Planning Your Monetization Mix is covered in DAY 4 of the Action Guide. It is a critical GO/STOP step in the C T P M process. Get feedback on your chosen Monetization Mix for your new business; or get tips on which monetization options work best for your niche.

Moderator: Sheri from Uneeda

#520244 by Ed from Marydel
Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:24 pm
I'm stuck on how to spread out the monetization model. The website I'm creating all about a very high value, new technology product & initially I plan on using Google Adsense & affiliate links to monetize. However, ultimately I would like to start selling the products themselves, ideally via dropshipping.

SBI recommends the wholesale directory, who in turn are asking for another $299. I'm 15, and having already splashed out on SBI itself I'm reluctant to part with more money, I want to see the website prove itself first & get a credible flow of visitors & be able to get my initial investment back. Furthermore, as far as the 'free search' function allows on WWB, none of my keywords are being particularly fruitful in finding a dropshipper.

But on the other hand, I would ideally like to cash in on potential Christmas sales this year, subject to finding a dropshipper (admitedly, the products are generally quite new, but the markets are suggesting they're about to take off!); is that being too optimistic? What kind of time scales should I be looking at?

Many thanks in advance,

#520430 by MaryAnn from Harrells
Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:26 am
You would be very fortunate to make much this Christmas season. It just takes time to build a successful site. Like building any business, you start with the foundation and work your way up. I am incredibly impressed that you are starting your own business at 15. It sounds like you've got a great future.

For now, I would rely most on AdSense. That is usually the first type of advertising that most people use. It costs nothing to sign up, and you can make money pretty quickly.

Also, if your product lends itself to an ebook, consider writing one. You get to keep nearly 100% of the sale, so the profit margin is pretty good.

Then look around for another supplier. Since your product is an unusual one, it may not be distributed via the usual channels. If there is a way that you could set yourself up as an affiliate of a larger company, there is always the possibility of a few commissions coming your way.

Good luck on your journey. Check back in and let us know how you are doing.


#520478 by Ed from Marydel
Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:34 am
Thanks for your post MaryAnn. Google adsense & affiliate marketing definitely seem like a sound monetization model early on.

Thanks to SBI, I found a supplier; Shopster although want to set me back a few hundred dollars, so I'll pass for now...

I had a suspicision Christmas would be too optimistic (given SBI's mascot is the tortoise and all), but I would be open to suggestions when I should start looking at selling directly from my website? Numbers of visitors per day? Profits in the region of $X per month? Importantly, should I forget targets like getting my money back by april or whatever & simply see how it unfolds,

Many thanks,

#520736 by MaryAnn from Harrells
Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:33 pm
The rule of thumb is that you have 20+ visitors a day, or even more. The scuttlebutt is that less than 1-2% of your visitors will buy, so you see why you need to focus on building traffic.

That being said, the real reason that we recommend that you wait is that it just takes so much time, energy and focus to build the first site that you don't have time nor energy nor focus left over to incorporate monetizing too. SBI isn't for sissies or for dummies. It is a challenge. Focus and learn everything you can while you build your first pages. Get your off-site promo program in gear, then look to monetizing.

I see you've got a great topic -- congrats! With a bit of determination, it should put you comfortably through college.


#522484 by Merlin from Otter Rock
Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:28 am
Edward, I admire your ambition to start a business at 15. javascript:emoticon(':D') I especially like your commitment to take things one step at a time. You will do well!! Regards, Merlin
#523336 by Melissa from Rayne
Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:44 pm

Sounds like you're asking the right questions, reflecting on the answers and doing the research that's going to help you on your path to success.

Keep up the good work!

#523390 by Ed from Marydel
Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:02 pm
Many thanks for the kind comments. I'm grinning ear to ear :)

Having reviewed the comments here (particularly thanks to MaryAnn!) I've drafted the monetization model...
_ _ _

1 ) Create quality content... (C>T>P>M...)
2 ) Add Google Ads after reaching the benchmark 20 daily visitors
3 ) Quickly follow with affiliate links (my MKL has given me dozens of ideas!)
4 ) Add newsletter to get returning visitors
5 ) Eventually reach some 100 daily visitors and add basic shopping cart and dropship supplier (and I may have found a lead from another forum)
6 ) I reckon I can handle up to 6 orders daily given the process of forwarding the order and contacting customers. So daily visitor count could be anything up to 600 visitors daily...
7 ) From then onwards I reckon I'd have to hire someone to process increased orders. Add a forum, expand on e-store and grow the website
8 ) Market the website which would then be of quality size and content and in perfect state to monetize big time - I reckon a well-tuned press release will get lots of media attention, in turn generate lots of visitors.

I look forward to any comments/criticism.

#523423 by Wendy from Eagle Creek
Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:54 pm
You need LOADS of #1 right now.... but since yours is a product folks will likely need to SEE, you might try Pop Shops.

If you click on Merchants, you can then pick Link Share, or whatever and see what companies they have... anyone out there likely to have these mini's? If so, at least you could have just ONE per page, to show it and prices, etc... and IF they buy, you get a sale. Don't do it FOR Pop Shop sales, you need content/content/content on each page.. but some might find you. Pop shops is free.

