Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Prepping Sites for the Holidays

It's hard to believe it's almost the end of August, but here we are - with only 4 months left until Christmas. With that in mind, I've been hard at work on my own sites this last week - updating templates, adding content, looking at new merchants and gaining fresh inbound links.

I have several sites in various niches, so I want to make sure that my reach is wide and that I am able to capitalize on the increase in sales over these next few months.

One of my affiliate sites (similar to the dart site but in a different niche, and over 500 pages of products) is getting a complete make-over. This is the affiliate site that I launched last November. I used a very basic template, and basically put it out there as a "feeler". It's done fairly well in terms of revenue, and is now showing decent PageRank and getting frequent link exchange offers.

To me this means it's time to really dig in ;) I like to give a new site at least a year before I make any decisions on it either way. I havent done much with the site at all since the initial launch, but it is making sales on a daily basis now... so it's high time to put a little time and energy towards it.

I'm starting out with a new template - still simple enough, but a fluid design (full screen, no matter the resolution) and more organized navigation. I've also added a mailing list to this site, and am replacing Adsense ads with ads from the Yahoo! Publisher Network (Yahoo's version of Adsense).

I removed Adsense from this site a couple of months ago. It got great click-through's, but the payout was entirely too low to compete with the affiliate programs I promote on the site. I'm going to give Yahoo's contextual advertising a try to see how it fares... but it's going up via SSI (server side includes) so that it can just as easily come down if need be ;)

What about you? Are you getting your sites ready for the big "shopping season"? This just may keep me busy right up until the big day itself!