The Million Dollar Homepage

By Yaro Starak
30 Comments

UPDATE

We made it! In fact we overdid it by a few dollars. I’ll be in touch with the last few donators about the extra cash left over. I’ll get the ad up on the million dollar homepage as soon as I can. Thanks everyone!

* * * * *

Nathan Waters pointed this site out in a comment he made on my post Business Opportunity – Forum Community Building. The site is called The Million Dollar Homepage and it’s selling pixels at $1 each in blocks of 100. The idea is, well totally cheesy, however because of the absurdity and simplicity of the idea it just managed to take off and the owner has already raked in more than $190,000 at the time of posting this entry.

The idea was started by a British student named Alex Tew:

My name is Alex Tew, I’m 21 years old and I live in a small town in Wiltshire, England. I’ll be starting at University in England at the end of September, where I will be reading Business Management. Uni is not cheap, and faced with the prospect of graduating after 3 years with a huge debt, I thought I’d try and make some money ($1m should do the trick!)

Based on a case study one of the companies that advertised spending the minimum $100 for a square using a totally nondescript graphic added an extra 600-1000 new visitor to their site each day. Now of course that sort of traffic will not last and you would have to think this concept is definitely a short term fad but there must be some serious traffic going to the site presently. This is testament to the power of viral marketing and publicity since the site would not take off without reaching a critical mass of traffic (most advertisers will pay for the traffic and exposure hence until the site managed to get in the news it had no value, now that’s it’s somewhat famous it has value – I’m sure there are some people that just want to be part of “Internet History” that probably don’t give a damn about the traffic, but ah, yeah, good for them!).

A Marketing Experiment

The traffic to this site must be quite random, certainly not targeted given the range of ads on the site at the moment. However the idea has really piqued my interest, I’d love to test it out and see what happens as a case study of web marketing. I’m hoping some of you people reading this also feel the same. I’m willing to spend $10 towards purchasing a pixel block and I’m asking for donations to pay the remaining $90 USD required. If the target is reached I’ll buy a block to advertise this blog and report back on the results. Yes of course if you donate you will be helping me to get more traffic but I promise to do a write up on the results for your entertainment.

If you want to have some fun and play with this experiment, here is the donate button (paypal.com), no value too small or large and I’ll keep a running tally so you know how we are going towards the $100 total –

Current Total: $114.95

Thanks to –

Daniel Nicolas from Waking Ideas for a $14.95 donation.
Yaro Starak from BetterEdit.com for a $10 donation.
Will Swayne from Marketing Results for a $10 donation.
Martin Neumann from HomeOfficeVoice for a $10 donation.
Ron Akanowicz from Softerware for a $10 donation.
Scott Sutton from Cotton Gear for a $10 donation.
Dominic Foster from Trader Knowledge for a $10 donation
Dion Kramer from NobleHealth for a $10 donation.
Ryan Henderson from The Road Is Life for a $10 donation.
Hugo Rumens for a $10 donation.
Samuel Bible from Remixable for a $10 donation.

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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30 Comments

  • Or you can see for yourself for a measly $25 @ http://millionquarterwebpage.com the site was launched a couple days ago and our advertisers have already seen a drastic increase in thier sales. See for yourself.

  • Hugo

    I’ve been following the M$HP for the last couple
    of weeks too, very interesting to see it take off.
    Will he complete the million pixels or will
    the fad die away before that happens?
    Either way, he’s still many plenty of money
    of course..

    My guess is that those who advertise now will
    probably see big results, but as you pointed out,
    the traffic is likely to be low quality and
    un-targeted.
    Whether the advertisers will keep sustained
    traffic from this site in the long term is
    an interesting question.

    Another interesting aspect is how many copycat
    sites quickly appeared.. I won’t list URLs
    so as not to feed them traffic, but they are
    all poor copies and none seems to be growing
    like the original site – which is good news
    for those creating good ideas/content and are
    concerned about being ripped off!

  • Nathan Waters

    Thanks for the mention Yaro… now I’m famous :D

    Yeah as Hugo mentioned, there are quite a few copy-cat sites out already, but they don’t seem to have anywhere near the sales or popularity.

