View Full Version : Which to do first??

12-26-2008, 07:11 PM

I have started an incentive-based advertising site that is still be worked on. But when I am ready to advertise, would it be better to get members first or advertisers first?

I figured that advertisers will not sign up because of lack of members and members will become less interested if there are no advertisers. Which party should I try to attract first - members or advertisers??


12-26-2008, 07:42 PM
First welcome to the community.

It's kind of a chicken and egg thing isn't it. Instead of trying to build one side first try thinking of ways you can build both sides at the same time. Down the road the system will match up advertisers and members, but what else could you offer to entice both before the other is there.

Advertisers aren't going to pay you until they believe they're going to get a positive return and they won't stay until they know they're getting a positive return. So why not recruit advertisers without making them pay. Let advertisers advertise for for free for 3 months or a year. If a few months later they're making money because of that advertising you can charge them and they'll pay you to keep advertising.

With members you're probably going to have to offer them content anyway so start offering content. There's not a lot of incentive for the average person to join something just so they can get advertising messages. At the very least get them discounts on whatever's being advertised, but still you're going to need something other than the advertisements to build membership.

12-26-2008, 10:02 PM
The classic catch 22, you want out from one side to the other sidel but you ae jus having a lot of trouble getting to the other side it would seem.
Maybe the easiest way to get clients on board would be to offer free advertising which you automatically add them to the site and then you can upgrade them if they want more then just your basic listing which pretty much gives them nothing but a listing with their name and address.

12-27-2008, 02:29 PM
Let me also say welcome to the SBF.

Can you share a little more detail about your goals? Are the advertisers offering special deals to members? Is this a niche? For example, if your site was trying to match classic car enthusiasts to parts suppliers, we could offer specific ideas.

Regardless of what your business model is, you usually need to build a lot of content and target those who would be intersted in the content to make them aware of your site. The monetary gains may be small to non-existent while you are building awareness. Once you get good traffic volume, that's when you can start creating the income.

12-27-2008, 08:45 PM
Well, the purpose of my site is for people (the members) to view sites they are interested in such as money making opportunities, information, products, services...

In return, they will receive an incentive for it. It's like searching the internet or classified sites to find such interests, except they will be getting paid for it. So, the idea for the members is to find what they are looking for and earn from it too.

Sites like these are called paid to click (PTC) and there are hundreds of them across the internet. But a lot of them fail because they have no real advertisers...some sites even scam their members. So, I'm just trying to make my site a little different...and better! I am trying to make my site beneficial to both advertisers and members!

12-28-2008, 01:49 AM
I think that you will find that the strain of failure in this market is quite a good chance of happening. The reason that there are many sites like this with no real advertisers and that end up failing is because there is not really a good market of advertisers that want to be involved in this type of site.

I think that this comes from the fact that many of the people that want to be involved in sites like this are actually looking to make what would appear to be easy money for doing little more then looking around the internet. Which means the advertisers will be paying for advertising which does not really benefit them in anyway but getting more visitors. Where as they are probably more so wanting to get visitors that are more likely to actually purchase from them. Hench the problem.

The other issue is that most of these sites probably do not intentionally start out to scam people, but it ends up being the only feasible option, unless they want to loose money. The biggest problem is the cash problem. When you come up with whatever offer you are going to offer it is usually something like a payout when you reach $X. However say this is $5. Most of your advertisers will be things that may have a payout based on sales, or clicks and payout at maybe $100. Depending on how you setup the system there is a good chance you will have members that reach the $5 payout before you ever see any of the money from your advertisers. Long story short, you end up a few months in with lots of people requesting payout's with some advertisers where you are not at the minimum payout yet and only just getting your first cheques from others. So you have to make the choice to dip into your own money to pay out or close down and become the latest scam. And the second option seems to be the way most go.

12-28-2008, 08:39 AM
Well, I have no intention of scamming anyone, but I am aware that I might have to come out of my own pocket...

But the problem with those other ptc sites is that they use self sponsored ads. Members click on those every day and their balance builds up. This is not something I'm going to do on my site. No paid advertisements, nothing for the members to see or earn. I know eventually that the members will lose interest and want to leave, but I can deal with that. Advertisers just don't pour in! It takes time to get them and convince them to stay around. I'm determined to get the site off the ground no matter how long it takes.

12-28-2008, 10:17 AM
Fair enough, at least you know the downfall area's of the idea.

However, consider, is the reward for members going to be great enough that they will be eager to stay with the site, and secondly is the membership base going to be sufficient that advertisers will see the benefit in the site.

Another site you may like to check is www. rewards central. com.au. They have something like this going, and have been operating in Australia for quite some time, 6 or 7 years. maybe more. If you can do something similar to that then you may be closer to being successful with this idea.

12-28-2008, 10:30 AM
Thanks. Can you post the actual link. I will check it out.

I guess the main purpose of my site is to benefit the advertiser more. After all, they're the ones that will keep the site going. The incentive to members will be more like a privilege because the purpose of the site for them is to easily find what they're looking for.

