is Really Starting to Take Off

April 2, 2010 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Last September I promised how I was going to take my old movie site from the brink of death, and turn it back into the well-respected movie authority website it once was.

After spending around $10,000 on a complete revamp, gutting it out completely and having it redesigned and recoded from scratch, my next step was to bring back regularly updated content, since all my past site volunteers had vanished over the years while the site slowly crumbled away due to my lack of attention and focus on the site.

With the help of a long-time forum member and the resurgence of a couple of past reviewers, content started to slowly fill the vaults up again. I then hired a freelance writer who has a passion for movies part-time to really help bring in regularly updated content.

The most recent thing I did was commission for a host/interviewer and small film crew to attend red carpet movie premieres, representing, and conduct real video interviews with the Hollywood stars and celebrities. I believe that this will really help set us apart from all the other movie review websites out there.

A few days ago, attended the world premiere of Clash of the Titans in Leicester Square, London.

Watch the video below as our resident host, Claire Bueno, interviews some of the starring cast including Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator Salvation), director Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Transporter 2), and Alexa Davalos (Defiance, The Mist):


I don’t know about you, but I’m personally really excited about this new addition of high quality video media news to the site.

We will have more videos soon. Next up is full access to the highly-acclaimed It’s a Wonderful Afterlife film directed by Gurinder Ghadha (Bend it like Beckham, Bride & Prejudice), and we may be able to get a John Landis exclusive there.

Also on the list of premieres we may attend are:

  • The Last Song (Greg Kinnear, Miley Cyrus)
  • Iron Man II (Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson)
  • The Backup Plan (Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin)

We’re Giving Away Awesome Prizes

While has held its fair share of contests and giveaways in the past, our prizes are getting better and better.

Iron Man 2 will obviously be a huge blockbuster, and the soundtrack is being done by music legends AC/DC. has 6 awesome AC/DC prize packages to give away, with one of them being a grand prize that will be sure to impress your friends. I’m mentioning the contest here, partly because your odds of winning are actually VERY GOOD.

The full contest can be found here, but basically all you have to do to enter is sign up to the Partner Newsletter found on the contest page. There are currently only 49 subscribers to our newsletter so your chances of winning are incredibly good – 12% in fact!

GRAND PRIZE: AC/DC Backtracks – The Ultimate AC/DC Box Set

This grand prize includes five discs of rare AC/DC in one brand new, never-before-released collection as well as an AC/DC amp:

  • 1 CD of Studio rarities
  • 2 CDs of Live rarities
  • 2 DVDs: Family Jewels Disc 3 + bonus videos & Live at Circus Krone in Munich
  • 180g LP of Studio rarities
  • 164 page 12”x12” hard-back scrapbook-style book
  • Loads of collector’s items


Main Prizes: 5 X Collectors Editions of the AC/DC Iron Man 2 package

Five lucky winners will each receive an AC/DC Iron Man 2: Collector’s Edition package.

The CD/DVD package includes 15 classic AC/DC songs plus over an hour of videos including the brand new video for ‘Shoot to Thrill’. It also includes an exclusive, limited edition Iron Man comic book reprint with a custom, variant cover by Adi Granov, AC/DC stickers, poster and 32 page booklet.



Now What?

Awesome revamp? Check. Fantastic and regularly updated content? Check.

So what’s next?

Marketing and advertising. This is the final stage of my plan to have  rule the world become a successful authority website in the movie niche. In fact, growing to 100k unique hits a month is one of my work goals in 2010 I hope to achieve.

I deem this the final stage and not monetizing the site, as monetizing a site is always the easiest thing to do.

However, I am nervous about the marketing and advertising. First, I’m broke. Things have been pretty slow the past 18 months, and I’m also in the midst of buying a house. I therefore don’t have a whole lot of spare cash that I can just spend willy nilly.

Secondly, the movie niche is definitely oversaturated and competitive as hell. I’m not concerned about the big boys such as IMDb and RottenTomatoes, as they’re huge size actually turns away a large amount of people. My main concern is competing against all the other sites around my size.

