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  • #967534
    mexham
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    • Total posts: 302
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    Hi there. We’ve had a hammock blog running for nearly a year now, and while it was originally started to garner more traffic and help with SEO we are now getting monthly hits well into the hundreds.

    It is not something we have really paid too much attention to, other than to ensure we always blog regularly.

    I wondering now though if I should be re-evaluating it to make better use of the traffic volumes.

    – Should I consider monetising it somehow? I’ve totally avoided ads, but maybe?
    – Should I add a shopping cart feature to it to take direct sales?
    – How to improve click through rates to the website?

    If anyone got any ideas of how I could make better use of this I’d love to hear.

    Thanks a lot,
    Mike

    #1026925
    MatthewKeath
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    Hello,

    Because the blog is attached to your hammock business site, I would not be a huge a fan of trying to monetise it another way rather than just promoting your own products, although I know many businesses do it anyway.

    It to bad your blog is not on it’s own domain, like thehammockblog.com or something, then you could monetize it in other ways, as well a promoting your won products. Of course that was not the intention when you started it as you have mentioned.

    Cheers

    #1026926
    Ali Dark
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    • Total posts: 101
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    What Matthew said.

    Hundreds of hits a month won’t get you far with advertising. And if you want to take sales, do it via your website.

    Meanwhile, improve your blog by showcasing more of your personality. It’s pretty focussed on driving sales at the moment. I’d expand into topics associated with hammocks, such as backyard and deck life… and blog on anything to do with them at all.

    Try a couple of list posts… ‘ten uses for your hammock you wouldn’t have thought of’ etc

    That’s if you’ve got the time… I’m looking for pilot testers for my business blog coaching program if you’re interested.

    Ali.

    #1026927
    Melinda B
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    • Total posts: 349
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    MatthewKeath, post: 31803 wrote:
    It to bad your blog is not on it’s own domain, like thehammockblog.com or something, then you could monetize it in other ways, as well a promoting your won products.
    I think it’s great it’s on your main domain rather than on it’s own as you’re getting the benefit of the blog’s SEO and traffic to your main site to increase your rankings.

    If you separate the blog from the main site you’re going to lose all that.

    #1026928
    Chris Bates
    Member
    • Total posts: 966
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    There can be benefits to having a blog offsite, both for sales and for SEO.

    #1026929
    WebMarketeer
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    • Total posts: 21
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    Hi Mexham,

    Yep i’d have a a crack at monetizing your blog.

    Try a square banner in the top right corner and just see what happens.

    Try it for a month or 3 and if it’s making a negative impact on anything just remove it.

    If it’s too prominent to place it in the top right corner, try adding a long banner instead, just before your post comments section and see what happens there.

    At the end of the day every market is different. The only thing that really counts is results so test test test.

    I have a feeling though you may be pleasantly surprised.

    #1026930
    jBasket
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    • Total posts: 6
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    It’s quite a good blog that you have with lots of contents related to your products. If you want to add a shopping cart feature so you can make direct sales from the blog, you might want to change the layout of the blog so that it has the same theme with the home page. At the moment, the blog doesn’t look like a children page of the main product page.

    In regard to monetising the blog, you first could insert Google Adsense between your posts and see if you got good CTR.

    That’s my two cents for now, good luck.

    mexham, post: 31802 wrote:
    Hi there. We’ve had a hammock blog running for nearly a year now, and while it was originally started to garner more traffic and help with SEO we are now getting monthly hits well into the hundreds.

    It is not something we have really paid too much attention to, other than to ensure we always blog regularly.

    I wondering now though if I should be re-evaluating it to make better use of the traffic volumes.

    – Should I consider monetising it somehow? I’ve totally avoided ads, but maybe?
    – Should I add a shopping cart feature to it to take direct sales?
    – How to improve click through rates to the website?

    If anyone got any ideas of how I could make better use of this I’d love to hear.

    Thanks a lot,
    Mike

    #1026931
    mexham
    Member
    • Total posts: 302
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    Hey guys, thanks a lot for all the comments and advice, I really appreciate all the feedback.

    I think there are some things there that I can look to change and apply.

    Ali – I like your thoughts on adding more personality to it, there is only so much product blogging you can do. Your pilot program sounds interesting if you need some testers let me know.

    I might leave the advertising for now, I don’t really want to encourage people to leave the site. Would be nice to maybe setup my own adverts on it to help with click throughs though. I’m not sure if that can be done though.

    #1026932
    Chris Bates
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    • Total posts: 966
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    mexham, post: 32151 wrote:
    I might leave the advertising for now, I don’t really want to encourage people to leave the site.

    I’m SO glad you have come to this conclusion yourself. AdSense is the worst possible idea for a business website.

    Continue funneling people back to your shopfront – that’s where the money is.

    #1026933
    Gordon Akman
    Member
    • Total posts: 229
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    Blogging is a great way to build content for your site, generate traffic, and get sales.

    I think you should definitely integrate your blog with your website. You can either link to your blog from your website or place your blog on your own domain in a folder.

    As far as monetizing it why not include a prominent link that links to your product/store landing page.

    #1026934
    Aidan
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    • Total posts: 1,125
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    I’d start by looking at what the purpose of the blog is?

    If it is to engage with likely customers of the business then yes I agree entirely with Matthew, Ali, Keith etc – keep it focussed on your own sales.

    If on the other hand it has become an entity all of its own with lots of traffic (foreign maybe?) that is never going to become customers of yours then yes try affiliate programs and adsense.

    If you were feeling tricky you might even show different ads to site visitors based on where they have come from! Adsense and affiliate ads to foreign visitors, your own promos to locals!

    #1026935
    WebMarketeer
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    • Total posts: 21
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    Adsense isn’t the only form of advertising online.

    Having said that when i was referring to advertising i was thinking more in terms of advertising your own products on your blog, as opposed to other peoples.

    You should definitely have banners linking back to your money site.

    But like i said before every market is different, so just test it and see for yourself.

    Seriously just do it and if it doesn’t work after a month or 3, remove it.

    #1026936
    Aidan
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    Gawd no,

    I don’t believe anybody suggested it was but it is a good easy to implement solution that displays geo targetted ads to visitors based on their IPs.

    Hell you can make more money with affiliate programs even with Amazon, IF you know what you are doing!

    ATB

    #1026937
    mexham
    Member
    • Total posts: 302
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    I quite like the idea of having my own little image ads on the right hand column, that link directly to the product pages.

    Does anyone know how to set this up?

    #1026938
    Ali Dark
    Participant
    • Total posts: 101
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    mexham, post: 32186 wrote:
    I quite like the idea of having my own little image ads on the right hand column, that link directly to the product pages.

    Does anyone know how to set this up?

    The simplest way would be a “text” widget with a hyperlinked image but no title.

    The content in your widgets seems to be 278px wide so this will be a good size for images.

    Cheers

    Ali.

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