Creating a website as an extra source of income.

 

 

courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

A few days ago, I looked at Forex as a way to create additional income, and like you may have guessed by now, with my cattle, coconuts or land investments I am more into non traditional sources of income than the usual stock and shares funds.

 

Today I want to look at website creation. I was about to call website creation a source of passive income, but as you will see, it is pretty active, for most of us mortals. Little web geniuses make it look easy, truth is it requires some work and dedication.
You can find information about how to make a website here. The basics are you need to register a domain and get hosting, and can do both for a year under $100. Your domain name is just as important as what your content will be. Calling a knitting blog Janeslittlehobby.com gives no idea to a potential reader of the content of the site. knittingwithjane.com is already a bit better. Think long and hard about your domain, and cross fingers that it is not registered yet. Most domain registration sites will give you close ideas if your exact domain is taken.

 

Once you are done, you are ready to publish content! In order to create extra income, you can look into different kinds of websites.

 

  • Niche websitePros: Very specific, they target a sought after keyword, and are the least demanding once they are set up. You make money with adsense or affiliate sales. Done properly, you can really create passive income.
    Cons: The more specific the niche, the smaller the audience. If you have little competition, that is good, but you need strong SEO knowledge to make your niche site work for you.
  • Drop shipping website
    Pros: You sell a product that is not your, and rely on another provider to supply and deliver. You can start with nothing, do not need to store goods, and only have to forward orders to your provider.
    Cons: Low margins, high competition. You have to sell high volumes to make it work, and the costs of setting up a payment platform are higher than a simple blog.
  • Starting a blog
    Pros: you have fun, write about whatever you want, and if you put a little effort into it, money will follow.
    Cons: this is NOT a passive source of income. I repeat, blogging demands lots of time. Since you are supposedly having fun, you shouldn’t mind. But if you aren’t, you should make more money waiting tables (for 80% of bloggers). It may take a few months, or over a year, to start making decent money.

I chose to start a blog because I truly enjoy the interaction with people, and don’t have the knowledge to build a drop shipping site. I wouldn’t want high start up costs of web design, paid advertisement, etc for a chance to make 2% per sale. The niche site idea I quite enjoy but can’t think about a creative niche just yet. And I would definitely have to delegate the SEO work as you can’t go wrong with that.

 

With a blog, you have more freedom to do what you please. Monetizing can be done through product reviews, affiliate sales, ad banners, sponsored posts… you may receive free items or be offered products to give away to your readers. I like being able to take my blog wherever I want.

 

I know that the best way to create a passive income is to have an automated niche site. The day I stop blogging, even if I flag every pixel of this site with ads, I don’t think the income will be nearly as good as with regular maintenance.

 

But I am not in it for the money, like many bloggers, I just enjoy it and blogging income is a plus.

 

Do you own a website? What is your monetizing experience? Do you consider it passive income?

 

This post was featured on the Outlier Model, thank you!

 

A 30 something French girl embarking on a journey towards Financial Independence. I blog about money, travel, simple and deliberate living, freedom and choices. You can find me on Twitter, Google+, or Reach Financial Independence's Facebook Page

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Comments

  1. I wouldn’t consider Outlier Model a source of passive income, lol. I think most bloggers put a lot of work (and pride!) into their sites. I’ve thought about creating a niche website, but most of the niche topics that I know about either (1) already have a lot of great free resources available or (2) change so rapidly that my niche site would not be passive.
    CF recently posted..Where are all the girls in the game industry?My Profile

  2. Some people seem to have a knack for making niche sites (or at least claim to have a knack for it). I don’t think it would work well for me, since I would probably put too much effort into a niche site and then wind up not making money. My impression for the often opaque writings on the subject are that you need to crank out a fleet of niche sites and hope that one becomes profitable.

    I thought about dropshipping once too. Great idea, but terrible margins.

    And blogging is not passive. Not by a long shot. It’s like having a part time job, on top of my full time job.
    My Financial Independence Journey recently posted..A Primer on Federal Income and Investment TaxesMy Profile

  3. I’ve definitely considered starting a niche site, and I still might pursue it. Yes, you might sink a bunch of time into something that never makes a dime but if you can make one (or a few) that generate profits it can be a great source of side income. At least that’s what people have told me who have been successful at it.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..Why it’s important to get in the habit of “shipping” your workMy Profile

  4. No doubt that blogging is a lot of effort. I view it more as a hobby than as a source of income. It is nice that it pays for itself ultimately, but with my busy life, I would be delusional to think that this was a major source of income.
    JT recently posted..Debt Breakdown–Six Figures is Only the BeginningMy Profile

