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Old 08-08-2001, 06:34 PM   #16
fatale
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Personally I think the more sites start charging for access the better. Exactly because, like they said, it is easier and more profitable to have a site with 1,000 paying subscribers then 2,000,000 non-paying visitors. And the more subscription based sites we have out there, the easier it will be for all of us to charge for content/services. Personally I'm all for paying for certain quality stuff on the Internet. For one I'm tired dealing with non-paying advertisers. Secondly, I'm tired getting e-mails from people who yell at me because I made certain decisions with one of my sites, and they think I owe them or something. And lastly, if I didn't have to waste time trying to optimize CJ campaigns or banner placement, or look for new advertisers, or read forums trying to make sure that the ad networks I'm with are still paying, I would've had more time to improve my sites. All in all, it's a win situation for webmasters. And the earlier ordinary surfers will get used to paying for Internet content, the better. After all, if nobody objects to paying for newspapers/magazines/cable tv, why Internet should be different?!
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Old 08-08-2001, 07:54 PM   #17
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my personal opinion is this. All Free content sites will not die. I just think at the moment there are too many free content sites, and not enough which are charging for services. As more sites do start charging, they will more than likely be able to start spending money on advertising. As free content sites die off, or start charging, the supply for advertising will drop more and more. This will increase the demand, and will result in an increase in ad revenue for websites.

So It's just a matter of being able to survive during the rough times. I seen someone mention employee's, and any business on the internet or not that has way more employess than needed are going to be hurting. These sites which are going out of business are going out of business because of bad business models.

As with any market, it can pretty much be sumed up with supply and demand. When OPAC wanted more money, they cut down supply in order to get more demand increasing the price. As more websites die, supply will lower, and demand will increase. You just have to be able to survive through the bad times, and good business models are the key to surviving.

Personally, It doesn't bother me that .com's are dieing all the time. Just 1 less competitor out there. Time to weed out the ones with bad business models. Too be completely honest, I'm only worried about my own sites, and I don't see any of them shutting down in the near future as most of them turn a profit.
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Old 08-08-2001, 08:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by SSacobie
I agree fully with the point about employees, but I don't agree with performance-based advertising as being a necessary sole (or nearly so) source of income. I personally have never understood how these sites can survive on nothing one month, then $1000 the next, then $500 the next, then nothing the next, and so on.
IMHO: the way you survive on performance based ads is to use more than one company and stream of income. If one of them doesn't perform then you have a fall back, or two, for for that matter 10 or 20. I have had some pretty wild fluctuations in various program's results, but with enough programs and sites it becomes reasonably predictable overall... the other thing that helps is not to heavily rely on programs which pay quarterly
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Old 08-08-2001, 09:05 PM   #19
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Wildcomputer you are right on the money. It is good to have several good affiliate programs. That is the main thing that distinguishes affiliate marketing from MLM; in affiliate marketing it is a great idea to use many different affiliate programs. You want to keep focused but still pick from a few good and targetted programs.

If you know what you are doing, your income will not go "from 1000 to 500 to 0."

I am in the 95th percentile of affiliates on CJ yet my site traffic is not too remarkable. Also my EPC is higher than many other entertainment sites (humor). I consider myself highly skilled in affiliate marketing, not a pro..but skilled. I think most people still think you can slap on a banner and make $. In a book I am reading, it notes that banners are still the most popular, but the least effective...while affiliate marketing is the least popular but most effective. Time to do a little studying!
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Old 08-08-2001, 09:42 PM   #20
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I just don't see the internet becoming "pay for play". People won't use it -- especially because you don't know what you're paying for, and there's too much for someone to provide reviews.

How much TV would you watch if you had to pay for each program? And what if you had to have a separate subscription for each different program, and had to remember a username/password for each program?

Would you watch as much TV as you do now? Would you watch more than 1-2 shows?

If each site charges $5/month, people just don't have that kind of money to spend on site charges. Remember, people pay $20-50/month just to be connected to the internet. They're not going to pay another $50-100 to see content. Not when a newspaper costs $0.50 per day, and TV is free.

True, there's lots of information out there that is great, but it's not crucial to life. Hey, I wanted to learn how to cut glass today, and I did find an article on the internet. Would I have paid the site $5/month to buy the article sight unseen? No way. I'd go to the library, or to Barnes & Noble, to get the information for free. It would be a little harder, but the phrase "time is money" only works if you have money to spend to save time. Otherwise people are willing to spend a little free time to save money.

So my point is, I doubt that a pay-per-view internet will work. People want it to, but I don't think it will. There will be too much resistance.

In closing, how many sites do you pay for now? Because plenty are charging.

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Old 08-08-2001, 09:49 PM   #21
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My college roommate has informed me about micropayments many times. The idea being, some sites will collect micropayments, say 1 cent per visit, and would let you stay for the whole day. I don't think this will really happen but it is cool to think about. If I got that 1 cent a day per unique i'd make $200 a day!!!

