Newbie with questions

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I am a newbie here and also to the world of building and monetizing websites (although I have greater knowledge than the average person on the street because it is something that I am interested in and read about on my own time). I am strongly considering building a website of my own and have started planning conceptually and gathering content for a few ideas according to the BuSo guides.

But I don't have any experience with coding or website building. According to the BuSo guides, I should learn how to do this myself rather than hiring someone else to do it. What is the best resource to learn to build a good website (I am going for quality, not to make a quick buck) and how long would it take?

Or does it make sense to partner with someone who already has these skills and a proven track record? Things that I can bring to a partnership would be content (although I have a feeling this isn't worth too much lol) and money. It seems like that would be hard to find because if they had skills and a proven track record they wouldn't need either my content or my money probably.
 

CCarter

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You do not need to know coding or deep website creating skill to make money with a website. If you're willing to pay the price and hire a designer that understands user experience and a coder that has SEO skills, you can get away with making money fast with a WordPress setup.

However you should know the basics of SEO, generating traffic, user experiences, and marketing. That way as you hired someone that has a proven track record you can spot things that need to be adjusted (you can also hire someone to audit a coder's code).

I hate to say it, cause I'm anti-WordPress, but you don't need to know PHP to run a WordPress site. When it's time to customize it, get a PHP/JavaScript coder or website designer to do it helps - especially if you have no problem spending the money to do it.

The problem is - how do you determine whether a programmer, coder, or designer is good? Especially if you have no contacts or past experience, or basic to intermediate understanding of online marketing. So you'll make a lot of mistakes the first several Gos at it, as with anything new - like a baby crawling and walking for the first time. You just can't be scared to try.

There are people that have the raw energy and will to just "go at it" like @built did. Even without knowing everything newbies can "make their own way" and do something that even veterans never thought of cause the "old people" are stuck in their ways.

Example: A ancient marketing veteran might say you need a full scale marketing campaign, online and offline - billboards and all.

A website designer veteran might say you need a logo - "the logo is everything".

An SEO veteran might say you need to concentrate 100% of your efforts on SEO.

They aren't wrong, from their perspective, because that is what made them successful but it may not necessarily make you successful. I have a font logo for my SAAS, we still bank. A SEO guru once told us "no one will need to see all the top rankings of a keyword" when we showed them the concept of our software - over 15K customers later those veterans clearly were wrong.

You might find doing traffic leaks comes naturally to you and are able to generate 10K in a single day - compared with some veteran SEO's own experience where it took them 3-4 years to get that amount of traffic from Google - YOU might have a better way of doing things since you look at the problem from a newbie perspective without the baggage of the past.

Bottom line: There is no perfect plan or solution to anything - marketing, SEO, setting up a website; perfection = paralysis.

Just get started and fumble your way through failures until you succeed. Ask questions here - there are tons of people from programmers, coders, website designers, SEOs, and marketers that are willing to help out - but the biggest key is people want to see their advice is not wasted, so what matters is action above all else.

Or does it make sense to partner with someone who already has these skills and a proven track record?
Sometimes people are looking to partner up cause it holds them accountable to others and it helps them make sure the project is a success. Also sometimes someone has a great idea or brings great ideas to the table and even if you have your own setup partnering up with them will ensure 2 (or more) brains are working to solve a problem rather than just one.

But as with anything - determining who to partner up with is the same as trying to hire a coder or designer - trial and error.
 
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Wow thank you very much for your detailed response.

I know it is mostly about execution and not ideas but here are a few things I am considering...does anything stick out as a bad idea? I have personal knowledge of and interest in the first three things but I am thinking of starting with the fourth for learning purposes. Then later I can do one or more of the others.

1. Skiing/Biking/Outdoor Sports Website (subfocus on doing these activities with your children) - blog (personal and informational), product reviews, and forum with the intent of making money through affiliate marketing, advertising and possibly dropshipping if I can find any reputable brands who will do it

2. Lesbian Moms Website - blog (personal and informational), product reviews and perhaps a forum; make money through affiliate links and advertising, not just adsense but also direct advertising from IVF clinics, obgyns once the website has proven itself

3. Alternative Sexualities and Sexual Practices (anything from poly to demisexual to BDSM) - blog, forum, product reviews, possibly post videos?; monetize through ads, affiliate marketing and possibly dropshipping sex-related products and books

4. Website with facts/stories/pictures/videos of celebrities pre-fame - monetization through ads only; focus on up-and-coming celebrities (to be determined through google keyword search trends); method for driving traffic would be mainly SEO (ie, I don't think I would pay for ads)

I notice my plan for the first three websites are basically the same (blog, product reviews, forum, monetize through affiliate marketing and ads, drive traffic through SEO, ads, influencers). Not sure if that is due to my inexperience. There are already of course websites doing all of these things but my plan would be to compete on quality (and ideally to come up with something new or interesting like, say, including a page on my lesbian moms site where women could connect with potential sperm donors, do an advanced search for sperm donors or post ads seeking sperm donors).
 

