Making money from content rich web sites
The key thing about a website is that it must have interesting content. A site that just lists a set of ads for unrelated items is unlikely to be visited very often. So pick a subject that you either know something about, or want to learn about. I chose the latter route, and decided that RFIDs (Radio Frequency ID devices or tags) were and coming topic and that people would be interested to learn about them, and, equally importantly, companies would be willing to pay for clicks on the adverts on the site. You can see how I have created a reference site for RFID activities here.
I spent a lot of time learning about how to create a web site in Dreamweaver, and how to drive the main part of the site from a database so that I could continue to update the site without having to alter the web pages. If that is beyond you, try building a site using Blogger or similar software. Remember that interesting and changing content is key!
Before you start, you need to get a good web site name – the URL. I find it is best to search for available names on www.netsol.com, but then actually register the name through 1and1.com. This hosting company is excellent and I host all my sites and email addresses through them – very reasonably priced as well!
Then you need to drive some content to the site – that means increasing the visibility of the site in Google’s search engine. There is a lot of secrecy about the exact mechanism for ranking sites, but it is based on the number and type of sites pointing to your site. So make a point of visiting as many forums and blogs related to your subject to write interesting comments on those sites, with a link back to your own site. Don’t just post boring entries – you do need to put some effort into the comments, and maybe readers on those sites will follow your links as well.
Finally, you can drive some traffic to the site yourself by paying for Ad-words. This is another Google product where you pay to place the small ads on other web sites. This is a nice way to get your site visible and visited, and I found that running the Ad-words for a month and then stopping was enough to get some traffic to my site.