We are a tech start-up firm. Our objective is to make money by developing successful web based applications for the general public. There are two ways of making money online. One is when you create a web based system and then sell rights to advertise on the website to ad-networks or directly to companies. The second is when your application becomes immensely popular and you sell the complete website to a bigger player who pays for future revenues and consolidation advantages.
History of Zyxware.com
Zyxware has been in operation for almost 2 years now. We did not have a website for almost the whole of the first year. The reason was that we did not have the manpower capability to manage and maintain the site on a regular basis. But currently our operations are becoming smooth and we have the necessary in house capability to manage our site.
From a meager 20 to 30 visitors per day in March 2007 we have grown to over 2000 visitors per day in by March 2008. And the number of page views has grown from around 100 pages per day to around 6000 pages per day. We also rank reasonably high on several critical keyword searches in Google.
Strategies of Zyxware.com
There are a few things that we have done that have ensured this growth over the past 1 year. One is that we have been regularly updating the content on our site. Search engines like Google like new content and they like dynamic content. Even on old content the comments posted by the visitors keep the content changing. Also we have been pretty decent in terms of replying to comments by users. We have replied to almost all of the questions posted by users on our site. Whenever people get their questions answered they have a tendency to come back and ask further questions and to recommend the site to others
We have not enabled a forum feature on our site as we still do not have the volume of comments that would justify a separate forum for the comments. However sooner or later we are going to have a separate support forum for users so as to be able to manage the customer interaction part more smoothly. We also have added some features on our site targeted at providing useful services to the users. One example is our Request CD Service which allows users to request for free software cds which we download and send to the users at the cost of media and shipping.
We have invested a lot of time and effort to get to this level. And even this is not even close to where we would like ourselves to be. However we are on our way. One reason why we are looking to increase the traffic on our site is to use it as a launchpad to drive our products and services. The larger the number of hits the larger would be the number of people who will get a chance to sample our applications.
Ways of making money out of website visitors
Now coming back to the issue of generating money out of websites, we would initially be generating revenue primarily from the first option described at the beginning of this article. Generating money through advertisements is not easy but once you get a hang of the process and the steps you have to take to maintain the stream it is kind of easy. We are only quarter way through that process. We have been reasonably successful in terms of bringing people to our site. Now the next area that we have to gain expertise is to learn to make money out of it. We are going to be playing with zyxware.com by trying out the different advertisement options and figuring out the rates of return and the performance and customer service of the ad-networks.
Types of advertisements
There are three different types of advertisements in terms of method of calculation of returns. One is a pay per view or commonly called PPM(Pay per mille - pay per thousand views) and the second in the pay per click also called the pay per click. There is also a third method based on a pay per action or PPA like that used by amazon. PPM ads give an assured amount for every view of the page. Though the rates of returns might be low per page the average rates would compare with the PPC ads. PPC advertisements pay a much higher rate per click as compared to a rate per page but the number of clicks per view are very low and hence both would work out to be equally remunerative. The PPA pays higher but the probability of a successful action, like the purchase of a book by a user after clicking an amazon ad, is low that you will need very large number of views to have a steady state revenue. You can also classify the ads based on the visual aspects of the advertisements. You can have text ads as given by google ads, or you can have banner or flash ads like they give with Tribalfusion or adbrite.
We have shortlisted the following companies to try out the advertisements. There are several aspects that we have to compare and find out. Some of them are - ease of integration, ease of management, rate of returns, control over frauds, ease of registration, minimum restriction, minimum qualifications etc. The following are the list of companies that we have come across and planning to try out:-
If you come across other providers that you think give you more ROI do post your comments so that we could post the information for the benefit of everybody. We will be posting more detailed analysis of our experiences regarding these ad service providers once we have the necessary data.