06 Dec 10 6:50 am
A few points worth considering:
1. Work out your primary site purpose. Do you want to collect opt-ins and use email marketing as a primary income strategy. Do you want to promote affiliate products and if so what is your primary one? Do you want to make this an adsense site? Do you want to promote physical products with Amazon?
You really need to focus on one primary monetization strategy or two tops. You can test out all the different methods you are using on your site once you start attracting enough traffic to warrant testing. There is no point throwing all these monetizing strategies up at the same time and hope that one of them sticks.
If you give people too many options they will usually do nothing at all. Focus on one primary monetization strategy.
2. How are you building your Website traffic? Are you using social media (facebook, twitter, blog commenting, blogging, forum participation)? Are you building traffic through SEO (link building)? Are you buying paid traffic (adwords)? Or a combination of both?
If you are going down the social route, then you need to start blogging regularly and if you want to make this site a real money maker authority site, then don't get posts added by other people from services such as AMA or whatever it is that you are getting content from. Start using Twitter to build a following by using the twitter search function and helping people in your market out by offering real value (no selling). Write valuable posts on related blogs and the same with forums. Spend time in the places your market hangs out.
If you do want third party content added, wait a few months, build up unique content and traffic and then offer guest posting. This is far more valuable than getting content from other services which is often poorly spun in the first place and offers no real value apart from getting somebody else a link back to their site. Ditch this quick, it is hurting rather than helping your Website. Unless you just want this to be a feeder site that links to another authority site that you have then you could keep it to make things easier.
If you are going down the SEO route then you will need to first pick up your game with the on page SEO. This is very simple and should not take long to implement. After you have covered this you will need to get your off page SEO in order. Link building must be done if you want to rank highly in the search engines so you really need to have a solid strategy down and implement it. SEO never stops it is an ongoing process.
I would not recommend paid traffic sources until you work out your primary monetization strategies and you are able to optimize conversions.
3. When it comes to your sidebar, you need to do some serious spring cleaning. I would move your opt-in box to the top as it is much more valuable to get people to sign up to your email list rather than get an rss subscriber. The top of the sidebar is primary real estate so you need your best primary monetization method there.
Get rid of the Twitter widget, it is useless. You have set it so each article that is posted gets send to twitter. What is the point getting a visitor to click the widget, and go to twitter, only to get a link back to an article on your Website which they just came from in the first place.
You don't need a widget here it takes up too much room and is unnecessary. The true power of using twitter is in the relationships you have with the people who are following you. I checked out your twitter profile and you are seem to only be adding links to your Website, I see no relationship building or any type of interaction between people.
Don't get me wrong you still can include a link for someone to follow you on Twitter, but you want to keep it small and discreet and Twitter is always best to be used the way it is suppose to be used.
I would also get rid of the "things to do near you" widget. It is untargeted and pretty much just another distraction.
The translation plugin is a good idea but not really needed unless you are tracking your traffic sources and you see a lot of international visitors coming to you site. You could remove it to clean up your sidebar but it can stay as well, up to you.
I would probably get rid of the video in the sidebar as well, there is no point getting people to click of your site and go to Youtube. Your primary purpose is to keep people on your Website.
Overall, I would strip your whole Website back to the basics. Focus on one or two monetizing strategies and get rid of everything else. Clean up the sidebar. Start writing your own content and get rid of the content service you are using to get "unique" content from.
I hope I did not come across as too harsh. You have a nice looking Website and with a few tweaks you should be on your way to getting traffic, rankings, and earning money.
All the best,