Glad to be here. Been tooling around on S/O for a year or so now.
Anyway, I run a very localized site that caters to the bar industry and its patrons.
You can check it out at jcbarguide.com if you need a reference.
Anyhow, I've written the whole thing from the ground up and culled a lot of original content. The binaries on the site require that I actually visit each location so I have formed real-world relationships with the owners of many of the establishments and many of them are appreciative and supportive of the site.
In the last month, I have finally bested YELP in SERPs for key search phrases (jersey city bars, bars in jersey city, jersey city bar, etc)
I celebrated this milestone by letting many of my contacts have up to 3 free ROS 728x90 leaderboards for a month.
NO ONE took me up on the offer.
It's been so hard to generate any sort of money on this property and I'm wondering why. I wrote an admin interface to update each bar profile that I was charging access to that no one wanted. I gave it away for free after 2 months and only 2 or 3 bar owners/managers utilize it.
I've had friends tell me that I suck at selling the concept. others say that if I don't charge, no one will want it (perceived value) and others that just say the site has yet to reach a level of value that these owners and managers will finally notice.
As far as I am concerned, I'd think these owners would jump at a site that's ranking as well and being visited as much as mine is. The municipality that the site serves isn't exactly the most affluent of stable hub for commerce out there.
Any thoughts from you on establishing your online property's value are appreciated.