It’s also difficult because the movie niche is one of the lowest paying markets out there, which means that I’m unable to justify paying a lot for visitors when they’re worth so little when you view them as dollar signs.


I may try running a PPC campaign for soon, and perhaps trying some more creative types of marketing services… it’s a great site, it just needs traffic.

Looking at now, it’s almost hard to believe that I was only asking $12,000 for it less than a year ago. I told all the haters in that listing that Movie Vault was a diamond in the rough, but all most buyers see these days is current revenue or traffic. That’s fine, though, because now I can reap the rewards myself.

What do you think of the new and improved Did you like our video coverage of Clash of the Titans? Do you have any suggestions on how I could or should market it? Do you want to contribute to the site as a movie reviewer or news poster? (volunteers only!)? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below, subscribing to my RSS feed, or following me on Twitter.
Posted: April 2nd, 2010 under My Websites  

63 Responses to “ is Really Starting to Take Off”

  1. It’s good to hear that it is starting to take off for you! As far as marketing it goes, there are so many directions you can take it that I can’t even begin to list them!

  2. Wesley says:

    These are some interesting developments, and a good way to set yourself apart from the competition.

    However, the bottom line is: Are you making a profit? I don’t know how much that interviewer costs but I’m sure it’s not cheap.

    Two things I suggest you do:

    1) The site is pretty slow. Speed it up and you’ll gain pageviews, visitors, and ad impressions and clicks.

    2) Buy the domain name.

  3. PPC Icon says:

    Wow, you’re really taking some impressive steps, hiring a small film crew was an impressive ballsy move.

  4. The one feature I would love to see on the site is the ability to “interact” with it without signing up for the site. Meaning, for example having one voting system for “the world” and one for “our members”.

    Like, for example “Our Movie Vault Members Rate This: 8.5/10” and another rating for non members.

    I know that the idea is to get people to sign up before they can do stuff, but I think if you moved the “free line” further along, allowing people to do more stuff before registering, it would ease them into the site more.

    Another thing that could also help would be to allow them to sign in with an existing account, like their Twitter account, Facebook, Google Account etc.

    Just some suggestions, but the site looks good. Good work!


    • I disagree about Paul’s suggestion about non-member features. Provide too many free features and people have no reason to register. This may improve the overall user experience, but it would also lower earnings and conversion rates.

      I don’t think it’s worth allowing people to register through their other accounts either. Doing this just limits how much information you get about your visitors.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      We used to allow visitors to rate movies, but that only brought in the spambots as well as studio marketing companies falsely inflated their own movies (and rating their competition lower…)

  5. The new content is sure to bring in a lot of visitors. Good luck meeting your traffic goal

  6. Ok, deal. I signed up for the newsletter. Please let me know when I have won.

    (Your subscription to movievault has been confirmed. Please check your email.)

  7. I think it’s a very tough niche to be in because if I search for “movie title review” the movie-vault site will never show up in the search results.

    So instead you have to build the website entirely via different means and bank on repeat web visitors.

    I wish you the best of luck, but I would still not even bother trying to compete in the movie review space.

    • Exactly. You need to differentiate yourself and you will be golden!

    • One thing I would suggest for this is to get OLD movie reviews.

      Since it is “Movie Vault”, it sounds like an archive, a place for older movies not just new movies. So, for example, if enough old movies were on there he might be able to rank for something like “Ghostbusters 3 Review” or something like that, and then work your way up from there.

      Meaning, do what Amazon did and go after the longtail searches. They can really add up over time.

      Also, I think in the movie review space branded sites will do well. Meaning, I don’t think I’ve ever searched for a movie review on google. Instead I got a couple movie review sites by typing in their domain and then look at reviews. So I don’t think Google rankings are the be all and end all of everything, but I do think getting repeat visitors to the site is important.

  8. Chat says:

    Nice work, i enjoy reading your site. Wishing you the best of luck in the future.

