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How I made a million in 3 months.

     
4:25 am on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Lots of hard work, and a billion+ pageviews :)

I am without a doubt the top individual adsense publisher in terms of pageviews. Me talking about how I did it won't help you, but here is what i found you need to be successful in adsense.

1. Get a database of IP's so you know where your traffic is coming from. Then create channels for each country. Its not uncommon to see US traffic with a CPM of $5.00 and a CDN traffic at 20 cents and vice versa. If you have access to the hints option, give different hints based on IP. ie if your page is about 401k plans, that won't get you anything outside of the USA.

2. You have to create sites that will bring in repeat traffic. If you think you will get rich off SEO think again. If you create a Free jobs site you could net 30 million + a year if you got big. Club listings site, free religious personals etc would all be big money makers. Look for established markets and offer a service for free and support it with adsense.

3. Have your users create content and lots of it. User reviews of night clubs, Resorts, golf courses etc. Build your site around your users and make them part of your site, don't build your site for consumption.

4. Do not enter markets with a lot of competition monitized via adsense. Try and undercut paid content markets by offering a free service, or better yet create your own market.

5. Keep your site dead simple, it has to load fast and have no more then 2 ads and 1 or 2 pictures other then your logo. Do not confuse your user, give them what they want and give it to them fast.

6. Troll around various forums and if people are not talking about your market, there is a good chance you will make money.

1:44 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I think the business model is great. (Offer the service for free but make money off of the ads.) It's what most people would think of as how a hobby site would opperate.

But how scary is it to try to compete with big sites and big money, and to do it by switching your site to a free site? Has anyone made a switch to free, and how did it go?

I have played with making my e-com site a free service, but the corporate competition has recently raised their prices. It's a freaky thing to go and make your site FREE while your competition is raising prices and still gaining clients.

I understand if you started out free, and I can see a HUGE marketing opportunity by announcing that your site is going "free", but is it a good move to make your site free after charging for years?

1:52 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have a feeling you've got a little more marketing savvy than you're letting on.

you talked about net profit of 1M, but I'd be curious if you're willing to share a little more insight - how much bigger is the marketing budget now over the 11k you started with in year 1.

Congratulations on a heckuva milestone

1:54 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



This thread does a fine job of examplifying why I increasingly find the www part of the internet to be next to useless. The early promise has sunk into a bog of advertising flyers and spam.

So, Markus - what did you do with your million?

1:56 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Thank you markus! this sure helps me.

too much information: Perhaps we can introduce 'premium services'? Take yahoo/msn for an example. They were offering the same services for 29$/year which eventually ended up as 'free' after the arrival of Gmail.

2:01 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



So, from $40 per day to a million in three months

Reminds me of making snowballs as a kid; much effort when just starting, then a bit of progress, and - all of a sudden it seemed - big and growing so fast, maybe needed help to push.
'course, depended on characteristics and amount of snow in chosen area

heads off to write eBook (move over, cheese moving metaphors)

2:08 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)



The time to celebrate is when you do x2 ... then you'll realize it's still not enough :)
2:27 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



That it's free?

Sure I understand that. But generally it seems that people won't signup for this type of a site unless there is already a huge existing user base, otherwise why would they spend the time?

2:27 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)



markus007 said:
I spent a grand total of 11 grand for the first year. I ran my site off my home computer, spent 1 grand on adwords to start it off, 2 grand on link buying, and the rest on a server and a few ads on high traffic cheap sites. I then had some hosting costs later in the year to when i moved to a data center.

Your story is inconsistent. Now you say you spent only 11 grand, and previously you said you spend over a million dollars running servers. Your story is BS, but thank you anyways for motivating us.

2:34 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I found the site in question and it's not BS.

I hope that you are going to buy a Ferrari ;)

2:42 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Tolden, I suggest you READ better. I said my competitors spend a million a month on servers/staff. Obviously i don't spend that much, as losing 700k a month wouldn't be a good business.

I put my cash into a cashable GIC, till i figure out how much the taxman gets. As for marketing savy that goes with the territory, but it was a lot harder on the technical side of things. I wrote every line of code on the site, and i custom built every single server. Man did i ever learn a lot about running high performance sites.

As for doubters, nothing you can say will really convince them. But in the grand scheme of things earning 330k/month on 14 million pageviews a day isn't all that impressive. Now ad supported ivillage earned 10 million a month on 13 million pageviews/day now that is impressive.

2:45 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Sure I understand that. But generally it seems that people won't signup for this type of a site unless there is already a huge existing user base, otherwise why would they spend the time?

Because it's cool, too? There are too many reasons to count. I am a charter member of Match.com and when i signed up there were very, very few members but it looked cool and it was free so what the heck? As it turned out I got lots of responses to my ad being the strapping young lad I was and there were so few people. It can actually work out to your benefit if there isn't much competition right? That is true in more than the business sense.
2:50 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Markus, I don't know about free religious personals. How can that be big money through Adsense?
3:07 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I put my cash into a cashable GIC, till i figure out how much the taxman gets

Assuming a BC Inc is at play - anything over 17.62% of the net would be a waste...

4:22 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



docbirdm,

I think you owe Markus an apology. Where do you get the 40 dollars a day to a million in 3 months from?

The 40 dollar a day quote is from this timestamp:

7:57 pm on Aug 27, 2003

located within this message:

[webmasterworld.com...]

Aug 27 2003 is 2 1/2 years ago, not 3 months.

