How to Make Money from Your Website
Before we start let’s just make clear the terms of reference here.
There are many ways to run an on-line business on the Internet either to expand the reach of an already existing business or an Internet only business. In short, that’s not what this guide is about.
This guide is aimed at people who have an interesting personal web sites – and I have seen many. Often the most interesting websites are those created by people who have particular interests or hobbies.
So how is it possible to make money from a personal web site?
A web site that is popular and has lots of visitors has an important asset peoples attention. Advertising companies put a lot of effort and money into grabbing people’s attention in order to show them advertisements. Actually, computer systems and particularly Internet browsing are perfect for the job.
Let’s make a comparison with commercial TV. When the TV break comes on anyone watching has several options; only one of which is to sit and watch the ads. They could instead take the opportunity to make a cup of tea or visit the loo.
It’s not quite the same with a PC. Here we have a person (dare we call them consumers?) sat staring at a monitor from a few inches away – how’s that for paying attention!
So now that you’ve realised that visitors are an asset we have to think about it a bit more. We’ll deal with the advertisements themselves in part 2.
It’s not rocket science to realise that any effort to make extra income from a website through advertisements is dependant on the number of visitors the site receives. There are a number of things that need to be in place to bring this about.
Frequently Updated Content
Search Engine Submission
1. Good Content
There are literally billions of pages on the World Wide Web and you are competing against every one of them; but do not despair. The Internet is also the greatest example of quantity over quality – even cable TV can’t compare! That said; if you have a site that contains plenty of good content that other people will be interested in then you are already well up the list. A small web site containing good information on a specific subject has every chance of attracting visitors.
2. Updating Your Site
So now that you have produced a fascinating web site that attracts visitors. The next step is to make sure that they come back! The best way to achieve this is to keep the web site up to date with ever changing content. A visitor who returns to see exactly the same information he saw on a previous visit will soon get bored hes not learning anything new.
3. Site Optimisation
Site optimisation is a subject in its own right. I mention it here simply to stress its importance. You need to read the PC Doctor+ Guide 11 in order to cover the subject properly.
4. Search Engine Submission
The best way to submit your site to the search engines is to visit the appropriate search engine web site and to do it manually. Make a list of all the search engines you consider important and go to their submission pages.
Manual submissions have the draw back that it can take several weeks for your site to be added to the list of sites to be crawled. The one I would single out as the exception is Exactseek.com which will crawl your site within 7 days even if submitted manually.
There are other ways to submit your site:
Free Web Submission Programs
a) Freeweb Web Submission Programs
These will by and large, submit your site to a number of web sites in a single process. I say ‘by and large’ because some are hybrids that will submit a site automatically to some search engines but in other cases they will simply redirect you to a search engine’s own submission page.
On the face of it, any program that will do much of the submission work for you sounds like a good option. The reason I am less than enthusiastic is that invariably these programs will ask for your e-mail address as part of the process and this leads to an increase in – you guessed it – SPAM!.
b). Paid Submission
There are different levels of paid submission service.
i ) In the first instance you pay a fee for your web site to be put through the crawling process immediately. Search engines are for the most part commercial ventures and there is a certian amount of administration involved so there is no reason, in my view, that they should not charge to hurry the process along a bit.
ii ) The second type of paid inclusion essentially involves not only paying for an immediate crawl but also ‘buying’a keyword. So for instance, I purchase the word ‘headache’ and whenever a user types the word ‘headache’ into that particular search engine my site is given priority.
I have problems with this.
Taken to its inevitable conclusion this means that ability to pay takes precedent over optimisation. If optimisation was the only factor, then even if a large company paid someone to optimise their site and improve their sites ranking that way an individual user would still be in with a chance if he had taken the time to learn the craft of optimisation.
Money changes all that. How does an individual compete with large organisations and companies who can afford to pay? It becomes easy to see a time when any search will produce pages and pages of commercial web sites before a user gets anywhere near the smaller, often much more interesting web