I've seen your question sitting here, unanswered, for quite some
time and thought I might go ahead and try to offer you some
constructive suggestions for your website as well as a bit of
information about pixel advertising which might shed some light on
your other questions.
First off - I think you are very smart to think critically about
your website and the impression it conveys to potential customers.
Creating a good website and marketing it effectively will go a long
way toward eventual success. When you create a site on the internet,
you don't have the advantage of a corner location in your neighborhood
where you can catch the eye of those who pass by. Without aggressive
marketing or a unique angle that spreads interest by word of mouth,
your website can be the most artistic and beautiful site on the net
and remain virtually invisible to the world.
A new - and very unique - idea was behind the great success of Alex
Tew's Million Dollar Homepage, credited as the first pixel advertising
site to make it's debut on the internet. When the site emerged in
August 2005, it generated quite a flurry of interest. The uniqueness
of the pixel advertising concept along with Alex's personal story lent
itself to a viral marketing scenario that attracted potential
customers simply by word of mouth. In less than six months, all the
pixel space on the Million Dollar Homepage had been sold to customers
anxious to be part of the "first" in a new online advertising
phenomenon - and who also possibly felt a bit of pride in knowing that
their financial investment was contributing to Alex's university
Today, just a year later, it is a different story. Pixel ad sites are
no longer a novelty. Instead of one, there are hundreds. No longer
affected by the initial buying frenzy surrounding Alex Tew's first
pixel ad site, advertisers are actually taking the time to compare
sites before they invest in pixel ad space.
In fact, some are even beginning to question whether pixel
advertising is worthwhile in the long run.
With that in mind, I have compiled some references that highlight the
emergence, present thinking and future trends for online pixel
advertising. While they might not answer all your questions, I think
you will gain a broader perspective and possibly formulate some ideas
about where you want to go with your site.
Secondly, I have followed with some suggestions for your own website.
These suggestions are for consideration, only. I am not a web designer
or an online business marketer. I am simply coming from the angle of
an "imaginary" advertiser or casual internet surfer who might one day
happen upon your site.
OVERVIEW OF PIXEL ADVERTISING
The Million Dollar Homepage was a success because it was a NOVEL IDEA
backed by a sincere individual who promoted a cause - his own! News of
the site was spread by word of mouth, along with the help of a press
officer and directed marketing.
From "The million-dollar student," By Tom Geoghegan. BBC News Magazine
"Alex spent £50 on buying the domain name (milliondollarhomepage.com)
and a basic web-hosting package. He designed the site himself but it
began as a blank page. His friends and family paid the first $1,000
dollars, which he spent on a press release. That small publicity gave
his site more traffic, which in turn persuaded more advertisers to
"It snowballed," he says. "As I made money, more people talked about
it and the more people talked about it, the more money I made."
Employing a press officer....helped generate publicity and sales in
the US, where he spent a week doing interviews, and he thinks his own
honesty in setting out his million-dollar plan chimes more with the
Americans than with British reserve.
* "Alex believes his success - and there are hundreds of other similar
sites trailing in his wake - is down to two things: the power of word
of mouth and the story of a student making a million, which enchanted
The importance of Finding a Niche
Hundreds of websites have tried to follow in the footsteps of Million
Dollar Homepage, only to fall by the wayside.
If a pixel advertising site is to survive - it needs to occupy a NICHE
and be promoted with GOOD MARKETING
From "Is Pixel Advertising Dead?," By Charlie Wright
"The Answer is simple NO - Alex Tew gave birth to a new and exiting
form of advertising medium on the internet. True this has also
attracted the attention of the get rich quick fan club, but
unfortunately they will always fall at the first hurdle or end up
being scammed out of their money. Throughout the history of the
internet the get rich quick fan will always be attracted to the
proposition of a fast bit of cash."
* "The best way is to find a niche for your pixel site for instance I
have seen someone who has done a pixel site as a wedding directory -
another advertising car dealers.
* "As long as you are willing to put in the effort make business
plans, plan your marketing strategy and not treat the industry as a
quick way to earn a few quid you will do OK."
Targeting shopping mall retailers:
"One immediately obvious distinguishing feature of the
OneInternetShoppingCentre.com site is that it is aimed at shops and
stores, businesses, you'd usually find at a mall or shopping centre
near you, hence the name."
