Well its been about a month and a half now since I purchased my online arcade and things aren’t going quite as planned. Two months ago I had envisioned having a ready made game site that I could have loaded onto the server along with my blog and another website of mine: www.experiencenewthings.com (blog turned game directory). I also thought that after a month or two the site would be full of gamers and have already paid for itself a couple times over. To my chagrin this has not proven to be the case. While things aren’t going bad they just aren’t like I expected.
Right now the numbers don’t look good, but I am still optimistic that I can turn them around. The expenses significantly outweigh the income that I am currently receiving. While the game script was a one time expense I have yet to recoup that and am currently not making enough on it to pay the $105 annual cost of the domain name and hosting service.
Game site script – $250
Domain Name – $10
Web Hosting Service – $ 95
Total Costs: $355 (first year)
+$105 (subsequent years)
Last month I made a little over $2.00 in adsense advertising on my game site. This month I am projecting just under $4.00. Yea thats two dollars and four dollars not two hundred or four hundred. One thing that I didn’t count on when adding adsense to this site was how cheap the pay is for the ads that my site attracts. I average less than $0.05 per click and a lot of patrons are not going to click your banners so that means that I need a ton of traffic if I expect to make any real money using adsense. I am considering looking into other means of advertising on my site.
So if it takes 20 clicks on my site to earn me 1 dollar and one in two hundred people click on one of my banners, then it would require my site to get 4000 visitors just to earn a dollar. Right now I am averaging 200 visitors a day. Those 200 visitors play an average of 2.5 games each for a daily total of about 500 games played per day. At the end of last month I hit my first milestone 10k games played. This month the sites on schedule to have 25k games played which is a 50% increase from last month to this month.
Currently my game site is still not ranked by google’s page ranking system. This makes it a little hard to exchange links and improve traffic. Also once I am ranked I hope to improve my search engine result status. So I look forward to getting my page ranked as it should help boost traffic. I’m hoping for a high page rank, 3-5 would be awesome.
I am also looking into other methods of boosting traffic. Some possibilities include: directory submissions, link exchanges, and social networking ( word of mouth is great advertising!)
Site Maintenance/ Upgrades
While the game script I bought was pre-made and ready to go from day one (which saved me a lot of time and effort) there is still significant work to make enhancements to the site that will distinguish my site from all the other game sites out there. So far I haven’t gotten around to any of the heavy lifting as far as enhancements go. I have added several new games and continue to add games daily. Major work that I have slated for the near future include redoing the entire theme of the site including background, graphics and logos (possibly music?). And the other major task is rewriting a couple of the methods in the game site script to perform a few extra functions that I think are really important such as sorting the games by top ranked or most played.
Then there is always the constant maintenance of adding games, checking out and fixing user reported errors, responding to user email and requests to exchange links or promotional offerings. All of this stuff takes time, but as I mentioned earlier I am still optimistic that I can really turn my game site into something special.
As I stated above I still have a lot of work cut out for me in regards to building traffic, enhancing the website, and becoming established. At the top of my agenda are the site enhancements including revamping the site theme. I think it is important to get this done before I have a large customer base, people often don’t like change. As soon as that gets done I will dedicate the majority of my time to just increasing traffic. Customers are the driving force for any business, so its important that I get the word out. After that I will re-evaluate how everything is doing and see if I can identify what I am doing well and what needs improvement and work from there.