It got me thinking for a little bit, and then I realized that the Million Dollar Wiki isn’t that different from a blog, and something similar could revitalize the service.
The first thing I would do is revamp and revitalize the Affiliate Program. I would switch gears so that people using the affiliate program made up to $25 a sale, and they could choose how much of that $25 went into their own pocket or into being a buyer’s discount. That way, they could sell pages at $80 and make $5, or sell them at $100 and make $25. This would help breed competition, and also allow them to make a fair bit of money if they promoted the site well.
The next thing I would do is to buy advertisements on a variety of blogs on the 45n5.com Top 100 List. These are highly influential blogs with a user base that if correctly marketed to, would be willing to participate in the Million Dollar Wiki project, especially with the proper affiliate program in place.
I would also ask some friends to review the site, giving them free pages to use as they see fit. Getting traffic to the site, and building up buzz is cyclical with these types of sites. The more pages are sold, and the more buzz is created, the faster they grow. If you let this buzz die off too much for too long, it is rare that anyone can jump start it again.
In the advertise section, I would also allow people to buy a $60 package for their page, to have it advertised via AdWords. I would spend $50 of the $60 on getting some great AdWords advertising for the page, and pocket $10 for doing all the keyword work and setting up the advertising stuff. This would be a small source of income, but I think a fair number of people looking to “get rick quick” off the site would understand the value of having paid advertising push traffic to their specific page.
Testimonials & Press
I would get a long list of popular bloggers that have purchased a page or more on the site, and try to get them to send me a testimonial on what they think of the site. The fact that they are paying only a few dollars a year to advertise themselves, their services, etc.
I would also contact the traditional press to talk about how far the site has already come, and how it got there. Talk about bloggers, advertisers, and the state of making money online. Try to build up some buzz that way, and cover all of them on a press page on the site. If none of them were willing to talk about me, I’d make a game out of the fact that no one wants to highlight the amazing story of the Million Dollar Wiki, call it the Ignored List or something. Make it a running joke.
Social Media Buttons
I would add the normal array of social media buttons to every single page, making it easy for them to be promoted, and hopefully drive more traffic to the page, and thus the site. I don’t think this part would be all that powerful, but every little bit helps, and I know a few people that bought pages have already done so without the buttons on the page, and have seen some interesting results.
The concern that some people might have had when creating their page was “what will I put on it?”, and I think the answer to that should have been solved by the Million Dollar Wiki. I would find a copywriting agency willing to partner with us, and create some simple content packages for people. Something like, one five hundred word, SEO ready article for $25. Of which I would probably only get $5 of the proceeds, but that could still be a small but steady revenue source. It would also increase the content on the site, which should increase its rankings in the major search engines.
I would also partner with someone else and create around five high quality WordPress themes to give away, with credit to the Million Dollar Wiki and the designer. I would release it on the Million Dollar Wiki. This would hopefully create a fair number of back links, and again, increase attention towards the site.
Contest and Giveaway
One of the best ways to build buzz is to give something away, or have a contest. I would suggest that doing everything could help build sufficient buzz to get the MDW back on track.
First, I would give away 20 strong keyword pages to bloggers that mentioned the Million Dollar Wiki after I took ownership of it. The mention could be positive, negative, suggestions, or even hate mail, but they’d have to link back to the Million Dollar Wiki or one of its pages, and be willing to allow republishing rights of a large excerpt on the Million Dollar Wiki if they won. This could generate around three or four dozen links to the site, as well as some great content for the blog, and most likely some sound business advice.
Next, I would put some 125 pixel square advertising spots on the front page of the Wiki, allowing people to buy them for a low price. I would then take that money, and give 75% of it away each month to a random page buyer.
Lastly, I would give away an iPod Touch to one random page buyer after every 50 pages sold. This is an idea I had for the Million Dollar Wiki competitor, and it worked well to build up the buzz.
While the Million Dollar Wiki does have a blog, I would increase the frequency of posts, talking about traffic growth on the site, bloggers I respect. Affiliate programs that have been useful on certain key pages, and other tips on how people can capitalize on their MDW page.
If I couldn’t handle posting every week day, I would hire a weekly columnist or two. One that was good with copy writing, and one that was good at online advertising and affiliate sales.
There should be at least twenty or so posts worth of content on the blog a month. I would also work on integrating it into the site better, so that it didn’t seem like its own distinct entity. (Which would of course mean creating a better design for the whole Million Dollar Wiki site, but that’d be time consuming and expensive, not something I’d do right at the start.)
One of the last things I would do would be creating a marketplace for people to sell their pages, or just parts of their pages. This would allow owners of certain pages to sell advertising on their pages, or sell the whole page, but they shouldn’t have to leave the site to do so. I would also expect a small five percent fee for any sale over $100. This money would go to reimburse me for the development costs of creating such a marketplace, and then into my pocket as profit.
Most of what I have mentioned here could be used for pretty much any site, but the unfortunate side effect of nearly every idea here is that it would cut into the potential profits of the site, but I would be content with making $25 in profit off each page purchased, rather than not selling any pages at all.
Good luck to the buyer of the Million Dollar Wiki. If you use any of these ideas, I hope you will at least send me back the $100 I once spent on the service you are purchasing.