkin
      Product Development Expert
      Author, 101 Ways to Turn Content into Money
      http://www.yudkin.com/contentintomoney.htm
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by xlfutur1 View Post

        How about doing some videos (physical product, DVD) of how to get started with tropical fish as a hobby, fresh or saltwater. When I was a kid we had tropical fish, and we always thought it would be cool to have a saltwater tank but the requirements of maintenance scared us away from it.

        You could set up a deal with a local pet shop owner and do short videos about all aspects of the hobby, then put them all together in a "how to" DVD. That would probably sell on ebay too as a physical product.
        Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post

        I've been looking at getting a fish tank for a while and so far not really found the kind of info I want. I've kind of lost interest now but if I'd found the kind of guide being suggested here a couple of months ago I'd probably have bought it. So there's definitely some interest
        Awhile back, I saw some DVDs for sale on relaxation subjects, like a burning fireplace or waves lapping on a beach.

        You could set up a video camera in front of various cool fish tanks and just let them record for an hour or so. Add a musical soundtrack, or some white noise (waves, bubbles, etc). You would have the beginnings of a line of products that fish enthusiasts would want.

        Especially those who want the fish but not the maintenance.

        Heck, during the Super Bowl, Animal Planet runs a camera looking over a pen full of puppies for several hours...
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        • Profile picture of the author Steve Taylor
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Awhile back, I saw some DVDs for sale on relaxation subjects, like a burning fireplace or waves lapping on a beach.

          You could set up a video camera in front of various cool fish tanks and just let them record for an hour or so. Add a musical soundtrack, or some white noise (waves, bubbles, etc). You would have the beginnings of a line of products that fish enthusiasts would want.

          Especially those who want the fish but not the maintenance.

          Heck, during the Super Bowl, Animal Planet runs a camera looking over a pen full of puppies for several hours...
          Yeah...have a friend that did that in the cat niche over 10 years ago... has the dvd's in pet shops.
          Still makes a few sales a day to this day without trying too hard.


          = On a side note =

          Last night I was watching an old "WHO" video and didn't realize that Keith Moon's see through drum set has a bunch of gold fish in one of his tom toms.

          You could use that to help your site go viral

          -Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author RobInCharlotte
    Sell it to John Reese from Income.com

    He' always posting on this website about his fish tank and his fish:

    reefcentral (dot) com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1483707
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  • Profile picture of the author scorpio9
    why don't you ask your visitors what they are looking for? set up a survey with questions that will extract meaningful information from them, you might have to offer them a free gift to encourage then to take part in the survey.

    you can create free surveys at limeask.com or there are free Wordpress plugins to do simple surveys and paid online survey sites.
    With 1000's of visitors you should be able to get a good picture of what they want and give it to them

    good luck

    scorpio
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