Entrepreneurship

First Impressions Of Project Wonderful

Posted in Entrepreneurship on October 21st, 2011 by Jarred – 1 Comment

I wanted to try out some different types of advertising to see if I could more efficiently monetize one of my sites. I have been aware of Project Wonderful for quite some time and decided to give it a whirl first. I was attracted by the simplicity of the system and the pay per day rather than pay per click model. Also, they offer free advertising which of course I had to try out (I am kinda a sucker for free stuff). In the end however, the free advertising required too much time to make it worth it for me(they only let you bid 0 on a space for a maximum of 2 days making it quite time intensive to keep your ads running).

As for monetization, I started with 2 half banner ads placed at the bottom of Asteroidsinc.com. However after a couple of weeks with almost no income from the 2 half banners, I switched over to a single full banner (in an effort to create more competition between advertisers). I had Google Adsense ads on there for a few weeks in the exact same spot prior to placing the project wonderful ads so I had something to compare them against. I had high hopes, but after only a few weeks it was quite easy to see that the Project Wonderful ads significantly underperformed the Google Adsense in terms of gross revenue.

Having said all that, I still really like the idea behind Project Wonderful. Maybe after a few months/years as it grows in popularity and attracts more advertisers it will be able to better compete with Google. Also, it is important to note that the site I tried to monetize has a low traffic. I imagine the Project Wonderful ads will most efficiently monetize pages where there is high traffic but low click-through rates. All in all my final verdict of the site is “Not now, but maybe later”.

As a finishing thought, given the low revenue I was receiving from my Project Wonderful ads as a publisher this may indicate an opportunity on the flip side for advertisers looking for cheap advertising (I may have to investigate that further).

If you would like to try project wonderful out for yourself here is my affiliate link. They did do a great job of making service intuitive and straight forward.

10/11 Update

Posted in Entrepreneurship on October 1st, 2011 by Jarred – Comments Off on 10/11 Update

Well, this month was a harsh reality check. Last month I made more income with ads posted for only 2/3rds of the month. In my mind I had the impression that income and traffic to my sites would just naturally improve over time while it appears the exact opposite is true. After being really excited last month thinking that my income would just go up and up this months earning are quite literally a downer. It is turning out it is a bit harder than I thought to monetize my sites. At this point it really does seem quite impossible to achieve $1000/month when I can even maintain $17/month.

I do know some of the things that negatively affected my profitability. In an attempt to test out my monetization options I replaced the Adsense footer ad on asteroids inc with project wonderful ads for a few weeks. This likely cost me quite a bit as the Project Wonderful ads only pulled in a measly $0.14 while a single click from adsense could have produced far more income. Also, for asteroidsinc.com I had been receiving a whole lot of my traffic from a single page (chromeexperiments.com). Last month my game was featured on the front page which generated lots of traffic, but it has now been pushed back to the third page which has dramatically decreased the amount of traffic coming from the referral. On top of all that I did not spend any time further promoting any of my sites.

At the outset of this whole experiment I was hoping to create high quality sites which would naturally attract lots of traffic by virtue of others linking me on their own accord rather than heavy promotion on my part. I am starting to think that success may require revaluation this whole idea. I don’t know if/how I can make anything “higher quality” so I guess my best bet is to focus a bit more on promotion of my sites in the coming months to help keep my traffic up there. Hopefully I can turn things around.

Asteroids Inc.
Visits: 2521
Adsense Income: $11.52
Project Wonderful Income: $0.14

Infobrink Blog
Visits: 312
Adsense Income: $0.24

Attempting to Monetize a Personal Blog

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Web Development on September 29th, 2011 by Jarred – Comments Off on Attempting to Monetize a Personal Blog

For the past month I have been on a cross country road trip living it up with my wife. Our road trip so far has taken us across most of the United States and now we are almost to Maine. We plan on living on the road for another couple of months or so. It really has been a wicked awesome good time. We have both spent a lot of time creating a blog of our experience (you can find it here Road Trip Blog). I decided that it might be worth it to try to monetize the blog to see what happens. The blog is a little more personal in nature and so far pretty much only family and friends have visited it, but I see potential that it might be something interesting to a broader audience. In an effort to help make it appeal to more than just family and friends we are adding a few categories full of more general posts about road trips including tips, tricks, economics, and ideas that we are learning from our time out on the road. I figure we are already spending the time making the blog, and we don’t mind making it public so why not try and make some money off of it. I am not sure if monetizing a project like this will be very successful or not, and I don’t plan on spending much time promoting it, but I really don’t have much to lose so why not try.

As of yet I have no advertising on the blog but I will try and get this set up before the end of the month. We already have quite a few visits from family and friends and am toying with the idea that possibly monetizing this traffic alone may be enough to fetch a few bucks a month. It will be interesting to see if it works.

