My thoughts on the advantages that working on a geographical domain has over starting a product based or aff website.
1. You don’t need the same traffic numbers, if trying to appeal to local B&B’s/Guesthouses & businesses for advertising you don’t need to be aiming for 10,000 visitors per day, getting 100-300 visitors per day can suffice. That makes the return on investment and time spent much quicker and more appealing. From the few sites I have up that are around a month or so old they all get around 50 visitors per day just based on the few articles each site has. Almost time to start looking for advertising, that’s not the way it usually works.
2. Huge advertiser base – with geographical areas you can target offline and online businesses, there are often databases available giving you full contact details. Unlike a generic product site you can target 10,000 individual advertisers with only a hundred visitors per day, instead of aiming for a hundred advertisers on 10,000 visitors, if you can make the argument to advertise convincing this can mean a great income based on small numbers. For Ayr I bought a database of 1200 local businesses names & addresses to work from.
3. Repeat residual income – the holy grail, once established your less reliant on search engine listings, traffic numbers, CTR’s, Adsense or affiliate income. You invoice the local advertisers yearly and build a steady repeat income which is just the best feeling.
4. Stability – Lot’s of small steady income streams from advertisers locally gives better stability without the huge swings chasing organic serps can bring, each year you’ll lose some and gain some, overall aiming to grow a bit. One established geo site I bought currently earns around £7000 per year from local advertisers, rising around £1000 per year over the last few years.
5. Credibility & Cost of entry – If you want to work from the townname.co.uk or .com domain then it’s a pretty low barrier to entry for the best name, if you want to sell phones from phones.co.uk online that domain rocks but costs 6 figures, however if you want to run a website for Largs on Largs.co.uk that domain cost £800 is would seem to me the most suitable name which should add credibility & desirability to potential advertisers. It’s a cheap way to be the best.
6. Links – Not being product based and aiming more for info/tourism & attractions seems to be less competitive and easier to get links, there are usually lots of other town sites and many of the webmasters on them seem content to link to other info sites as long as your site looks good and does a decent job of promoting the area/town.