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Actually , this is one of my favourite article that I wrote a few months back. But it is a bit controvertial . I had posted it on a few other forums , but I am posting it again here , in a modified form with some justification of points raised in the replies I got from other forums.

Here's the article - Just How Much is Too Much ?

Answer : In two word - It Depends.

What do you want your visitors to do ?

a. Get 'em to buy your premium subscription or register with your community
a.k.a getting them to pay you for your content .

b. Read your sales material and buy directly from you.

c. Go your affiliate way and buy from your partner.

d. Or get them to buy your services.

And now the question of ads.

If you want you visitors to read your sales material and
buy directly from you or if you want them to buy your services then remember : No Ads. absolutely no ads. thats the end of the story.

And a services like Google's AdSense ( contextual advertising ) can be especially Disasterous to your site.

Why ? because then will be advertising the very same competitors that you are trying to outsell . Capisce?

If you want your visitors to go and buy from your partners or the people who you are affiliate of , then you can boil down everything to Focus

You must realize that when most of the time people sit on their computers ( and especially if its a desktop ) then their minds stop funtioning the normal way .

No they dont get insane and throw stuff around in the room and tear their clothes or go areound killing people ( remeberpsyco series ).

But the way they precieve things changes.

The most probable logic which i have for it is that the whole of their
lives people in their school and college where made to read books and written
notes.

When it comes to paper ads , people will and do analyse all the different
angles associated with the ad , but when it comes to tv ads or the internet ads then it doesn't take long to get confused .

And when they are confused certainly there will be an element of fear . Fear that in this confusion they might take a decision to go along with the advice that they are not able to fully analyse and which can get them to lose money.

And it is not the plain old economics but emotions which make people shell out their hard earned money.

And what do all those gurus say ? Ya. The fear of loss is far greater than
the hope of gain.

Side Note : These are the results of Private Study conducted by our associate company. We are not targeting Geeks who love to sit on computers the whole day like us but genral segments. The Main Industries we work in are Fashion , Hospitality and Entertainment.

Anyway , according to agreement with our associate I cannot reveal more details about it. [img]http://www.seotown.com/images/smilies/frown.gif[/img]

And when you are advertising for your partners then you must stick with one , just one. If you have more than one partners offering the same services and you are advertising them both at the same place then you add to the fears of your visitors.

Because then even you cannot tell that whose stance are you taking.

Take it this way. You try to sell Key Envoy's SiteSell and Corey Rudl's Marketing course on the same site at the same page.


And Last , if you want them to pay for your content.

Before you put the ads. First thing to consider is that what is the quality of the content on your site .

Is it the exclusive content which no one else offers

or

You have competitors offering the same type of content.


If you come under the first category then it means that you have your way ... a bit. Again is a matter of what you want your visitors to do.

If you want them to upgrade to your pay content then you * Must * annoy them with ads. Yes annoy them . see forums.somethingawful.com

and if you want to add value to your content then you have to handpick the ads and RESEARCH that how much your visitors will like it.

But if you have the content on your site which is nearly similar to what your competitors are offering then you have additional work to do.

You have to analyse how much adspace they are selling. And if you have a way , check what their users feel about it.

Armed with this information , you have to decide that do you just want to doin the league or bypass your competition and offer more value to your users.

If you just want to join the league , then copy their ad pattern.

And if you want to bye pass your competition ( which i recommend , that you do ) then you must analyse where ever you can cut down on your ads and do it.

Because having less ads is more value.

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Last Post by pulse
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Some Replies to Points Raised at other forums.

I've seen this issue debated on other forums too. I've never been convinced that linking to competitors is a bad thing - if you are confident that what you're offering (product, service, whatever) is superior, then I can see it as a good tactic - go see what my competitors are offering and I'm sure you'll come back here to seal the deal. If what you offer is inferior, on the other hand, I'd agree with you - keep your visitors away from the competition at all costs.

This tactic works. But it will have a positive response only and only if you tell them.

Listen Up Mr Customer , this is us and these are our competitors. Go check them out if you think that they are better than us then we will give you this thing absolutely free.

I have used this tactic in past and it has worked for me.

But - Listen Carefully - Advertisements are totally different things. Say I run a hosting company ( hypothetical ) , I know that I have really superb services but If Run adsense on my site , guess what It Shows Lunar Pages.

They are an established brand And I am Still Working to make it big. So , Who do you think they will rely upon ? Me or lunarpages ? I don't think I need to answer it.

I know your answer to this point may be that your customers most probably already know about them , but Showing Ads , is a form of endorsement . It means that you approve them.

Well , if you are really really big then you may spend a lot on branding but if you are a SOHO then i think its like running a Biz on ShoeString , you will most probably not be able to compete with them.

Imagine . Microsoft Running Linux Ads.

If you really really need to differentiate yourself from your competitors show comparison tables and link them but Ads are no way. It will clearly show it to your customers that you have more faith in your competitors rather than your own product.

Anyway , if you are really not concerned about your brand image then you are obviously welcome to do anything you like. But for me , my company's brand is the biggest thing as I charge Premium prices.

I can't say that I have ever spent money on a website that annoyed me. I can only see doing that under extremely narrow circumstances: (1) it is something I perceive to be an essential service; (2) there either is no competition for this service, OR the competition is even more annoying. So far, I can't remember a single instance where those criteria were met. I'm MUCH more likely to spend money when the seller is NOT annoying me.

I am talking about sites giving premium access. Like if you go to something-awful forums , their bread and butter is subscription to forums. Another example is dictionary.com . In both the cases they prove that they have something really superb to offer but until you pay us we will annoy you with ads , so if you really want to have fun while enjoying the great stuff we offer then you pay us.

Like I clearly said , if you do not offer something of better quality than your competitors then this point may not apply to you.

I use Adsense on a site of mine which sells electronic goods. Yes, there are ads for competitors, but it make sense for me because Adsense certainly fills a hole in income - and it's filling a bigger hole everyday - it's doubled in the earnings over the past few months - and that's a direct benefit of more content being added.

My goal for Adsense is $100/day without having to cheat in any way (and I'm not cheating in any way). Currently it's about 1/2 of that, but in a few months it should get there.

With $100/day, I can pretty much consider it a job... that's be $700/week - although the weekends always dip down under the average weekday, or at leasat for me.

Darrin* , are you selling some services or products on that site ? Or , Are you have a content site on which you offer something for free ? If its the second then it is never a bad idea to make some extra bucks , even if by linking to your competitors who are willing to pay you for it ( provided they are not trying to outsell you !!! ).

But will you ever see invision putting up vBulletin's ads on their site ?

Cheers.

* Darrin is the Founder and Administrator at SEOTown.com


Now , that was a humble article I had written. I want to know your opinions on it. Please post them below.

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