Everyday, several success stories about webmasters and bloggers encourage thousands of people to start their own websites and weblogs. Like many others who decide to become a musician just because they know of someone who is making a lot of money with a guitar and a “hit” CD.
The internet and music super-stars show us that it can be done but this is the only thing that most people see and then ignore the rest of the story. Yes, it can be done but how? I have written this article because every now and then, one of my friends or relatives ask me “how can I run a website that makes money?”. In most cases this question is asked via a phone call or just in short family meeting. They expect me to answer this question in a few sentences and then they go and run their website and after a few days, it starts making money like an “oil well”.
In fact, there is no top secret in the internet business and you can find all the information you need about running a successful website but the most important part which is always ignored by most people who ask such questions is that first they should learn and then have to implement what they have learnt. Both of these two steps are important.
To start a website that make money:
1. Choose a niche
Before you run a website, you should choose a niche or a topic for it. What your website will be about? What do you want to sell on it. Websites should be focused on one special and specific niche. Most people think that they have to have a website like Yahoo or MSN that have everything to read or buy. This is absolutely wrong. Do not compare yourself with big companies like Google, Yahoo or MSN. You can not have a website like theirs. You can not promote a website that is not focused on any special subject. Such websites will not receive any traffic from search engines because search engines can not know what they are about exactly.”How to choose a niche?” is a big question and I will talk about it in other articles but you’d better to choose something that you know about it. Everybody knows about something that others may not know. You can be an artist, painter, musician and … or a good repairman who can give hundreds of “do it yourself” tips. So you can have a website or weblog related to what you know. Such a website will make money for you because you know what to post on it. It will attract visitors if promoted properly and search engines will love to rank it because it is a focused and specific website that can help search engines users to find the answer of their questions.
2. Register a good domain name
Try to register a good domain name that people can easily remember it. It is a long time that having the keywords in the domain names doesn’t work. So do not make your domain name long with having the keywords in it. Register a domain name as short and meaningful as possible.
3. Buy a good hosting service
A good hosting service should be fast and always up and running. Do not buy hosting from un-known companies just because they are cheaper than the others. When you become fully involved with your website and online business, you will get angry when you see that your website is down and you will get mad when you see that the support doesn’t reply your emails or support tickets.I know many of hosting companies that don’t even have a support team or someone who even restarts the servers when they have problem but when you visit their websites, you will realize that they are a professional company. So do not judge a hosting company by its website as you do not judge a book by its cover.
4. Design your website/weblog
This is the most important part. You may know nothing about web designing and so you will have two options: Learn how to design a website OR ask and pay a web designer to do it for you. The first option was what I chose. I attended several web designing and programming classes. That made me a professional internet marketer. I learnt to design and manage my own websites. I know website owners who even do not know how to upload a file to their websites. It is obvious that they will not be able to make a single cent from their websites and will not renew their domain names the next year because they will come to this conclusion that “they are not the man”.
My most important success secret is that I know everything that an internet marketer and a webmaster should know. Of course I hire programmers for some of my projects but that is a different story. I have never asked or paid anybody to help me in my routine online job because I have been able to do that myself and when I didn’t know about anything, I researched over the web and found the answer. Even with the thorny and highly technical problems like hackers attacks to my server (I have my own server and most my sites are hosted on it) I was able to manage and resolve the problems on time.
So if you ask me and you need my honest opinion about it, I have to say you should learn to design and manage your own website without asking for any help from anybody otherwise you will not be able to have any success.
5. Promote your website
This item is something that this weblog is created because of it and if I want to write a book about it, it will have thousands of pages and when I finish this book, I will have to rewrite it because everything I have written should be reviewed and updated. Internet is growing so fast and you should keep yourself updated. You should learn about new techniques and opportunities and be the first to use them.
You should enrich your website with the new content and information everyday and let other webmasters and bloggers know about them. They should link to your website because of the valuable information it has, not because you have paid them or have placed their links on your website. Such a valuable website will grow and grow and will have more visitors day after day.
If you like to spend some money on advertising, you should also learn about them otherwise you will just waste your money. There are different methods of online advertising and each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages and as they are not free, you should be able to make profit through them and this is impossible unless you learn everything that you should know.
6. Monetize your website
Your website will not make any money as long as you don’t monetize it. A website or weblog should be helpful and informative for the visitors and be monetized with the products and services that help the visitors to learn and gain more. Google Adsense is one of the best ways to monetize your website but you have to have more paid products and services on your website.
7. Keep on your good work
When your website starts making money, it will be just the beginning of the work. You should keep on your good work and improve your website situation. If you see your website is ranked in top search engines, it means you are on the right track and your website is well-designed and promoted. You should keep on promoting your website but should not make any big changes on it because it may hurt your website ranking. For example do not change its keyword density when you see search engines like its current situation.
But if you have been working on your website or weblog for a few months and you don’t see any significant increase in the traffic, you should know what something is wrong and you have to check everything and consult with others.
I have to repeat again that when you see your website is improving reasonably, just keep on what you have been doing and do not make any changes. When most webmasters see that their websites are ranked highly in search engines, try to improve their ranking for example by increasing the keyword density or over-optimization of their websites and this will result in their website penalization and losing the ranking it had.
Ok, now you can decide about having a “hit” website. I know it is hard to start and learn everything you need to know but this is what I did. You can do it too.