Cash in on your Web site's success

Creators of Web sites have many different reasons for publishing on the Internet. Whether it is a fan site dedicated to local celebrities, a developer's outlet or an online presence for an established store, it is only a matter of time before most Web site owners ponder the riddle "How can I make a buck from the Internet?"

The high end of town involves setting up secure servers, e-commerce and a number of other very expensive options. At present, most Internet marketing software, books or consultants are all trying to cash in on the larger targets of corporations and established businesses. But what about the smaller end of town - the sites that are essentially run by one person or a small business? Is it possible for them to generate an income? The simple answer is yes - provided you have realistic expectations and a well-maintained site.

Before trying to extract money from the site, the owner must be clear on the site's goal. The impact of commercialising a site will change the way it looks and increase maintenance requirements. However, there are many options, and while some are intrusive, others can be used to enhance a site.

Closing advice

Don't expect to retire on the money you receive - many of the multi-billion dollar Internet companies have yet to make a profit. Most importantly, always keep in mind why you have a Web site and don't let greed take control.

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Scott Mendham

PC World
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