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The Million Dollar Homepage

Posted By Darren Rowse 22nd of September 2005 Blog News 166

Want to see an enterprising online idea? The Million dollar Home Page is an attempt by one young business student to pay his university fees by selling advertising on a site – one pixel at a time. A pixel costs $1 and there are 1,000,000 of them up for grabs.

You have to buy them in 100 pixel blocks ($100 a pop) but people are buying them and he reported on his blog yesterday that he’s already paid for his 3 years of college fees completely.

Of course – a lot of those buying pixel are poker pages and affiliate programs by the looks of things – but he’s doing ok out of it and is reporting that each advertisers is getting good click-throughs for their money.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. Perhaps he’ll soon realize that he doesn’t need college after all….

  2. I can’t believe he has already sold $64,500 worh of pixels, that’s amazing! The things people will go for these days.

  3. I wonder what that guy that bought some pixels at the very bottom was thinking when there is still plenty near the top.

  4. So wheres the b5media ad? :)

    Some gimmicks like these are just crazy. haha. He might just end up making a million o_O

  5. This proves two things:

    1- You just need a good concept to make money on the Internet.
    2- Companies are willing to bite into the mostly any good concept to get some exposure.

  6. All I have to say after reading that is:
    “Wish I had thought of that”
    It’s a really good, original idea to get him through college. I’m going to have to go brainstorm ideas to get me through college and to Russia.

    I’m just amazed that people went for it. Wow.

  7. Yeah, I read last week he’s getting 35K unique users per day and the case study on his site is pretty good.

  8. Darren,

    I just noticed you have had a dramatic increase in feedburner readers (ur chicklet stats) since yesterday. Way to go man!

  9. R. Melissa Clarke says: 09/22/2005 at 10:58 am

    LOL!! This made for a good laugh this evening. Thanks for the post; I love to use examples like this for case studies.

    One must give credit where credit is due. This exact marketing gimmick will lose its effect in the not so distant future as the traffic generated from the “gawk and awe” effect wears away, and people lose interest in viewing and clicking through a page of nothing but 1,000,000 pixels of advertising. However, kudos to an inspired idea and to those advertisers who have seen insightful enough to recognize the opportunity for some large traffic spikes for as little as $100 to start.

    I say this with some admiration as I have been in the marketing/advertising/pr field for many years. More often than not things like this are done in an underhanded and shady way, that ends up being more of a fraudulent scam than a win-win. However, this young business student did it honestly and above board, a “what you see is what you get” approach. I also recognize the potential to morph this from a *flux of cash fad opportunity* into a steady, consistent income down the road, if handled correctly. I will add this to my watch list, as I am curious to see where it goes from here.

  10. Buying 1 pixel does drive traffic, hasn’t paid for itself yet, but it does drive traffic.

  11. That guy’s a genius

  12. […] Wow, this guy is selling advertising one pixel at a time to pay for his college education, and he’s already raised enough for three years of study. There are a million pixels available for a buck apiece, so he calls it the Million Dollar Homepage. (via Darren Rowse, Problogger extraordinaire) Posted: September 21, 2005 by Nathan Weinberg in: […]

  13. […] Thanks for the pointer from the ProBlogger – Darren! […]

  14. I’ve been watching his page for 2 weeks and I can’t quite believe it has taken off so well.
    I wish I had thought of it. Good luck to him.

  15. And to think that there were days when he didn’t make a cent and other days when he thought 100 pixel sale was big news – it’s really quite incredible.

  16. Hehe, what a smart idea – gimmicky as hell but it’s working. Crazy publicity stunts still do work in these cynical times … way to go and milk it for all it’s worth I say … as it won’t last long – 2 things: a thousand others will try the same thing and the buzz of this will soon lose its effect.

  17. Yep, I am one of those who bought his pixel, although I bought the pixel cuz I lost a bet with him when he was just starting out the page.
    You can read my bet, losing bet, and paying the debt here:

    Just to share a few stats with you guys if you are curious:
    The first a few days, I got about 600+ visitors a day.. now.. I don’t know if I am even getting 100 cuz the site is so crowded now.. Go figure!

