Commercialize ticker software + site
Some time ago I asked a friend of mine what kind of web-service I could make to a bit of money and she suggested some kind of "ticker site", as she thinks many people would agree to pay to get a ticker with caption(s) in their native language (we're both Latvian) (for an example of "ticker" see e.g. Lilypie.com). I expanded on this idea and eventually created a windows application that can be used to create a custom ticker from scratch + server-side scripts that would manage and display this ticker. You can check out a working prototype here.
So my question is :
How can a software and/or service like this be made to generate income?
I've thought about making it a subscription-based service, but I haven't been able to find an affordable third-party credit-card processor (CCBill comes close but they have an unpleasant surprise for anyone wanting to accept VISA cards, too (>$700 setup)).
Another thing that has been bothering me is - where can I get the neccessary artwork? Obviously a site like this needs lots of ticker templates etc. Although I pride myself as having nonzero artistic talent ;) I feel I couldn't do it all myself on a satisfactory level. Hiring a professional artist isn't financially feasible (me : just out of university, unemployed, monthly income ~$60 :p )
Any comments and suggestions would/will be appreciated.
It took me a while to get what the heck a ticker was, but I think I got it now, though it wasn't entirely obvious.
Your program looks nice though. I would not try to monetize this with complicated VISA payments et.c., at least not in the first place.
I would make a goodlooking website and provide the ticker for free, and preferably make the program web-based instead. Then put some ads on this site and perhaps require a link back from those who uses the ticker.
If you really want to take VISA payments, PayPal is a good and easy provider to use, but I'm not sure if they work with subscription based services.
Hey Birger, thanks for a reply!
The program is too complicated to be web-based. Well, maybe porting it to Flash would help, but I'm not sure, as I know next to nothing about Flash.
I've already looked at PayPal - they offer very limited service to residents of Latvia - I could only send money, not receive it.
Sure, I could put ads on the site, but I don't think it would be much use - I imagine people would sign up, "set-and-forget" a ticker and rarely come back to the site itself.
I'm with birger...I think that the real value for you would be to get people to place tickers on their site, but for each ticker to have a "powered by w-shadow" statement and a direct link to your site... use it as an SEO strategy then offer extra value products.
An example of what I mean is here at The Institute of Psychic Development - Psychic Development Courses... if you do their psi-q test, you get a personalised graphic you can put on your site or blog that links back to psychiccourses... it's taken a few months but they are seeing a nice increase in SERPs
The other variation might be to sell the right to use it in this way to other people... say I'm a charity with a major fundraising deadline... as part of my viral marketing I could get my subscribers to place my ticker with a link back on their sites/blogs... you could charge a small licence fee to anyone who wanted to use it in this way?
Just some ideas...
In light and love
You could also require users to register to make their "ticker", and in that way you can build up a nice database of users that you can spam (oops, did I say that)!
What features are available on the windows based program that you say won't really port well to a web-based application?
Possible or not, I haven't used JS for anything more that "Hello World!" scripts, so all this is way beyond my current ability. And I really don't want to throw away the Windows app (hey, months of work :confused: )
Maybe I could just charge a one-time fee (say, $25) for the use of that program and give them X ticker "spots" on the server, with no further complications.
Oh, and spamming leads to bad karma, or so I hear ;)
You can probably use both options. Give the desktop client one for a higher fee and charger less for online (or vice versa). And since you wrote it in C#, porting it to ASP.NET 2.0 shouldn't be too difficult from what I can imagine (I haven't seen your source code so it's hard to comment).
Regarding load times, AJAX is giving web applications a pretty neat work around for that (well, to some degree at least). Read more here: Ajax (programming) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ahh, it's not C#, it's Delphi.
OK, maybe I'll create a web-based version in the future.
So what about artwork? Refer to my first post for the description of this problem.
Graphics wise I unfortunately can't help you out with either. :P When it comes to web development I'm more technical than creative.
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