Are You Missing the Boat? I Sure Was...

Had she lived, she would have been 40 years old this year.

She was murdered on March 31st, 1995, 17 days before her 24th birthday and just a few days from her third wedding anniversary, by a disgruntled employee who had been embezzling money from the family business.

Little did I know when I first heard of her passing that from 2004 to present day, I would play a fairly significant role in educating the world about Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla Perez.

John Wood here. The origins of my "Selena story" started back in the year 2000.

That's the year I decided I wanted to learn how to build a website.

I taught myself how to use FrontPage, Microsoft's popular (and easy-to-use) website building software.

My site first tracked the statistics of the hockey pool I was in at the time.

But I soon expanded it beyond hockey. I added all kinds of links, newsfeeds, and quotes. I even added a section with pictures of my favorite actress, Sandra Bullock.

Amazingly, the site received a fair bit of traffic.

Admiring Selena for both her music and who she was as a person, I added a "Selena page" as a tribute to her.

Then something quite amazing happened.

That one page began to get way more hits than all the other pages of my site combined.

I decided to expand my Selena section. I added song lyrics, a discography, a music player, a detailed biography, a Selena timeline, and so on. I bought some Selena-related VHS tapes on eBay and transferred them to DVD. Then I purchased video-editing software and started adding Selena-related videos to the site (this was before YouTube was launched).

Site traffic increased at a furious pace. So much so that I decided to move all my Selena-related pages to a unique domain name.

Since February 29th, 2004, when it first went online, Selenaforever.com has received over 42 million page views.

Many sites link to it when they reference Selena, almost as if it were Selena's official site. It generally comes up high on the first page of Google when someone searches for anything related to "Selena."

I've received messages from people all around the world thanking me for the site. I've been interviewed (via email) by students for their school reports.

My main goal with the site has never been to make money. But since I use a virtual private server to host the site and its many videos, keeping the site up and running was not done without me incurring a fairly substantial web hosting tab. So about a year and a half ago, I decided to add Google AdSense to the front page of the site to bring in some revenue.

The positioning of my ads is not ideal. If my only consideration was profit, I would have a completely different strategy. I want to keep it as non-commercial as possible so it remains a fitting tribute to Selena.

Having said all that, the one small section of Google ads more than pays for my virtual private server. It's money that consistently comes in without me really doing anything to the site, just occasional updates.

Recently, I called up a copywriting friend to find out what he was up to and how business was going.

He told me that his strategy had changed a little and his main focus now is to build up residual income through some money-making websites he's been working on. And he showed me a few that already bring him steady income each month.

His goal is to not have to rely on actually writing copy every day to sustain himself. Residual income is the way to go, he told me.

It made me feel like I've been missing the boat …

Despite my experience with the Selena site. And despite understanding the potential a content-rich website holds for bringing in the type of income we all want – money that comes in whether we're working or not – I hadn't really put in a consistent effort toward that goal.

I’m going to remedy that situation with some new money-making websites. I’ll be able to use my writing skills to create a site filled with content that I have an interest in – just like my Selena site – and money will come in automatically.

If you’d like to do the same, a great way to get started is by investing in Nick Usborne's How to Write Your Own Money-Making Websites program.

Nick, as I'm sure you know, has built a very successful website about gourmet coffee. In his program, he takes you step by step through the formula he used to turn his CoffeeDetective.com site into a $50,000+ per year residual income stream. It’s a formula you can follow yourself.

And once you do, aside from the income possibilities, you'll also get to experience that warm feeling that occurs inside when someone emails you about your site to say, "Well done. I appreciate your efforts. Thanks for the great information."

If you've already starting writing a money-making website (or plan to soon), please share what you've done by posting a comment below.

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Published: August 24, 2011

3 Responses to “Are You Missing the Boat? I Sure Was...”

  1. I began a website when I was laid off as a reporter. I wanted to keep reporting on the happenings around the area, so built the site. To pay my costs and a little bit more, I sell local ads on the site. The Beat is almost one year old and I've managed to stay in the black and pay a few freelancers. Doing what you love can pay. In my case, it's not passive income, but very active income, but I love it.

    Guest (MAM)August 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm

  2. Early 2006 my diabetic nurse told me I'd have to go onto insulin if I didn't get my blood sugar levels down. So I started learning more about diabetes and how to control it.

    As I started to get good results I decided to share my experiences and my research through my own website.

    After writing 150 pages of content I added Adsense and a diabetic recipe ebook.

    The Adsense covers my hosting costs, but I haven't really done much else with the site, guess I should ;)

    Carol Bentley PYBAugust 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm

  3. I started a site last week on something that I'd been thinking about for a long time - being a guitar player's girlfriend (which I am). So far just a little content, but later I want bios, song notes, and trivia about the "other half" of the guitar-rocker lifestyle. Putting it together has been fun and also great stress relief for me during band practice at my house.

    I don't use AdSense - I use Lijit, which I've used on other sites successfully and like better as an ad interface.

    Jennifer AdamsAugust 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm


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