  18. Wow, a few days ago he has sold 12,000px … now he already sold 74,000px. Great income for a couple of days!

  19. I’ve written a small PHP script for you to have your own million dollar ad right on your blog. It’s freeware and remember me when it turns you into a millionaire. :)

    Download it here:

  20. Fair play to the guy, like all the best ideas it’s dead simple.

    Darren – I think you should make him a guest contributer to the six figure blogging course with his own segment entitled “six figure blogging in six weeks.”!!!!!!

  21. This million dollar page has started many more such pixel homepages.

  22. Now reporting 96,700 pixels sold

  23. Here’s one that is similar but it gives back to the advertisers, or at least to the lucky ones. .25 cents a pixel. lol

  24. Pretty brilliant idea , more of these site´s have been popping up is one of them , better layout imo but I doubt that they will be as succesfull as that English dude .. but who know´s .
    That guy will run out of pixels sooner or later and then the other will have a chance as well I guess.

  25. John Rusack says: 09/26/2005 at 9:36 pm

    Good idea, but has better concept where they use money to help others.

  26. What a joke about

    Congrats giving away 20% of your income.

    That will help wont it

  27. Did you see that there is now a pixel advertising page just for blogs?

  28. Wow… incredible. Just visited and there it’s fast and free!!!

  29. Help a young family eliminate it’s debt. 0.10 per pixel

  30. Alexa Too says: 09/28/2005 at 4:18 am

    A couple others not listed here:

    Any others folks?

  31. Thought I’d weigh in with my own attempt: As an artist, I created a Pop Art inspired soup can where advertisers buy part of the mosaic. Pop Art often used advertisers as its raw material. In this mosaic, I give Pop Art back to the advertiser with a permanent link and the possibility of exhibiting in a gallery, with each pixel blown up onto a huge canvas.

  32. another attempt, I like the colours here.. you can actually look at it without getting eye cancer oO

  33. Roll up and get your free patches.

  34. Here is yet another copycat… It looks like thier spin is only selling spots for a quarter… they seem to be getting BIG traffic too.

  35. Listed by category, so you can actually find adverts you want – maybe advertisers will like this idea more?

  36. Try – this one is with a prize (12MP digital camra apparently) and combines only from ebay powersellers.

    Good though, only £10 per box…

  37. Another copycat/ripoff, or as I like to think of it, “spinoff”. :) This one has a bit of a twist too…

  38. This one allows proceeds to go to Hurricane Katrina victims:

  39. Hi,

    Adsquares are offering a 400 pixel square for as little as £4.00.

    We are getting thousands of hits every day and have a link from the millionpennyhomepage.

    Get your space now by going to


  40. One with traffic and mystery box worth $2,500.

  41. and another one..but this time we have one based on a 3 tier system. gold silver and bronze.

  42. BearSimon says: 10/01/2005 at 2:54 pm

    The Chinese Million Dollar Homepage????? has been so successful that it catches eyes of not only English speakers but also people of other nations.

    A Million Dollar Homepage in Chinese( ) was launched last week, which grows so fast that it was listed on Alexa’s Mover & Shakers (Chinese website) after only one week, whose traffic rank rise up by 4,000%. ( )

    Even Alexa noticed this Chinese “copycat”, and mentioned its existence.( )

    The Chinese Million Dollar Homepage is designed particularly for Chinese visitors and their block/grid (13×13 pixels) is also larger than the Million Dollar Homepage (10×10 pixels) as Chinese Characters are larger than English letters. On the other hand, the price is set for local market, RMB(Chinese Dollar)100 for each, each is a lot more affordable than US$100.

    According to a Chinese blogger, the Chinese Million Dollar Homepage has been very hot among Chinese bloggers, and it’s been also reported by several major professional Chinese ICPs. And the owners wrote on their blog that, the traffic had grown so fast that they had to purchase their own server only 5 days after it launched .

    The Chinese Million Dollar Homepage also has an English ntroduction page( ), which promotes itself as a cost-effective way of reaching Chinese market, in which 60 million people surf Internet. It accepts payment in US$ via Paypal and US$15 per block for people who are not able to pay RMB(Chinese Dollar).

    But the Chinese culture is quite different from the Western culture, will it succeed as the English one? Let’s see.

  43. ive just seen this one,and ive not seen this before..all the others are all 1 pagers etc where as this site are offering 3 different payment plans. gold silver and bronze
    check em out..ive already bought sum pixels, cheaper thn many others out there..

    i quite like the idea of this one being on 3 everybody a chance then..what do you think guys???

  44. Check this one out!

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