A commercially viable website is one that is based on a solid business model. It has to have a way of generating income and the potential to make a profit. When I say “potential to make a profit” there are websites that have been making loss, yet have been acquired for large sums of money simply because they have a vast membership base. One example is YouTube.com which was purchased in September 2006 for a reputed $1.65 billion. YouTube, although said to be making a loss because of the hosting and technology costs, had 73 million viewers a month and 100 million videos downloaded daily. This demonstrates that your website traffic is an important as the income it can potentially generate.

Of course, the likes of YouTube.com, MySpace.com, and Skype are high profile success stories. They tend to be few and far between. What about the everyday internet entrepreneur, running a website with a view to establishing a profitable venture – one that can make a small but welcome fortune over the long term for its owner? And how about the stay-at-home parent who is looking to make some extra cash from internet trading, or a youngster hoping to pay their way through university, or couple hoping to escape the rat to make an online living doing something they enjoy? Does the internet offer a chance for them to generate profit?

CAN YOU SPOT A WINNER?

As a budding entrepreneur, it helps if you have an instinct for an internet hit. A gut-feeling in business has carried many of today’s multi-millionaires to success, as well as steered them away from failure. Instinct is something that we all possess, but this inner awareness can be finely tuned with the benefit of knowledge. So the more research you do into winners and losers, the more chance you’ll have of developing a successful online enterprise.

  • Find out why such boo.com and pets.com became casualties in the dotcom crash of the late 1990s.
  • Analyse why companies such as Google, eBay and Amazon survived.
  • Consider why Skype, Myspace and YouTube succeeded where others failed.
  • Look at the micro-websites, many run by individuals from their homes, which generate smaller but consistent amounts of income on a regular basis.

Although some success is down to an element of luck and having the right idea at the right time, you will discover that the winners are those who have worked hard on their online strategy with total belief and have hit upon something that people want or need. The winners are those whose websites have income generation potential.

CREATING THE RIGHT ELEMENTS

If you look you’ll find many websites from all parts of the globe that are generating income for their founders. These are a real mix of websites and ventures from general to niche, some selling products, others offering services. There are people using sites such as eBay to trade, or elance.com to bid for work. Some will certainly be dong better than others. What you’re likely to ascertain is that every idea on the planet has the potential to make a profit, given the right application. You’ll also come to realize that one person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure . . . just take a look at some of the bizarre items that are selling on eBay!

Creating a profitable website is about giving your web visitors what they want. Your site has to be easy to navigate. Your customer service needs to be the best. Your marketing campaigns need to gain results. All the elements have to be in the place. However, success as an internet entrepreneur effectively depends upon the experience, drive, energy, creativity, and skills that you invest in your venture. So, although we started out asking what makes a profitable website, you may have already guessed the answer.