How I Plan To Make Money Out Of A Curation Project

Digital publishing has changed. It used to be relevant news articles and good opinion pieces that come along with it. Now, most media outlets are after pageviews, and quality doesn’t seem to matter as much.

We are constantly overloaded by information, and I believe that it’s not just about the news but how the news affects us. On March 10, I decided to make a difference in the digital publishing industry. No more chasing after pageviews. No fancy images. No technical jargons. Just simple, relevant and curated tech news that are worth reading.

Why technology news? Technology has been so deeply embedded into our lifestyles that I believe it would benefit us to understand its implications on our daily lives.

Enter Nightly. I named it Nightly, because I would compile the news items at night when I (finally have some time to) catch up on my reading1.

How I Plan To Make Money Out Of It

As an entrepreneur, it is natural for me to think about how I can make some money out of this “bootstrapped project”.

1. How do I collect payment?

This is the most important step that entrepreneurs should consider. If you have the finest product but lack means of collecting payment, you are pretty f**ked.

I went for micropayment from Paypal, where the fees are much lower than the standard Paypal services provided when your daily transaction is less than $10.00.

2. Revenue model

I went for the following:

  • Subscriptions – recurring fee at $1.00/month
  • Sponsored Announcement – priced at S10 a day, this is great for product and services that want to reach a tech-savvy bunch.
  • Carbon Ads – This came in as a surprise. One day, I received an email from Carbon Ads, an advertising network that connects advertisers to highly-relevant users through targeted verticals called Circles. It’s pretty exclusive; the publishers in the relevant Circles can only sign up through a private invite, and I was asked to join the Founders and Business circle2. I’m proud to say I am in the same circle as Leo From Buffer and Dan From Firefly.

3. Setting Goals

Set up a goal. I aimed to collect $500 each month for my work. I also created a spreadsheet to track my targets. See spreadsheet.

How Did I Fare?

For the month of March, nothing. I did not receive a single cent from working on Nightly. I felt terrible, and I wondered about the value Nightly brings to its readers – potential customers. I asked some of my friends who weren’t in the tech scene, and they felt that Nightly was useful but they do not see a reason to pay money for it (yet). Well, I believed I can change that mindset so I continued and kept changing the format. See earlier version of Nightly

This month, I have 2 subscribers and I made $2.00. It’s a good start.

Next month, I will be making $102.00. Two sponsors have signed up with me, and I’m very grateful for their support. All good signs.

Some Help From You?

I would like to ask a favour from you. I would love to know what you think of Nightly, and how I can improve it. My email is reachme[at]

To hit my goal for April, I will need 3 more subscribers. If you believe in what I am doing, can you help support my vision or introduce me to friends who are either launching a new product/service or are interested in technology3. I really appreciate all the support I can get!

Special Thanks: To Elaine who spends her time to make this post even more awesome.

  1. I read extensively on technology news, whether it’s a rumour about the next new feature from Apple, some new app to improve our lives, or news about government initiatives to help startups in Asia.
  2. This means a lot to me because several years ago, when I tried to get myself into ad networks, I was rejected.
  3. My blog stats: Demographics 80.7% Males, 19.3% Females. Bulk of the readers are 25-34 year-olds (69%). Top 3 interest categories: Technophiles, Business & Economic News Junkies and Shutterbugs. Location of readers are from Singapore (61.9%) and United States (15.7%). About 67.5% use desktop and 28.5% use mobile to view the site.