Revenue sources
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When to seek revenue

Currency exchange sign
ABOVE: Why settle for change when patience will pay off in banknotes?

by Durant Imboden, Europe for Visitors

Not long ago, in the Travel Blog Exchange's "Business of Travel Blogging" group, a blogger asked: "At what point should you start to monetize?" That's a reasonable question, and my reply here is the same one that I gave on the TBEX forum:

"When you have enough traffic to generate meaningful revenue (which could be anywhere from a thousand to many thousands of page views per day, depending on your goals, the revenue sources available to you, and the nature of your topic and audience)."

Until you reach a critical mass of content and traffic, you'll be lucky if you earn more than a few dollars per 1,000 page views. And unless you're attracting thousands of readers from day one, your earnings will be minimal even if you can "monetize" your traffic.

My advice:

  • In the beginning, don't worry about revenue. Focus your efforts on building editorial content. You'll be making more productive use of your time, and--as a bonus--you'll have a better chance of acquiring inbound links from bloggers, librarians, teachers with school Web pages, Wikipedia editors, etc. who sometimes have a knee-jerk negative reaction to "commercial" sites.
  • When you're averaging 50,000 or 100,000 page views per month, apply for Google's AdSense network and place an ad unit or two on each page.
  • As your traffic continues to grow, you can experiment with other types of advertising or affiliate programs.

To put it another way, think of your site's early days as a time of investment. By concentrating on building "sweat equity" now, you'll earn bigger dividends later on.

Next article: "More resources on the Web"

Photo: Lillisphotography.

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