Which comes first...the product or the web site?
A lot of people have the cart before the horse. They have a
product they want to sell and they are looking for people to buy
it. Do you know how easy it is if you start with the people who
want to buy something first...and then offer them a product they
Just because you don't have a product doesn't mean you shouldn't
start a web site. Pick a targeted niche market first...build a
site...build Traffic...and then you can either find a product
they already want or you can sell advertising space. I would
pick a web site with traffic any day over a person with a hot
product. "Hot" products are everywhere. Web sites which
already have traffic in a specific market are GUARANTEED winners
when the right product is introduced to them.
As a matter of fact, I know a lot of success web site models who
are earning thousands or tens of thousands of dollars monthly
and they don't even have a product to sell. They sell
advertising space or banners. They do endorsements of other
people's products. Once you have the market, there are dozens
of people ready and willing to let you sell their products to
You could also design a web site giving everything away
absolutely FREE with one purpose in mind...build a large
community of people who continually visit over and over again.
Many people have found this to be true and are creating sites
which give away free information, link to all kinds of resources
in a certain area, have free downloads, or have software you can
use on their site for free.
Build a tool that helps everyone in your market and they will
come. Think about some ideas you could come up with in this
area. It could be as simple as creating a page that links to
major resources in a certain area. Find the best resources in
an area and then ask to trade links with them (many of them will
gladly trade links with your site). Build up a database of
these links to hundreds of different useful sites online and
watch your traffic soar.
Look at what Freedback.com did. (You can look at their site at
). This site gave away free forms for people to use on their
site. Many web hosts don't allow CGI to run on their site, and
freedback filled a need for all of these people being hosted.
Through their service, people could have forms for free on
their site to collect information from their visitors. Over
time, Freedback has given away over 50,000 of these types of
forms and is receiving over 300,000 hits a day on their response
They can sell advertising all day long to this traffic. All
they have is a FREE service and it has built them a long term
residual income of monthly advertising. The same type of thing
was done by CGI Resource Index, except they did it by offering
links to other sites and free downloads. Take a look at them at
http://www.cgi-resources.com/ as they are considered the
number one authority on CGI programming on the web. The
majority of their income comes from advertising.
All you have to do is target a niche market with a specific
subject. We often try to make things so complicated and I want
to cut through all of the junk and give you the simple truth of
just how simple it is to make money on the web. Here it is in
one short sentence:
"Build a Site Which Gives People What They Want!"
You cannot just put up a sales letter and expect to profit. You
1. Find a market. Look at your local magazine rack to
help you choose one if you are having trouble. I guarantee that
wherever your hobbies or interests are, there are going to be
others with similar interests.
2. Find out what they want. You do this by asking
them. Look for message boards or newsgroups which already cover
your subject or similar subjects. Do a search for your subject
at http://www.forumone.com which lists most of the forums around
the world. Then, simply go and read the posts and ask what
people want or what they think is lacking in your market online.
3. Give it to them. Once you figure out what people
want, give it to them. Design a site which is exactly what they
are looking for. Send out press releases, mention it in the
newsgroups, trade links with other sites, and start growing.
I don't want to completely oversimplify the process, but in many
cases, it is almost that simple. The hard part is in giving
them "what they want" part. You may need to find a programmer
to create it or someone to write it, but if it is exactly what
people want and gives you traffic forever, then it is worth it.
To get you started on this road...here are 10 businesses you
could start in this area:
1. Host a Free CGI Program on your site
Be like freedback.com. Find a CGI program everyone needs or
wants and start giving it to them. I know of sites now which
are giving away Free Classified Sites or Free-For-All Links
sites so that they can keep their advertising banner on them.
Freedback came up with an original idea. Can you? Go to
http://www.cgi-resources.com/ and look at all the programs there
and see what you can come up with.
2. Banner Exchange
I know what you may be thinking on this one...there are hundreds
of banner exchanges out there. And you know what, you would be
right. The internet does not need just another banner exchange,
but it does need target banner exchanges for specific areas.
You could target all internet marketing sites or all kids sites.
Then you give them a 2:1 ratio or higher on banner
advertising. Then your banner exchange has the other 50% of the
ads to use for yourself or to sell for advertising (banner
exchanges are based on this principle).
3. Download Site
You could create a download site for some type of targeted
market. It could be for CGI programs, business software, game
demos, etc. The major key in this area like many of the others
is that you have to develop a unique selling point for your
site. Why should they visit your site over the others? It could
be that you review each program or that you have a better
organization...or that you only include the best. It could also
be that you include the most of something. Become unique in
this area and watch the traffic soar (another caution
though...watch to make sure your web host doesn't charge extra
for too much transfer daily or monthly - A download site eats up
4. Games Site
You could do an entire site devoted to codes, tips, and tricks
with games. Most of the work would be done for you once you
let everyone know you were collecting together all of the codes
and tricks for different games. Send out press releases and get
listed in magazines and your traffic would fly off the roof.
The income for this site would come from game companies
advertising on your site. The message board would also become
extremely popular and would need separate sections for all of
the different games.
5. Business Software Site
Create a Site that lists all of the business
software...downloads of demos could be offered along with
reviews and a New Product of the month newsletter. Businesses
are always seeking that new program to take them to the next
level or to do something
easier. Plus, you could also do a message board that
specifically helps with certain programs such as FrontPage,
6. Resource Site for ANYTHING
You could create a list of resources for ANYTHING. Find a
listing of all of the top sites in certain areas full of useful
information. The plan for this type of site is to become the
starting point for people searching for Collies, Internet
Marketing, Copywriting, Dolls, etc. You could also turn it into
a specific targeted search engine for your niche market. You
only list __________. This is an idea that would also combine
well with any of the other ideas in this course as an additional
7. Award Site
Decide on an award in a targeted niche market: Maybe "5 star
fitness" site given to top fitness sites or "Elite Internet
Sites" for internet marketing, or whatever is your specific
interest. Design a really well done graphic for your logo. Set
up a submission database for people to send in submissions.
Then, go off searching for sites who deserve your award. Once
you have given away your award and have enough sites linking to
you...you can also begin to send out press releases and start
getting known in that area. The key to this program is to pick
a very interesting title for your award and correctly move in
the right market.
8. Consumer Reports
Become a watchdog of the industry...any industry. Do reports on
automobiles or money making programs. Review personal care
items or exercise equipment. Become a consumer expert in any
area protecting and enlightening the consumers in your
expertise. The key is to get enough good quality information
and reviews to make your site interesting. Then, your revenues
will come through advertising or other incomes you may add as
you go along.
You would think that this area would be impossible to get into
with all of the news giants out there. Well, it would be...if
you were trying to cover everything. You, as a small business,
would want to cover one area of interest and collect all of the
news that has to do with that area. Think about it. The Drudge
report went after gossip online and build message boards and
chat rooms around it...becoming one of the top sites on the
internet and producing a TV show for the owner.
Exotic destinations...cruises for the millionaires...etc. This
is a fun one. You could stay reviewing travel destinations,
hotels, restaurants, etc. Find one of the packages where you can
become a travel agent and sell tickets (with the actual travel
agency handling the actual bookings and money) for different
destinations. Actually take the tours and review them. Combine
this one with the Watchdog idea above and warn people about
deceptive travel agencies and places. Have fun doing your
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