[thelist] "Content is king" - still true?

Angie McKaig amckaig at masterfile.com
Wed Dec 20 16:59:21 CST 2000

Michael wrote:

> I'm currently maintaining a site directed at women.  It's more
> or less an e-zine, with articles, tips, etc.  It's not the most
> interesting site in the world (partly, I suspect, because I'm
> a man), but it gets by, with hits meandering around 100 per day.
> Now, the guys who are funding the site (a whole 500 quid a
> year currently) are wanting to push to making the site
> profitable.  The only way they seeing of doing this is to
> have some sort of e-commerce solution on the site, possibly
> offering perfumes, makeup, stuff like that to our readers.

Michael, I'm going to take a wild guess and assume your 100 hits a day is
actually *visitors* per day. This traffic, in my opinion anyway, is far too
low to sustain the kind of e-commerce venture your boss is talking about.

I've run a content-driven site (just a little personal thing) for four
years, and it sees in the neighborhood of 2000-2500 visitors a day. Even
with this traffic, I've held off on offering true e-commerce for fear that
the outlay for product and development and merchant services would far
outweigh any revenues I might see from the site.

If your boss is wanting to make the site profitable, my best and first
suggestion would be to grow the site's marketing and promotion efforts (none
of which has to cost very much, I've rarely ever spent money promoting my
personal site in order to build it to that level of traffic). Get people
coming to the site, at a *minimum* 10 times the amount you get today. Then
looking at e-commerce may or may not be the way to go.

For myself, I don't *mind* when a good content site adds e-commerce, as long
as the e-commerce seems to be there to support the content and not the other
way around. However, there's a big difference in my mind between content
credibility - making good content - and the type of credibility a site needs
in order for me to plunk down my credit card with them.

There are also many other ways you can look at for profitability, but
honestly none of them will likely do you much good until your traffic is
greater. More work than payoff.

Hope that helps,

fun @ http://www.pathwaytodarkness.com/
work @ http://www.masterfile.com/

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