Many of my friends who are getting laid off or struggling with the economy right now are wondering if there is a way to set up an easy website and get started with promoting a side business or a new business.
From what I understand, it’s tough going out there and to some extent I’m really grateful, fortunate, and thankful for all of you who support my web design business, which is now in its 5th year of developing websites for green companies, progressive organizations, and minority women entrepreneurs.
When my partner and I first started the company, we truly believed we could make it and we explicitly stated we wanted to support our community. Now that this has become a reality and we work with more and more women in business, I’m realizing how fortunate we are to be able to do what we love, which is building community-based websites to support women of color and fair trade, organic, holistic, sustainable, and green businesses.
If you are new in business, a startup, or you’re thinking of good ways to monetize your website, I do encourage you to use some of the available services out there to help you create a viable web-based business. We also offer lots of resources on how to get started with a website at my blog: http://www.asuccessfulwoman.com.
Here are some ideas to kick off your brainstorming about creating and monetizing a web-based property.
Joomla with AEC Subscriber
You can create a Joomla website and use the add-on “AEC Susbscriber module” from Valanx.org to allow members to subscribe for a monthly or annual fee. This is a great way to offer paid members-only content (through the AEC subscriber module) and manage that content (through Joomla) in an easy and straightforward manner.
We’ve created this for a company that offers members-only video content.
Use a PayPal account to accept member subscriptions and our suggestion is to offer up to three different “levels” of access, say a $10 level, a $15 level, and a $50 level.
Multiply that by the number of subscribers you can sign up and you’re looking at some pretty good numbers.
Drupal with advertising revenue
A community-built site includes member-generated content and Drupal.org is a great platform to use: members can control their own community blogs, articles, images, and stories.
Use someone who knows what they’re doing as Drupal is open source and free to download and install, but the configurations can be quite complicated.
One project we did is advertising-supported: so if you build a community of niche members in a particular industry or demographic, find advertisers willing to reach out to that group of members and benefit from straight banner advertising for a fee, or affiliate advertising based on purchases and your affiliate code.
We use e-junkie.com to sell digital properties and handle payments of limited items. You can set up an account and sell products through your store here, offering discount codes, e-delivery of products, and variable items.
If you start up a blog (even using WordPress or Blogger is fine to get started!) you can gather any valuable information you post and publish it as a print version or as an e-book.
More than anything, in today’s wired age, I believe that the more you dominate your niche of what you want to specialize in, the easier it will be for you to promote projects and companies tha match what you value.
Leave a message in the comments if you’re looking to start a new venture. Remember that it all boils down to: timeline, budget, and deliverables.
What do you want to do? When do you want to do it? How much do you have to spend and what’s the return on your investment?