Just wanted to make a great post and break down the way I few free sites. Also wanted to touch on how I feel about the current state of my free site. And also my plans for my next free site.
I've got a niche moviepost that gets about 13,500 uniques a day.
Productivity on my site is consistently 100-110% (Very low but I understand completely why it's so low and accept those factors)
Sometimes my free site can make a lot of money $1000 in a week.
Sometims my free site can turn out a very lackluster $150 in a week.
The hosting bill is $99 a month.
So thats basically the cost of running my business.
As long as I can make that $99, I consider it to be a business/site worth running.
Now for the GOOD PART
Last night I had a brand new idea of how I should see my freesite, my traffic, and my sponsors.
I picture myself as the manager of music group that does a free concert everyday. The way I make money as a manager is by selling t-shirts at the free concert.
Yesterday we threw a concert and 14,000 people walked thru the front doors. I didn't sell a single t-shirt to those fans of my particular brand of music.
Thats my fault as a manager to some extent BECAUSE
I've had on display the same t-shirts in the same style that I've been having for several months. What I need to do as a manager is put some NEW T-SHIRTS on display. By new t-shirts I mean NEW PROMO MATERIAL.
When your maintaining a free site, you MUST KEEP YOUR SITE FRESH WITH THE NEW SHIT. NEW SHIT, NEW SHIT, all the time.
As a manager I'm always looking for a best seller and if I have a t-shirt that sells very well, I will put that t-shirt in the position were people see it first.
But I know there will come a point and time, when my NEW HOT SELLER will become played out to some extent (oversaturation?) and it's going to becom a lukewarm seller.
I see myself as having a small to medium sized (traffic) website that makes small to medium money. But I'm very proud and satisfied about my website because I feel like I'm the manager of an underground band that has a STRONG FOLLOWING.
My goal now is to start up a brand new site a thumb style moviepost.
They are known for having SKY HIGH traffic productivity, meaning it's very easy to grow the traffic of these sites in a short amount of time. I've heard from various thumb style moviepost owners that the overall traffic quality (traffic to sales ratio) is worse with these types of sites but I really want to try my hand at managing one of these sites and see what I can come up with. Only thing about running one of these types sites is that they burn more gigabytes so my cost of doing business will quite possibly double
($200 hosting required to run this type of site)
You can have a small site that makes small money
You can have a small site that makes large money
You can have a large site that makes small money
You can have a large site that makes large money
It's basically a roll of the dice, plus good planning and preperation.
But you owe it to yourself to see what your outcome will be.