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Author Topic: How viable is using ads as way to monetize a web service?  (Read 2281 times)
Deozaan
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« on: July 08, 2011, 02:24:53 PM »

Hi folks,

I've recently had an idea for a web service that I think many people would find very useful. However, due to the nature of the service, I'm not sure I could (or even want to) get away with charging people to use it. On the other hand, I would like to monetize it if possible and I think it may eventually get a lot of traffic. So that leads me to consider putting up ads on the site.

Does anybody here have experience with advertisements as a source of income? I'm not expecting to get rich off of the revenue, or even live off of it, but it would be nice to know I could make an extra $50 a month or so (depending on traffic) just from putting some ads on the site.

Opinions? Insights? Feedback is appreciated.
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ljbirns
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011, 02:32:33 PM »

Do you mean something like this ?
It's all over TV.

http://www.clickmillions.com/
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Lew
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 02:36:23 PM »

You will need a lot of traffic and a lot of clicks to earn that much. I am earning about $10/month on ALL of my sites, combined, and that's with using 4 different ad networks.

You really need to know where your traffic is coming from before you can decide on what kind of ads will work best for your site.

If it is coming from search engines, then use Adsense and blend it into your site's theme the best you can.
If it is repeat traffic from regular users, then go with something like Project Wonderful.
If the traffic is from both, use both.

If your traffic is from social media sites like Twitter, StumbleUpon, Facebook, Friendfeed, etc. forget about it...they don't click ads.

If you want to control everything yourself and sell advertising directly, good luck! While the potential to make more is there, finding people to sell your spots to is difficult.
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Veign
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 03:18:53 PM »

If its a web-service just have to levels of access: free and paid.  Limit the calls on the free service to an amount you could handle without issue.  Also, I'm unsure if you mean a website (web app) or a web-service (web service typically refers to some sort of API).  If its an API web service then you might find it difficult to find a place that will allow you to push their ads through.

I've had good luck with Ads run on a few sites I have up for specific use (earn in the $xxx/month range):
maord.com
quickthumbnail.com
whatsitscolor.com
distancecheck.com
pageheaders.com
makeascii.com
camerasummary.com

I've been asked to convert Quick Thumbnail and Distance Check into a web service but have not because I can't afford larger servers to support others for free and didn't want to take on the burden of account/payment management.

« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 04:01:13 PM by Veign » Logged

EĆ³in
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 03:49:23 PM »

Veign, I just click your first link, makepassword.com, to check it out and it said the domain was for sale ohmy
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Veign
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 04:00:58 PM »

Oops.  Fixed.  Should have been maord.com (forgot I couldn't get the domain I wanted)
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Deozaan
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 04:02:08 PM »

Also, I'm unsure if you mean a website (web app) or a web-service (web service typically refers to some sort of API).

I guess what I mean by web service is something similar to what you've got there with your web sites.

Just a website where people can do something useful real quick. Nothing incredibly complex AFAICT.
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Veign
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 04:05:36 PM »

Then what I would do is create the site and use Google Analytics to get a feel for your traffic.  Once you understand the traffic you can then ad some ads like Google's Adsense (quick and easy to setup and use).
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Deozaan
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 04:24:43 PM »

Actually, I guess I should mention that I am also considering having user accounts. If so I'd probably want/try to use OpenID or something.

The idea I've got isn't really a use-it-once-and-then-never-think-of-it-again-type site. Though I suppose it could be. I think that potentially a lot of people will use it perhaps several times a year. It won't be something that people come back to every day. But I think it will be something a lot of people use off and on throughout the year.

On the other hand, I get the feeling that nobody will be clicking on ads. I know I never do.
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 07:54:27 PM »

If you're selling ad spots then traffic source matters. Some merchants expect you to show ads to US or CA users only and there are softwares like OpenX to do that or even services like buysellads or carbonads. Rates in CPM industry goes this way.

US - High CPM
CA - High CPM (less than US in few percentage)
UK - High (Less than US/CA)
Rest of the World  - Low

It also depends on the network location. Above table applies if the network and merchants are from US.
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