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The Million Dollar Homepage

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.

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Comments

  1. Perhaps he’ll soon realize that he doesn’t need college after all….

  2. Arun Kumar says:

    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. Jon says:

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

  4. Khurrum says:

    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. Elyse says:

    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. Athomemama says:

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

  8. Athomemama says:

    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:

    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. graywolf says:

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

  11. Patrick says:

    Funny idea.

  12. jesse says:

    That guy’s a genius

  13. Andrew says:

    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.

  14. Stuart says:

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. yunasville says:

    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:
    http://www.yunasville.com/home/losing-bet-to-million-dollar-homepage

    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!

  17. Miha says:

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

  18. blewtooth says:

    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: http://www.start.com.my/blog/?q=1mad.

  19. Peter Brady says:

    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.”!!!!!!

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

  21. Andrew says:

    Now reporting 96,700 pixels sold
    Unbelievable!

  22. Eivind says:
  23. Powerstar says:

    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

    http://250000.org

  24. Richard says:

    Pretty brilliant idea , more of these site´s have been popping up
    http://yourbillboard.net 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:

    Good idea, but http://www.tenmilliondollarsite.com has better concept where they use money to help others.

  26. Dom says:

    What a joke about tenmilliondollarsite.com.

    Congrats giving away 20% of your income.

    That will help wont it

  27. Jericho says:

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

    http://BlogBallyhoo.com

  28. John Million says:

    Wow… incredible. Just visited http://www.millionpixelpage.com and there it’s fast and free!!!

  29. Ryan says:

    Help a young family eliminate it’s debt. 0.10 per pixel http://www.zerodebthomepage.com

  30. Alexa Too says:

    A couple others not listed here:

    http://www.milliondollarwebpage.com

    http://www.milloinpennyhomepage.com

    Any others folks?

  31. Jason Brown says:

    Thought I’d weigh in with my own attempt: http://www.milliondollarmosaic.com. 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. Kathy says:

    another attempt, I like the colours here.. you can actually look at it without getting eye cancer oO
    http://www.pixelget.com

  33. rentapatch says:

    Roll up and get your free patches.

    http://www.rentapatch.com/

  34. Jodi says:

    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. Jodi says:
  36. Alan says:

    Listed by category, so you can actually find adverts you want – maybe advertisers will like this idea more? http://www.choicedirectory.co.uk

  37. Terry says:

    Try http://www.ebaypixels.com – this one is with a prize (12MP digital camra apparently) and combines only from ebay powersellers.

    Good though, only £10 per box…

  38. Duncan says:

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

    http://www.milliondollardungeon.com

  39. Sassy says:

    This one allows proceeds to go to Hurricane Katrina victims:

    http://www.hundredgrandhomepage.com

  40. AdSquares says:

    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 http://www.adsquares.co.uk

    Regards
    AdSquares

  41. Star* says:

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

    http://www.250000.org

  42. dan says:

    and another one..but this time we have one based on a 3 tier system. gold silver and bronze.
    http://www.milliondollarhomepagepixels.com

  43. Jason says:

    Let’s not forget:

    http://www.OneBuckPixels.com

  44. BearSimon says:

    The Chinese Million Dollar Homepage?????

    http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/ 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( http://www.1baiwan.com/ ) 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%. ( http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/movers_shakers?lang=zh_gb2312 )

    Even Alexa noticed this Chinese “copycat”, and mentioned its existence.( http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/movers_shakers?lang=en )

    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( http://www.1baiwan.com/EngIntro.html ), 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.

  45. JON says:

    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.. http://www.milliondollarhomepagepixels.com

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

  46. ego says:

    Check this one out!

  47. ego says:
  48. Jason says:

    A lot of people having a good time copycat’n the original. So, what the hell… got my hands dirty. Now that we’re all going back to the 90′s internet with huge image maps and pixelated ads, figured why not relive the glory days of the Animated gif? Lets hope this stays humorous.. enjoy the blinkenlights!

    http://www.millionblinkenlights.com

  49. Mike B says:
  50. henry says:

    this one is the first i have seen that will post your pixel image after confirming your payment. I guess it is the New and Improved version. Wish politicians can come up with creative ways to erase the defecits.

    any way here is the link:

    http://www.millionusdollarhomepage.com

    Why didn’t i think of it first?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] 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: [...]

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

  3. [...] Among those who are on the “pixels or links for sale” bandwagon is a guy featured in this story from E-Commerce News, about yet another enterprising young man who figured out a way to improve upon the Million Dollar Page idea. This time, the young man is Brandon Rowe, and his project is called the Link Experiment. He’s simply auctioning off space for your links on his page and so far he’s made a tidy $9,120 and has an Alexa ranking of: 26,403. [...]