"Focusing our business on a select category of items allows us to
present our site as a speciality site and promote it accordingly,"
says Kofi Ohene-Asa Akuffo, Chief Executive of UniRoyal InterVentures,
which owns and operates the site.
Read "OneInternetShoppingCentre.com Capitalizes on Pixel Advertising,
Offers 12,000,000 Pixels in First Outing."
Targeting India's emerging internet market:
"Lakhpatipage.com recently launched a pixel advertising service for
the internet advertising market specially targeting the emerging
Indian Internet Market."
"The Internet Advertising market in India is growing exponentially
with hundreds of new websites and web businesses being launched
everyday. Each of these businesses is hungry to market their
products/services to millions in India."
"Most of these new websites have a tight budget and are on a lookout
for low cost Internet marketing solutions. Traditional marketing
solutions like placing banner ads on extremely high traffic websites
and cost-per-click solutions offered by Google Adwords programs etc.
are way too far for such a tight budget websites."
"Lakhpatipage -- pixel advertising in India taking momentum." August 2006.
Building a pixel site of the BEST links:
"Since pixel advertising has got off the ground, many sites have been
amateurish and unselective. When these sites sell space to anyone who
will buy them, how credible can their homepages be? Who is interested
in a page of random ads you can't trust? We review any sites that
apply and only accept sites that we believe in. We also consider the
sites we are promoting and so will not want to have too many sites in
the same category" says Jonathan Beamish of Shine Media."
"Our aim is to build a stunning homepage of useful and interesting
'stellar' links that people will be interested by and want to revisit.
Stellar night is not a homepage of haphazard, unreliable advertising
like many pixel sites. Because we are promoting 'stellar' sites and
have a charity dimension, we need to be selective about the sites we
promote," Beamish says."
Read "A Star Studded Night Sky is the Latest Pixel Site Innovation
Taking Off Online."
Targeting corporations in specific regions:
"The first of its kind in the region to be launched from Dubai, the
?Millions-of-Dirhams? portal, is a step-forward in pixel advertising,
custom-designed to reach out to millions of consumers worldwide.
Leading integrated communications solutions provider, Noble
Advertising, is set to launch its ?Millions-of-Dirhams? website, an
outstanding, cost-effective online marketing tool that will enhance
corporate brand visibility for major players in the region.
"It is great opportunity for local brands to secure their window to
the world while global conglomerates can step up their regional
presence by tapping into the advertising potential of the website," he
"Well-timed to match the phenomenal economic boom in Dubai and the
subsequent underlining need for effective, targeted marketing, the
portal offers clients advertising space within a pre-defined grid
matrix guaranteeing all-year-round visibility."
Read "Noble Advertising unveils new online marketing tool for corporates."
Targeting Local interests:
Introducing The Ultimate Caribbean Homepage
Even a Gimmick can work, like becoming a piece of a puzzle!
"Move over pixel advertising site jigsad.com has taken the pixel ad
concept of a 21 years old british boy, Alex Tew's
milliondollarhomepage.com, a step ahead by introducing advertisment on
a huge jigsaw puzzle comprising of 2000 plus puzzle pieces."
"Usman, creator of the website and the originator of the idea along
with the help of his cousin, Ayaz , believed the originality of the
idea to be roof touching and in turn making the site attractive for
advertiser, decided to create this site and hence jigsad was born."
"The goal is to complete the jigsaw puzzle. The more the pieces
purchased, more part of the puzzle that will be completed", says
Usman, "As a result will give further boost to the ranking of an
advertisers' site on Search Engines and directories".
Read "Jigsad.com: New Pixel Ad Site that Lets You Advertise on a Huge Jigsaw."
Not everyone believes pixel advertising is the wave of the future!
"Many people thought they could duplicate the MDH and enjoy similar
financial success. The fact is that it?s a fad and only the first will
make good money because only the first has the buzz and the traffic.
No advertisers will want to buy pixels on a site that doesn?t have
traffic and lots of backlinks like the MDH does. Sure a few very quick
replicators that managed to drum up some press coverage may have
managed to make a few bucks but nothing even close to what the MDH has
managed to achieve
From "Can Pixel Ads Be Put to Good Use?"
Even the Million Dollar Homepage sees visitors waning. Not bad for
Tew, who has already sold the pixels, but bad for the advertisers!
