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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    Earn money and how?

    So who does earn money from there website and how did you go about doing it, was it a great challenge? Did you know you would be able to aicheve what you set out to do, did it take you go?


    This whole forum, and many others, is based around making a successful websites, which is great. But to me it all seems to beat around the bush without taking the direct approach.

    The big questions are often more effective. So how do you go about making a successful website. By successful I mean one that you able to earn an income from which you live on from.

    I hope this will be interesting for a number of people and certainly reading different peoples experiences will be useful and interesting

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member joetaylorjr's Avatar
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    Cool What we went through...

    As someone who managed to convert an ad-based free content site into a set of ad-free sites that sell books and seminars, I can tell you five things I wish I knew when I started:

    1. Focus on something you do well, that you know inside and out and that you LOVE to do. If you're just tacking margin onto someone else's idea, or onto something you don't believe in, your customers will see right through you.

    2. Find the audience whose needs and wants you can meet with your product/service. Build that niche into a loyal group that wants to buy from you again and again.

    3. Communicate to your audience how you'll get their wants and needs met (be direct -- will you save them time? save them money?).

    4. Reach that audience through established channels -- find folks who swim in your same pond and team up. (Offer good commissions, too -- sending a 25% commission check to an affiliate is way less painful than making no sales in a month. I love sending affiliate checks -- means we sold stuff!!)

    5. Be courageous -- price your products and services fairly, based on what you're worth (don't undercut yourself!).

    -jt

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member
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    I want to set up a site that reviews Self-Help Books, along with a forum which people can use to seek advice. Naturally to sell books, but to get a large product range I need to affiliate myself with someone like Amazon.

    Essentially, I know how the idea works but will I get enough visitors interested and willing to purchase?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member joetaylorjr's Avatar
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    Cool Doing the math...

    darbo,

    It's just a matter of doing some math...

    1. If you're not writing/developing your own products to sell, consider developing a wholesale or even a drop-ship relationship with publishers? You'd bypass Amazon and get closer to 40% margin instead of just 15%.

    2. What's it going to cost to attract a consistent audience that's willing to buy from you over and over? Does the cost of attracting new customers eat up too much of your margin?

    3. How are you going to cultivate repeat sales? Will you structure this as a book-of-the-month style club? (You can e-mail your list with a featured book, collect multiple orders, then place a bulk order from the distributor. They might even drop-ship for you, the way we do with our partners.)

    My own sense is for you to take a stand, and focus on a small product range that you're intimately familiar with. Folks who want the whole nine yards will probably head to Amazon.com anyway. But if you develop some compelling reasons to come to your site, and wrap it around some hard-to-find or exclusive products (like handling advance orders for a not-yet-released book), you can carve a niche that might be worthwhile.

    -jt


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