Friday, April 10, 2009

Online Money Making Schemes: Stick to your knitting

You may be tempted to try to "monetise" your medical website like so many other sites on the internet with advertising or selling products related to your practice. This is a really bad idea.

It is a bad idea on three levels.

Firstly, it compromises your integrity and impartiality - patients may think you care for money more than them.

Secondly, it brings you into company with those who sell pills, potions and poultices. The internet is riddled with them and while they might be popular there is little proof of their efficacy.

Finally, it is just not worth your time. For most medical services the unit cost of your services (and measure of profit) far exceeds any revenue you would receive.

For example:

Adsense - Google Advertising

Cost: Free, just your time and it will take you less than an hour to set up your AdSense account and place it on your medical website.

Revenue: Revenue is a function of the number of people that click on ads on your website and what Google will pay you when someone clicks on that ad. What does that mean in practice? Using this simple formula:

Monthly revenue = Visitors to your website during a month * % that click thru * average payment per click.

If you don't know these figures use the following estimates:
Visitors: 1,000 a month (this depends on the popularity of your medical website)
Click through rate: 3% (this depends on where you place ads, the quality of your content and the format of the ads)
Cost Per click: This is the hardest figure to find, and really depends on what people are prepared to pay on the web. Note you only receive a percentage of what you would pay to advertise for those keywords yourself.

1,000 visitors a month * 3% click through * $0.25 per ad = $7.50 - not much money!

Working backwards to earn $100 a month and assuming the same click thru and clicked ad payment you would need 13,333 visitors to see your site. You aren't going to get that unless you have some serious content - but even if you do it is the same profit as perhaps seeing patients for a session a day?

All in all a poor investment of your time and effort.

And of course in the process you'll be directing people to click on ads of your competitors or worse some inaccurate quackery.

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