Affiliate Programs Movie Website Design

How to Set Up a Movie Website Sidebar: For Profit

If you read the introduction to this series, we spoke of different purposes for How to Set Up a Movie Website Sidebar. This section of the series will focus on setting up your movie website sidebar for profit.

Twitter and RSS

I would suggest placing your Twitter and RSS subscription button at the top of the page if possible. At the top of the sidebar if that is not an option via a widget. There is profit to be made on Twitter and with your Feed. To monetize Twitter I would suggest Sponsored Tweets (a post on the opportunity here) and Promoted Tweets. For your RSS Feed I would suggest Google AdSense. With your RSS Feed housed within Google AdSense, you can place their ads within your RSS Feed in any of the varying forms AdSense offers.

The Fold

Place your advertisements (sponsored or regular) above the fold of your movie website. Ads should get top billing on your sidebar, if your goal is to make money, because 1.) they pay the bills and 2.) you want the person or organization paying for the ad to see that they are getting their moneys worth, and 3.) you want the ads to be clicked so that your advertiser re-ups with you when their contract is up. You also want your current advertisers to become your advocate to other potential customers looking for similar yields for their advertisements.

As was mentioned in the Google AdSense 300×250 Ads are a Movie Website’s Best Friend post, many start-up movie websites show a lone 300×250 Google AdSense ad. What’s sad about this is two-fold: 1.) its the only ad on their sidebar and 2.) its low on their page, not placed above the fold or strategic in any way. How many clicks could that one ad possibly receive? How many clicks could a start-up movie website get with that single ad? Not many. My suggestion: Hedge. Use different advertising programs on your sidebar to bring in diverse advertisers and different revenue streams. Show them that you have more to offer than the other guy. An advertise page would be extremely advantageous in this endeavor. We spoke about creating one in How to Make Money with a Movie Website.

Show’ em

Leave space for ads on your sidebar. Show advertisers where their ads will appear if they purchase ads from you with clearly labeled ad sections. Title your different advertising sections appropriately.

Sell Links

Another movie website sidebar method of generating profit is making available and selling text-link ad space. It might sound silly put this is the number one sidebar money maker movie websites overlook. Their are dozens of companies out there that want to rank high for certain keywords when queried in a search engine. The more clicks they get on that anchor text back to their website, the higher up in SERPs they become. They are willing to pay websites to host those anchor text links. The best part is that you, the movie website owner, get to set the price you sell those links for. Look on the sidebar for ProMovieBlogger. We have already sold a text link on our sidebar and the site isn’t even a year old yet. Do not wait for them to come to you, it will take an indeterminate amount of time for that to happen for the newbie. Be aggressive. If you see a text link on somebody’s website that would fit in with your own, send the advertiser an email, let them know of your existence and inquire if they would like to advertise on an analogous website like your own as well.

No Ban

Remember No’Maam from the television show Married With Children? On ProMovieBlogger we have No Ban, meaning No Banners. Do not use gaudy, space hogging banner ads unless you have amble, SlashFilm-like, sidebar space. Banner ads take up so much sidebar place and with a banner ad you are only advertising one product. All that space for one product is a no, no unless its Blogads banners or another similar organization. With Blogads you get paid a pre-determined amount regardless of the clicks that ad garners. I have spoke about Blogads on ProMovieBlogger’s Make Money Page as well as other money making sidebar fodder.

Text-Link Banner Ads (dammit!)

If you must use banner ads AND the ads are very close to the text of your written content, text-link banner ads may be a viable option for you. Most would use Google AdSense to display text-link banner ads so lets use it in our example. Match the text, font, and color of the links in the ad to the text, font, and the color of the links of your website. This will blend the ad in with your site and make it seem more like a part of it. Because of this, your text-link ads will be more likely to be clicked by your websites’ visitors as some will think they are your links.

The Gold Standard

On most if not all of the make money online evangelist websites (now including this one), they say if your going to advertise a product on your sidebar, use 125×125 ads. After two years of using them I have to say they are correct. The

problem that struck me immediately though was: how do I make it so that the ads rotate so when the page reloads, I am seeing different ads? Seeing the same ad all the time is fine but you may want variety as well. That is when I discovered the UBD Block Ad Plugin. Not only can you place as many 125×125 ads into rotation as you like, it lets you choose how many rows you display. This movie website is currently using it. Check out how it rotates for yourself.

Unfortunately, the UBD Block Ad Plugin does not seem to be available anymore. I checked at the original website and and found this page. Do not fret though. Try making friends with a site owner using it and maybe they will zip it and email you a copy. Do not solicit me though. I have enough on my plate. I did find a few UBD Block Ad plugin alternatives here. I could not get the WP125 Plugin to display probably on this website. Maybe you will have better luck. You can also try to find a viable 125×125 ad manager on the WordPress.org Plugin Directory.  You can also put the code in manually on your sidebar in a Text Widget. Use <center>, </center> to center it, or if you want it aligned to the left or right, change “center” to the appropriate word.

Be Specific

Advertise specific products on your sidebar, not general ones with an obsequious banner. Like the Walmart ad that says “Come Here for great DVDs” is going to yield high margins for anyone. People already now that any way plus the saavy consumer will comparison shop. Look at the screenshot of the UBD Block Ad plugin ad units displayed under The Gold Standard. Specific, eye catching products are being displayed and not all from the same company. Three companies’ specific movie or movie-related products are being displayed. The owner is hedging, spreading his risk out over multiple opportunities all at once. When a person clicks on one of those ads, they know more or less what they are going to find.

Amazon

Don’t bother with an Amazon widget or banner (No Ban!) on your sidebar unless your site is getting a lot of traffic. You have the right idea, funnel your visitors to Amazon for a possible purchase (unless you are selling a product yourself), but without enough traffic the widget is not space effective. Use something else that will yield a higher profit margin for you.

Going Social

If you feel as though you must have social network boxes, like Facebook Fan Page or Google Friend Box, on your front page sidebar, I would place them at the bottom of the page as they do not have anything directly to do with making profit. Your money making ads and widgets should occupy the upper-most portions of the sidebar.

Until next time, a question for discussion.

  • What has yielded the highest profits for you on your movie website sidebar?

Please share those ad programs and ad tips below.

About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started ProMovieBlogger to educate others on what he had learned through trial and error. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook (http://film-book.com), he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He also created and runs Trending Awards.com.

  • These are good tips. I put my RSS feed back up, but I will make some changes to the design. I have also put my Twitter up to the top right and I will let you know how that goes. -Mike

    • I'm glad you found the tips helpful. Let me know how the changes work out for you.

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