Time is of the essence

Posted in Entrepreneurship on September 1st, 2011 by Jarred – Comments Off on Time is of the essence

As this experiment in online entrepreneurship continuities I am realizing that I made a significant oversight on the outset. I did not include the element of time in my original design/layout for this site and experiment. I now see that this is an essential factor to consider in order to better understand how profitable my endeavors are. I am currently going through and updating the site to reflect how much time I am spending on the projects. I will have to estimate for what I have already done, but in the future I will try and keep a running total to add further insight into the practicality of the things I try. 

9/11 Update

Posted in Entrepreneurship on September 1st, 2011 by Jarred – Comments Off on 9/11 Update

I am ecstatic. This month I finally made some money (Hurray!!!!). All my efforts have not been in vain (well sorta). I have had some luck with monetizing my projects, but overall so far my returns are not very high at all and can in no way justify all the effort and time I have put into these projects. So far for the amount of time I have put into all this my overall income is in the neighborhood of $0.10/hour (yeah…not that impressive). But nonetheless it is a start, and I am happy with that. Hopefully with a little more promotion and continually adding additional online services/sites/apps I can up the income to a more realistic level.

My Results for last month are as follows
So far my only method of monetization has been Google Adsense

Asteroids Inc
Visits: 3446
Adsense Income: $15.6

Infobrink Blog
Visits:250
Adsense Income: $1.25

Moving forward I think these will be the next things I will try to accomplish this coming month.
-Find an additional source of monetization for both sites
-Create a HTML5 game portal
-Continue promoting Asteroids Inc

HTML5 Game promotion strategy

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Web Development on August 17th, 2011 by Jarred – 6 Comments

I have just finished my first game and am now in the process of promoting it. From what I gather, if I were promoting a flash game the process would pretty much involve submitting the game to the many gaming portals and hopefully land a sponsorship or licensing deal. It appears (when it comes to flash games) that as long as you have a reasonably decent game you have a reasonably chance at getting accepted into one of these portals and making some profit. As for HTML5 games, things are completely different. HTML5 is a new technology and there is not yet a whole industry built up to cater to the indie game developer. There are no huge gaming portals (that I could find at least) looking to license/sponsor games done in HTML5. I do believe that HTML5 is the future and will eventually replace flash, but we are not there yet, so I have to come up with a different strategy.

Initially I was trying to promote my game the same way you would promote any other website by trying to get my link in as many places as possible. I was visiting every blog that had anything to do with HTML5 games and trying to spam my link in a comment somewhere. However I came to the realization that doing this is probably is not an incredibly efficient way to go about getting more traffic. My target audience does not go to blogs about HTML5 games and then look through the comments for links to playable games. It is true that links may help improve my search engine rankings a little (maybe) but once again, I am not sure if this really will lead to more visits. When a casual gamer wants to play a casual game they usually are not sure what they want to play and are looking for site where they can browse and try out lots of games easily, kinda like an arcade (hence the popularity of the large gaming portals). They are probably not looking for a site with a single game on it (like mine).

This line of reasoning has led me to conclude that instead of trying to improve my organic search engine rankings for the game(i.e. getting a massive amount of backlinks), My strategy should be focusing on trying to get my game on sites that already have users looking to play games. Below is a list of some of the ideas I have come up with on how to go about doing this.

Social Bookmarking/Sharing (Facebook, Twitter, Google +1)

How many things have you looked at because one of your friends facebook ‘liked’ it? It kinda seems like this may be were the web is heading and I think it wise to try and tap it.

 Apps Sites

I already put the game in the Google Chrome Store. So far I have seen almost no traffic come from the listing, but I do know there are likely a lot of users there looking for games. Beyond the Chrome Store I know that there are many other apps sites/stores that I need to get listed in.

 Submit the game to the HTML5 portals that do exist

There are a handful of smaller gaming portals out there specifically for HTML5 games. They are small and just starting out, but who knows what they will become in the future. I already have gotten into one of them and they send me a few visitors each day.

 Start my own HTML5 portal site.

I am realizing that the is a need for more HTML5 arcade type sites, so why not try and fill it. I am planning on creating more games in the future so it might be a good asset to have to promote future games.

Update: my HTML5 portal site is now completed. You can submit your HTML5 game here.

 HTML5 Design/Promo sites

Due to the newness of the technology there are lots of sites out there which are showcasing HTML5 examples. I think that this is a great way to attract visitors who are looking to try something out. I already made it onto one such site and it has sent me hundreds of visitors.