12-28-2008, 11:23 AM
I'm not a big fan of that business model. I think the real problem with it is that since you're paying members to visit sites the real motivation for them is to make money clicking and not visit sites they're interested in. There's little to no reason for advertisers to sign on board, because in the end they don't get real leads, only inflated traffic stats.

If the ultimate payment to members is in the form of coupons or discounts for the advertisers they like I think it can work, but if members benefit just for clicking I think the whole business model falls apart quickly.

I think you'll have more success if you provide content that members will want regardless of who is or isn't advertising and then sell advertising that matches the content and the interests of the memberships. I have a hard time seeing people visiting a site who's primary focus is to get them to click to advertiser sites and I have a hard time seeing advertisers wanting to pay for the privilege of having people visit their sites when there's limited interest at best in those sites.

Now I've been wrong before and I'll be wrong again and I could very well be wrong right now, but I really do think the main reasons PTC sites fail is the because the whole model is flawed. PTC sites don't really offer any benefit to advertisers who are the ones expected to pay the bills.

12-28-2008, 11:40 AM
I agree. PTC sites are good for bringing traffic but people (members and owners) have gotten in way over their heads with it. Seems like these sites are money making games - that's why there are so many popping up. If you check out some of these sites, you will see that all they advertise are other ptc sites - it's like some sort of circle and it's getting old.

As for me, I'm getting all these ideas about how to make this work out better for the advertisers. If after six or more months it doesn't work out, I'll probably walk away from it. It's all worth a try.

So, I know better than to advertise on those sites or forums dedicated to them. I've been active enough to know that the members have the mentality to make money from clicking only but I will be monitoring my site heavily to keep those kind of members away.

12-28-2008, 12:05 PM
It sounds like you're approaching this with the right idea and the right attitude.

Taking a step back in order to make the site valuable for advertisers you need to send them targeted traffic. In order to get that you can't really pay members to click. The incentive to click has to be interest in the advertiser. That's why I think it would be better to offer something else for members that doesn't rely on the advertisers. If you offer them content in general that they want to consume and then have related ads I think it could work.

Say you have some how to content for changing the oil in your car. An advertisement for motor oil could do well. Even an ad from Jiffy Lube could work. Some people after reading about changing their oil may no longer want to do it themselves. Match the advertisers to the content.

Without the extra content I think the only way to offer incentives to members while still offering targeted traffic to advertisers would be to offer discounts/coupons. You'd be creating the online version of a coupon book. If you go that route you'll probably need advertiser first and you may have to let advertiser in for free in the beginning.

Get advertisers on board by telling them your plans and letting them advertise for free provided they offer a discount specifically for your future members. Once you have some advertisers on board you can then look to build up membership. Assuming members do end up buying, you'll be able to get advertisers to buy in. Maybe give the advertiser 6 months for free. That makes it easy for them to say yes. Then after 6 months if your site is actually sending them new customers it's also an easy decision to pay to continue advertising with you.

12-28-2008, 12:22 PM
Hmm, I see your point! Gotta think all over again :D

Instead of offering a cash incentive, I can do a point incentive. Do you think that will make it a little better? Or should I not offer an incentive at all??

The thought of offering advertisers free ads kind of scares me a bit mainly because the offer might be taken and ran way with :o Then I thought, why run away from a good thing? So this is definitely something I can do (I don't know about 6 months though :D)

This idea will surely keep the 'clickers' away!!

12-28-2008, 02:08 PM
I think points would still be the same. As long as you're offering an incentive to click beyond simply being interested in the advertisers site then the clicks then the clicks are going to be artificial and it reduces the value to the advertiser.

Why does giving out the free advertising scare you? Some people will probably take the free advertising and not renew when you go to charge them. But you don't lose anything if they do. You need advertisers to attract members. Offering free advertising is one way to attract advertisers. You'll need to drive targeted traffic to them if you want them to renew, but offering the freebie helps you build the site while working to drive the necessary traffic.

12-28-2008, 02:36 PM
I'm going to offer free advertisements and still keep the idea of offering point incentives to see if it works out. If it doesn't, I will change it up again.


12-28-2008, 09:36 PM
What exactly would people get for the points? I think as soon as you give people an incentive to click beyond being interested in the advertiser the whole system falls apart. Under that condition it's going to become apparent to advertisers that the traffic they're getting is artificial.

12-28-2008, 10:08 PM
Stuff like cash, games, gift cards...

They have to build points to get them, though.

But, I do have plans to find out if members are really interested in the site or not.

12-28-2008, 11:05 PM
I'd say give points for something other than clicking links to advertiser sites. You could certainly give out points for other things to keep people interested in the site, but if you give an incentive to click on ads you run the risk of losing your advertisers and having your business model fall apart.

12-29-2008, 04:48 PM
I'll just have to go through trial and error to see what works.

12-29-2008, 08:48 PM
Absolutely. Don't take anything I say as the gospel. The only way to know what works is to give it a try and see what happens. As long as you learn something you didn't fail and maybe you'll hit on what's missing from this business model and be successful with it.