5:09 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I would like to see the URL as well. Thanks!
5:09 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



In case you haven't read the thread from begining to end, a friendly reminder from message #63 :)

Markus did everyone a favor by posting some good advice, please refrain from asking him to tell you his URL because site reviews and URL drops are against the TOS [webmasterworld.com].

Additionally, if he wanted to show you his website he'd have it in his profile.

Outing is prohibited, thanks.
;)

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:10 am (utc) on Mar. 17, 2006]

5:09 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



With this much traffic, you would generate far more from paid listings.

Its basically selling traffic and rankings. Matters not if you are free of paid for listings, if you are the industry leader, have the rankings and the traffic, peoplen will pay you.

You must make more getting 100%, than the 65% of so you can get from google.

Listings after all, can be sold 1000's, but a page with google adds can only have 3 revenue areas.

The maths, jsut does not add up.

By my maths, you are not making a million a quarter, you are losing 250 million a quarter in lost direct revenue, or capital gains if you sold the site to a full fee charging competitor.

5:22 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I think the thing that is hard for some people to grasp, is the millions of pageviews per day and how one person could pull that much traffic.

Not taking anything away from the work that Markus did, but I think many of us could generate $300K+/month with millions of pageviews a day.

Of course it helps if your website has good content, and provides some type of interaction from the users.

5:26 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I think the most important message, for those that know the site, is the following:

Sell to the masses, live with the classes.
Sell to the classes, live with the masses.

I think a lot of people get too caught up in niche this, niche that. The truth is that most small operations that make a lot of money online do it by offering products and services to huge target markets.

5:32 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



limitup,

I think you're right. That's what I do, but still have a long way to go.

5:36 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I'm most interested in the technology challenge.
How many pageviews a day do you receive?
How many servers? and which specs?
5:58 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Im most interested in trying to work all this out so I can make a mil in 3months and then buy a house.. Then I'll be stoked.. Threads like this get me pumped//
11:04 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Markus007 wrote:

I said my competitors spend a million a month on servers/staff. Obviously i don't spend that much, as losing 700k a month wouldn't be a good business. (...) I wrote every line of code on the site, and i custom built every single server. Man did i ever learn a lot about running high performance sites.


Markus, it seems that you did a great work saving on server costs. If I'm not wrong, you are using mainly good old static html files on your high traffic site, renouncing to dynamic bells and whistles to reduce server load and increase speed.

But your search is also extremely fast. Can you share some technical tips on this? Thank you!

12:00 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I'm also more interested in the technical aspects of your server performance Markus.

Any threads you wanted to start on that subject I'm sure would be well supported....

TJ

[Admin Note - Technical Discussion moved here [webmasterworld.com].]

[edited by: Woz at 10:33 pm (utc) on Mar. 17, 2006]
[edit reason] Added Admin Note [/edit]

12:05 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



To some colleagues: please stop sending stickymail asking about the url if you cannot find it. You know, the webmaster -Markus in this case- is who decides whether and where an url goes public or not. And we can be wrong about what the url is. Well, I don't think so. ;)

Anyway, all the relevant points you might see on his site are already discussed on this thread. For example, his "big secret" is simple: in his popular niche, he gives what users want, and in the way they want (as said: free, simple, fast, localized, user-focused), and therefore he gets high traffic.

That's it.

1:02 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I only see the adsense on the main page, and not on any profile pages.

I am not sure if the dating site is the site you got most of your adsense from. or you meant to get adsense on all of your 7 major sites.

1:39 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



congrats markus, this is exceptional!

and my time spent working on the site stays at about a hour a day.

i have done without any bigger involvement of my visitors, mainly because i find myself regularly cleaning up the dirt for the most part, if i let it go without review.
seems you have kind of a community site with huge interaction and user generated content.
what i don't understand, how the heck do you only spend one hour a day on your site, when quality control is proved to take up a huge amout of time (especially forums, guestbooks, comments, profiles)? i know from dating platforms for example, that they have to provide manpower for the only job to prevent the site from being swamped with fakes and spam and remain site quality each day. how do you do that?

2:14 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)



I am not sure if the ********* site is the site you got most of your adsense from. or you meant to get adsense on all of your 7 major sites.

A little bit of research will show you that he has one main earning site, the others are obviously experimental running up to the success site, however there is one recurring theme running through Markus' sites which, I feel, drove him to create what he has done through sheer exasperation of what he had personally been frustrated.

The site, to me, has all the hallmarks of a labour of love and in creating it is providing others for free, similar opportunities.

The beauty of it all, notwithstanding the incredible technical expertise, is that it conforms to the KISS principle.

prevent the site from being swamped with fakes and spam and remain site quality each day. how do you do that?

I feel for many webmasters this is an excellent question since many sites can become clogged with "rubbish" of all kinds. Your "Code of Conduct" is of the expected kind therefore do you have some kind of filtering alert system and this is what occupies your hour a day?

I have attempted precisely such a site, for a different subject, for the past seven years, but have always fallen foul of this problem and never been able to resolve it relatively easily.

Maybe there's a great opportunity for you to sell your expertise in this?

I'll be the first in the queue, everyone else line-up behind me:-))

3:36 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I agree, if he can post that he made 1 million, he can also post his site.
He has nothing to lose, since nobody is able to build such a site in a glimpse of eye anyway.
3:49 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



guys ... its in the TOS. Im just as eager to find the url but ... you dont argue with the webmaster's rules. drop it
This 336 message thread spans 12 pages: 336
 

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