  5. Ah yes…a blog is not a source of passive income! We thought it would be, but it sure isn’t! We have also thought about doing a niche site, but I’m not entirely sure that we have the skills to pull that one off. :)
    Greg@ClubThrifty recently posted..Ways to Pay Less Taxes and Save MoneyMy Profile

  6. I own a monetized blog, which I consider a good source of income. Not primarily income, but definitely enough to make it worth my time. It’s definitely not passive! I spend probably 10-15 hours working on my blog and staff writing every week.
    Jordann @ My Alternate Life recently posted..Saving Money on My WeddingMy Profile

  7. Blogging isn’t a way to make passive income?! ;) I had no idea the amount of time would need to go into a blog, but (like you said) it is definitely not passive. I think pretty much anything worth while in life is not passive, but takes action on your part. I’ve thought about building a niche site and might in the future…but, with our business and the blog it would mean giving up sleep.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..How to Save Money EasilyMy Profile

  8. I have bought a domain for a Niche site and am planning to launch something this year… Interested in joining?
    Savvy Scot recently posted..Ways To Consolidate Your DebtsMy Profile

  9. Thanks for sharing this. I started a blog last July and love it. But I have not developed it much or monetized it yet. This might sound silly but I wanted to prove to myself I could write consistently and run a blog for year before I poured resources into it. I’m on track for that and would like to update my site later this year.
    Brian @ Luke1428 recently posted..How Far Would You Go To Get What You Want?My Profile

    • You have done great with your site! I think it is a wise decision to take your time before you monetize, you can make more educated decisions instead of going for the first shiny offer just to realize it affects your site later on.

  10. I’ve been planning on creating a niche site. From the reading i’ve done before jumping in, it definitely takes a lot more work now than it did a year or two ago thanks to Google penalizing “thin” sites. I think its still worth it because it doesn’t require the daily attention that a blog does, but it seems it’s getting harder and harder to succeed with.
    The First Million is the Hardest recently posted..Alternatives To Paying Income TaxMy Profile

    • once you get it running you can get a VA to write a few posts and ”fatten” the site. I wouldn’t want to drop too much money on it before it takes off though.

  11. I have a blog and it has led me to earn extra income in many ways. I think that if I would have never started my blog, then I probably would have never even thought about making extra income.
    Michelle recently posted..How We Handled $32,000 in Student LoansMy Profile

  12. When I launched The Heavy Purse last year, it was fulfilling a life-long dream of mine. I didn’t start blogging right away, not because I didn’t have things to say, (ha!) but I wasn’t really sure I had time to do it right. People make it look effortless, but I knew a few people who had blogs and they assured it took a lot of time, which I lacked. Eventually I realized that blogging was a way to introduce myself to others and share my knowledge. When I started blogging, I naively assumed people would just show up. They didn’t. :) But I started doing more social media and making connections, so things are now on the upswing. I’m worker harder than before, but I’m also having more fun. I’d be interested in a niche website, but right now I have to focus on making The Heavy Purse successful.
    Shannon @ The Heavy Purse recently posted..Children and Money: Don’t Turn It into a Taboo TopicMy Profile

  13. It is so true Pauline, blogging is NOT passive income. I now blog full-time and it is a lot of work. I do enjoy it though, at least most aspects of it. I have been thinking about doing a niche site ever since I came across Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income. He has a really good model, but I just haven’t thought of a niche that I would like to tackle yet.
    Deacon @ Well Kept Wallet recently posted..How to Create a BudgetMy Profile

  14. Well, you know my opinion about something online being passive. That was what my rant was about yesterday. I don’t think niche sites are really that great. It just adds to the work level.
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted..**Rant Alert** – An Online Business is NOT a Passive Income SourceMy Profile

  15. I have niche sites that are 5 years old and I rarely touch them anymore but they get a fair amount of traffic and I earn money through adsense and affiliate programs. Although they were a lot of work 5 years ago to initially setup, they aren’t anymore so I would consider the on-going income to be passive income.
    Tackling Our Debt recently posted..Save Money Every Month by Refinancing Your MortgageMy Profile

    • I couldn’t manage more than a blog right now, you amaze me with your organization skills! Do you live in a place where the days have 28 hours or do you have a small army of VAs (or a twin sister, or five arms) haha?

