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I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

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Ideas That Didn’t Work: The Hundred Dollar Game

The Hundred Dollar Game

The Hundred Dollar Game was an interesting experiment that probably would have succeeded with better management. The basis of the game was simple: Every night at a set time, a question would be posted on the site. This question was usually a four part question which required the player to visit the site’s sponsor. Whoever answered the question first wins $100. In theory, it was a great idea. The advertiser gets traffic, the players can win $100 every night, what’s not to like?

The problem

A game like this requires a lot of traffic and a lot of advertising in order to turn a profit. The site admin figured the site would grow fast, and that’s where he was wrong. On any given night, there would be 20-30 people playing. 20-30 hits per night does not equal $100, especially with only one advertiser. This went on for a little over a week, until the admin figured out that he would be hemorrhaging $3,000 per month. At that point he panicked and changed the schedule to one a week instead of every night, effectively killing his daily traffic. In the end, the site wasn’t shut down, but he suspended the game and hasn’t announced any plans to restart it.

What I would have done

First of all, I would have advertised better. Apparently, the only real advertisement was word of mouth and a flyering campaign at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. I would have gone to every major blogger on the Internet and asked for a plug, and I would have thought up some sort of rewards system for referrals.

Secondly, I would have started small. Why give away $100 per night when your idea is so shaky? I would have set the prize at $10 per night, with $100 prizes once per month. $10 isn’t so much that it’ll break the bank, but it’s enough to guarantee a steady stream of visitors every night. Once traffic picked up and I had more advertisers, I would increase the daily prizes.

Finally, I would have done extensive beta testing. A lot of users complained about technical problems with the answer submission form, some of which took several days to fix. When you’re just starting out, you need every user you can get, and keeping them should be a top priority.

The bottom line

Overall, it was an interesting, but poorly-executed experiment. Maybe someone else can pick up his idea and run with it.

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2 Responses to “Ideas That Didn’t Work: The Hundred Dollar Game”

  1. Max Says:

    lol…this is an interesting site. Maybe they need more funds and investors to get it off the ground.

  2. Ryan Says:

    I like the analysis of this concept.

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