Thursday, August 14, 2008

Moluv.com Relaunch Next Week

At it's peak, Moluv.com received over 7000 unique visitors a day. When it was being updated regularly, getting 2500 uniques a day was pretty typical. Not too shabby for a site I designed and developed to keep track of my favorite sites.

After maintaining the site for 7 years, I started to burn out. You have to go through a lot of mediocre design to get to the good stuff. Also, dealing with security issues and forum spammers wasn't what I had intended spending most of my time on. Then came Del.icio.us and social bookmarking. Now I could go back to my original purpose of tracking my links, without having to maintain code.

But, as I gained more expertise in internet marketing, I began to realize what a gold mine the site was. I had dabbled in different ways to monetize Moluv.com using Google Adwords, affiliate marketing with Amazon and Template Monster, donation buttons using Paypal, banner advertising, and eBay auctions, but the return was so-so at best. Back then, my thinking was that it would have been really nice to marry my passion for web design and web designers with a realistic income, so, during the hiatus I've been working through different financial models.

I found that as wonderful as Google Adwords are, they roughly paid about one dollar per year per daily unique visitor. In other words, if Moluv.com averaged 1500 visitors/day, Google would pay $1500 over the course of the year. Not bad, but it wouldn't really cover rent, let alone a mortgage. It did cover software upgrades, hosting, domain, and book expenses though, which was nice. And, Google was the best performer out of all the methods I tried.

Looking back, those Google clicks that I was getting a $1/year/daily unique visitor for, Google was probably getting one dollar or more per click, or roughly 20 times what I was getting. So, when I finally shut the site down and posted the interim page, I decided to use Google Analytics to track the number of clicks on the links I had posted. Even with a much declined viewership, the "Favorites" section links averaged about 300 clicks per month, with the highest performer turning in 1200+.

With that having been said, how could one capitalize on the click-throughs without degrading the caliber of the content, and provide a real value to the community as a whole? Then the answer came to me. The most common question, by far, that I receive from friends and acquaintances who know what I do for a living is, "Do you know someone who could help me build my web site?" Voila! The Moluv Recommended Vendor list was born.

As beautiful as the sites are that you see now at galleries like TheFWA, Netdiver, Unmatched Style, and the previous incarnation of Moluv.com, the designers of the sites posted at these destination have become far less accessible. In fact, some agencies won't even acknowledge your existence if you're not bringing a million dollars a year to the table ... annually.

So, the new focus for Moluv.com will not only be to link out to the world's best-looking sites, but to give small and medium-sized businesses as well as individuals the chance to contact someone who can build them one too. For now, it'll be $150/month to get on the list based on today's traffic, but with the Recommended list positioning on the next version of Moluv.com, that should easily beat the cost of an Adsense campaign. If you're interested, send a message to recommendedvendor(at)moluv.com.

Another change in Moluv.com is that with Del.icio.us providing RSS feeds, I don't have to worry about coding around security. Category listings will now be provided by our good friends at my favorite social bookmarking resource. The last big change will be Moluv's Featured Sites. Before, we gave extra attention to really well executed sites by giving them a thumbnail, but thumbnails are so 2005. Moluv.com will be featuring sites with YouTube reviews.

If you're curious, stop by Moluv.com next week. The site should be launched by then.

3 Comments:

Blogger Stratos said...

Hello

I'd like to inform you that you have been featured at Lightpulse Design blog.

You can see the relative post here : http://www.lightpulse.gr

Kind Regards and Welcome Back !
Stratos a.
Greece

4:43 AM  
Blogger moluv said...

Thanks for the kind words. Much respect to you.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Fire said...

Looking forward to for a long time. Thank you for your hard work.

5:41 PM  

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