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A few years ago I got on a kick making simple Photoshop templates and threw up a website to try and sell a few. I had no illusions that my templates were of the level that were being sold for $20+ so I went with a type of credit system similar to what iStockPhoto.com does.  A visitor buys a set of credits and uses those credits to buy templates.  Seemed like a simple process and after a little tinkering with WordPress I had a working setup.

But after two years only 3 people had bought credits and I had made a whopping 12 bucks.  Divided out over the hours I spent setting up the site, to say nothing of the time creating templates, I would have been much better off at pretty much any part time job out there.

I faced an option.  I could take the site down and stop paying the 9 bucks a year for the domain name.  Not that 9 bucks is all that much, but it seemed stupid to keep paying it.  Seemed like a bad choice with the amount of time I had put into creating the templates.  The other option was to keep the site live, but give the templates away.

Number two was the option I went with and so far it seems to have been the right choice.  Counting conversions as how much income comes in per visitor I’m way up with the ad based method.  Traffic isn’t up to what I want it to be yet, but it is building.  So we’ll see what happens after the redesigned site has been around a while and there’s a little more data to look at.

The site is TikiTemplates.com if you’re interested in looking.

My current kick is WordPress templates so I’m going to give that a try as well.  We’ll see how it goes.

One Response to “Switching from eCommerce to free with ads”

  1. Ryan

    Well, a few months later and I’ve beat the 12 bucks. Turns out that Photoshop templates seems to be a fairly high paying ad.

    Reply

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