In all reality though i think free content sites will just have to hone their affiliate marketing skills, as per my last post. I am in a discussion group with several humor webmasters and not many seem to know what they are doing. They think they can follow a turnkey cookie cutter kind of system and make $$. Well business isnt like that, except perhaps MLM - when you are doing direct sales (MLM is great for many people let me add) but anyway... creativity and innovation is gonna be key here. I prod my colleagues about original content and adding personality to their sites but they say "Im too busy".. what a freakin cop out. Gotta be original. Cookie cutter turnkey stuff wont work. Those are the folks that will get bored and quit eventually, unless they leverage themselves with cash. In that case it will just be a matter of time before all their visitors flock to sites that are more original in nature and have personality.
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Old 08-09-2001, 05:47 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by JonPKibble
The idea being, some sites will collect micropayments, say 1 cent per visit, and would let you stay for the whole day. I don't think this will really happen but it is cool to think about. If I got that 1 cent a day per unique i'd make $200 a day!!!
Jon,

For $200 you need 20.000 uniques per day,
thats a very good number of visitors,
I don't think many free sites can reach this.

As for myself I am trying to collect money with PayPal
on my Icon Archive (2500 uniques per day) now.
I started this two days ago and nobody donated anything.
Of course it's a bit early to say something after 2 days, but
I think I can't expect too much...

Leo
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Old 08-09-2001, 05:54 AM   #23
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I know this forum is heavily geared towards making money soley from advertisers, but I will reiterate a point I made in another thread a while back.

My site has been open with ads for about 4 months now. To this date I have made $2.50 and that was from a DIRECT AD SALE where the buyer contacted me to buy space on my site. All my hosted ads have gained me about $100 of VIRTUAL money, but since I ended up having to drop some programs before reaching the limits and have not reached the limit and/or timeframes on the newer programs, I have not yet seen anything.

However, I also sell subscriptions and add-ons to my site. You can have full access for free, but these just add a few little things. To date I have made about $500 off of this. See the difference?

The key here is that in order to be a business you need to, well, be a business. Simply promoting someone elses business will NEVER make you huge bucks on the internet.
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Old 08-09-2001, 09:47 PM   #24
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I fully believe free content sites can survive. Two examples are two of my favorite sites: ArsTechnica.com and SitePoint.com.

They survived by adapting to the ad environment. Using creative text ads and newsletter ads are more effective and pay better than the old banner ads. And using a subscription service, like the "premium membership" can keep you afloat. Still offer your basic features to readers for free, but let those who want to pay receive access to special features. There are numerous ways for a free content site to support themselves. User donations can help, too.
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Old 08-09-2001, 10:25 PM   #25
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Yes, most sites will not reach 20k unique viewers.

As far as donations, you must be careful how you go about asking for donations. When I tried using donations I did it completely wrong, and everyone ended up calling me a beggar.
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Old 08-14-2001, 02:29 AM   #26
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This forum is a free content site and I think it can survive.
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Old 08-14-2001, 09:14 AM   #27
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To add a paypal button like kibble.net, do you need to have the premium service/business account? Or can you do that with a personal one?
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Old 08-14-2001, 09:20 AM   #28
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You have to have a premium OR business account. A premium account is simply an upgraded version of the FREE PERSONAL account, and is still FREE. I'm not sure why they bothered even creating that distinct level!
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Old 08-14-2001, 01:01 PM   #29
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With a free paypal account you can only receive $100 or so a month from credit cards.

Business/premier accounts can receive unlimited, but pay 2.9% transaction fee unless they apply for the merchant rate (high volume).
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Old 08-14-2001, 02:37 PM   #30
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I throw my hat into the micropayment ring.

There are issues to work out but PayPal seems to be the best positioned. They have reached critical mass with auction payments and are regularly adding new products.

I do not think it's logical to think that charging a $4.00 or $5.00 monthly fee will work for 99.9% of free content sites. You will always be competing with hobbyist webmasters. And there are thousands of them (far more than the number of webmasters running business) and they will devote much time and effort and be thrilled if they pay their hosting costs. They have been around since the beginning of the net, and they will always be around. (So your in essence running your little bakery business and the bakery down the street is giving away free donuts 24/7)

I do feel that $0.005 or $0.0075 micropayment system would allow these sites to make meaningful income. The surfer could put $20/month into a PayPal account and visit 4000 sites, paying a micropayment of $0.005 each, in 30 days time. If a site with 10k daily surfers got 50% of them to okay the micropayment the site would gross $750.00/month (minus fees to PayPal or whomever). I think a majority of surfers would be likely to authorize the half cent payment on a nicely designed website.

I also think the webmaster should keep all his traditional advertising inventory in place....

The main issues would be mass acceptance and transaction costs, IMHO.
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