  9. Dave Starr says:

    Looking good, Tyler. It’s great to see how far you’ve come in the years I’ve been hanging around here. As far as practical suggestions for the site?

    As already mentioned, speed … looks great, seems slow and lose the ‘sign up’ requirement. As a rule I virtually never join anything with this sort of requirement … Paul’s ‘two tier’ approach might be a good compromise.

    But no matter how much profit you eventually take out of this niche, my hat is off to you … a real lesson to be learned here from those who aren’t yet moving in their own direction and working in something aside from the ‘fringes’ of the MMO genre.

    Provide a product and you will have something to show off to others with pride.

  10. Jimvesting says:

    I think that the movie premier idea is really cool, I had no idea that it was even possible to get a crew in there for interviews… so that could be absolutely spectacular! My only point of confusion is this: how are you dolling out cash to have people interview celebrities… but then your prizes for your contest are lackluster? I’m just a bit concerned that you aren’t offering enough for anyone to be interested.

    • I am surprised that you could afford the red carpet interviews too. While it is a unique feature that may generate some buzz, this just means you’re competing with all the celebrity news/gossip sites too. Then again, the exposure on YouTube could make up for it if you get enough views.

  11. Andrew says:

    the coverage is nice, but it’s not hard to find that kind of stuff, so i’m not sure how much actual value it provides. it is a prestige thing, but not something useful, or something which will contribute to profit. nobody decides which movie site to frequent based on this sort of thing. why would they?

    as for the asking price; you were kind of asking for a lot more than 12k given that you yourself decided you needed to almost double that in order to get it up to snuff. and thats not even counting whatever you’re paying these people for content. even if the site starts making quite a bit, itll take a very long time to recoup that.

    you wont revive this site with brute force cash and prizes; those work only as long as you pump money into them. you need to innovate. the site really doesnt offer anything special or new, sorry to say.

  12. That’s great to hear that movie vault is really taking off. Have you ever thought about buying ?

  13. Usman says:

    Wonderful contest I have never seen such an amazing contest. 🙂

    This site is looking great. Good luck and I can see this site becoming the next big destination for movie reviews and celeb coverage. XD

    Also I am so in for the contest.


    I think the best way to market this site would be get hard core people who like to read reviews and add their own opinion. These type of sites either go Search engine or Word of mouth. Since search engine is WAY too competitve I think word of mouth would be your best bet.

    Also since you have your very own news reporters. If you get some spicy news first then their you go that is instant FAME (for the site :p) You could also have a celeb admit to something and the viral marketing goes wild.

    Hopefuly you liked my comment XD

    • Jimvesting says:

      You’ve never seen such an amazing contest? The top prize is worth about $20 lol

      • Andrew says:

        almost all of the comments on this blog are just an attempt to get their links noticed. if tyler turned off homepage linking the comments would halve in a week. most of them are self promotion disguised as fawning

        • Unfortunately this is the case with almost all well ranked blogs that provide homepage links to commenters. Build it and people will come spam it. It is just up to the blog owner to decide which comments are a little too spammy.

          • Juggs says:

            Laptop Carrying Case – Keep up the great name spam!

          • What is wrong with my commenting name? It is not against this blog’s commenting rules. So I don’t consider it spam at all. It’s only natural that a blog about making money online would have visitors who are actively marketing a website. If the blog owner ever has a problem with keywords as commenter names, he/she could easily enforce new commenter rules and/or block people.

      • Usman says:


        I like the contest since I am an ac/dc fan and since ur not u probably have no life but to comment away

        GO make pennies from GPT sites XD

        • Well that was an ignorant response. So I am only allowed to comment if I like ACDC? Well ACDC is a decent band, but Iron Man is a horrible movie series. So you’re right, I have zero interest in that contest. By the way, I am commenting as part of my daytime job. What’s your excuse?

  14. used tires says:

    Good job on resurrecting your old site. 🙂 A lot of money but looks like it’ll pay off.

