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Even I have though about a few such sites, that are simple in logic but can pick up great interest and revenue. Can somebody tell me how to go about promoting them. Obviously, SE marketing and other conventional ways would not reach the correct persons.
A simple concept that got a 21 year old to become a millionaire.
He is not even close to becoming a GBP millionaire; and is not even a USD millionaire. My personal guestimate is that Alex will ultimately see a gross profit (that's after tax, VAT assesment, costs etc.) of between £100,000 and £200,000, or around about $350,000. There are WebmasterWorld members making considerably more than that per annum using an ongoing sustainable business model.
What Alex did was combine a semi-novel idea with an angle - the fact that he wanted to fund his way through university. That was what caused the initial buzz as it's the sort of thing journalists like (reasearch the 5 W's of journalism). The rest is, as Alex actually points out on the website - history.
How can we get such sites to become popular? thats my query..
Please note that this question is not to start get rich quick schemes or something. But just to know how to popularize a novel concept which does not, as such, have a niche audience of its own..
anand84, the milliondollarhomepage is a stupid idea. Most people here would have advised him to not bother and that it had no chance of succeeding. What made it work is, I believe, his ability to promote it. And he's a genius at that (also, there are many claims around that he spent a lot of money promoting it). He has nothing of real value on the site but has created a perception of value. Most of the advertisers believe that they're getting some marketing mileage from the page. Most won't.
Personally, I'd prefer to focus on building businesses/sites/relationships that aren't cons.
anand84, the milliondollarhomepage is a stupid idea. Most people here would have advised him to not bother and that it had no chance of succeeding. What made it work is, I believe, his ability to promote it.
Exactly; I would want to know just that. And if it is really true that he spent a lot on promoting and it is a worthless idea, i wud shun my idea, but if it isnt, why shud a couple of millions be lost.
I agree that was a weird though not a stupid idea. And even I wud not prefer to have a longterm plan for a site like this. But if this one can get you even a simple $10,000 ROI, will that not help me fund my next big project.
I dont think its a bad idea to have one such little effort prj once in a while.
Although the online advertising idea is nothing new to us, it's presentation was just quirky enough to attract the interest of the general public.
Going to college is also generally considered A Good Thing. So if you're planning the next internet phenomena, don't say it's to fund your third yacht.
btw, since I'm from India, I do not have the exact idea of how the website first got to the press. Can ppl from US and UK tell me if the boy went to the press or since the site got popular,the media covered news abt the site.
me thinks I detect a wee jealous sourpuss or three.
Do I kick myself that I've not had an idea that netted me several hundreds of thousands in one fell swoop? Of course I do. Does that detract that this is largely a con? No, it doesn't. Have you bought any pixels?
Im sure if most webmasters on this got that kind of coverage on a good solid performing sites, they would benefit alot. Its just unfair that coverage of stupid sites are in a higher ratio to good sites.
If you had a novel concept without a niche audience, how will you promote it?
The blog on the MDH site tells you pretty much what he did; and it's as you would expect. He told friends / family; convinced them to buy pixels; wrote to a few journalists and the journalists wrote about it, but don't forget what I said in the second post - the guy HAD AN ANGLE.
You can't just write to a journalist and say "Hey, please write about my cool site I want loads of traffic, pretty please". You have to write to a journalist and say "Because of this I did this". Remember that journalists are just as lazy as the rest of us so give them a story on a plate and you have far more chance of getting publicity.
And don't expect a journalist to let boring facts (Internet advertising vehicle with little or no chance of giving any return on investment for advertisers) get in the way of a good story (broke student, MILLION DOLLARS!).
Think about it, how did you find it? Search for it? Nah, I don't think so...
For that (relatively little) amount of effort the bloke probably netted in excess of half a million dollars. In a few months. Hardly stupid.
I think dmorison's hit the nail on the head by saying that the guy had an angle. Sure, to us web-savvy types, the promises behind the idea were pretty daft. But there are far more non-web-savvy people in the world! And I'd bet those are the people who made up most of the traffic.
