Making money online has a certain allure. It immediately conjures up images of working from a coffee shop for a couple of hours and then driving away in a convertible sports car that costs more than the average home. While this vision is certainly possible, most people struggle to even make their first $100 online.
And sometimes that $100 requires a lot of work, but a goal of $1,000 is still small enough to be believable, and the time will be well spent.
One of the best ways to get started making money online is to build and lease websites that target local web traffic.
Building and leasing a website has several advantages:
- It’s quite easy. While it’s challenging and expensive to get a website to show up on the first page of search results for the search term “ipad for sale,” it’s not difficult to rank a website for the term, “kansas city dentist.”
- You build passive income. Ultimately, you can make money in your sleep. Once you get everything set, it should only take a minimum amount of work to keep the money coming in.
- It’s scalable. Since there’s a minimum amount of maintenance required, you can keep stacking cash flows on top of each other. Just keep building, ranking, and leasing websites.
- You have options. For example, a website for a “kansas city dentist” might bring in $500 per month. But “new york city lawyer” might be worth $5,000 a month. A smaller city hair salon might bring in $150 per month. You can start small and be rather certain of success.
The primary disadvantage is time. In most cases, it will take several weeks to a couple of months to rank a website. However, there will be less than 8 hours of work in many cases. Google likes to see things evolve over time. You can’t just put the 8 hours in on day #1 and be done.
These steps will put you on the path to earning your first $1,000 online:
1. Find a city. A good size city for your first website will have a population between 100,000 and 400,000. Here is a list of cities by population.
- A smaller city than that is likely to have too little web traffic for the work to be worth your time.
- If the city is any larger, it might have too much competition for your first website.
2. Find a good niche. You’re looking for a niche where a single customer has a significant value to a business. For example, a single dental patient is worth approximately $750 per year to a dentist, on the average. But a customer might only be worth $25 per year to a greeting card store.Some good niches to consider:
- Plastic surgeons
- Optometrists and Lasix eye surgery centers
- Home Builders
- Massage therapists
- Landscaping firms
- There are many others
3. Use the free Google Keyword Tool to perform your research. There are instructions on the website. Look for a niche with low to medium competition for your city. It should also be worth $500-$1,000 per month. You can determine the value by looking at the search traffic for the keywords in question and multiplying by the suggested bid price.
- When you see search results in Google, the first couple of results are usually paid for. The client is paying Google a certain amount of money every time someone clicks on that search result. The “suggested bid” price is comparable to that cost per click price.
- If your website gets 200 visitors per month that search for “xyz city dentist” and the suggested bid price is $5, that traffic is worth $1,000 to someone. Remember to include all the relevant search terms during your research. You don’t have to find a single term worth $1,000.
- Keep going until you find a niche and a city that work.
4. Create a website. You might not know much about creating websites, but with the free WordPress software at wordpress.org, a good-looking and effective website is easy to build. You can find many good tutorials online. In a nutshell, you will need to:
- Purchase a domain name and web hosting. The domain name should be related to your niche. Most experts advise sticking with .com, .net, and .org. Web hosting is easy to find for a few dollars per month.
- Some good domain registrars are godaddy.com and namecheap.com. For best results, it’s a good idea to obtain your webhosting from a different service than where you get your domain name.
- Build your website over time. Put up a post or page of content per week. You can hire someone to write articles for you for a few dollars. For example, if your niche is real estate agents, you should have content related to home loans, school districts, moving, the local real estate market, and so on.
- Use pictures and YouTube videos. You can find royalty-free pictures online and you can simply imbed existing YouTube videos on your website.
- Include the search terms you found while doing your research. Sprinkle these keywords throughout your website.
- Educate yourself. There is a lot of information online about search engine optimization. Plus, there are many ways to market your website. The Internet is full of information about both of these topics which will bring more traffic to your site.
5. Once the website is ranked on the first page of a search, find a client. Finding someone to lease your website really is the easiest part. Approach your possible clients and show them what you have. Show them the traffic you’re getting and the cost per click. Offer to sell them the traffic at 40 cents on the dollar.
6. Add their personal content to the website. Change your pictures for theirs. Add their business hours, address, and other relevant information. Make the changes slowly over a couple of weeks. Continue to update the website in some small way each month, just to keep it current.
7. Collect your money. Set up a system that works for you. PayPal is very easy, but expensive.
8. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll only be spending about an hour a week for approximately 8 weeks to build a website. That means you can build a lot of them simultaneously. Your websites should be simple.
It’s quite easy to build a significant income using this basic method, but it may take some time to develop a system that works for you. It’s important to learn about search engine optimization. The good news is that there typically isn’t a lot of competition at the local level, so you don’t have to be an expert.
The only thing stopping you is yourself. Spend a little time each day and go through the above process. There is not a single step that’s difficult. Your own doubt is the only issue. Get one success, and then you can give yourself permission to quit doubting.
There are people that make over $100,000 per month building and leasing local websites. Get your share of the pie! Start with a $1,000 goal and build from there – all in your spare time.