    Till then,


  15. Good to hear that Movie-Vault is starting to take off. Any updates on Robot Warz? 🙂

  16. ian says:

    I would really try and do something about branding under a different non hyphenated domain. Even in the video, the presenter referred to the site as Also with that domain, going to be hard to sell it for a big amount down the line simply because of the domain.
    Site looks great though. Even if the niche ad wise is not profitable, the traffic can also be used to get exposure for other more profitable niche sites in your network.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I agree. I’m still not giving up on trying to make contact with the owners of, but may have to seriously consider rebranding the entire site soon…

  17. Metin2 Hile says:

    Wow, you’re really taking some impressive steps, hiring a small film crew was an impressive ballsy move.

  18. Cheat Codes says:

    Wow great this is another site of yours I will check it I hope my favorite twilight saga eclipse can cover by your site

  19. Hi guys,

    The site looks great. I will have to check out the entire site soon.

    Kind regards,


  20. Cash37 says: is being squatted on, you should strike a deal for it.

  21. Cheat Codes says:

    Yup I’ve been waiting for another video actually I’m searching for a site that can provide a twilight download

  22. Lee Ka Hoong says:

    I can see that your site MovieVault is moving!

    My friend watched Clash of the titan and he told me the movie was just nice, not as good as he expected. But I’ve yet to watch it.

    But I’m waiting for Ironman2, should be a good movie!

  23. How much did that interview cost you?

  24. Boxing Bags says:

    The site is looking great Tyler! 🙂

  25. Cheat Codes says:

    Movie site is the best commercial stuff on the internet.

  26. i think you need to keep working hard on it, even though you think its good but not yet, when youve got about 2000 visitors a day then you are the man.

  27. Will says:

    Movie-vault is looking nice. It looks like it’s turning toward EPIC-hood :).

  28. yes movievault is good but there are many other competitive websites that are also as good as movie vault, for e.g pixie movies and another chinese websites i cant quite remember.

  29. […] the site with a new design, new content, and a new marketing push. The net result is that is really taking off. Most recently, he had staff at the premiere of Clash of the Titans, including interviews with the […]

  30. I’ve finally watched this movie and Persius is really tough! the kraken was beaten like hell!

  31. How much did the crew cost you?

  32. Dang..impressive stuff.

  33. You guys are doing good on organic traffic. I’ve seen the name around before. Good luck with the PPC work!


  34. rent books says:

    wow, you have done some great work there, in a very competitive space. Great work.

  35. Program says:

    I’ve finally watched this movie and Persius is really tough! the kraken was beaten like hell!

  36. I like the part of the movie crew, that is a good movie to bring you many visitors who will keep their eye on your site.

  37. I forget to talk about clash of the titans, i watched its trailer and it looks great, i will go to cinema to watch it, just waiting to see if its 3d is good enough or not because if it isnot i will watch it without 3d.

  38. […] recently ran across a post on a blog about the resurrection of a web business, Movie-Vault. Tyler Cruz, the site owner goes into detail […]

  39. Job Search says:

    It’s good that you only hire some people to do some programming and design. I’m my situation, I do programming and design of my own website because I don’t have the budget. hehe..

  40. Good deal. I like music a lot. It actually temped me when individuals say things like since she’s 40 she shouldn’t make music anymore. Thats silly. Bring it J.Lo!

  41. Great job with the revamp. Think you are definitely on the right track!

  42. That was a nice interview. It will surely help promote the site to a whole new level.

  43. Patrick says:

    It’s good that you only hire some people to do some programming and design. I’m my situation, I do programming and design of my own website because I don’t have the budget. hehe..

  44. What a revamp!

    I bet you have the advantage over most smaller sites as you have the capacity to hire people to help you to build the site.

  45. PHP Tutorial says:

    great work. A lot of money but looks like it’ll pay off

  46. Solid work on the interviews… Sites like movie-vault are all about creating original and compelling content. Sounds like you’re doing that well.

  47. Wow, you’re really taking some impressive steps, hiring a small film crew was an impressive ballsy move. 😉

  48. great work. you have done somethings awesome keep it up dude..


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