Discuss Home · Bootstrapped Podcast · Scribbleton Personal Wiki · HelpSpot Customer Service Software · Thermostat NPS

Making money from ads


#1

I’m thinking of creating a service that will monitor discounts on games and email people when their chosen game’s price is reduced.

I’m planning to have a free, limited version, that I plan to support by ads. So I will send weekly game news type emails, and insert ads into them.

Has anyone tried this? What are your thoughts?


#2

What’s your email list size projected to be? Say 100,000 people (which is optimistic, I think). Click-through can be estimated at 1%, but this is click-through to the main topic of the email, i.e. the link to the discounted game. The ad in the email is a second order object, so it could be as bad as 0.1% or even 0.01%. Let it be 0.1% for the sake of optimism.

Then on one email you’d get some 100 clicks.

Well… if ads are $1+/click, then it is something. But not much anyway, and there were a couple of optimistic assumptions made already.

If you’re able to build a price watching service, why not watch something expensive so that watching people could actually pay you a cut? That sounds a safer way to do it.


#3

I wasn’t actually planning to do a pay per click ad campaign. More like fixed price ads, based on number of subscribers.

That, sir, sounds like a great idea. I might just steal it. :slight_smile:


#4

Ads don’t make much money in my experience, without very high volumes of traffic.

I wouldn’t get distracted by them - focus instead on making a free version that is fairly limited, and exists in order to get people to upgrade to the paid version.


#5

Your customers are going to be, by definition. price sensitive (aka cheapskates). That means they are going to be a lot less valuable to advertisers. So I would guess the rates you will be able to command are going to be pretty low.


#6

You could try to find affiliate schemes for the places you’re linking to, then you’ll get a cut of the sale too.


#7

Wouldn’t a service like www.bitsdujour.com for games be more valuable? Of course you would not get big names but maybe some indie games or the like?


#8

If you’re keen on having ads in your email list, I’d suggest contacting potential advertisers right now to get a sense of the market. Here’s a great video by Gary V about that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG7WFxT1ySY


#9

+1 for exploring affiliate ads. Pat Flynn of http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/ makes a lot of money off of affiliate ads and niche sites. Even better, he writes and podcasts pretty transparently about it all. I’d spend a few days getting familiar with some of his introductory content if this is a path that you are seriously considering.


#10

Based on my own experience, trying to target game-players and monetize with ads is pretty much waste of time. I tried both Google and affiliate ads and at 15,000 stable visitors per month I was earning only $3-4.

Gamers, like @Andy already said, are not only cheapskates, but often also kids. Super-blind to any ads. And finding proper affiliate offering that these people would be interested in is real hard too.


#11

I don’t think all gamers are highly price sensitive (some of them will queue for hours and pay £50 to get Battlefield on day 1 of release). But ones that are interested in a discount monitoring services certainly will be.


#12

Thanks everyone. I’ve already killed the project.

I did try Google ads and Twitter ads to get signups, as well a note in the game forum, but all I got was 2 signups. Since I didn’t want to spend too much time or money on this, I decided to just kill the project.

I’m trying another experiment, this time targeting people who spend a fair amount of money to fix a problem they have. This is a community I am a member of, so I know of their problems first hand. I put up a landing page describing exactly how I’d fix the problem, but the signups are still only a trickle.

Boy, asking money from strangers is hard!