HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO MAKE MONEY WITH A WEB SITE? – There are literally millions of people running their own web sites. I’m not talking about the big corporations, such as Twitter and Facebook but rather the single entity; that is a web site being operated by just a single person.
As an example, let’s take Meebal.com. Now I know most web sites don’t like to give away too much information on how a web site is run, but I think it would be useful for you to know just how easy and cheap getting a web site up and running.
For starters my HTML and CSS skills are minimal, but again you really don’t need any of these skills to get up and running, but on that note it is very useful if you learn the basics.
So what’s Meebal.com consist of and what did it cost to get up and running. For starters Meebal.com is run on a WordPress Content Management System (CMS). What’s so great about WordPress? While there are many web developers out there that are not fans of WordPress, it has to be acknowledged that the CMS is pretty robust and the fact that it is completely FREE is a real bonus. If you built a CMS from scratch you would be looking at thousands of dollars.
Like any web site Meebal.com needed a Hosting Service and one that supported WordPress. Undertake a search for a web hosting company that supports WordPress and you’ll find dozens of them – some better than others, regarding support and monthly costs.
When you first start out you will not need anything as expensive as say a ‘Dedicated Server’ so don’t even look at them. Go for a package that is cheap and cheerful as you can always upgrade as your web traffic grows. I paid just $7 dollars a month to start out and this was more than adequate for my needs and the amount of traffic I was getting.
Now that I had a server and a CMS I needed a ‘Theme’. A WordPress Theme is the design of the web site, how it looks and works. WordPress themes vary in price, depending on what you want, but that doesn’t mean they are expensive. The Theme chosen for Meebal.com was just $50.00.
OK, so let’s wrap up the setup costs:
Domain Name: $22.00
Web Hosting: $7.00 x 12 = $84.00
WordPress Theme: $50.00
Total Cost = $156.00
As you can see anyone could have an online business up and running for less than $200.00, which is why there are millions of people doing just that.
The setup costs and what is needed is not really the issue here – the underlining issue is ‘Making Money’, which is the primary reason most people set up and operate a web site.
There are 3 ways to make money online and these are:
1. Sell a Product
2. Sell a Service
Selling a product or service is much easier than relying on advertising revenue, especially if you have a niche product or service. These types of web sites can very quickly break-even, that is cover the costs of operation each month, and make a profit. However, these also take a lot of work in terms of supplying the product or service.
When it comes to web sites like Meebal.com, which deals in information, then it has to rely on advertising revenue. It would be nice to think that you could persuade an advertiser to pay for space on your web site but the stark truth is that no company is going to waste money advertising on a web site that gets little or no traffic.
To circumnavigate this issue, many web sites like Meebal.com, sign up for Google AdSense, which pays you each time a person clicks on an advertisement. Be warned… if you go this route DO NOT be tempted, EVER, to click on the advertisements yourself. Google can detect this activity and will terminate your account and the chances of you ever being allowed to set up another account for that web site are extremely remote.
Making money from a web site comes down to one thing and that’s visitors. If you don’t get any traffic to your web site then it is not going to be possible to earn any money.
Getting people to visit your website has a number of problems. The first thing you need to do is to submit your XML Sitemap to Google and Bing so that they can index your pages for their search results. Be aware that the major search engines are not just going to start sending you vast numbers of visitors. It takes hard work, time, effort and real dedication before the search engines will recognize you and your web site of being worthy for high rankings and a lot of this will depend on how many people share, via their social networks, your web site and its pages.
Just so you know the reality of running a web site here’s an insight for you. I also own http://hometipster.com which provides articles on the Home and Garden. Hometipster.com has been in operation for over 2 years and each and every day I have written and published articles. Currently the website gets approximately 800 people a day and I generated revenue, from Google AdSense of less than $100.00 per month. The revenue I do generate manages to pay for the web hosting and my internet connection and that’s after 2 years of very hard work.
Unless you have a really unique idea, product or service, the chances are you will struggle to make ends meet and believe me many thousands of web sites are abandoned each month as the people operating them realize that it’s way too much work for no return.
On that note, look at Pinterest.com. Now here’s group of people who very nearly abandoned the web site but at the 11th hour decided to keep it going for a while longer. This really paid off and is not one of the most popular social networks in the world with an estimated value of over $1.6 billion.
Don’t get your hopes up too high, as there are not that many web sites that are this popular, however you might have a really unique idea that just goes ballistic – who knows you could be the next Mark Zuckerberg.
Just remember, that your new web site will take time and effort. I currently spend on average 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, working on Hometipster.com and Meebal.com. Sometimes it is sole destroying and at other times I feel almost privileged that I can supply information to people that find that information useful.
Before closing… If you are thinking about running a web site that deals in information you must be aware that you will need pretty thick skin as what you write will create criticism from some of your readers – with Meebal.com I’ve even had comments telling me that I should find a quiet hole and lay down and die. So be prepared for some backlash and very critical comments, but don’t give up.