How to make a site Profitable?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Eric Noa, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. Eric Noa macrumors 6502

    Eric Noa

    Nov 4, 2008
    Like the title says. How can I make my site profitable?
  2. Eric Noa thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eric Noa

    Nov 4, 2008
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    There are numerous ways to do this. Generally it starts with a large user base.
  4. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Put lots of cool or interesting content on the site. Get lots of readers or participants. Decide how you are going to make money (advertising, subscription fees etc) and then implement it. Profit!

    Easy as that.
  5. Nsutton macrumors member


    Dec 29, 2009
    6 Feet Under
    1.Get large fan base
    2.Use Ads/subcription fees

    Ad's are probally the best way to go. I've never used it but Google's adsense looks promising.
  6. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
  7. GalvinBrown macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2010
    I just want to share few points to make your site profitable.The important matter for that are:
    Prefer fresh design
    User friendly JavaScript
    CSS image replacement
    Follow the basics, titles, meta tags are still important
    Look at search bots as browsers
  8. Kingcodez macrumors 6502


    May 13, 2009
    Make it look awesome, check google adsense.
    Advertise everywhere.
  9. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2004
    Kinda like asking, How do I build a house? The question is so vague and overstated that it almost seems comical.
  10. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?

    How do I build a house?
    Which car should I buy?
    How do I make money on the stock market?

    OK, first question to ask is, what are all the possible ways that a website can make you money?

    1. Sell a physical product you offer (e.g. music, books, software, real estate, muffins)
    2. Sell a service you offer (duct cleaning, piano tuning, web hosting)
    3. Ad revenue
    4. Sell subscription access to the website content itself

    #1 and #2 are fairly self explanatory. You sell something, people buy it, you make your money.

    #3 just requires a lot of people to come view your site. So offer something popular that will keep lots of people coming back and exposing more ad clicks. This implies your content is frequently and regularly updated, like a blog, news, reviews, comics. One option is to build a community forum where your users provide the ever-changing content.

    #4 requires compelling content of some kind that people want access to that isn't available anywhere else, or if it is, you offer it in some way that adds enough value that people are willing to pay for your subscription service.

    These methods are not mutually exclusive and often sites will have some combination of all of the above.

    There's also...

    #5 Squat on a desirable domain name until someone pays you to let them have it
    #6 Spread nasty rumors about something and commit extortion
    #7 Sell spam
    #8 Go phishing

  11. eleven2brett macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
    If your not a fan of google adsense, you could use something like to advertise with.
  12. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    since no one actually gave you any real advice, i guess i'll give you a starting point. today many "private" sites earn their money off of things such as ads and affiliate marketing (along with selling their own products).

    here's an easy to read guide on affiliate marketing: it will take you through the basics on what it is, and how it's done.

    for example - say you have a site with book reviews... amazon has a program that allows you to sell their books from your own site using their links. you get a certain percentage off of each sale. so if you are reviewing a book such as romeo and juliet, you can place a link somewhere on that page that will take the user to the purchasing page at amazon. if the person decides to buy the book from there, you will get some money from it. ebay has a similar program where you can link to ebay sales.

    you can also sell ad space on your website to other providers. if you have a large following, you can start contacting companies (related to your site's content) to offer them ad space on your page. they'll probably ask you for statistics on what your site brings in daily in terms of unique hits, etc. this also ties in to affiliate marketing where the more visitors you have, the higher the chances of you selling something.

    you can also sell services to others. for example: "how i got rich" videos/books. i'm sure you've seen a ton of these mumbo jumbo infomercials on tv. people do this on the web too.

    there are also pay per click ads where if someone clicks on the ad such as those by adsense, you'll get some money for it. keep in mind that these companies have ways of detecting if the owner of the site is committing fraud, so they can and will suspend your account from getting paid.

    there's also the akai berry (and similar bs stuff) where people can go to a site, sign up, and buy into an initial portion of the product, and then get re-billed monthly until they cancel, so you'll be earning money each time they buy a new batch of whatever you're selling. for this you'd need a stand-alone site.

    you can also set up a twitter or facebook page and direct people from there to your site (ex: just posted a review for romeo and juliet. go see what i have to say about it on my website).