    However, I have been trying to think of a similar idea around the use of pixels. Do you/others think there would be a possibility for success in a similar site, which used a variety of different approaches and add-ins?

    I guess it all just comes down to good PR and viral marketing as mentioned.

    cheers

  • why not have a pixel ad block on blogs — a lil rectangle or square — blogs have staying power and we bloggers tend to stick together.

  • Nathan Waters

    I’ve actually seen someone offering a similar thing for a little grid for bloggers: http://www.start.com.my/blog/?q=1mad

    Here’s an interesting run-down of all the mdhp copy-cats and how much they’re making: http://www.yunasville.com/home/milliondollarhomepage-copycats

    Another copy-cat that looks interesting: http://www.powerofpixels.com

  • BearSimon

    The Chinese Million Dollar Homepage?????

    http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/ has been so successful that it catches eyes of not only English speakers but also people of other nations.

    A Million Dollar Homepage in Chinese( http://www.1baiwan.com/ ) was launched last week, which grows so fast that it was listed on Alexa’s Mover & Shakers (Chinese website) after only one week, whose traffic rank rise up by 4,000%. ( http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/movers_shakers?lang=zh_gb2312 )

    Even Alexa noticed this Chinese “copycat”, and mentioned its existence.( http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/movers_shakers?lang=en )

    The Chinese Million Dollar Homepage is designed particularly for Chinese visitors and their block/grid (13×13 pixels) is also larger than the Million Dollar Homepage (10×10 pixels) as Chinese Characters are larger than English letters. On the other hand, the price is set for local market, RMB(Chinese Dollar)100 for each, each is a lot more affordable than US$100.

    According to a Chinese blogger, the Chinese Million Dollar Homepage has been very hot among Chinese bloggers, and it’s been also reported by several major professional Chinese ICPs. And the owners wrote on their blog that, the traffic had grown so fast that they had to purchase their own server only 5 days after it launched .

    The Chinese Million Dollar Homepage also has an English ntroduction page( http://www.1baiwan.com/EngIntro.html ), which promotes itself as a cost-effective way of reaching Chinese market, in which 60 million people surf Internet. It accepts payment in US$ via Paypal and US$15 per block for people who are not able to pay RMB(Chinese Dollar).

    But the Chinese culture is quite different from the Western culture, will it succeed as the English one? Let’s see.

  • Absolutely fantastic measure of the power of web advertising, even though it is a fad. I wish I had the same idea when I was going through uni. But it’s a good little experiment, and something he can write his thesis on…or perhaps buy a sports car with…yeah I would probably go with the sports car.

  • There’s my 14.95 =)

    this is interesting!

  • Rory

    WoW:
    I can believe how popular and profitable the site has become. Plus he’s made over US $240,000 !!
    Man, im happy for him, but damn, Im so jealous :|
    About to start crying :)

    Creativity really pays off.

  • I think it’s a great idea.. I wish I had a piece of that pie! :)

  • I’m in. Have just sent the $10.
    It will be interesting to see the results.
    Cheers
    Dominic

  • […] I have just signed up for an interesting project at at Yaro Starak’s Entrepreneurs-Journey blog. Yaro plans to purchas a 100 pixel package at The Million Dollar Homepage which will link to his website. The package costs $100, but he has invited people to pay for a $10 share in his purchase. If you pay for a share, he will link to your website for a month and also report back on the traffic that he receives from The Million Dollar Homepage. […]

  • Paul

    I am also curious what the result of this experiment going to be. I’ve just seen an Aussie version http://www.virtualworldhotspots.com which is in my opinion more creative way of selling ad space. By the way, Australia is still available :)

  • Fair enough it’s a bit of a marketing exercise, but look at who you’ll be sharing your ‘billboard’ with. I guess there’s no room for snobbery in the internet marketing game but it’s packed with dodgy casinos, betting joints and get-rich-quick-doobies…

    Anyways, good luck with the results Yaro, It would be interesting to get a breakdown of how many of your new visitors actually return.

