There are many websites and blogs that talk about building profitable sites and making money online. In fact, several bloggers such as John Chow has made a living from telling people how he makes money online. However, I have yet to find anyone who has successfully mimicked the successes of the elite bloggers and even fewer who reap the large rewards promised.
Many of these “Make Money Online” websites are successful at one thing and one thing only: making money for the website owners. These “make money online” sites provide enough information to keep you coming back for more. These sites are created to encourage you to subscribe to their “tools”, “online courses”, “webinars” and other “make money resources”.
Don’t get me wrong. The information shared in many cases is valuable and the tools they sell and promote will for the most part deliver as promised. However, you have to be aware that you as the reader are part of their formula used to make money. Each time you click an affiliate link, sign up to a newsletter or visit a “partner’s” website, you participate in making money for the website’s owner. It’s a cycle that they repeat time and time again.
As a reader, you are being used! That’s the reality. Accepting and understanding how this relates to the overall picture of building profitable websites is critical. Gaining an understanding of this reader / website relationship allows you to leverage your readership to make money online.
Let’s just look at some of the better known elite bloggers and what they offer on their sites.
Darren Rowse from ProBlogger.com has The ProBlogger Community, an online forum for bloggers with a membership fee of $5.95 per month. Sign up to the forum and you get a special 50 percent discount on his “31 Days to Build a Better Blog” (retails for $19.95). With his forum having over 2,300 forum members, that’s a pretty healthy monthly revenue stream.
Jeremy Schoemaker from Shoemoney.com offers his Shoemoney Tools for both search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per click (PPC) advertising. A trial membership costs $9.95 for this slick set of tools. Schoemaker also prominently displays a picture of himself holding a $132K cheque from Google – how’s that for providing incentive to readers?
Many novice webmasters are left with the wrong impression after reading success stories such as these. These results are not typical for most website owners and bloggers. Making money online is hard work and the majority of successes do not come overnight.
Becoming “rich” overnight will be practically impossible for 99.999 percent of the online entrepreneurs – it just doesn’t happen that that easily. However, with a little work and dedication, you can create a profitable website in 30 days.
A profitable website by my definition will be one where the revenue generated will exceed the expenses of operating the site and does not mean generating $50,000 a month in revenue. While making $50,000 a month is a very real possibility, it is not going to happen as quickly as many hope.
For this series on Building a Profitable Website, I’m keeping the goals in the $50 a week range. This level of income from a single site is attainable following the step-by-step tutorials given.
Before criticizing the $50 a week goal, lets do some math to see the revenue potential of such a site. At $50 per week, the site would generate annual revenue of $2600 (52 weeks x $50 per week). Expenses to run the site would include webhosting ($9.95 per month) and domain name registration ($15 per year) or roughly $135 annually. Profit will be $2,465 per year on just a single site. Expand this to 4 sites and the profit rises to $9,860, 15 sites generate $36,975 and 25 sites would generate over $61,000 in profit.
While revenue and profit will fluctuate from month to month, the earning potential of small, profitable sites should now be obvious. Utilizing free web hosting and discount domain registrars can minimize your expenses. Plus, some webhosting providers allow webmasters to host multiple websites for the same fee.
The power of the small profitable website comes from their relative ease of setup and maintenance. This means a single webmaster to have a portfolio with various sites generating revenue. However, keep in mind that the more sites you maintain, the more work goes into the daily maintenance and monitoring of those sites. These small sites are not autopilot sites and do require an effort to initially build and maintain.
I have started developing a series of blog posts around Building a Profitable Website that will detail the creation of a small niche site, content development, search engine optimization, traffic analysis and monetization. My goal is lay a solid foundation that will allow you to build a profitable website generating $50 per week revenue as part of your portfolio.
These lessons will provide real and practical examples as well as follow through the entire process in “almost” real time as I walk through creating my newest website. Building a Profitable Website will expand your revenue stream and allow you to make small gains towards generating larger revenue.