A while back I was asked by an entrepreneur for advice about creating an income-generating website. He had no ideas in mind and simply didn’t know where to start. After taking some time to think about it, I responded with the following. Within a few months he’s already documented a ton of ideas and started executing based upon a few of them. Here is my advice on getting started.
- Focus on your passions
It’s a lot easier to understand what others would be willing to pay for or find value in if you focus on an area that you know very well. I see that you are interested in personal finance & fitness; two most excellent categories that are fairly easy to monetize so long as you provide genuine value.
- Source your products
If your idea is a physical product that you could sell then get to work on finding wholesalers/distributors/dropshippers. If your idea is a virtual product (e.g. eBook, etc.), then get to work on creating your first product that you can sell.
- Leverage your knowledge
Discuss the topic on forums & websites that others frequent; discreetly mention your website when it applies and/or add it to your signature files.
- Marketing is vital
On those marketplaces that are highly frequented by your target audience, email the owner of the website and ask for sponsorship or advertising opportunities. Be creative and ask if you can donate a prize (or prizes) towards a contest they are running; this will finance their contest and gain you exposure at little/no cost.
- Encourage word of mouth
When you create the website make sure you build it in manner that it encourages sharing (share this product, share this article, invite a friend, enter contest & invite friends, etc.). Oh and be certain to create an email marketing list. Many people think email is dead, it is still one of my best converting sales channels, because everyone who subscribes loves the material I publish regularly. Oh and always publish regularly, this is important or your momentum dies.
- Think outside the box
Don’t just coast with one or a few products (but don’t defocus yourself too much either). The careful balance is that your website should have fresh content and products to keep your visitors coming back for more.
- Write about your business
As you gain speed and traction and know what works, start creating a blog and writing about the hottest topics. Every 20-30 blogs or so you’ll hit on a topic that’ll gain 10-20x more traffic than the others and every 100 blogs you’ll hit on a topic that gains 100x more traffic. First of all, remember these, this is a hot product niche you need to hit, and second of all, enjoy the increase in traffic and sales.
- Be genuine, always
Don’t flood your website with ads. Advertisement based revenue generation is the worst unless you have tons of traffic (millions of hits). Still then, product and/or value monetization will provide returns that are exponentially higher.
Everyone’s path is unique and no path is linear. Your experience may differ from the above recommendations, don’t be afraid to explore and experiment. The most important thing is that you execute. If you ever find yourself procrastinating or stuck on a specific task put it aside and work on your next most important task. When it comes to working for yourself, execution is everything. Good luck and may your next entrepreneurial adventure be the shining star you were hoping for!