And yes, any site getting that sort of coverage would do well as far as traffic is concerned. But he managed to get the coverage and therein lies the genius of the whole concept.
Im sure the media gets inundated with stupid ideas daily, putting ads on your body, getting homeless people to put up ads on their 'give me food' signs, believe me im sure this idea was thought of to. Sometimes they bite, sometimes they dont, but i guess the degree of stupidity has to be high or their much not be much newsworthy events happening or you obviously know someone in the field who will help you. This is not press worthy, it is an example of someone who got lucky somehow with the media, that is not skill.
But I agree, to some of u it appears stupid becasue, this guy seems to come off a lottery. But for me, who is just an amateur testing waters in this field, it looks awesome.
Maybe Anand84 is looking to discuss marketing for viral ideas that are not cons. Yes, you need a good angle if you want to duplicate his route of publicity via "traditional media" but, as claus points out, free SE traffic isn't the only game in town. Some ideas:
1. Pick a quiet day for your press release... like Christmas day ;)
2. Make it outrageous, topical, heart-warming, heart breaking (no, I wouldn't have any truck with the "exploitative" I'll-eat-the-bunny-if-you-don't-pay.) or a mixture of all of them.
3. Stick a kid and a puppy in the accompanying photo. Or a beautiful woman.
4. Pick your journalist/blogger/venue (digg/slashdot) and do a lot of prep work.... maybe create profiles / build relationships
Ok, this way, I find that MillionDollarHomePage was just luck, since he got the media.
joined:Mar 13, 2005
me thinks I detect a wee jealous sourpuss or three.
> Me thinks you are right ;)
I for one would gladly spend a thousand dollars on a permanent ad on a site like milliondollarhomepage...
But I look at it and look at it, and I don't quite get it:
- How does the site get any real traffic?
- How does it then ensure said traffic clicks on the links?
Something is wrong, very wrong...
It has some popularity, but that has to do with its originality, which should fade in time. By now, there exist thousands others like it. As far as I'm concerned, it is a passing fad. There is no organization, it's just a neat wall to look at and that's likely what most people do: They look at it every once in a moon.
The page hasn't changed much since my last visit, 6 months ago. Most of the links on there are real wieners, you ever click a few? omg... Needless to say, there went the conversion factor, so they got 6 or 12 clicks from me, but no money was spent. And, thou it's kinda neat but did You spend any money? It is, after all, commercial... On that note, it attracts a lot of window shoppers, see in my neck of the woods we call them tire kickers: they come all wide-eyed to look and gawk and oooo and awe but they never spend a dime.
Imho, the guy spent a small fortune to get his name out, a bunch of people jumped on it (he likely got close to a million people to visit, out of that maybe 1000 made a purchase <- In business, this is called earning a loss).
You want to know how to get rich quick with little investment of money or time?
Send me 20 dollars and I'll tell you how... Or, is it a dollar / pixel, 100 minimum?
I don't feel it is an outright scam, thou it certainly is hyped up and a lot of fuss about nothing, for 100 dollars I can think of better things to do that also yield little return (but at least are more fun, lol).
As far as how to advertise it? If you have 20 or 30 thousand dollars, you can advertise anything and make it look good. Somebody else said it: Perceived value <- Translation: It's worth nothing.
Im sure the media gets inundated with stupid ideas daily, putting ads on your body, getting homeless people to put up ads on their 'give me food' signs, etc. Sometimes they bite, sometimes they dont, or you know someone who will help you. This is an example of someone who got lucky somehow with the media, that is not skill.
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Yes, considering that if I remember right this kid wants to go into marketing, he got the web talking about his site, he got his college education paid for. Not bad if you ask me. How many of you did that, just out of curiousity.
If I was a marketing firm and this kid came to my door I'd give him a serious look, he's even good enough to get WebmasterWorld pros talking about him, not bad at all. And all just by doing a stupid idea, not bad at all...