One SBIer at the Orlando conference had one.. first time I've seen them! Really cool! I was amazed....


#538358 by Ed from Marydel
Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:04 pm
Thanks Wendy for the PopShops suggestion. I'm looking into it.

Got a shade under twenty pages at the mo, just looking at Google Adsense, and getting paid...

It requires either a business name (with bank account) or an individual over 18 years of age. The same goes for most affiliate links I've looked at. Does anyone have any ideas on how to go about this, or will I just have to face negotiating with the rents on how much money they get for me to use their names. . .

#539163 by Elizabeth from Yanderra
Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:46 am
Hi Edward,

I love that you're getting out there and getting started right now. If I had known about SBI when I discovered the internet, or even when I was at Uni, I think I'd have done much better in business than I have now at 29! You go! (and supporting the OLPC, which I hadn't heard about before, is a great idea I will look into supporting myself!)

I just thought I should add a couple of points I have learned from recent seminars I have attended and from friends, and pre-SBI experience, even though I haven't monetized my SBI site yet either.

When monetizing, consider the potential impact on your business of allowing others to advertise on your site. The last thing you want is for your Google AdSense advertisers to steal all your laptop-buying traffic by advertising their laptops on your site. If you plan to sell a product, don't use Adsense keywords that relate to the physical product. If that means your whole site, then you might have to rethink using AdSense at all. You might, however, be able to get individually paid ads from things like clubs that like what you sell...

Affiliate links sounds like a great way to go though. If you can find someone who will pay you as an affiliate to sell their product, then you're in with a good chance at profit.

I don't know about the US (are you there?), but in Australia, it is not horribly expensive to set up a business name or a business bank account. Expect to pay about $160 once every five years for the name (from recollection), and $5 per month to hold the account. The question is, as a 15-year-old, can you register a business name?

You might need to ask an over-18 that you TRUST (I really emphasise this!) for help either way you jump in this. But in business, almost anything will cost you money, even if it's only a little. Strategically using money from your Christmas holiday retail job, (or similar!) to get you where you want to go is still investing in yourself and your future. I commend you for doing this before going out and buying expensive liabilities like a "cheap" car!

Remember, an asset is only ever something that makes you money. If it takes money out of your pocket, it's a liability, and don't let the bank tell you any different!

Also remember (if you have to negotiate with an "adult" - I say in inverted commas because you're showing a ton of maturity going and doing this that others my age and older will simply never have! - for a profit share so you can get what you want...), that 50% of something is much better than 50% of nothing at all.

And if they're lending their name only, you're in a good bargaining position to say you get a higher percentage because you're doing all the work! You can always buy them out when you're 18, too. So it's not forever. Just get your legals straight from the start - safeguard yourself and your partners from each other at the start. Even your parents!

Best of luck!

#539170 by Elizabeth from Yanderra
Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:04 am
What I meant to say

<quote>Remember, an asset is only ever something that makes you money. If it takes money out of your pocket, it's a liability, and don't let the bank tell you any different! </quote>

... is a liability is something you buy that *keeps* taking money out of your pocket until you get rid of it! Mortgages...

SBI! will likely start to put some back in!

#539198 by MaryAnn from Harrells
Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:54 am
psssst. Elizabeth, would you be so kind as to take out "Because I can" from your sig? Sigs can list your sites and blogs, and make a simple statement, but they cannot be self-promo. Sorry.

MaryAnn, as Moderator

#540159 by Ed from Marydel
Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:47 pm
Thanks Elizabeth for a very detailed post. Most appreciated!

I beleive you can change the keywords allowed/disallowed later, so when I link arms with an affiliate/open own dropshipping business I can lose the competing ads. This may kill any meaningful adsense revenue potentially...

I've just had a rather frightening look at some banks websites with details on business accounts - not going down that avenue!

Gonna try talking to parents this weekend... but isn't using someone elses name illegal?

Sickening temptation just to click the tick box 'Yes I'm 18+' - but this involves's not YouTube!

I'm worried I've worked myself into a hole...
Last edited by Ed from Marydel on Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

#540193 by Ed from Marydel
Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:47 pm
NB: I'm aware of this thread being distributed across websites outside of SBI and the SBI forum. Can such posts please be removed. The only reason I feel comfortable posting such information is because of the forum rules and ethic. I don't know what can happen outside of this forum.

Thank you.

#540287 by MaryAnn from Harrells
Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:44 am
No, we cannot remove posts. Even negative posts remain. This is to ensure that there is no censorship in the forums, one of the reasons that we all feel so comfortable stating our opinions.

There is no reasonable way to prevent other sites from grabbing the feed. Usually it is just a line or two at the top of the post. Some people use this as a way of promoting SBI as a whole, so in the end it does us all good.

I understand your concern about over exposure. For what it is worth, there are tens of thousands of SBI-ers who have access to the forums. Because of the numbers, I simply don't write anything in the forums that I wouldn't want my biggest competitor to see. Yes, your ethics are very high, as are mine. But I don't in the least bit doubt that there are lurkers here, not all of whom share our values. No one signs a confidentiality agreement to have access to the forums, nor would I trust it if they did. Keep your private information private. Let us help you with theoretical issues as best we can.

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