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How long does it take for a site to start making money?

This is arguably one of the most asked questions when people who have no experience in making money online and internet marketing are pondering whether to throw themselves into the pond and get wet or to distance themselves from the internet wealth folly.

I have tried googling this question, hoping to find at least one appropriate answer or perhaps some logical arguments. However, it seems that no one online (and offline) has a good answer to this particular question. You can of course, try Yahoo! Answers, Ask Jeeves and some other similar sites to see what invaluable views we have in there. It will be interesting to read about various people’s opinions and I shall be grateful if you could share what you find about this topic with us by commenting on this post.

What is my personal opinion regarding this issue?

First of all, I do not have an extensive experience when it comes to making money online and internet marketing. However I have placed myself pretty near the center of the battlefield and through my observations and a little experiment on my own, I believe I have the ability to make some money online (and I have) and I am entitled to voicing out my opinions regarding this matter. You are free to judge whether what I say is accurate, doubtful or unclear by commenting on this post :)

OK, I do not want to generalized all sites. How soon a site can begin making money depends on many factors such as the age of domain, the Page Rank of the domain, whether the domain is banned, penalized or indexed by search engines, the targeted niche and keywords of the site, the content of the site, marketing of the site and how is the site presented – whether in the form of a blog, a website or a community board.

With all the factors above in mind, I personally think that a site can begin making money from as early as 3 months. There are sites which make money right from the first month itself, no doubt but 3 months is sort of a benchmark, which webmasters can use to gauge their performances. If one of your sites start making money earlier than the age of 3 months, then you are obviously doing things right and are well on your way to making money online. If however, your site do not generate any income after 3 months, you should probably consider seriously whether to continue running the site or perhaps there is a need to change the direction (and marketing strategy) of the site and hire an expert consultant.

The are many reasons why I think a new site will mature within 3 months and be ready to generate income. Firstly, the domain would have been indexed by search engines. It will be enjoying organic traffic from search engines and other sources depending on your methods of site promotion. For sites of some niche, 3 months will be sufficient for them to be released from Google’s sandbox (nobody can be sure whether this is just a myth!) and most quality sites would have been given appropriate Page Rank, Alexa rank, etc. Within the first 3 month, the content and frequency of content addition should have been established and webmasters have sufficient time to tweak their sites, gain members, subscribers and followers. Advertisers are also prone to advertise on a mature site with good rankings and considerable number of visitors.

Well, there goes my reasons for clinging to the magical number 3. If there is someone who tries to sell you the idea that you can make loads of money almost instantly, you should definitely beware of him. Although making money online as fast as possible is important, do remember to be prudent, you don’t want to be scammed.

Do you agree with me that sites will start to make money when its age is around 3 months or so? Why?

I will frequently be raising questions which are of import to webmasters. Subscribe to The WebMaster Blog now and you won’t miss any of our discussions. And remember that by subscribing you’ll have the chance to win several prizes in our contest. Click here to learn more about it.

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Generating Traffic Offline

There are a lot of articles and reports about generating site traffic online. On the other hand, I’ve seen only a few that discussed ways to generate traffic offline. So here are some ideas I’ve picked up here and there, and some of my own.

Give away “branded” stuff. Brand things you give away with your site address; t-shirts, caps, pins, stickers, anything. You can sell them, but it’s better to just give them away. The reward you get is much more fulfilling (you get a walking billboard), not to mention socially responsible (you clothe someone).

Harness the power of traditional media. Advertise on newspapers, on television, or on-air radio. Certainly it isn’t cheap, but well worth the money. Then again you can always try to do what people from my part of the world do when they want some press attention for free. Climb up on top of a really high place and make as if you’re about to jump (don’t do this at home kids). That’ll get you some looks from the media. Just don’t forget to wear your site-branded shirt.

Get the word out. Word-of-mouth promotion is free. Use it! Tell your family and friends that you have a new site or blog. Better yet, tell everyone. This is easy. Go to social events (parties, etc.) and try to subtly include your site in every conversation you make. This may offend some people’s sense of propriety, but it beats the alternative: telling complete strangers to visit your site as you pass them on the street.

Sponsor Events. Offer to contribute something to a community affair in return for a plug. You can do this with dances, league games, and other celebrations/programs. Or create an event of your own; a contest, for example. A word to the wise: beware the snowball effect. One must always be prepared (financially) for everything that can happen when conducting a contest-else he may find himself running from an avalanche of winners because he didn’t expect such enthusiastic participation and didn’t prepare enough prizes.

Involve others. Look for other webmasters who promote their sites offline. This way you can try the more outrageous promotion methods (these methods warrant a separate article) with safety in numbers. Also, try to make tie-ups with small businesses using a “You-promote-me-I-promote-you” approach. One that is related to your site’s niche is best. You wouldn’t want your “All about dogs” site to be promoted by an adult specialties shop, and vice versa, would you? Not only is it illogical, it’s also a bit of not downright disturbing.

So there. Good Luck!

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