"When the MillionDollarHomepage launched, its unique idea captured the
media?s interest and generated lots of traffic to the site and where?s
traffic advertising usually follows. The site got a phenomenal amount
of traffic and in less than 5 short months managed to sell entire one
million pixels. However, as the media hype slowed down, the web site
becomes silent and seems unable to keep visitors returning. In fact,
its current Alexa ranking rapidly falling to 8,024 from 679 since last
year. The future of MillionDollarHomePage is doubtful."
"It is a brilliant idea for providing advertisers with an economically
viable advertising model. But that is not enough. To survive it needs
something more, something that will keep visitors returning.
Unfortunately, neither the MillionDollarHomePage nor most of the copy
cat sites as far as I know can come up with something more valuable."
Read "The Million Dollar Homepage No Longer Works?" August 28, 2006:
SUGGESTIONS FOR YOUR WEBSITE
After looking at Pixel Asset, I have some basic questions. They are
questions most careful prospective customer might ask.
1. Who are you? Who is behind the website?
Where is the "About Me" on your website? Who is running the show, and why?
Providing a personal story or some background is one way you can
inspire confidence and generate interest.
And lastly, who am I?
See "Who are You" and "Why would I want to rent space on your maps?"
2. How do advertisers contact you?
Why would someone buy advertising without a contact address, at the very least?
Simply providing a blank form to fill out does not inspire confidence!
"Before paying for a pixel advertising site, actually contact the
owner of the pixel ad site by phone or email and get to know him or
Look around at some of the best sites and see what they include. While
the Million Dollar Homepage did not provide a phone number, there were
several email addresses as well as a contact form.
3. Why is your site different than the hundreds of other pixel ad sites online?
Why should an advertiser choose to buy pixels on YOUR site as opposed
to another? What is your selling point regarding why your site will
attract more customers for the advertiser vs. another pixel site?
When an an advertiser comes to preview your site, a simple pixel board
is not going to be convincing.
There has to be a REASON, OR A PURPOSE, to your site.
Remember the Niche examples I highlighted before?
Another idea is to provide interest by promising to give a portion of
your sales to a charity, or providing a localized message board with
Examples to consider
Helping children in need
Dingdots. The site provides a message board and relevant news which
can help attract viewers.
Million Pixels to end Homelessness
4. Are you interested in involving your advertisers in recruiting others?
Doing so can help create a sense of comraderie and community-building.
See "SPREAD THE MANTRA":
"Wouldn't you like to share about this Internet Advertising
Revolution to people within your network and help us spread the
5. Payment Issues
I have no experience concerning online payment methods for websites.
Therefore, I cannot offer any merchant suggestions for you. You might
want to ask separate question on this forum or seek outside
consultationto get specific recommendations regarding this issue.
However, are you sure you want to offer your pixel advertising to an
international audience? Might that simply "dilute" the audience you
are hoping to attract ? Would it be better to target a particular
audience as provided in some of the niche examples? That way you can
evaluate payment options more efficiently.
The following article provides some advice to potential pixel
advertising customers. These suggestions might help you to further
your own business model.
"Choose Pixel Advertising Sites Wisely, and Know Who All Profits."
"As a potential advertiser seeking unique online exposure and
increased traffic for your Web site, use precautions before spending
your money on just any pixel advertising Web site."
"Don?t be impulsive with your advertising dollars. Do some comparison
shopping online first. Take a few moments to browse different pixel
sites, read the content on their sites about their company and what
makes them unique among other pixel ad sites. Compare their pricing,
the sizes of pixel ads available, the placement of your ad on their
homepage, and the length of time your ad will be placed on their Web
"Choose pixel advertising sites devoted to a charitable or worth while
cause. Alex Tew, a UK college student, started
MillionDollarHomepage.com (the first known pixel advertising site) so
he could save enough money to go to college. There are others like him
out there whose primary goal is to use pixel advertising as a way to
donate to a charity or help others who are less fortunate. Sites like
BannerCanvas.com by owner Chad King were started to raise money to
help tear down his mother?s old dilapidated trailer and build her a
brand new house on the same property. These sites are definitely worth
checking out first."
"Seek out pixel ad sites whose owners already believe in natural
search engine optimization, and are paying an SEO company for natural
and ethical search engine optimization. How can you tell without
directly asking? While it may not be the best indicator, one method is
to look for keywords in the META titles, META descriptions and META
keyword tags on many pages of the Web site. Look for those same
keywords throughout the content on the site."
