Case Study: Proxy Websites

Written by Marc on March 17th, 2009

Proxy Site Example I thought that we could start with proxy websites as our first type of site that you can create to make money online.  The reason that I thought we should start with web proxies is that they are a “set and forget” type of site – once you have them setup, there is little work that needs to be done except for marketing.

Now to clarify what a proxy website is, it is a site that offers a service to your visitors that allows them to stay anonymous online.  This means that they can access sensitive sites (such as their banking site, email, etc.) without worry that someone could come along and get their personal information.  This is especially important when you are using public computers, and you can read some great information about it here.

I just want to make a quick note too that proxy sites have a shady reputation too.  While they are useful in protecting privacy, they can also be abused in places like work or school where certain sites are blocked.  So, decide for yourself if this is a venture that you would be interested in pursuing – though their is money to be made, there are ethical considerations as well.

I personally like them because they are quick to setup, and with a little marketing, you can make your money back on the domain name purchase usually in the first week.  This can provide some good ROI, and with the speed that you get your investment back, you can easily re-invest it and create another one.

What you need to create a Proxy Site:

  1. Domain Name:  Pick something memorable.  Ask your friends and co-workers for ideas and take the best from them.  Usually picking a name that contains “proxy” isn’t a good idea as they tend to get blocked quicker.  Also, make sure that you spell the name correctly – funky spelling isn’t as easy to remember.
  2. Proxy Script:  There are many proxy scripts on the market, but the one that I would recommend is Glype as it is constantly updated and works very well.  You can learn more about it at their site.
  3. Hosting:  Proxies need better hosting than a typical website thanks to the fact that the site will be using more resources than a typical web site.  I would recommend either using hosting specifically designed for hosting sites, or use VPS (virtual private server) to start.  I found some good deals on them over at Host Hideout in their offers section.  Expect to pay more for hosting, but it shouldn’t be unreasonable (I pay between $30-$50US for the VPS plans I use for my proxy sites).
  4. Marketing:  You need to market your new site in order to get traffic and make money.  Forums, Yahoo Answers, Google Groups, etc. need to make up the bulk of your marketing – you will either need to spend time doing it yourself, or pay someone to do it for you.

How to Monetize your Proxy Site:

  1. Google Adsense:  Adsense is a contextual ad service provided by Google.  They serve ads related to your site with no work on your part – except for adding the code, Google is “smart” enough to pick out ads that should do well on your site.  Just make sure that you only put Adsense on the main page of your proxy as putting it on proxified pages (the pages that people are browsing through on your proxy) are against their terms of service.

  2. Adbrite:  Is similar to Adsense, but you can use it on your proxified pages.  This way you can make money on both the visitors that visit your site and use your site.  You can check out their program here.

  3. There are other advertising options for your site that can be found with simple searches online.  Just make sure that you read their terms of service and ensure that they allow proxy sites to display their ads.

What you can Expect to Earn:

Depending on your choice of advertising methods, many proxies that I have created earn $5-$20 per day consistently, day after day like clockwork.  The best part is that you only need to do some work (setting up the site and marketing) once, and for the most part, they continue to bring you money for years.  They are definitely a good online opportunity that you should be taking advantage of.

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