Sarah Russell – Final CMC Update

Well, I have good news and bad news for you about the minisite I created as part of this challenge…

The good news is that my site earned its first affiliate commission this week!  Exciting, right?!

The bad news is that the commission was a total of $.38 for a $10 scrapbooking product on Amazon.  I guess I’m going to hold off on the celebratory steak dinner for a bit… 🙂

In general, the conversion rate is a little lower than I like to see, especially as the site starts to gain rank in the search engines and see traffic as a result of these gains.  I think there are a couple of different things at play here:

1. I’m not sure the template lends itself to affiliate conversions, so I’d be curious to see if changing that makes a difference.

2. The content on the site is general in nature, which means it’s automatically less targeted to products in the niche.  This wouldn’t be a problem if I continue to build up the site into a larger community-based resource (where there would be several monetization models in play), but it might be an issue if I decide to put the site on hold for a time.

So, basically, I’m still at a crossroads about what to do with this site.  Going forward with it would require more of a time investment – even if I was just planning to let the site sit for sometime, I’d want there to be some stronger monetization strategies in place before I did that in order to capture the visitors that did come by in the interim.

Ideally, I’d write my own product in the scrapbooking niche (or outsource it), based on some ideas that a business partner shared with me.  Then, I’d sell that through a 7-part autoresponder course that could run on autopilot, as well as add some specific product reviews to the site to boost affiliate commissions.

But, again, I said ideally 🙂

In the last week, I’ve been getting more and more into Fiverr and outsourcing, so part of me wants to run with that a bit more.  I’m putting together a new business workflow that would help me get minisites up more quickly using these services, so it’s hard not to be excited about that and to want to pour all of my energy into it (damn you, limited time and up-front investment capital!).

So in my last update as part of the Challenge, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  If you were me, what would you do with my website?  Would you invest the time/money to expand it to a full community site?  Get it to a better place before going hands-off for awhile?  Or just let it go now and focus on other projects?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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