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Revenue Sharing. Can Mutual Benefits Market your Website for You?

Aug 17, 2007
Revenue sharing is a concept ready and waiting to be discovered. The potential is enormous, eager to be exploited by the one webmaster that has vision enough to realize its full potential. Millions of users share ideas, advice and opinions on the internet every second of every day, creating a wealth of information, and ample content to advertise successfully. Information, ideas, opinions and expression is why people come to the internet; and like all the great ideas such as blogging - revenue sharing is a concept that is fuelled by this wealth of content people create everyday.

Revenue sharing simply involves members having their advertisements displayed along the content they create. Sounds simple enough, too simple, perhaps your enthusiasm just wavered a little, but don't be dubious!

Revenue sharing is mutually beneficial, a win-win situation. It will appeal to the users who create the content, as they personally receive a share of the revenue generated for their contribution; and for the webmaster that now has a website of unique appeal - a reward for the contribution of its users. The beauty of revenue sharing however is that the webmaster does not personally pay a penny (or a cent) to fund the scheme. Users generate their own content, their own impressions and their own revenue. The increased appeal, traffic, and marketing of the website easily offset any revenue the webmaster looses to his members. Can revenue sharing really do all that?

If we consider a website running a revenue sharing scheme, it is now in the interest of both the webmaster and the web user to generate traffic. Both the webmaster and the members will actively drive traffic to the website, perhaps in moderate terms such as word of mouth, or a quick link in another forum - but it's these links that truly carry value. Reviews, testimonials and opinions are what sell products, services and websites on the internet. Such a situation if it can be established generates a great potential for the growth of a website. Marketing a website is costly and laborious; however, with the voluntary help of a website's members, even without active encouragement, the marketing effort is distributed, perhaps even increased! Members' contribution however small will soon accumulate. The growth observed by such a program will be exponential.

Revenue sharing on paper is a great idea; the concept is sound - so why hasn't it taken off? Are the webmasters apprehensive to share their revenue? Are the users uneasy about sharing their ID? Or is it the case that they wouldn't generate that much revenue anyway?

It seems that the slow uptake of revenue sharing by webmasters can be attributed to all three reasons. The problem remains that for a webmaster to generate substantial revenue, the volume of traffic must be large. Revenue sharing has recently been implemented most prominently in forums. Theoretically, forums present the perfect platform for revenue sharing, with consistent updates of original content, with recurring and loyal traffic in addition to new visitors. Advertisements will acquire a lot of impressions, and for the most part the forum topics will be focused enough to generate highly targeted advertisements.

The problems arise when we take into consideration how many members a successful forum generally has. The prospects of forum members generating substantial revenue, even the most dedicated users with the greatest number of posts, are generally low as they are competing against hundreds of other members for impressions. If a webmaster wishes to implement revenue sharing in a forum, he will have to decide how to distribute the revenue. Sharing it evenly will only appeal short term, as members will not benefit from their loyalty. On the contrary, distributing the revenue according to the number of posts and hence content submitted by users - the most ethical model, will not create such an appeal to new members. Having said so, the topic and quality of a forum will decide whether someone decides to join, rather than a revenue sharing program - however it's the appeal and unique selling point of revenue sharing; to stand out from the crowd is what makes revenue sharing such a valuable marketing tool in the face of daunting competition presented by the internet.

How can we rectify the weaknesses that are currently preventing revenue sharing from taking off? It seems we must look elsewhere, for another platform or medium on which to host revenue sharing.

Article directories have been hailed as the number one way to promote your website, your business, and your name. Recently, freely distributed article management systems have made it possible for anyone to establish an article directory in minutes, and article syndication websites have made distributing your articles to thousands of directories simple and quick. We are beginning to see the imminent decline of any new hot trend on the internet, as too many people decide to join the latest craze. Established article directories however, are still valuable resources for webmasters looking for content or for the marketing of their articles. In the face of competition, establishing an article directory no longer holds such an appeal, and with the major search engines clamping down on the value of duplicated content, it seems the prospects of succeeding are running low. However, if we consider what article directories consist of; categorised, high quality, and content rich articles written by experts, we realize they are the perfect platform for revenue sharing.

Evidently, revenue sharing is a great selling point for a content driven website. By offering revenue sharing, a webmaster can attract a greater number of contributors, who in turn will be rewarded proportionally to the level of their contribution. The more articles they write, or posts they publish, the greater the revenue they will generate. No longer is the promotion of the website solely in the interest of the webmaster. Once revenue sharing is implemented, members will also seek to drive traffic to the website, to their content where their adverts are displayed.

If and how you choose to implement revenue sharing is up to you. It's the inspirational 1% of genius.
About the Author
"The Webmaster Diaries". an experiment in revenue sharing! Sion Fletcher invites you to join FREE today, and earn 100% of the revenue you generate from your articles.

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