The Website that Had 5 Hits A Day
I guess this is my chance to start something similar to a blog to keep some kind of a personal record of my professional journey. During my school days in the National University of Singapore, I never thought I would be making a living creating websites for others. I started picking up HTML about 5 years ago. Surprisingly, despite coming from a non-programming background, I picked up the language almost effortlessly. I started putting up small websites on those free hosting sites. There were a lot of those companies back then.
Before long, I was working on several projects for a few companies. It didn't take long for me to stumble upon Macromedia Flash. Once again, I was curious about how it worked and kept working on it. Those first few Flash files were real cheesy but in after just one year of hands-on experience with HTML and Flash, I managed to win a local web design competition. I got first out of slightly over thirty entries and won lots of software and several pieces of hardware.
My friends kept telling me to start something on my own. Well, I did but it didn't quite work out as I lacked the marketing and business skills to run a proper Company. Before long, flocks of freelancers entered the market and the prices hit rock bottom. Anyway, I was running a personal website. It was doing well until I got a full-time job and due to neglect, it disappeared with the many websites at about the same time when the dotcom bubble burst. And when I said doing well, I meant getting just 5 visitors a day. Hence, the title of this article. I put up some simple articles on my website and also offered a free email service but without the marketing know-how, the traffic was trickling. It wasn't until 5 years later that I started getting between 20-50 unique visitors per day on each of my website. I'm now running close to 10 websites on my own and several others for my customers.
I'd be the first to admit that I'm far from being successful but the results are encouraging. At least the websites are now paying for themselves and on some weeks, there is even some profit ;) At this point, I bet you want to know how I did that? Well, there really isn't any secret and if you look a bit harder, I'm sure you can find the information you need on one of those Internet Marketing websites. But I'll save you the trouble and give it to you here. There are two things you need to know to run a website that will eventually pay you back. The first is that your website MUST be search engine optimized. That means tweaking your website to make sure the website is friendly for the search engines. If you have a bit of time for experiment, here are some tips. Make sure that your keywords appear in your page title, and in your URL if possible. Get as many inbound links as possible but with anchor texts in your links. That means enclosing your keywords within your inbound links.
Beware of websites that sell you a half-baked story about how they can guarantee you top rankings. I tried and tested all those information I found on the Internet and it took me MONTHS to see any kind of results. If you are in a hurry to get started, take a look at Instant Website. Instant Website is an in-house product developed by myself and I use it to host my corporate website. It took me months to build and I'm now hosting my customers' site on it. The second thing you need to know is that you MUST know how to build lists. This is critical to the success of your website. Search engine traffic brings in the visitors and you must have the tools to retain them! I'm talking about having some tools to reach out to those same visitors. One example is an email box. Instant Website has a simple one incorporated in it but if you need something more powerful, here are a couple of good ones.
http://www.aweber.com and http://www.constantcontact.com That's it. Make sure your website is search engine optimized and keep building that list and you'll never have to worry about your website averaging just 5 visitors a day. What you want to do with all that traffic is completely up to you. On sites like this one, I place Google ads on them. Maybe I'll write more about that in another article but if you click on it, I earn some money.
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