AsteroidsInc is ready to go

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Programing, Web Development on August 1st, 2011 by Jarred – 1 Comment


Well at long last I think I am finally ready to release my first game. Check it out at AsteroidsInc.com

 The game was programed entirely in JavaScript using the HTML5 canvas and audio objects. It should require no plugins to play (looks like safari may require quicktime). This was pretty much the first game I have ever programed and I learned a lot and did lots of stuff wrong the first time around (and most likely still have a lot of stuff not quite right). If I write another one it should go a lot smoother. If you play it and have any feedback or find any bugs please let me know.

 At the outset I had even grander designs for the game, but I decided to try and simplify the design so that I could get the game to a releasable state sooner. As it was this beast took me several months of my free time to complete. I estimate it has probably taken me around 200 hours total from start to finish (next time I will try and keep better track of the time).

 So if you refer to my post here on how I plan on accomplishing my goal this marks the completion of step one and two (at least for my first project). I hopefully have created something useful which will attract Visitors & Links.

 Now I plan on trying to figure out the most efficient way to monetize the game and start generating some passive income from it. I am aware that it will likely be a challenge and may not be a simple task to do, but I am determined to see this through. I will keep the graph on the upper right hand corner of the blog updated to track my progress.

8/11 Update

Posted in Entrepreneurship on August 1st, 2011 by Jarred – Comments Off on 8/11 Update

Well, unfortunately as of the beginning of August I have yet to make a single cent in my little experiment. All of this is taking a whole lot longer than I originally expected. Good news is, my game is finally done and I should start seeing some revenue from that in the next month. I am hoping it is as simple as doing a bit of promotion, and then getting some ads up. As for my blog (this blog) it really isn’t doing so hot. Only gets a handful of visitors a day and so far has only had a single comment. The most visited post so far has the free animated explosion .gif post, which is a little disappointing because its not really that relevant to the overall theme of the blog. I guess I might need to look into to promoting the blog a little to see if I can get some traffic here as well. I will keep you updated

7/11 Update

Posted in Entrepreneurship on July 3rd, 2011 by Jarred – Comments Off on 7/11 Update

Well It has been one month now since I started this blog experiment and I really don’t have much to show for my efforts yet. This blog (infobrink.com) is as of yet the only source of income I am tracking and I made $0.00 last month (however I did end up attracting a zillion spam bots). This comes as no surprise to me as I have not yet placed any advertizing on the site (I am waiting for it to get a reasonable amount of traffic before I mess with that).

I have been spending a lot of time on my first HTML5 game I want to release and try to monetize. I am a little disappointed that this is taking me so long to finish it, but it is almost done. I think in my original concept for the game was too complicated/ambitious and was going to take me way to long to finish, so I ended up deciding to “simplify” the game so that it was easier/faster to write the code. I think this was a good move and I need to be more careful in the future and take into consideration how long it will take me to code a game when I am in the design phase.

All in all I would guess so far I have spent around 250 hours programing the game (I started the game long before I started this blog). I know a veteran programer could likely do the same thing in a fraction of the time, but hey…It was my first game and I had lots to learn. I just hope that all this time I have invested will actually convert into some extra cash…I guess we will see.

How I Plan on Accomplishing My Goal

Posted in All, Entrepreneurship on June 6th, 2011 by Jarred – Comments Off on How I Plan on Accomplishing My Goal

So, how exactly do I plan on accomplishing my goal of $1000/month in passive online income? That is an excellent question. In truth I am not exactly sure…I have only vague ideas and lots of ambition. I find it likely as time goes on my methods will evolve as I figure out what works and what doesn’t, but here is my current game plan. I plan on more or less following what I perceive the Google business model to be. Please forgive me if I am incorrect, but it seems like Google more or less operates by:

1. Creating awesome online services and apps.
2. Providing the services to the public for free.
3. Monetizing those services through advertising.

It appears to be working quite well for google (as well as countless other internet companies)…so why not me? It seems to me that internet culture more or less expects everything on the web to be free and most would prefer to view advertizements rather than pay for something (I know I would), so no wonder it works so well.

So first off I need to create something online that is useful and will attract visitors. I think the real trick here is to create something that is genuinely “useful” and not just “something”. Blogs are a way that many accomplish this (this blog is an attempt at exactly that). However I am quite passionate about games and want to try my hand at that as well. I am currently in the middle of developing a online HTML5 game. Hopefully the final product will be a game that is fun, appealing and will attract visitors.

Secondly I will provide the services I create for free (that’s pretty easy to do).

Lastly I will need to monetize the services/games/blogs. I still have a lot to learn in this area and I am guessing it might be a bit tricky to maximize the revenue of a site. I know there are countless services and techniques for this and plan on further investigating my options after I actually create something online that attracts a reasonable amount of traffic.

My thinking is that over time I can keep creating more and more online services/games/blogs until I make it to $1000/month. Sounds pretty simple right…guess I will find out.