Ryuzaki

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With #2 and #3 you're talking about a very tiny percentage of the population divided even further. Unless you can find some extremely high paying affiliate programs for IVF or sperm donation or whatever, I think that's going to be a labor of love that doesn't produce much money. You could probably grow a forum in each but forum goers become ad blind very fast. I'm sure there's affiliate programs for toys and things of that nature. I just don't think the demographic is large enough.

With #4, we've had that exact same discussion recently. It can be done but it's going to require getting in the trenches and doing some guerilla marketing I think, versus only relying on SEO. SEO would be the afterthought reward that comes from the marketing around the net. These kind of sites use a lot of paid advertising too.

#1, in my opinion, is your best bet. There's a big demographic, big money, everything hinges on having to buy products to participate, and you can start niche'd down like "with children" and easily expand to drop that aspect once you saturate it. I'd forget about the forum, personally. You'll spread yourself too thin. Just focus on a core idea and execute it, like Content + Promotion. If you do decide to do a forum, I'd do it on a sub-domain or a separate domain altogether so you don't end up with tons of low quality user generated content hurting your main site.
 

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@gamelyidyls make sure you do proper market research - cause as @Ryuzaki said you might be trying to target an audience that's so small it might be impossible to get traction.

However - if you find there is very little/weak competition you can be the first mover and take 100% of the market from competitors by providing a better experience, and even if there are only 250,000 people in the world in that target audience, having 100% of them can make you bank.

The general advice is to start out broad when going into online marketing, since you'll stumble, but can also pivot when you find a gold mine you weren't looking for. As well you can do a lot more outreach and contact more people if the market is huge versus small. So marketing is alot easier, selling products is alot easier since there are already customers within that market.

1. I like the children angle, cause as a parent it's a bit difficult to find activities and places that are child friendly, so that's a great angle.

2. Lesbian Moms - that's a difficult one, but you never know, you can become a god in that industry if done well. Remember never listen to the veterans, always try, you never know. Some quick research, I found LGBT adoption stats stating:

- Researchers estimate the total number of children nationwide living with at least one gay parent ranges from 6 to 14 million

- Gay and lesbian parents are raising four percent of all adopted children in the United States.

-More than 16,000 same-sex couples are raising an estimated 22,000 adopted children in the United States.

- More than 16,000 adopted children are living with lesbian and gay parents in California, the highest number in the United States.

So going off estimates there are at minimum 16K to over 22K families (only counts 1 child). That's a small target audience (this is online USA stats). If somehow you find numbers 10x that, 160K to 22K families out of over 330 million Americans - that's again very small.

However there is nothing to say that you cannot capture 100% of that audience, and become the dominant brand since very little competitors are out there.

I'd look at the traffic numbers of your top competitors using Alexa, SEMRush, Ahrefs, and as many sources as possible to see the estimates of visitors.

If you find your #1 competitors gets 100K visitors a month, use 10% of that as your target goal - now ask yourself if you got 10K visitors a month, how much could you potentially generate from them in revenue? You'd need your own products, or a good affiliate offer.

Next go through and find all potential affiliate offers and products/services you could sell - write them down, and find out the numbers for commissions.

Now estimate that only 1% (that's being generous) if your traffic will convert into an affiliate sale in the beginning, or only 3% click through an Advertisement. What do your numbers look like off of getting to 10K visitors a month? 1% of 10K = 100 visitors - if they buy a product that's $100, and you get $5 commission, that's $500 in revenue that month - was it worth it for the effort you put in?

With anything you have to do the numbers, then sit and marinate, you'll know in your gut whether you should pursue it or not. (But again my numbers were a quick search - you might find other numbers that put my research to shame and realize it's a bigger audience than I estimated).

3. Alternative Sexualities and Sexual Practices - A little dirty secret is Amazon, the largest eCommerce marketplace - their biggest selling category is Adult. Porn alone makes up nearly 40% of online traffic. So yes this is a HUGE market. I think it's safe to say that 99% of humans are interested in sex. The thing is - there is already a TON of online business dedicated towards this - it can be good or bad. You just have to figure out how to distinguish yourself as with any business.

4. Celebrity website - Meh. The way to make money with that is ALOT of traffic, with CPM offers. The user intent isn't to buy services/products when on those types of websites. So you'll have a bit of an uphill battle, but the good thing is there is always search volume.

--

I prefer things with high barrier to entry for the competitor and a big target audience. Affiliate websites really don't have a high barrier to entry, so you have to go above and beyond to make them distinct to become a brand. Lead generation sites however - that's where there is money.

It's easier for me to sell life insurance to a family household than trying to get someone to click on an Advertisement on a webpage about Kim Jenner; And the life insurance commissions is ALOT more profitable than payment for some click.