Ways to make money online continued.... CONTENT WEBSITES
The point is that a content website has to offer something that will attract visitors and keep them coming back! This is very important because your visitors are your bread and butter and this is particularly true with content websites.
generally, content websites make their money with advertising. (Notice I say generally, because as mentioned in the previous post... it can be a combination of more than one revenue stream).
It goes without saying that the content has to be of quality if you want any success. If you're thinking of starting a content website, I suggest going with something that is of particular interest to you, something you are good at, something you're knowledgeable in, something you have good experience in, etc... you get the idea. This will make it alot easier to build something that will appeal to your visitors, since you can relate to them.
Here are a few tips that I think are important to have in mind when building your website.
-Build something with the reader in mind... how can you ensure his visit on your website will immediately make him want to stay and bookmark? What do you like or dislike about the content websites that you visit frequently? Fresh, frequently update content? Easy to navigate site? Not cluttered with ads?
-Build a sense of community within your website. If you users can participate in the wesbites and/or interact with each other, they will feel a sense of attachement to the website. They will feel they have value and are part of a virtual family. This is the best way to keep them coming back... that's why discussion forums are so popular and numerous and that's why you can comment on blog articles.
-Give out responsibility. Something cool happens when you give someone a bit of power... they feel important. Give out responsabilities like editors, moderators, etc to your website or forum. Moderators will feel like they have a responsability to ensure the success or at least, the smooth sailing of the website. This will keep them coming back and make them refer the site to their friends and contacts... they will feel pride in saying they are moderators at "X" site.
-Find a niche, a unique angle or idea that people will love. Blogging for example is something relatively new to the internet, yet it has taken off like a rocket because people control it themselves, it allows them to feel part of a group (bloggers), allows them to express themselves and makes them feel like they have a responsability to keep updating and maintaining their website.
If you can find something that will have a viral-marketing type of impact... you have it made as far as content websites are concerned. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising.
So, once you've got all of the above, you need advertisers to make money. You may want to use Google adsense or other similar revenue-sharing advertising programs. Yahoo has one in beta now, which seems promising. You can also join affiliate programs from companies that offer products or services closely related to your content.