ADvice For Your Community Ads: Getting Early Monetization

Friday September 7, 2012   |   FAQs   |   Leave a Comment

This is a guest post by Paul Rothbein, founder of, a SocialEngine focused marketing and consulting firm. In this article, Paul talks about early monetization tips for "Advertisements / Community Ads Plugin".

You have 100 members on your site. Your newsfeed gets about 1 update per week and about 10 people signing in per week. It would obviously be hard to charge for people to advertise on your site.  Fortunately, this issue to make your website a valuable tool for direct advertisers is fixable. Remember, most large social networks start out with few members. However, the issue is not really about having few members using your site. If you are focused on earning money right now there are also ways to make this possible without charging any advertisers directly. This is through the use of promoting affiliate program ads.

The Real Problem Is Not Lack of Members.  The Real Problem Is Lack of Page Views:

Your site has been around for one month and has only 100 members. However, there is only an average of 5 people logging in per week.   The 5 members browse an average of 5 pages per week.   Your advertiser only cares about page views.  Not how many members in your database.  Unfortunately, your advertiser will only receive a maximum of 50 page views per week.

Your members need a reason to be active.  If they visit the forum section of your site and see 10 topics, and 8 of the ten topics have no postings.  What motivation is there for the person to post a question or comment on your forum?  A good thing to do is to limit your forum to two topics.

The main thing when your site is starting out is to make your site appear active.  The more options your website viewers have the harder it is for your new members to find out where to start.  The harder it is to build activity for each section of your site.  The focus is to make your site members more active.  The way to make members appear active is to be on a site that appears active.  If someone clicks on the Groups section and only sees 2 groups in a specific category, with the Admin as the creator of each group.  Does this seem like members are using the groups section on your site?  Of course not!  How can this problem be fixed?

Follow Up! Follow Up!  Follow Up!

When your site is still in beta stage you need to email all members of your site.  Not through e-newsletters or mass emails.  You need to email members in a personalized format.  A good way to do this is to encourage a member to post a forum topic on your site, and then emailing and approaching another member to respond to that.  Your members will be active on your site if they feel a need to respond to another member.

The easiest way to get new active members on your site is to ask your connections for help.  Connections include family, friends, colleagues, and even LinkedIn connections of people you might not know personally.  Become a LinkedIn Open Networker.  Ask your connections to post a forum topic or create a group on your site. The easiest way to get a mass amount of connections willing to help is by becoming a LinkedIn Open Networker, and appropriately reaching out to your LinkedIn connections for help.

This demands strategy so you need to be creative.  There is no cookie cutter approach to make your members active.  Despite, there are universal rules that will determine if your site will be successful or unsuccessful.

Earning Money Now Before Approaching Direct Advertisers:

You can earn money through affiliate program advertisers.  This is a Pay Per Action system where advertisers offer commissions when someone clicks on an ad on your site and makes a purchase within a 30 – 90 day time frame.  Each affiliate offers different commissions from their affiliate program.  Choose an advertiser that offers a high commission and relates to specific viewers on your site.

If someone puts on their profile that travel is one of their favorite hobbies choose to have your affiliate program with showcased towards that individual.  For members that have on their relationship status, Engaged.  Choose to have an affiliate advertiser with a website for wedding products.  You obviously won’t make much money if you promote your affiliate program to this member with a or Eharmony ad.

Your Site Has Consistent Traffic and Is Ready For Direct Advertisers:

Develop a relationship and work closely with your first advertisers.  Possibly offer them a free trial for advertising on your site for the first month (The "Discount Coupons Plugin" would be very useful for this.).  Work with them closely to make sure they are receiving a lot of traffic through their ad.  This means helping them choose the right target market of whom to advertise with.  If you have a site for people that live in California, and your advertiser is a restaurant in Los Angeles.   Don’t just recommend your advertiser to approach those that live within Los Angeles.  Recommend them to choose all members that live within the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

If you don’t know which cities are in the Los Angeles metropolitan area do your research. Remember, that sales is about relationship building, and let your customer know that you are actively making sure they are making good use of their ad.

If you would like a free SEO audit, assistance in increasing page views for your site, strategizing support, or need an advertising sales rep please contact Paul at editor330 ( at ) gmail . com.