Webmaster and success story

Two case studies of small site becoming - very - big.

A matter of fishes...

In 2003 appeared this shy post on the forum Webmaster World:

40 dollars per day, is it bad or not?

And in 2006 another note, the tone is very different with this title: "How I make a million in three months":

I'm probably the first independent publisher in terms of page views. I wonder if what I'm going to say may help you but here I know who can help you be successful with Adsense.

Whoever is behind this nickname, Markus Frind, the webmaster of plentyofship.com, the first free dating site. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, and several other magazines.

By spending an hour a day on the site, but with two moderators to filter out unwanted ads, the webmaster earns millions of dollars on a free site, through advertising.

What is his recipe for achieving this result? He exposes it us in 6 points:

  1. Get a database of IP addresses, so you can find out where the traffic comes. Needless to submit pages to an audience that does not need it. It also allows to display ads for visitors to countries where they earn the most.
  2. Create a site that gets repeat traffic, ie where the visitors come back every day. SEO is not what will make you rich, with millions of regular visitors, you win much more. Whatever the topic.
  3. Let your visitors create content and a lot of it. (This is the case for a dating site). Reviews of visitors on services are a good example. Build the site around the visitors and where they are part of it rather than for consumption.
  4. Do not enter a market where there is already a number of competitors using Adsense. Create a new market or a free service where competitors require fee (this the the case of Plenty Of Fish).
  5. Make your site simple, the pages will load faster with no more than two advertisements and one or two pictures per page. Users should find what they need immediately.
  6. Visit forums and if surfers do not talk about your market, chances are that you may win money.

We must recognize that most successful sites, Facebook, Twitter, etc.. fit this description.

Nonetheless it will always be needed to have a good expertise in programming and web development to achieve an efficient and easy to use service.

A simple blog

TechCrunch was first opened in June 2005 by Michael Arrington. There were early from one to five posts per day. It has become a collaborative site with a dozen articles per day from different authors.
This is the second blog at Technorati ranking behind that of Arianna Huffington.
Here are the statistics of the evolution of the number of subscribers to the RSS feed of the blog:

Year and month RSS subscribers
June 2005 63
December 2005 10000
June 2006 65000
Late 2006 200 000
Late 2007 700 000
Late 2008 1 000 000

The conditions that prompted this blog to such a success were analyzed by an author on the Liako.biz website, here is an outline...

1. Originality

Arrington himself says he was inspired by the words of Dave Winner (who defined the RSS 2.O format):

"if you are going to build a new company, go to the trouble of actually researching what other companies have already done."

From the outset, the blog was defined in search for originality, and to do so, the personal blog of the author had been used to investigate what could already exist as similar sites.

2. Dual activity

It has a dual activity of blog and social network, which is reflected in particular by organizing online events where people are invited to participate.

3. Relations

His way of surfing the wave of Web 2.0 has been to create a community around this concept. It sought to have relations with the personalities of this trend and to do, to speak of them the most often in his articles.

4. Simplicity

Arrington understand nothing about technology, this has been said. But perhaps it is an art to give the impression that we addresses a technology as a novice, to better explain it to beginners! The contents of the blog is always clear, well explained. Long sections are interspersed with images. Incorporating images in posts adds to their interest.


The success of a blog depends on the originality and quality of its articles. Adding pictures is a plus. The development of a social network is a supplement that helps to promote the content providing it deserves to be. It is reflected in particularly by subscription to RSS feeds.
It is essential to publish several articles per day on current topics for alliance with another - invisible - partner: the search engine.

Techcrunch has beed sold to AOL for US$ 30 million in 2011.