The easiest distinction is between “product site” and “content site”. The obvious difference between the two types is that product pages are usually used to sell a product. While content sites are sites that focus on a specific content. The content draws people (and search engine spiders) who are interested in the site specific niche and can be used to promote related products. The major sources of income from a content site are affiliate sales and PPC advertising.
Adsense is the major source of income for content sites. A site that is targeted on a specific subject can easily earn substantial income just by adding adsense ads. I t is important to remember that content sites require continues supply of fresh content; therefore it is much easier to create a content site on a subject that really interest you. Usually, content site require heavy traffic in order to be profitable therefore it is important to promote your site constantly.
The most suitable promotions for a content site are article publishing and posting on related sites and forums. It is also important to remember that traffic is not enough. You will want your visitors to click on an ad or purchase something from the merchant that you are promoting.
A product site is in fact a store front for actual products that is set with an explicit purpose of selling. The product can be your own product or someone else’s. In addition, the products can be tangible products, information products, knowledge, or services.
A product site will usually require shopping cart and a merchant account that will allow you to receive payments. The easiest solution is an eBay store or a PayPal account. These services are easy to set up and require no special technical skills. Most of these services offer free basic service and you only pay a small transaction fee per sale and/or a percentage of the sale. Since the amount of content on a product site is usually small, search engines promotion is completely different. Search engines love a lot of fresh textual content and a product site will have hard time providing it. Therefore, a more suitable promotion will be Adwords, affiliates, and link purchasing.
A slightly different type of a product site is a site that promotes offline sales. In many cases, established offline stores want a simple web presence with the sole purpose of promoting the sales on their “real” store. This kind of site is suitable mostly for local established business that don’t want to sell online, sell product that are impractical to ship, or offer local services. Most of these sites are used as an expanded yellow pages ad or a public image enhancement.
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