  16. I totally agree, blogging does demand A LOT of time, but if you view it as a hobby then it’s also fun!
    Money Bulldog recently posted..Save Money ~ Be Frugal & Fix It!My Profile

  17. The problem with niche sites Pauline is that they’re soulless…you build them for one reason…to make money.

    That’s fine if you’re entirely extrinsically motivated; but it can get pretty soul destroying if you’re looking to create something truly worthwhile. A decade ago I build a business out of them, but I just couldn’t stand it indefinitely. As they say, there’s more to life than money. And there’s also more to life than wondering what algorithmic tweaks Google have in store next.

    The days of purely commercially and SEO driven (and usually insincere niche sites) have to be numbered in my opinion. It’s a castle built on algorithmic sand.

    The web has moved on; a genuine interest in your subject, a passion to help and a desire to connect with others are the only way forward long-term. I think you’d have a pretty tough time setting up shop these days without those attributes…all of which require a lot of activity, not passivity.
    Gareth recently posted..It’s personality that counts…right?My Profile

    • You are right Gareth, and automating things doesn’t really go with my personality. I get bored with mechanical stuff, need change, challenge, interactions. Sure it is nice to have a little money maker on the side but it is not a real achievement that can make you feel proud of what you bring to people.

  18. Ever since I read the niche site post on MMD I’ve been contemplating it as well. I’ve got an idea and expertise and there doesn’t seem to be much competition. But… well The Frugal Path takes a lot of time. As you said, blogging is more demanding than I previously thought. A niche site might just throw fuel onto the fire and take time away from my blog.
    Justin@TheFrugalPath recently posted..In Debt and Out of Ideas? Draw Your Purchases.My Profile

  19. There are seemingly many ways to make money online, including starting a website. I’m just starting mine and it’s so far been just a lot of work.

  20. Blogging is the least passive thing I might have ever done. Giving an eye exam is more passive. I could spend 24 hours a day doing something blog related, but wow, is it ever fun and it makes me use my brain in many different ways. I have no idea how to start a niche site, but my idea would be to have something that can guide someone through health care issues in the US like insurance, out of pocket costs, choosing doctors, etc. Might be a little ambitious.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..Puppy Or Older Dog: Which Costs More?My Profile

    • sounds like a good idea, you would need to find the angle to monetize and automate, like doctors paying to be on your medical yellow pages, or a % or any new business referred to them, etc. I did that as a side job, filling entries for a law website, it is a LOT of work and a website with a database behind is so complicated.

  21. I am really glad you chose the blog, Pauline. You ARE great at engaging with people and you have been an enormous help to me (and others I am sure). Thanks for this post!
    Tony@WeOnlyDoThisOnce recently posted..Live on Half of What You EarnMy Profile

  22. Starting a blog really isn’t a fast way to make money. I thought it would be a lot easier before I started, but I am having a heap of fun so it doesn’t really bother me.
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Having Multiple Bank Accounts is a Smart MoveMy Profile

  23. I’m relatively new to all of this, but I feel like, at least for me, blogging is the way to go. I too love the community and being able to share info. Although I would love to monetize in the future, I’m happy for now just writing. :-). Good post, Pauline!
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted..“Ya See, That’s What I Wanna Talk to You About”My Profile

  24. All I can add is that you should take the time and brainstorm for a good name that’s available. I didn’t and ended up changing my domain name a month into my “blog journey”. It was a PIA! But I’m glad I did it.

  25. I agree to go self hosted from day one but sometimes you want to test the waters although I never started the blog for money. Some days it seems that I’m left in the cold by others because I’m not self-hosted but that’s OK as long as I’m enjoying it. The blog takes up far more time that I initially thought but it’s getting easier with continued scheduling. I haven’t made a penny in over a year since I started it and even if I did I would not call it passive at all. Maybe in the future I can make a bit, who knows, there’s enough advertisers knocking on the door, I just haven’t opened it yet. Most of my focus is on my full-time career which I love and I have plenty of continuous training to keeep me more than satisfied.
    Now I have have my entire site redesigned and moved to self hosted but what can you do. I’m a firm believer that if you engage your audience, build trust and the people WANT to be there and read what you have to say, they will be there and that’s what matters to me. I’m in no rush to the finish line that doesn’t exist. Cheers and great post
    Canadian Budget Binder recently posted..Income Tax Is Like A Four Letter WordMy Profile

    • thanks Mr CBB, you are doing things right and within a time frame that works for you, that’s great. Regarding blogging no one should start it as a business, it transpires on posts and drives away reader. blog income is an added bonus, shouldn’t be the goal.

