| ||Ask HN: Examples of profitable little free web tools?|
223 points by xyby on Dec 4, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 122 comments |
|We all know examples of paid online services that became profitable. For example Balsamiq, Tarsnap and Bingo Card Creator.|
I love to build small tools that do something useful. But they do not offer enough value to charge for them. Imagine tools like "When will the sun rise today in city X" or "How much taxes are in $X" etc. Some of them are used by tens of thousands of people a month. And I get a lot of "thank you, that's cool and useful" emails.
So far I'm not making any money from them. When I slap adsense on them, I only make a few bucks. Like $0.5 per 1000 visitors. Even if I optimized that to $2 per 1000 visitors, it still would be just around $150/month for all my websites.
But since I love doing these little, interesting projects, I will probably make more of them anyhow. Most of the projects I have in mind are little tools that cater my own curiosity. Nothing people would pay for. Like "find all xkcd comics related to a topic" and stuff like that.
Do you guys think there is a way to make a living like this? Are there any examples of profitable websites, created by one guy that have some informative value but not so much that people would pay for it?
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