"Find pixel advertising sites who will genuinely keep its word on
leaving your ad on their Web site for the 5 or 10 years as promised.
Many of these new pixel sites popping up everywhere will no longer be
around one year from now, because they will have taken everybody?s
money and stopped paying for their domain and hosting fees. You do not
want to advertise on a fly-by-night-take-your-money-and-run type of
The Pixel Forum might be of interest
For recent articles, you might want to further pursue this search
string on Google News
I hope you can use the information I have provided to evaluate your
business plan. You have an excellent start on a website. The
references and sample pixel sites should provoke some thought
concerning how to find a target niche and how to best market and
generate interest in your site.
I suggest you look at as many pixel advertising sites as you can. Read
the stories behind them. Find out their purpose and how they are
trying to generate interest. When you see a site that is especially
interesting or attractive to you, try to outline "why." Lastly, try to
find a special audience. Make your site a VERY attractive one for a
targeted few, rather than a boring one for the masses.
I hope this helps.
how to choose a pixel advertising site
attracting pixel advertisers
the future of pixel advertising
trends in pixel advertising
does pixel advertising work?
Clarification of Answer by
08 Sep 2006 14:47 PDT
Hello again, lakk99-ga!
Actually, I DO realize that your pixel space can be bought and sold.
I do understand likening the pixel space to "real estate" and the
"investment" angle of your idea with Pixel Assett. I think it is a
very good concept, though not entirely a new one.
Even in light of this, all my recommendations are STILL the same.
Investing in pixel ad space that can be sold at a later date must
still be regarded as having VALUE....not only NOW, but in the FUTURE.
In other words, is your pixel ad site located in a dry, barren desert
where no one wants to travel - meaning the pixel ad space will never
really increase in value or possibly lose value? - or is it in a lush,
tropical paradise with lots of visitors, lots to see and do, and worth
more and more throughout the years?
Do you get what I mean? You still need to make that pixel ad space
WORTH SOMETHING in the advertiser's eyes. This is why I highlighted
certain examples in my original answer that targeted niche markets.
Allowing pixel space to be bought and sold is a terrific addition to
the ordinary pixel advertising concept, but I don't think it ads
tremendously if you don't reach the initial customer. I have to stress
that I still think there needs to be MORE uniqueness to your site than
just that added benefit of buying and selling.
Here is one example of a pixel advertising site that allows future
selling of pixel space.
Note that they have added a further draw - a $1000 dollar givaway
after a certain amount of pixels have been sold. The updated blog is a
nice addition as well, since it shows that the site owner maintains a
strong interest in his site.
New Web Site Plans Multiple Million Dollar Giveaways
"Valio Limited today announced the launch of its new online
advertising Web site, MyMillionDollarCity.com. The new site was
created to take the idea of online pixel advertising to a new
"As opposed to similar sites that only sell a page of pixel-space,
MyMillionDollarCity sells "buildings" and "plots" that can be bought
and sold, and adverts can be resold or auctioned-off at a later time.
The Web site is truly an online city, with businesses and people from
all over the world coming together."
"The advertising space is in the design of a large city map, with
skyscrapers, highways and waterfront properties. Users can select
which building or property they wish to buy or simply place an
advertisement on the Web site. The map is even broken down into
sections, like downtown, the finance district and beach boulevard. The
site is not only for businesses looking to advertise, but for
individuals looking to increase traffic to their personally created
MyMillionDollarCity Web site."
"MyMillionDollarCity also plans to give away $1,000,000 every time
6,666 business plots have been sold. At sign-up, each business or
individual is allocated a number of prize draw tickets. If a user
purchases 1,000 pixels they will receive 1,000 prize draw tickets
which will be used in subsequent draws."
"Taking into account the current growth of Internet Advertising
Worldwide," said Dumville. "We have studied a lot of the already
popular pixel advertising sites, and we feel that this site will bring
a much-needed sense of community to the industry."
Bobs Million Dollar Gamble is another example of a site that allows
pixels to be bought and sold. Note that this site also has a "Tell
Your Gran" page which rewards customers who refer others by entering
them in a drawing, as well as a blog and a future forum.
So yes - I do understand the "real estate investment concept" behind
Pixel Assets. Nevertheless, all my advice in my original answer is
still the same.
I wish you the best of luck with this exciting new concept and hope
that you have also gleaned some exposure from posting your question
here on GA!
Looking foward for you!