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So, think small. The smaller better. The smaller less competition you have. What is it that you're interested in, good at, expert of, that others may also be interested in? Maybe you're mad for old lamps. Create an auction site just for old lamps. Maybe you were a grief counselor in a previous life. Create a web site devoted to helping people cope with and transcend grief. Perhaps you're a stay-at-home parent. Create a community-style web site for other stay-at-home parents who are looking to connect with other people in same situation. It doesn't matter. Just think small. Think about what pushes your buttons. Then take that and create something fabulous that's all yours. Something unique.
When it comes to generating an income from your web site you have a few options. Affiliate programs are a good choice for a site that generates decent traffic but make sure you select programs that are relevant to subject matter of your site and your site visitors. Sure, you may have fewer of them to choose from, but because of specialized nature of your site and, hence, your site visitors, your market is much more highly targeted than a more general audience. Therefore, conversion rate (the ratio of site visitors to purchasers) will be commensurately higher. (It's also, I might add, a LOT easier to achieve a high search engine ranking for keywords that aren't being competed for by 99% of webmaster population!)
In addition to promoting relevant affiliate programs, it's a natural extension to your site to start publishing an ezine on a regular basis. Because subject matter of your ezine is NOT Internet Marketing (which nine out of ten of everybody else's are), you are more likely to produce a worthwhile read for your targeted audience (include a sign up form on your web site so your site visitors can subscribe in addition to marketing your ezine as a separate "product"). You can advertise your affiliate programs in your ezine, accept paid advertising, and promote your own products. Just three ways to generate an income. Another is to charge a subscription fee.
Finally, once you've been going awhile, it's time to start thinking about creating your own products. E-books and other products that can be delivered electronically are always a good choice but your product line will depend on subject matter of your site. You may sell beaded jewelry, for example.
The point is, whatever you choose as subject matter of your site, narrower you keep your focus better. Trying to be too much to too many only guarantees you'll be too little to too few. Including yourself.
Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com