Online TV was one of the first projects we started back in August 2014. We developed it using premium WordPress theme, which we later completely redesigned. The idea for online television came during the keyword research process, when we noticed a high volume of searches for keywords around this topic. We quickly bought the domain, installed the theme, got streams running and started optimizing website and content for SEO.
We created a single page for every TV channel, optimized meta tags, wrote content for every page and added some functionalities like TV listing for every page, comments, call-to-action buttons and everything in our power to optimize the website quickly.
We started with link building by going through all forums in the Balkans, and we got a nice initial traffic from the links on these forums. People reacted really well because they needed this free service. We exchanged links with few relevant websites, found a few good traffic channels (like one betting site where people wanted to be noticed when we streamed some football matches) and started promoting the website on Facebook and Twitter.
One really awesome ‘hack’ happened on the night of 14 September 2014 when Serbia and USA played the World Basketball Championship Final. Kurir, the biggest and most visited website in the region when it comes to news, published a game stream link for some other streaming website. When the game started, we had around 30 people online. In the middle of the game, we checked Kurir’s news and saw that the link they published wasn’t working. We notified them immediately and suggested they link our website because it had a working stream. They did this, and after 10 minutes we had 500+ people online. It was great.
We continued working on SEO and link building, which resulted in massive increase in organic traffic in the next 5 months. After the 5th month, we had more than 1 million monthly visits from Google. We migrated to a bigger server, redesigned the site again by adding some new functionalities.
In the first 6 months our revenue model was Adsense, and it was great because we had passive income and solid earnings. Unfortunately, after the 6th month, Adsense found out that we had been breaking their terms by streaming unauthorized content and decided to stop delivering ads on our domain.
We really looked forward to this because we knew that it would happen one day, and we had a backup plan for our business – find premium streams and charge users to watch them. It took us two weeks to create the user registration form, profiles, the payment system, explanations, and we launched our new service for $5 a month – 120 channels were offered in our TV package.
We made 1000 sales in the first month! Users were really happy, they enjoyed the service and kept spreading the word about us. Everything was great and our plan was to start legalizing our service. However, we had our luck run out at the start of the second month.
First we got banned by PayPal, then we made a mess moving to HTTPS and TV stations eventually started to send us cease and desist letters demanding we stop our service. We decided to terminate the project and start working on something else that is legal and without so much headache. The 1-million-users-per-month ship sank without captains.