Hi everybody, I need small advice, so hope someone here can give me some good tip, so I will try to explain in few words what is all about.
I am for more than 10 years developer/SEO/affiliate marketing person, and my business always was in that "direction": making sites related to products or product groups, doing SEO, driving free traffic, making sales , taking commission for that and so on.
Last year, after getting some extra money, decided to make one web app that I tough it can be popular and useful, and of course monetized (from membership fees) and I made some market research, and everything else before start, found coders and published that web service or web app within 6 months (that was 13 months ago, when app become "public")
Web app/service has 3 different membership packages + 1 free. Idea was to give users, for some time, (6 months or something) to use full functionality in that "free" package and latter to switch them slowly to paid packages.
People started to come from search engines, and everything is great, all traffic is 100% targeted and free, about 50% (yes HALF) people who come open account and use web app in "free plan" what is for me one more fact that I hit a goal: app is useful, better than competition, easy to use, something that people need and perfectly SEO that brings free traffic, etc...
Only problem was/is that I don't have time, and when find some time, never know from where to start from with converting existing free users into "paid" and forcing new users to buy paid packages (packages are from $5 - $50, everything automated, all kind of payments accepted, everything works smooth and easy)
Summary: about 2.000 active members / service users for now, increasing 10-20 daily, all from search engines, didn't spent CENT EVER on advertising. All keywords that site got traffic, are real keywords for service I am providing, everything is perfect 30-40 unique daily + 5-10 from refferals, mostly from US / UK. Also traffic from SE (and conversions ) increase 10-20% for every month. In one word: again - perfect!
From tech side, everything is fast, simple, easy to use, low resource consuming (everything is done in ajax) so I suppose that is one of the reasons why people like my service more than competition, also there is a fact that is free , I mean have paid packages but EVERYBODY use free packages (I would too on their place ) There is a lot of space for increasing free traffic (for example text on site is written by my, didn't hired professional writers, wanted to see conversions and than to improve SEO on even higher level, also UX/UI design is something that I wanted to improve latter when service starts to earn money )
Also, not to mention, since I developed this for myself (idea / architecture and part of code + freelancing for another part of code) I done my best, so everything runs on $3/month hosts, can handle thousands of users without any delays, easy to scale, improve add new options,etc...
I hope I didn't bored you, but wanted just to explain to understand what is all about. Now problem as you can see is:
- I am not earning singe $ from this service / web app
- I tried to find and found partner to share 50%-50%. His job was to take care, make monetization strategy and start making "sales" (paid mamberships) but what he done was just wasting of time, so we "broke up" after 15 days, i can freely say that is my mistake I didn't look closer and choose better partner.
- I didn't check support requests for 3 months, usually don't look stats for 15-20 days, simply don't have a time. It was chalange to build and test, but don't know to manage/monetize
- got some offers ($3K-$4K) so sell, but didn't want to sell for less than $7K, what are my expenses + my time
- got some offers ($1K-$2k) to sell source code, man wanted same business under another name(brand) but I refused this, because I don't want to have more competition for few $K. (Few months latter guy spent few $K on some ugly and primitive system than somebody make for him, and PM-ed my that he makes $1.000/month, and if I changed my mind to migrate/sell him my users for $1.000, I refused that too. But figured out that everybody need todo what know best and that I DON'T KNOW TO MANAGE membership site, I know to make it and that's it)
- tried to put adSense just see what will happend, and sites conversions gone down and adSense earnings was $4-$5 daily. Off curse it is STUPID to sell ads to my competitors, so that was just experiment for 1 week) I made web app to sell service, not content site where services will buy targeted visitors for me. So when removed ads, conversions (into free members) back to normal
- I even see in google keywords that competition pays ~$2 per CLICK on MY SERVICE name , It has only 200-300 searches monthly, but it is good indicator that I made nice app/service. (some popular blogs and web app review sites wrote about app so i suppose that people know my brand from there)
So, THE PROBLEM is that I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THIS SITE!
To sell it? To find partner again? To leave people to use forever and make money from adsense or something? To sell 10 clones for $2K? To BURN it ? I am sometime so frustrated that I would like that this "problem" is piece of paper and I would burn it in second and solve problem forever! That's always happens once in 2 months, when I say "Ok I have few days free, lets what to do with xyz project"
This is 3rd or 4th time that I am trying to "do something" with this, and this time, at least I am going step further: I AM ASKING YOU. Because my "brainstorming" on this problem always finish with my wishes to "burn the damn thing "
On the other side, I have very nice business, that from simple affiliate marketing, grew up into price compare business, so not to mention what is priority in my life and what is more lucrative. But then again, I back to this "damn thing" that I love and hate and don't know what to do with. It is not all about money, I am simply frustrated that something I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO.
So please give me your advice, ideas, solutions, experiences, anything.
I am new on this forum and not sure is it allowed to post URL so you can see website (web app), if it is I will. if it is not allowed, and you want to help, pm so I will send you. Also tell me what are chances to get fair price without earnings, if I decide to offer on sale (here, flippa or somewhere else) with all those facts that I mentioned ?
I know that if I get just 20 paid members in lowest price package it would be $100/monthly what makes site with this type income at least $2K-3K in worst case. Contacted some brokers to get price estimation and got $0-$xx.000 but that are just estimations.
Also, now remembered and need to tell you, this will be funny and educative for you especially if you are site buyer: one of "brokers" that I asked for estimation and to manage sale,etc,told me that site is perfect and small problem that site don't make money isn't problem at all in this case, because he will "invest" $2.500 into making paid members (open free email, then open "user" account on my service with that email, then purchase paid package for that "virtual" user), then we will show stats from payment provider on flippa auction after one month, and if we reach $60K (what was his estimation) I will refund him $2.500 + pay $20K for making whole that strategy and sale. Wise plan, isn't it?
Point is that I am now in closed circle: 1) I want to monetize-> 2)find out that I don't know how-> 3)then I am angree and want to sell -> 4) any price that someone offer don't satisfies me -> 5) I said ok put on side, we will see what will do. >>> Than after 2 months I "go to step 1"
Help me leave this "circle"