How to Turn Your Website from a Hobby into a Business
Nowadays, it is so easy to not only make a website, but to have it hosted on a reliable server. Those of us old enough to remember the early days of the internet will remember the sense of wonder and magic that we felt as the various potential functions of the internet revealed themselves. Back then, everyone made a website at some point.
For various reasons, most of us didn’t pursue website design or coding any further. In the interceding years there has been a seismic shift in the quality of free website building tools out there. There are now endless software options for budding website designers, and once a website has been built it can be hosted cheaply and easily.
This is great news for anyone who enjoys website building, but it has also opened up some exciting new possibilities for anyone looking to start their own business, whether to supplement an existing income or to take on as a full-time job.
Here are some top tips for turning your website from a hobby and into a viable source of income.
Build up Your Numbers
The amount of money that a website makes is directly proportional to the number of visitors it receives. This is obvious when you think about it, if people aren’t coming to a website then they can’t be spending money there or viewing adverts – the two main revenue streams for most websites. In order to do this you will need to think about your current audience, your target audience, and how you can either move from one to the other, or broaden your appeal to your current audience.
Think about the websites that you spend most of your time on, as well as those that you regularly visit but in shorter bursts. Generally, we spend most of our time on websites that offer some degree of interactivity, it is simply easier for websites to hold our attention and interest. Whether it is encouraging interaction between users through message boards and chatrooms, or free baseball simulation games, there are endless ways of increasing interactivity. Get creative!
Look for Affiliation Opportunities
Affiliating yourself with other websites allows you to both benefit from one another’s traffic. An affiliate website is another site, usually one that is likely to have a reasonable amount of overlap when you compare their traffic to yours, that links to your website and gives you the occasional plug. In return, you will do the same for them. Affiliating yourself with another website can be a potentially very powerful tool for broadening the appeal of your own site, and it generally doesn’t cost either side anything.
This is how most websites make their money. Unless you are directly selling products or services through your website then you will need to find other ways of converting the traffic that you receive into cash. There are a multitude of platforms and services that you can use to help you to implement advertising on your website.
Making a website is a fun creative endeavor, and there are plenty of tools now which allow you to create a website for free. Once you know what you’re doing with the designing and building of a website, you can then begin to look at taking it further by monetizing it.