Most of proxy webmasters are losing money, and eventually out of business. This is the reality. This article introduces you on how to generate revenue to run your proxy successfully. In Part II, some revenue sources will be reviewed and in Part III, a few real cases will be analyzed.
Before you start to provide proxy services, it is important to realize you have enough fund to pay your servers, your employees (if any) and yourself. Usually, it may take up to 3-6 months for you to get substantial revenues from your proxy sites; so be prepared for the hard time for the first a few months.
To generate income from your web proxy services, you have several options:
1. Sell you own ad space directly.
This could be very difficult for beginners as you do not have enough traffic. The advantage of this option is that you have full control of ads to be shown on your sites and you can set your price based on CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) or CPC (cost per click). The main disadvantage is that it is hard to sell!
You need install some software to track your ad campaigns. OpenX (formally PhpAdsNew) is an excellent ad server package. It is free, powerful and well documented. The shortcoming is that you may spend some time to integrate it with a shopping cart.
RevSense has a relative long history in the market for webmasters. It is free now (a few years ago, it would cost you about $149).
2. Earn money through paid users/subscribers.
This is more suitable for big players with large user bases. It may be difficult to attract enough subscriber to cover the cost if the number of daily users (unique) is less than 500, considering the fact that there are so many free web proxies. Geo-distribution of your users may also play an important role: if you have a lot of users from Europe or North American, you are very likely get more paid upgrades. Unfortunately, most proxy users are from China, Iran and some other developing countries.
3. Use 3-party ad services.
This is used by most providers nowadays. It is important to understand that the quality of these services varies largely and you may have little control of the ads to be shown on your sites. Although some providers allow you to exclude certain ads; it is usually not very useful. You should also understand most providers pay you on net-30 or net-60 days; it means you have to wait 30-60 days to receive your payment.
There are a lot of such service providers. In part II, I will review some providers that are friendly to web proxy webmasters.