Chris Beasley over at Website Publisher, a forum for independent Internet publishers, put together a tutorial on what goes into making your website worthwile, especially when it comes to making money from your online venture:
“Due to the many news stories in recent years about big corporate websites going bankrupt it is a common misconception today that all or most websites are unprofitable and will not make their owners money. This assumption is based on the idea that if big corporations like Disney fail at making a website then your average guy on the street must fail horribly, of course that assumption is wrong. In the case of content driven websites the smaller independent operation often has the advantage over large corporate entities. While an individual or a small group does not have the resources of the large corporation, they also do not have the overhead. If you run a website out of your basement or your bedroom your overhead is already significantly smaller than that of a major corporation because you’re not running your website out of a brand new state-of-the-art office building. Additionally if you only have one employee, yourself, you’re also reducing your overhead compared to corporations who have to pay for workers who do the same things you do, but also management, building management, building security, maintenance, marketing consultants, development consultants, secretaries, and a myriad of other positions that by keeping your operation small you don’t need. The only advantage a corporation has over an individual is that they can afford to pay for gross amounts of advertising both online and off, whereas the typical individual cannot.”
What I want to stress is something that Beasley hits on later in his article. “There are no miracles here or magic systems, you will need to follow the correct steps and you will need to work on things. (…) There wasn’t anything magical about it when I finally became a successful self-employed website publisher. It was the result of work, sacrifice, and learning from my mistakes.”
Well put. From my own experience as principal of Iserloh Design and Bright Launch, it is amazing that virtually every new client fails to anticipate the enormous amount of work required to write and assemble top-notch content. But, without first-rate content, without beautiful photography and without clean design your visitors won’t stay for long, won’t return for more. To make it work, a client has to put in the hours to generate great content.