Every website idea or type is a potential winner. None of them can be ruled out definitively because a big part of any site’s profit potential depends on how well you market the site and grow it from the ground up. If you are an excellent marketer and strategic CEO, it’s not difficult to make even the most common ideas a success.
What sites are worth developing? Most sites are, if you have time and are willing to invest time/funds and energy on growing the sites aggressively. Being an optimistic webmaster, I would say that you can turn a profit on anything if you really work at it.
The Sitepoint marketplace and Digital Point marketplace are probably two of the more popular places to buy websites of all sorts. Monitor them if you’re interested in expanding your virtual estate. You’ll find all of the site ideas below in both forums:
- Affiliate Review Website. Create a website that reviews affiliate products like make money online programs, web hosting services etc. Run it on WordPress and update it everyday with affiliate feeds or articles. How much you’ll make depends on how thick (amount of content) the website is.
- Product Fan Blog. Create a WordPress blog around a popular product and update everyday with news about the product. The iPhone is a good example of a hot product to choose. Traffic will be quite decent over time if the product/s have longevity.
- Auction websites. Create a website that is similar to eBay to allow users to sell and buy products from each other. You will generate income by monetizing through ads and drawing a commission through each sale. You might get some steady revenue if you sell high ticket products or go niche enough to get a loyal user base.
- Dating Websites. Dating websites are communities which allow users to register, chat with and meet other interested users. They can be easily setup with turnkey scripts although you’ll really need a customized template and some coding work done to make it competitive or attractive enough to get some users. Markus Frind is currently the biggest individual Adsense publisher and makes well over $10K a day from his free dating site, Plenty of Fish.
- Made for Adsense Websites. These are websites with a keyword domain and they come with a bunch of pre written articles around a specific topic. Examples of common topics include acne, cancer, health and finance. These are generally boring, low maintenance sites that are plastered with contextual ads. Incredibly easy to create using the WordPress platform.
- Affiliate Product Website. This is a salespage which sells an electronic product like an eBook. Create the product, buy an existing one or just get someone to do it. The main way to make money is to drive or buy traffic to your salespage and make money when they buy your eBook or opt into your email list. This is an easy way to generate some real income, especially if you are have a great niche product or am skilled in promoting your personal brand and salespage.
- Online Games/Arcade Sites. Get someone to develop an online game that is for members only and earn money by selling points, which allow users to unlock extra options within the game. Arcade sites are simply sites with a collection of flash or online games. They are monetized through display ads. Games can spread quickly if they are very well designed and appealing.
- Forums or Social Network. Pick a topic that is able to attract a decent amount of users and create a forum or social network. Income will not come quickly and a lot of work is needed to build the community. Create a blog on the same domain and use for promotional purposes. There is a potential to earn a good amount of money when the forum gets big or popular.
- Specialized Search Engines. Build a search tool that allows visitors find media of specific types. Include your adsense ads within the search pages. This sort of tools usually don’t do very well unless you provide additional value on top of search. Examples of things to add include ajax search, folksonomy and recommendation engines.
- Paid Membership Site. These are membership sites which provide ongoing educational lessons on a specific topic or offer a large archive of resources, along with a forum. An example of this is the Teaching Sells website. Members will pay a fixed fee every month to maintain their membership.
- Design/Coding Service Site. Create a website that offers customized logo or website design, alongside coding for PSD to XHTML, WordPress and Joomla. Hire freelance coders and designers and manage them. Pay them a portion of each sale and promote your website through blogs and webmaster forums.
- File Hosting Website. Set up a file host which allows users to upload and share their files online with other users. There’s a tremendous amount of competition in this niche so its very difficult to make some real money unless you innovate on features or market it well.
- Web Directories. A web directory provides listings for websites and makes money from both display advertising and sale of premium listings. Most of the work needs to be focused on marketing and branding the site. Niche directories with a good reputation might find it easier to make money.
- Online Web tool. This includes URL shorteners, spell checkers, picture editors, file converters and various webmaster tools (keyword volume, link popularity). Visitors will often return to your site to use these tools if they are comprehensive enough or if your site is well designed and genuinely useful.
- Proxies. Proxies are websites which allow a websurfer to not only surf anonymously but bypass certain filters which prevent one from viewing a site. They are popular with the Myspace crowd and will often require a dedicated server. There are many proxies on the market but they may be worth exploring. Income is largely passive.
- Commercial Template Sites. Basically this involves the creation of readymade website templates for sale. They can be bundled up into sales packages and traffic can be obtained through PPC advertising. If you’re not interested in producing original templates, you can run the site using affiliate feeds from the other more established template websites like Template Monster.
The ideas mentioned can all be created by yourself using an existing script or you can set up your own by hiring a coder and designer. It’s more or less DIY, although you will need to some research on the market and have some basic webmaster skills
Now for your opinion. I imagine that some readers might want to start purchasing or building up some of these websites. What do you personally think has the most potential for profit and which idea would you recommend?
Interesting in investing in websites? If you want to get into this but have no idea how to search for, value, evaluate and manage a website, give us a call. We’ll work something out.