Every person who sees success that internet entrepreneurs get want to replicate that business and success. It is great goal to achieve but there is tiny problem to rich that level of success you need to have huge traffic. Mostly service providers, big popular blogs, social networks targeted by this new prospect entrepreneurs. I felt same when I decided to start free blog service. Revenue model is in most cases adsense advertising. Service itself is free to users and we hope that advertising will cover server costs.
Pros to this business model is you can start small and move to more powerful servers as you grow and earn money to cover costs. Feels like no downside at all. But once you gain some user base and page views then your scaling issues start being problem for you. But earning will not grow as you expect to expand properly. Other problem is legal issues of user generated content. Even if you state that users are responsible for content you have to keep an eye on abuse reports. It also takes lot of time to track this reports and cleaning server content. Not mentioning database and application server crashes. To keep growing you need to control all this issues and stay profitable with your business.
This type of projects come to mind first because you use them and you feel that you can do better service. Also you expect that ad revenue will be huge to meet your expenses and efforts. I know that most people wanted to clone facebook , while one or two succeed like in Russia and Germany others in thousands who tried failed.
My point is big popular projects seem to be easy to build and bring great revenue is not true at all. Instead it takes a lot of effort and in most cases low revenue and fail at the end. Instead new entrepreneurs that want to succeed on internet business need to focus on niche ideas and solve problem for smaller more focused group of people. Even if that niche has some successful products your solution can also be successful regardless of other options. It is like pizza shops in city. There are many of them and all of them profitable. Huge unfocused traffic is no value for advertiser and product marketing instead small focused traffic to specific niche is profitable and easy to maintain.
Here are notes from Darek Halpern who tried to earn with huge traffic from celebrity gossip blog but then realized that it is possible to earn more with less but more business focused traffic.
- Earned 7000$ in single day with one million hits in 2007 with gossip blog.
- Traffic can be built with having controversial opinion to the actual celebrity topic. Gaining more attention because you bring controversy to story and news blogs will mention your post in their story.
- Used twitter to find different user opinion to create article and promoted twitters. They promote his post as a result because they are happy to be published on gossip blog.
- His friend was earning 100,000$ with 30,000 people.
- Build you mailing list loyal to your niche
- Offer a free webinar and send invitations. Sent to 10,000 people, 1500 of them registered, 500 showed up on live webinar. Webinar is 45 minutes teaches to how to get more traffic and last 15 minutes explains product that they sell. This webinar got 10,000$ as a result. Later webinar video is sent to all recipients in mailing list.
- Used GoTo Webinar for their webinar. It is more user friendly and preferred for online webinars by marketers.
- Add extra value to people who attended live webinar. It can be extra features, templates, tutorials. Price reduction is not good because other customers who bought before will feel uncomfortable.
- Content videos are also good to sell, at the end of video explain your product and how to achieve same result using that featured product.
- Send follow up emails to people who watched your video or read your article and say you can do your test using this product or you can subscribe to this master class to learn step by step building this business.
- In marketing and user interface leave visual as simple as possible. It will keep visitors focused. If you have menu with 12 items then group them and show 3 groups, then expend to 4 submenus. It will make decision making easy and increase conversion rate. Best example for simple navigation is zappos.com site. There has been study that used 24 jam and 6 jam displays to promote jams. 6 jam banner sold 1000 times more than 24 jam banner because people has difficulty to make decision if there are too many choices. Learn more about increasing conversion on socialtriggers.com site.
You can read, view and listen to full interview at mixergy.