  26. I think online passive income is a myth, unless you can hire others to do the work for you. Blogging requires a lot of continual work. Niche sites do require continued updating as well to stay relevant when Google changes their algorithms. Even book sales, which some hold up as the holy grail of “easy” passive income, take a LOT of marketing to gain any traction.
    Edward Antrobus recently posted..9 Places to Find Free EbooksMy Profile

  27. I think most of those passive niche sites are garbage. They provide no value and clutter up the internet with the sole purpose of making money. From everyone else’s perspective, I think they’re a blight on the landscape.

    I do make some money off my blog, more than I ever dreamed possible. I turn down a lot of opportunities, however, because I’m picky about maintaining my standards. If I sell out, I lose everything – my own self respect and my readers’ trust.
    eemusings recently posted..Link love (Powered by early mornings and blog lovin’)My Profile

    • most of them are garbage. I hate the ones that you land on when you make a typo for the real site you meant to visit, and end up on a link farm powered by google ads.
      You are very wise to keep your standards high, that is the way to go if you want to last.

  28. I’ve been looking at building a niche site but the big problem I have is finding a niche that will hold my attention long enough. Hopefully after I get moved into my new house I can settle down and get one started. Thanks for the tips Pauline.
    Chris @ Stumble Forward recently posted..Weekly Mentions – I’m Finally MovingMy Profile

  29. Blogging, as any blogger would know is far from passive.

    Niche sites are a whole another story. In theory, they are passive. I guess. But I have been trying to create a couple of them and they are sucking my time like no other projects. Coming up with niche site idea after a ton of keyword research itself took me a LOT of time in 2011 (I took 2012 off, so I didn’t do anything with those ideas until this year). Ever since then I have been trying to just get those done, but they are never ending. If I can live with thin content, I could use fiverr and get the content done. I tried that and fiverr content was horrible. I have to pay the going rate for the posts to be decent I guess, which means to get the number of posts I want in the site, it is going to cost a lot of money. Not my idea of niche site, so I decided to write the content myself. After working for 2 hrs on it every single day since the second week of January, I would say I am 15% done :(
    Suba recently posted..Summary of 2013 Tax deductions, credits, incentives and new changesMy Profile

  30. There are millions of web sites and if someone wants to make money it’s just like starting a small business in a strip mall, it takes a ton of time and effort. I did web development for years and I can’t count how many times I tried to talk people out of building a site because they thought you could just put something up and the money would start flowing in. It just doesn’t work that way.
    Chris @ StockMonkeys.com recently posted..How Much Does It Cost To Start Up A Small Business?My Profile

  31. Good looks on the forex venture. One of my colleagues is always on it and he makes about $200-$300 a week. He took a couple of courses and learned how to actually make money with this. With the nice site idea I recommended looking at http://www.nichepursuits.com. Spencer has an actual case study where is building a site from the ground up

  32. I’m must say, I’m like Brian @ Luke1428 and other commenter. I’m just not sure I ‘deserve’ the income yet? And it’s something I don’t know a lot about (though, I do know someone who lives and breathes this stuff!). I tend to think BECAUSE I’m not niche enough, there’s less appeal to advertisers in some respects. Still definitely something I’m ruminating on.

    • if you have a blog and a little community, there has to be someone interested in advertising there. You can’t put ads while you are still on wordpress though, you need to go self hosted.

  33. Chris@The Credit Cat says:

    Hi Pauline, I started with Niche sites but Google killed them with Panda, Penguin and the EMD update so I’ve moved onto email marketing!
    Chris@The Credit Cat recently posted..Don’t let money come between your relationships!My Profile

  34. I agree with you 100%! Too many internet marketers and bloggers advertise blogging and starting a website as passive income when it is actually very aggressive, takes lots of time, energy and thought. Even entertainment and funny blogs require time and effort. It can eventually lead to great income, a portion of which will be passive as age, brand awareness and backlinks develop.

    A more passive online strategy is that of the niche website. Aside from those trying to scam or force an affiliate sale, a niche website could be assembled in less than 72 hours with some really useful or entertaining content. Any other free time could be spent improving it or building SEO for it.

    I use both strategies myself. A have a handful of niche websites that are very simple but incredibly helpful to a small number of people. Each was an investment of less than $5 (Godaddy coupons) and about 48 hours of writing about topics I love. They make very little money, but more than their initial cost each month and I don’t have to do anything to them. They are not getting me rich, but it is extra money I didn’t have.
    Scott @Youthful Investor recently posted..A Look Back At The Worst Investments Of 2012My Profile

    • Impressive that you can make a niche site in 3 days! Sure if you write about a topic you enjoy, it isn’t so hard. Promotion and backlinking do take lots of time though.

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