New record for sign-ups and revenue last month and steaming ahead with some great plans for June. Always start each week with 'its going to be busy' and June is once again no exception.
Had a thoughful and welcome comment from a reader last week noting that my sites have become 'spammier' of late. This is both correct and part of a premeditated plan (though I still firmly believe we have a far better balance between content and adverts than at least 90% of the competition!). This comment was worthy of a reply - so let me explain:
I had always been a bit of a 'quality content snob', write the best content and the world will be your lobster school of thinking... and you know what - it sort of worked. I managed to create some sites that had top quality articles, very few adverts and that a small minority of readers would think were pretty cool.
Now that was all well and good - but at the end of the month having a site that was kind or amateur but interesting, that tried to get people to think about their game without preaching and deliberately did not 'over-advertise' for fear of being considered too commercial - did not pay the bills, and the reason was simple...
The type of person that the type of site I created already had everything sorted as far as rooms / tools and rakeback deals was concerned. The best I could hope for was someone getting curious enough to check a new room or download SNG Wiz. I had aimed my websites at people who would only ever 'appreciate them' and not at the people I needed to.
Of course I enjoyed the self-invented 'SNG / poker thought coach' role, but even appreciation from that was an illusion of sorts- the kind words in mails and comments were not from people who knew me as an individual, however well meaning (and greatly appreciated) they were. Being cool yet anonymous among a few was nice, but this also failed to pay many bills.
what happened next?
Simple, I profiled my visitors. Figured that there are certain types of players at certain stages in their poker development who want different things from a SNG / MTT / Satellites site. Slowly but surely we have been adjusting the sites to cater for these people (in 3 main groups as it happens!). Yes the quality content continues, but appealing to experienced. established players is no longer our main focus and has not been since around October last year. But identifying visitors and tailoring to those with the most profit potential is not all:
We are now asking those visitors to click things - so simple, but so effective.
Whereas once it would have been fine to give a room review with a nice banner down the side, now we end with a sentence that says 'Visit XYZ Poker Now to See Those crazy games for yourself' with a link - yes, the site is focusing on conversions - something I am personally very irritated with myself about not focusing on earlier (must be my British reserve or something).
This is an ongoing process or course... but while there is tons more to do I am going to ensure that we keep a balance between quality and adverts in a better proportion than our main competitors. Though as long as my income keeps growing I'll never feel shy or embarassed about asking a visitor to click something ever again!
Well, a long post - guess we could boil it down to 'If You Can't Please All Of The People All Of The Time, Them Make Sure You Please Those You Can Most Effectively Monetise' or something like that!
Of course, some of my other sites have a completely different focus and were never designed to be strategy sites at all (but that is another story for another day).
Gl at those tables, Mark