The Best Investment for a Spare-Time Business Owner

Last year my retirement investments lost 19.7% of their value. Over the same period, the income from my part-time money-making website increased by 116%.

If I were a lawyer, at this point I might say, “I rest my case.”

My case being that you’re better off investing TIME in writing a money-making website than MONEY in a retirement investment plan.

Of course, if you do write your own money-making website, the income doesn’t have to go into a retirement plan. (That’s my choice, because I’m 50+ and woefully behind on my retirement planning.)

You could just as well use that extra money to pay for college, either for yourself, your children, or your grandchildren.

Or you could use it to pay off credit card debts, reduce your mortgage, pay for health care, buy a new car, and so on.

The bottom line is that now is not the best time to trust your future to a company retirement plan or to Wall Street investment managers.

How much money can you expect to make from writing a website of your own?

If you plan and research your topic carefully, and put in the time, you can typically make anywhere between $500 and $5,000 a month.

Some people earn less, and others earn a great deal more. My own money-making website, CoffeeDetective.com, makes between $2,500 and $6,500 a month, depending on the time of year. (Coffee equipment sales are very seasonal.)

If you look at my site, you’ll see there is nothing remarkable or very high-tech about it. And that’s deliberate.

I designed and wrote the site to be the online equivalent of two neighbors chatting over the garden fence. My role, as the neighbor who knows about coffee, is simply to share my knowledge.

That said, for all its folksy appearance, the site is very, very carefully structured and written. Not only is the content written to be helpful to my readers, but it is very highly optimized for the major search engines.

Almost all my traffic comes from Google, Yahoo! and MSN. Over 1,000 visitors a day and growing fast.

My site is about coffee. Yours could be about tropical plants, nutrition for dogs, learning to play the piano, living in Argentina, folk art, or just about anything else.

The trick is to find a topic that interests you. You don’t have to be an expert in the formal sense. I have no professional background in the coffee business. I just like coffee.

Then you have to identify niche areas of your topic that are in high demand (plenty of people looking for that information) and for which there is limited supply (not too many quality web pages delivering that information).

For instance, over 12% of my traffic comes as a result of people searching with just two keyphrases, “best coffee makers” and “how to make coffee.” The remaining 88% arrive at my site as a result of 3,245 other phrases for which my site is found.

Could you do the same as I have done?
For sure you can.

Building a site that will generate income on a consistent, reliable basis is a step-by-step process. You don’t need any technical knowledge or prior internet experience.

Actually, the only two qualities you need to bring to the table are: 1) Patience, because it takes time to write the site; and 2) A stubborn streak, because too many people give up on their sites too soon.

How do I make money?

I don’t sell anything. All my revenues are generated through Google AdSense ads and affiliate programs. There are other ways to make money from your site, but these are the two that work best for me.

If you want to follow the exact steps I took when creating CoffeeDetective.com, it’s all there in my program, How to Write Your Own Money-Making Websites.

The program doesn’t just talk about that one site. I have written it to work for any topic, and I cite numerous examples along the way.

I love my coffee site simply because I know I can rely on it. It’s a part-time venture on which I work at weekends and sometimes during the evening. But the site keeps growing in popularity, and the revenues keep growing, even during this economic downturn.

Which is more than I can say for my investments.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: March 24, 2009

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