  • Yaro, maybe you should reconsider and invest your money in The $100,000 banner.

    The site is providing real content which MillionDollar is not. This can increase you stats on the long run not just for a month or two.

  • yay! we made it!

    =) congratus to everyone!

  • I also just left $10. I’ve been watching the Million Dollar Homepage since it first started showing up in the news and, like everybody else, can’t believe the success he’s had.

    I’d love to come up with something…

    think. think. think. Dang, nothing.

  • Yeah, I was thinking there’d be a place to indicate a website in the PayPal process. So I should probably clarify that it’s Sam Bible from remixable (www.remixable.com).

    The $10 lesson in Internet Advertising. Would that all lessons came so cheaply. Now to sit back and let the lesson unfold…

  • Hi Sam – I just added your links. Thank you for the donation.

    I’m presently trying to buy an ad from the million dollar homepage and the damn site keeps going down :(. I expect it’s due to all that traffic.

    I just spent 10 minutes designing our little graphic. Having 10×10 pixels to work with was not easy and I’ve gone with a white “Y” on a red background, which stands out reasonably well given its size.

    I think the ALT tag will be the most important variable as I’ve found myself hovering over the icons at the site to read the description so I expect others are doing the same before cliking through. I need to come up with a benefits laden ALT tag for the ad…hmm…

  • I just made the purchase of our little space on the Million Dollar Homepage. I opted for as close to the top left (above the fold) as I could. Yes it’s the most busy area on the site at this time but it’s also the “hottest” area on screen for click throughs (in general), although this experiment probably doesn’t follow conventional website marketing rules.

    I requested this as the alt text – ‘How To Start An Internet Business – Download Free Audio & Articles’.

    The graphic is a white ‘Y’ on a red background that really doesn’t stand out any better than the other 100×100 squares on the site but it’s not exactly a lot to work with.

    Look for it in about 24 hours time.

  • Our link is up!

  • Hugo

    I’ve been trying to decide if the hype around the M$HP was going to fade out before Alex sold all his pixels or not – in the end I thought it’s all probably going to depend on keeping up the media interest.
    Well, I’ve just read his latest blog entry and it seems he is going to appear on breakfast TV here in the UK tomorrow morning and has a week long PR trip to the US planned.
    Looks like it’s only a matter of time now until he sells all 1,000,000 pixels.
    With the name he must be making for himself now, he’s going to be virtually guaranteed media interest for any future projects he starts too.
    Oh I wish I had thought of this :-)

  • I went to milliondollar homepage now but it shows” PIXELS ORDERS SUSPENDED

    We have been inundated with hundreds of orders and are working through the backlog right now, but it means we’ve needed to suspend taking any more orders for the time being.

    I will try to tomorrow. Happy New Year !

  • […] At my other blog, Entrepreneur’s Journey we took part by conducting a marketing experiment and purchased some pixel space back when the website was about half way to one million (look for the little “Y”, that’s us). […]

  • I believe that Alex’s site still generates some indirect value for advertisers at least by improving their visibility in search engines. It has a PageRank of 7 and many still continue to add links to it (by the way, this article has just added one link). So, getting the link from website with such a high PageRank for as low as 1$ it is clearly a reasonable investment.
    Good luck to all the copycats :)
    http://www.milliondollarhosting.net

  • WDD

    Russian girl sells her body on internet….
    She is russian and she is trying to sell her part of the body in a shape of pixels on her web page….

    ISellBody.com

    thought it is interesting….

  • Steve

    The idea is brilliant, People are naturally going to make knock-off sites if one idea was proven to be a success. And the good thing about that is since Alex’s page is full. Advertisers still have a have places where they can buy pixels. This is the best one I have seen so far: Million Dollar Pixel

  • […] Clark, one of my Blog Mastermind students has started an ambitious project, which is a lot like the Million Dollar Homepage you might remember, but with a few unique […]

  • […] wrote a blog, BBC posted about him, even million dollar homepage watch was created! People like Yaro Starak got involved. Everyone wanted to ‘Own a piece of internet history!’ What a brilliant […]

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