Subscription Model VS Ads based?

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Hi Everyone!
I've had a brutal case of 'writers' block over the past 8 months. I haven't been able to build anything. I think I'm finally closing in on a potential idea.

One of my ideas is a website full of useful tools that would be dependent on ads to earn revenue. It seems that I have seemed mixed things about being dependent on web traffic to earn revenue. I've been told RPM of even $5 is low for most industries, so say at 1,000,000 Monthly page views across a network, (1,000,000/1000) * 5 = $5000. Some pretty solid income if I am understand how that works.

Another model I am looking at is instead putting my tools behind a cheap paywall, say $5 monthly. Meaning I would need 1000 users to get to that same level of earnings.

Does anyone have experience with this sort of thing? I would hypothesize that getting to 1000 users would be easier than 1,000,000 million pageviews monthly (not that either would be easy). But I could be wrong. I guess there is a happy medium of a premium and free versions of the website? I would also speculate you could reach higher pageview counts than you could reach user counts?

Is it possible that you could see exponential growth with an ads based model that you wouldn't see with subscribing users?
 

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
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The real challenge is probably not going to be building the tools, but marketing them in such a way that you can rank for a million pageviews worth of queries and/or convince 1,000 users to pay you. Marketing, essentially. Lot's of developers ignore marketing and think that if they build it, users will come. It doesn't work like that.

I'm not saying this is you, just that the emphasis shouldn't be on "building tools ---> $5k a month". There's a long, arduous middle step in there that's not really being given the weight it deserves and demands.

It depends on the tools and the demographics they serve and if that demographic is the type to use ad blockers. You're right to expect a low RPM, even lower maybe. You won't get many impressions, and much fewer clicks, if I'm envisioning your build the way I've seen a lot of other networks of tools play out.

Another thing to consider, if you go Subscription based, you'll be offering customer service to people who'll want support from you about topics unrelated to your tools. You'll be doing customer support for their browsers and all kinds of crap and if you don't, you may get negative reviews, etc. You know, you'll be dealing with some real idiots, or paying someone else to do it.
 
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I really appreciate your replies. Your right. Its marketing. A lot of times too by the time you actually have the tool complete, you are burnt out from that marketing period.

You are right. Theres a complete step I miss, this isn't just some write code and get money situation.