Every few days I receive emails & tweets from people asking about projects that I’ve blogged about in the past so I thought I’d provide some updates on them. I don’t blog regularly anymore (have I ever?!) so if you don’t follow me on Twitter & you stumble across my articles you’d have no clue as to what’s going on.
2012 was the best year for me financially. I had multiple sites ranking extremely high for very competitive keywords and the payouts were big. 2013 so far hasn’t been anywhere near what last year produced mainly because of my gambling habits (which now cease to exist). Nevertheless, I want to take a look back at August 2012 which financially was the best month I’ve ever had & only involved sales from 1 website.
Ask me a year ago what my hobbies were and I’d include gambling as one of them. It was the act of doing something I loved: watching sports, combined with the thing I love most in this world: making money. It’s strange how we can become blindsided by an activity that in the long run can only end up badly. Short term is great, you have a good day with friends, you back a few winners and your day ends up costing you nothing due to the profit you made. As with anything that is a numbers game though, the stats don’t lie and the house always win.
We may not remember them, but we’ve all seen them. The average web users sees thousands of advertisements on a daily basis, from helpful search ads that deliver useful services to obnoxious display banners plastered across some of the world’s most popular websites.
While we may not like advertising, it exists for a reason: to keep the web (for the most part) free of charge for users, and give webmasters a source of income. The banner ads you see every day generate, in some cases, thousands of dollars for the website owners that are serving them up.
About 3 weeks ago, Callum Chapman & I put our landing page live for our new startup, Cappture. We wanted a big launch with huge traffic numbers & a bit of buzz so we decided to invest in advertising on large Twitter accounts using the BuySellAds platform. If you’re unfamiliar with BSA, they essentially make buying and selling ads on websites extremely easy and they’ve also branched out to sell tweets on users Twitter accounts.
So I set myself a $1,000 limit, went browsing and settled on something called the “Design @tweet bundle”. So with this bundle you get to send out your message on 12 design related different Twitter accounts with the amount of followers receiving your message being around 1,590,000 people. We went ahead and bought the bundle, removing 2 of the accounts which I thought were overpriced and adding a Twitter account with an iOS theme. In the end it cost $1,248 and the estimated amount of people who would see it was 1.8m. This puts the CPM at around $0.69 which I thought was reasonable.
3 months ago I wrote a blog post titled So I’ve Invested In An iPhone App which was picked up on Hacker News where I asked for advice on an issue that was affecting the company. Essentially what happened was that I had invested in an iPhone application where 2 of the co-founders were being head-hunted by Apple, Google & Facebook. I received some great advice from members of the Hacker News community however unfortunately 2 members of the team have now departed and we’re down to 2 people (myself and 1 of the original founders).
While this did initially set us back and have the companies fate in limbo, we’re now moving forward faster than ever with a lot of the applications design completed and a landing page already up (see: www.capptureapp.com). When I originally invested in the company my role was fairly simple and could be compared to as a silent partner: I would provide capital and advice if needed. Since the departure though, I’ve taken on a bigger role and while it does eat up a lot of time, I couldn’t be happier with the way things are going. Granted we’re without the original developer & a designer, it’s not something that will stop the progress of the app.
There are over 500,000 iPhone apps in circulation right now with hundreds, if not thousands added every day. Trying to stand out amongst the crowd has proven to be a nightmare for a ton of hopeful entrepreneurs who’ve sunk their time and money into creating an app they think people want only to see it slaughtered in the App Store. Meanwhile achieving success in the mobile space I can imagine would be an incredibly stressful and eventful feat that very few have encountered. So naturally this is where I’m heading.
A few months ago I decided to invest in an idea; an application that has yet to be built. I was lucky enough to secure 20% equity in the company which overtime will hopefully pay off. While I won’t go into detail about what the app does or how much I invested, I can say it’s in the photography related area and I can see it being big. Over time I’ll be writing more about the app and its progress and documenting the app’s success or failure – hopefully the former. I’m confident in the team who will remain nameless for the moment which includes 2 talented designers and a top notch developer.
There’s been a great deal of commentary lately on the technology industry, and whether its biggest players and hottest companies – Facebook, Zynga, and Groupon – are overvalued. It’s a fairly easy topic to look at, given the mediocre revenues produced by most of today’s tech giants and their low levels of potential growth.
But despite the appeal of this bubble, whether it’s true or not, dangerous or exaggerated, is a fact that most of today’s top reporters are ignoring – there’s a much bigger bubble going on, and it’s a far bigger one than the technology industry is experiencing.
Good question. It’s been a while since I last posted here and I regret letting this blog take the back seat. As you can imagine it gets hard to find time to write when Dan is off at Uni and I’ve only recently launched my new venture. It’s not as if I haven’t got anything to write about, it’s trying to find the time to put pen to paper. What is strange however is that while traffic is down, it’s steady. I think it’s a combination of our search engine rakings for long-tail keywords and referrals that’s been keeping us afloat. A Google PageRank update which put Sofa Moolah up to PR3 would have helped also.
So anyway, I’ve got a few really cool ideas about upcoming posts. Majority are case studies on making money online however their is one which takes things offline. I know, this blog was setup as a make money online site, but fuck it, if you can make money offline using the Internet as a hub then do it. The idea arose after I got sick of seeing threads on forums where people are asking for help to make $1.00 a day through AdSense and then seeing this thread on Hacker News. Put two and two together and you can work out what I’ll be doing as a case study for this blog.
I can definitely file this experience under amateur move. In an act of desperation I decided to try the cost-per-click platform Bidvertiser. Essentially you setup a text or banner ad and your message is shown to a selection of Bidvertiser’s network of publishers and you’re charged on a per click basis. I decided to give it a go to advertise my new website to try and drive some sales. This turned out to be a massive waste of time and money.
I want you to do a quick Google search right now for “Bidvertiser”. What I see on my local Google is 4 results saying the service is a scam. Not wanting to rely on a few individuals’ results I signed up and took a look around. What I like to do, and what others might, is look for new traffic sources. While Bidvertiser has been around for a while I hadn’t heard of many people making bank off of it – probably a good reason why. The only thing that drew me in and the reason why I didn’t go straight to Adwords was the ability to fund your account through PayPal. I had a few dollars in my account and figured what the hell.