When announced, Techcrunch were not too hot on the new site.
Mathew Ingram also posted on the subject calling it a tax on the stupid.
Here is what I commented 1 month ago on Mathew’s blog
I believe this one will sell out faster than the original and he will make a huge amount more money on this.
The reason website owners buy the pixels is because they want traffic, and maybe a backlink from the site.
The lotto is legal, because the winners are not having to pay for a ticket, they are just visitors who click on adverts, visit sites, and probably have to read the site for a certain number of seconds before they â€œearnâ€ their lotto prize entry.
Lots of traffic exchange programs work on a similar manual clicking system.
He also has a nice backendâ€¦ email addresses from subscriptions. I am sure he will be able to use that to promote anything he likes in the future, and to drive additional traffic back to the site over the coming months.
That incentive to click is going to to mean a many fold increase in traffic over the previous incarnation, and I havenâ€™t heard of many complaints about his first effort.
This site is a true next generation of the same idea, unlike many of the copycat sites based on selling pixels, words etc.
I think this time around the advertising will be much better organised, and there will be some much larger players involved from day one.
Analysis of MillionDollarHomepage
Here is the current status. As is easy to judge, it was a massive success, driven heavily by word-of-mouth “grass roots” advertising, with some professional PR at later stages to ensure continued momentum.
Lets have a look at some Alexa data (yes I know it isn’t 100% reliable, but these sites are set up in similar ways with similar traffic sources)
There was only a slow decline in traffic over a number of months, with a significant 2nd major traffic spike when mainstream press got hold of the story.
Just 1 month old, but lets look at the Alexa data.
In this case it is a 3 month graph to show more detail.
Lets look at the 2 sites side-by-side
There was a similar initial launch peak, but the traffic has been slowing down far more rapidly, with far fewer people talking about it.
There has also been quite a slow uptake in advertising purchases. At launch (from memory) Pixeloto attained approximately $100,000 worth of advertising. During the following month, only an additional $50,000 have been added to the money pool.
Pixelotto Design Flawed?
I don’t think there are any problems with the overall business model. I stand by what I stated in my initial comments. This site should be viable, the problem lies somewhere else.
Pixelotto Business Implementation Flawed?
It is not just how good an idea is, but how well you execute it.
- Was the launch too close to Christmas to attract press interest?
- Alex has a large pool of money to use for promoting his new offering, but doesn’t seem to be using it. He has just relied on free press based on his previous success. He should be spending more money not less. It isn’t as newsworthy this time around.
- Previously there was a story, with a blog. This time around no blog in sight
- The mailing list – Alex is building a mailing list, which could be the engine for current and future promotion – a mailing list is useless if you don’t use it
- Success breeds success sometimes, but if the current venture is not showing legs, it could die very fast. It is necessary to stimulate the success so it becomes newsworthy
Links & Backlinks
Another gauge of success, and ultimately how attractive the site is for advertising.
Links are what bring in the traffic, and what might provide some level of additional search engine benefit.
The following screen shots are taken from MSN Live Search, as they tend to show more links than other services currently.
MillionDollarHomePage was very successful in gaining lots of links from high quality sites.
Pixelotto has gained high quality links, but not very many. I doubt this will represent more than PR5 in the next Google update.
Blog marketing was certainly one avenue for traffic that Pixelotto should be exploiting better than previously. It isn’t happening.
Here are some current charts for
MillionDollarHomePage:- Source Technorati
Pixelotto:- Source Technorati
What seems amazing is that MillionDollarHomePage seems to still be gaining more blog attention than Pixelotto.
How to Fix Pixelotto
Alex needs to get his finger out and promote the hell out of Pixelotto. He is sure to have some change left over from his previous venture. It is time to leverage all that he learned previously, use press releases extensively and get his PR agency earning their pay checks.
If it costs him a few 100K to make the site a success, it is still a good business. He can’t expect 1000% profit margin this time around, at least until Pixelotto has cycled though once and has a massive mailing list to drive future cycles.
A radical step would be to allocate the first $1,000,000 to prizes rather than to the pocket of Alex.
An additional step would be a custom email system which reminded viewers of the site every 2 days (to get more chance of winning) suggesting sites to visit.
Without press coverage, advertisers are not going to invest and Pixelotto will never achieve the success of its predecessor.