The Internet is filled with tons of content on any and every topic you can think of. People are earning a lot of money just by providing information that others seek. What people don’t realize is that many of the subject matter experts or online entrepreneurs experienced growing pains before they were able to successfully make consistent money from all their hard work. If you would like to set up a website to make money you need to first understand that this will be a substantial undertaking. Many of the successful websites that offer products, services or content took years before they were established, high traffic sites. Until you get traffic you won’t make money. It’s just that simple. And there may be times where you get tons of traffic and you still don’t make any money. You have to be open to that reality before you decide to move forward with setting up your own website.
The first step in this process will be to decide what your site is going to offer. Do you have a product to sell or service to sell? Do you just want to provide information on a particular topic that you are well versed in? Or do you just want a social site where you provide information on current events, reality tv stars, politics, etc. Once you establish your website vision you need to find a name that fits your vision and register the name with a domain registrar. A popular low cost registrar is GoDaddy.com, but there are several to choose from.
Once you register a name you need a host which provides a platform where your website will reside. Many hosts have the infrastructure in provide the space needed for all your website’s files and videos. They will also have the bandwidth to handle thousands upon thousands of visitors that come to your website. A good host will also have templates that can be used to make setting up your website a very easy process. I would recommend starting with a fairly basic site and just focus on adding the much needed content that will attract visitors. Once you become more experienced with your website you will get a feel for different things that may need to be added to help enhance the look and feel of the site.
Expectations are key if you want to have a realistic shot of staying in the game. You have to expect that you likely won’t make a dime the first year of your endeavor. Making money takes traffic and building traffic takes time. It’s essential that your primary focus stay on adding very good content that’s optimized with keywords that will help potential customers find you using search engines.
Once you have a functioning site with plenty of unique and useful content there are several options that can be used to make money. Many site owners monetize their sites using contextual advertising. An example of this is Google's Adsense network. In my view contextual advertising is ok, but there are several drawbacks:
- As a publisher you don't have complete control because you have to stay in compliance with the terms of service for the ad network you are using.
- Using contextual ads limits your earnings potential due to the fact that you may earn .05 to .10 per click, but you then send a potential customer away from your website where they may purchase a product that far exceeds the price of the click that was earned.
Contextual ads are good for starters, but the ultimate goal is to profit from affiliate marketing, selling your own product or selling direct advertising on the website. Making money from a website takes work, but it's not impossible. If one is willing to put in the time and has the patience to actually allow their hard work to pay off, it's quite possible to create a very lucrative website that will make money for years to come.