    there are hundreds of ways of earning money off the web, but all require work. you can't simply put up a site and sit back and wait for the money to start rolling in. you have to work on it where it eventually starts working to your favor, at which point you will continue improving and expanding until you'll be able to earn more. keep in mind that this should be considered as passive income (or as something "on the side") instead of primary until you can safely and constantly earn a good amount that would allow you to pay bills and put away some for savings. who knows, maybe after that you'll get another idea, and put up a second money-making website to make even more money.

    another important thing is search engine optimization and promotion across the web. you have to do things to get your site at top of search engine results for certain things (ex: a person goes to google and wants to find romeo and juliet reviews. if you've put in a lot of work, you might (seeing and r&j book would be too popular, and this would be saturated by other sites, it could be difficult) end up on first two pages of google results, and you'd get lots of visitors).

    there are also "legal" and "illegal" (referred to as blackhat) ways of getting your site at the top of the search results. "legal" is usually done over time, and your site doesn't run the risk of getting removed from search engines, while the "illegal" way can generate a lot of visitors quickly, it can land your page in a "sandbox" which will eventually prevent it from coming up on search results.

    there are tons of sites out there that can give you suggestions on how to make money online, and how to properly advertise it ("legally" and "illegally"). most usually contain a lot of useless info, so you'll have to do some reading to determine what's good, and what isn't. here are some sites you should search for to get more info: sitepoint, digitalpoint, wickedfire, warriorforum, blackhatworld

    in the end, don't overdo it. you don't want to have a site looking like one big ad if its main purpose is to provide people with information. otherwise it will wind up like another version of aol where a person is greeted with tons of spam popups.
  13. Dark Elitist macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2010
    You should read Poor Richard's Almanack. ;)
  14. Bostonaholic macrumors 6502


    Aug 21, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    3 things you need to make a site profitable

    1) clipart from Word 95
    2) h1 { text-decoration:blink; }
    3) irrelevant animated gifs, and LOTS of them!
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    OK serious answer. You create content people want to see. Then make sure you do this better than 99% of the others doing the same thing.

    First you have to know that NO ONE makes money in the first few years. Amazon didn't, Google didn't. Don't for a minute think you are smarter than those guys. All business plans figure of loosing money while they gain market share and customers then eventually reach a "tipping point" and start to cover costs.

    The web is a bussines. learn how to write a bussines plan. IT should list all the costs and income for the first few years. Don't forget taxes and insurance. You may need to go to school or study on your own

    This is going to take many hours of your time. pick an aera you like and know a lot about and try to attact customers like yourself.
  16. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    ummm I think no.2 needs to be <blink><h1>SUPA AWESOME@@@@!!!@!#</h1></blink>
  17. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    If you are using ads, make sure they are targeted if they pay based on clicks or commission for the service bought through the ad. My biggest site is about VPS hosting, so the most profitable ads are the VPS hosting ads, not just general hosting ads.
  18. notjustjay, Nov 15, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

    notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Also make sure that your content is timely and relevant. You wouldn't want to promote news that was several months old, for example.

  19. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    1. Find a venture capitalist, get a few million in seed money.
    2. Since you have no ideas, run off with the money.
  20. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2005
    Little grey, chilly island.
    I disagree that it will take years. Amazon wanted to be the biggest online retailer and followed a massive expansion plan. There is good money to be made all over the Internet, but through smaller routes such as eBay, selling physical products or digital merchandise.
  21. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Mar 6, 2008
    Amazon took 4-6 years to make a profit, depending on how you calculate it.
  22. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2005
    Little grey, chilly island.

    But it took me one day. It's just that the difference is amazon had aggressive expansion which meant their turnover was being eaten by expansion projects. It was obviously worth it for them.

    My point is that there are many ways to skin a cat. I may only make a 'living' from my site, but it's comfortable and cost me just £100 for some software to get started.
  23. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    LOL I totally agree. But the common misconceptions is:
    1) Build web site
    2) ???
    3) Be a millionare by Xmas
    4) Chill on the beach
  24. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2004
    Yeah, we've built a lot of websites where the owners thought that was the case. I'm pretty up front with my clients that, it used to be like that in the 90's, but it's going to take a TON of work to make it profitable. You have to have the drive, determination, and marketing to make something w/ your website.

    I tell my friends that we build Ferrari's, but it takes someone with skill, persistance, and capabilities to take that Ferrari around the track.

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