Monday, April 27, 2009

Ads or No Ads on our Website?

A little dilemma here. At, a website in which I am helping update and revive with some friends, there is no income. It is a free online community website, and we want to keep it free for people to use. However, there is a lot of time put into it and we must pay some expenses such as web hosting and domain registration. How do we earn an income on this website without having to charge it's users a service fee?

The obvious solution is advertising, but we are torn. Web advertising, in our opinion, cheapens the website and does not yield very much. Users have become accustomed to ignoring advertising, and rarely do they click on ads. Also, the payment for # of page impressions alone is often very low - much lower than clicks.

We are trying Google Ads (Adsense) on only the Classified pages on a trial basis to see how it goes. Our users will probably be more tolerant of ads here, because the content itself is advertising and we allow free browsing and free posting of Gwagen related ads. So far, after a few weeks, we have only yielded a few dollars even though we get hundreds of visitors a day from all around the world. Like many other free websites out there, we are looking for alternatives to web advertising to generate income.

I would like to hear about any success stories with Adsense (or similar services). I imagine that you must have many websites, each with many visitors, in order for it to be viable.

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