Cyber week was a complete bust. I did not get a single sale. Sniff, sniff.
I had wasted a bunch of time uploading coupons to the sites. I loaded about 500 of the silly things. To be truthful, the main reason I did that was because I felt that if I had no sales I would blame the lack of sales on my unwillingness to add coupons.
I actually dislike coupons and most sales gimmicks. Sales gimmicks are designed to coax people into making irrational choices. When people make choices based on coupons rather than on an assessment of the product and their desires, then the person is making a worse choice. The world simply is not as good a place as it could be if people made better choices.
I do like some sales models. For example, the original Overstock.com model was to concentrate on selling overstocked and clearance products. A clearance sale is a sale run for the specific purpose of clearing out unsold merchandise.
The Deal of the Day model is one in which a marketer highlights a product a day. This model allows a store to focus attention on a given product and it provides value to a web site by providing some ever changing content. I like the loss leader concept since it helps people discover new products, but if one gets addicted to steal sites, they will end up with a basement full of garbage and a tapped out credit card.
Deep inside my belief is that people should spend less and spend a lot more time thinking about the full impact of their spending. I am really drawn to the "Local First" model. The business plan was to use the sales from large ecommerce shops to fund the creation of a community portal.
The business model is not working. The sites no longer pay their monthly hosting fee and I am at a loss about what to do.
My current thoughts are to sell direct ads to local merchants. I was thinking of selling ad space in blocks of 20,000 page impressions for $30. If I sold four such blocks a month, I would be able to continue paying my hosting fees.
The problem I have with this idea is that if I am not getting sales through the affiliate channel, I am left wondering if I am selling a product that is valuable to local merchants.
Anyway, if anyone is interested in buying ad blocks on the Community Color sites, feel free to contact me. I am currently running two sizes of ads. I used 728x90 leader board ads on content pages. I use box ads (either 300x250 or 336x280) on the events.
I place the leader boards at the top of relevant pages in the directory and on site reviews. I place the box ads on event pages. The events are viewed an average of 100 times. So, I would put a box ad on about 200 event listings. I am barely making the cost of hosting the site at this ad rate, but in these days of endless recession, what else is one to do?
If you are interested in buying local advertising in the Mountain West. I am selling advertising for cheap.