Traffic Before Monetization, Not the Other Way Around
I see this happen all the time in the "blogosphere". People launch their own "Make Money Online" blogs, and immediately they want to jump into monetizing their sites. Paid reviews. 125x125 advertising blocks on the right hand side of their sites, begging people to advertise. Adsense blocks everywhere that you look.
I understand the temptation. They read sites like John Chow and Shoemoney and want to start taking their piece of the pie.
The problem with this is that you run the very real risk of burying your blog before it even has a chance to begin.
There is nothing that sends me scurrying away from a blog faster than seeing over-the-top ads on a clearly under-developed site. If you aren't offering something of value to your user, then the blog is doomed to fail. That's just how it works. You can rewrite articles that you read on popular blogs, you can post comments on popular blogs, and you can even drive traffic via PPC - in the end, if you aren't giving something of value to the reader, then they will stop coming back.
You need to focus on building traffic first. My biggest tip to someone starting out would be: forget the advertising on your blog for at least a year, and focus on creating useful, unique content. It is fairly easy to make money online if your sole focus is providing great content to the readers of your site. They will link to your articles, they will tell their friends about your site, and they will sign up to your RSS feed. If you focus on writing one really great article per day, then in a year you will have a steady stream of traffic that you can start to monetize.
But putting up your site and immediately trolling for paid reviews when you don't have a loyal readership established? A boneheaded move that will result in the untimely demise of your blog. Pick a topic that you are passionate about, and just write - in a year, if you are consistent with your site, you will have a steady stream of traffic that you can think about monetizing. If you try to monetize before you have any traffic, then you will be doomed to failure. And if you try to write about something that you know nothing about (such as, making money online when you actually don't make any money online), then your site will also likely be doomed to failure.
You want Google to view your site as an "authority" within your niche. How do you reach this lofty status? By writing great articles. By having people link to your articles. When you have both of these things happening, then you will have the beginnings of a very successful site.
If you are patient, then you can make a bundle from operating websites. By patient, I mean that you need to plan on developing a site for at least a year before you can figure to make any significant money from the venture. If you don't have that type of patience, then you will be left with a bunch of half-finished, dead and abandoned sites that were ultimately just a big waste of time.
Treat your websites like a flower that needs to be fed, watered and cared for before it is picked. If you want to have a steady stream of income over time from your sites, then you need to be patient and work hard, and provide compelling content for your users that will keep them coming back for more.
Filed under: Making Money Online | General Knowledge