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  1. #1
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    Thoughts, ideas, on creating and maintaining websites to generate income?

    Hello all,

    A very general sort of question here, hoping to start some discussion…

    I’ve been a web developer for a number of years, the last few years working independently, mostly creating websites for very small businesses and organizations. I’d like to explore other ways of making money using my web development skills, working independently, out of my home. Ways that don’t necessarily involve finding clients and building sites for them, but are more along the lines of creating, hosting, and maintaining sites of my own which in one way or another generate income.

    A few specifics: At this point I don’t have any particular content of my own to offer the public (I’m not a blogger, etc.). I’m not looking for a “get rich quick” scheme; I’m willing to put in regular hours, and hoping only to eventually make a modest living from whatever project or projects I might start. I’m not interested in getting involved with anything illegal, and I’m also not interested in hosting "adult" sites.

    So… Any thoughts? Directions to go in, directions to stay away from? Useful resources? Things that have worked for any of you, or things that have failed?

    Many thanks,

    Patrick
    --------------------

    PS: With varying degrees of rustiness, my skills include: HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, Flash, ActionScript, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, Ajax, Perl, CGI, Website Design, Graphics Development for the Web, Photoshop, UNIX (including vi, regular expressions), Dreamweaver, XML, C, Perforce…

  • #2
    Regular Coder Redcoder's Avatar
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    Offer good content in blog. Good content = more visitors. You can then join affiliate programs that are related to what you do. For example, have a blog that talks about Web Hosting and PCs. You can then have a small banner which has your affiliate link that will redirect them to the host you are affiliates with. For every sale, they will give you some cash or some percentage. So it goes without saying that the more visitors you have, the more that small percentage will buy something through your affiliates link.

    But this requires some effort in making the content. But it will give you some reasonable though not one that will make you rich passive income.

    Good luck.

  • #3
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    Thanks, Redcoder, I really appreciate the advice! But I wasn’t really thinking of starting a blog of my own… Not sure I have anything to say that anyone else would be all that interested in reading…

    What I’m looking for is some way to do this without actually generating the content myself. Perhaps partnering with one or more people who have content to provide, and need help getting it out there? Or some other plan? Has anyone had any experience with anything like that?

  • #4
    Regular Coder Redcoder's Avatar
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    Well, what you are talking about - getting other people to generate the content - is what platforms like StackOverflow, Quora, Twitter, Codingforums and all other forums in general do.

    If you can get a high number of people to generate such content (or articles and offer them a percentage of advert money) that would be cash rolling in when you sell ads, job offers spots and such.

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  • #5
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    Thanks again, Redcoder. Starting some sort of forum is certainly one thing to look into, and I'll do that. Much appreciated!

  • #6
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    Thanks, stevebroad567. Yeah, I agree.

    To clarify a bit, I think my concerns with something like a blog are basically two-fold:
    1. Requires perhaps more personal creativity and a more extroverted nature than I feel I can bring effectively
    2. Has a very uncertain chance of success. I understand the odds are pretty strong against you if you set out to make money by creating a blog (although obviously it can be done)


    What I'm looking for is something less hit-and-miss, and less reliant on personal creative efforts (writing, artwork, etc.), something that instead depends more on having a decent web development skill set, and on putting in some hard work. Might involve partnering with others, certainly, or some other approach.

    Also, innovative thought, as you say. Obviously just about everyone would like to come up with the next great website/application that everyone will flock to... And I'm definitely giving a number of different ideas a lot of thought. I just figured it wouldn't hurt at all to get as much input from others regarding good directions to go in, experiences people have had, what sort of things seem to work, what don't...

  • #7
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    Hi Patrick,

    Some time ago I've also been asking myself with such questions.
    And I also was concerned about the problem with content creation, as I was (am) not good at it.
    So, what I came up with is to create some kind of SaaS product.
    My first attempt was brain training website. It started, actually, as a hobby project and I'm not making money from it now, but, maybe someday I will. But I gained a lot of experience working on it.

    But returning to the blogs - when you start the website you need to do some marketing on it to attract people. And it includes a lot of writing, so you still will have to do it.

    So my advise is:
    - find a product idea - the product that solves problems of a number of people (it is great if it solves your own problem also)
    - implement it
    - promote it
    - get profit

    Here a couple of blogs, the guys write well about startups:
    http://swombat.com/
    http://joel.is/

    The startup ideas/cofounders: http://www.founder2be.com/ideas

    and, of course, http://news.ycombinator.com/

  • #8
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    Thanks, zergi!

    A lot of good thoughts and information there. I like your BrainScale.net site, good luck with that! And I'm working my way through a number of the links you included, getting some ideas there.

    One question, when you say "find a product idea - the product that solves problems of a number of people" are you still speaking only in terms of an SaaS product, or are you thinking of physically products as also being possibilities here?

  • #9
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    Well, as a professional web developer I see that the best kind of product I can create is a software product.
    But if you have an idea of a physical product people need and you know how to implement it and sell, then I don't see a reason why not.


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