So, you want to have your own presence on the web and you want to make some money in the process. At the same time, you don’t want to put forth any of your own money, you don’t want to deal with registering a domain, and you don’t want to manage any installations. Where do you turn?
One of the more interesting propositions to come across my desk is something called Flixya, a site that promises to share everything. How exactly does it work and how do you stand to profit from it? Over the course of this review, we’ll take a look at what Flixya does and why you might want a piece of the action.
A Social Network with Money for You
Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr are great, but they don’t come with a built-in system for you to make money. That’s why Flixya is different. It gives you a “website” to share what you want and you earn some cash along the way too.
What you see above is my profile page on Flixya. Through this (free) network, you can share videos that you’ve posted around the net (like on Vimeo and YouTube), as well as write blog posts and publish photos, complete with tags and descriptions.
And you make money, because every page associated with your content will display your Google AdSense ad code. We’ve seen these kinds of “co-blogging” type sites before, but the key difference is that you get 100% of the ad sharing on your pages on Flixya. Other similar sites typically used a 50/50 revenue share model.
Crawl Before You Can Walk
Both John and I have said time and time again that if you’re serious about making some real money on the Internet, you need to have your own hosting and you need to have your own domain. If you want to tap into an existing network and just dabble in what is possible, though, Flixya might give you a good starting point.
One caveat is that you cannot connect your AdSense account to your Flixya profile until you have posted at least 10 pieces of content. As mentioned, Flixya currently supports videos (hosted elsewhere), photos (that you upload to their servers), and blog posts complete with formatting and images.
Considering that the only barrier to entry is having an initial content count of at least ten items, Flixya makes it really easy for you to get started. The registration form is similarly short and straightforward: provide a username (which becomes a part of your profile URL), e-mail address, and password. After verifying your e-mail, you’re up and running. When the ten items are posted, you can link your AdSense account.
Posting New Content to Flixya
The user interface is reasonably easy to understand, even for people who aren’t too familiar with web publishing.
Here is the form that you’d fill out if you wanted to publish a video. Remember that, like Twitter and Facebook, you can “share” content that isn’t necessarily your own. Just pull the YouTube URL and you can share it, so long as it’s family-friendly. After that, you can provide this publishing platform with a title, description, and tags. Simple.
Making Money with Flixya
And what does it look like when the content has been posted? You get a site that looks not unlike a very simple WordPress theme.
Here is a video post that I did with a Street Fighter II medley at the Video Games Live concert earlier this year. One thing that bugs me is that the videos are automatically set on autoplay. That’s part of the problem with using a publishing platform that you don’t control; you can’t control or alter it.
They did do a decent job with ad integration though, as you can see the ad block in the top part of the sidebar, as well as an ad spot between the video and its description. The post page allows for “likes” from the community, as well as direct links for liking on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, and sharing on other networks. To post a comment, the visitor has to be a member of Flixya too.
Can Using Flixya Be Profitable?
That’s debatable. On the one hand, you can tap into a built-in network and have all the hard work (with coding, ad integration, etc.) done for you. This might help you get more views than if you had your own separate site. On the other hand, you have a much lower level of control compared to owning and running your own site.
Check out the AdSense case study for a look from Google’s perspective, but I think Flixya has done a good job at leveraging user-generated content for its own profitability. Pages not directly related to a specific user show Flixya’s ad code and that’s how they make their money.