Launching a new website is an exciting time, whether you are a beginner or an experienced internet marketer who has worked online for many years.
The first hurdle in launching a new website is choosing what the website will actually be. This may seem like a trivial step, however it is arguably one of the biggest hurdles you will face in the project's life.
People who are new to developing websites frequently rush into a project. In one way, this is a good thing as what they lack in experience, they make up with enthusiasm. However, rushing in is also why many people's first website gets abandoned after a few months.
Those of you who have worked online for a few years understand the importance of doing research. Before you even register a domain you need to examine potential competitors and review how the website can make money in the long-term.
In this article, I would like to share with you five methods which I believe will help you find inspiration for your next online project. I hope you find them useful :)
1. Check Sold Websites on Flippa
Flippa went from its humble beginnings as a discussion room at SitePoint to a dedicated marketplace of its own. It soon became the most active website online for buying and selling websites online.
Due to the number of websites being sold in the marketplace, Flippa has become a great way to become inspired about new website projects.
Sellers need to disclose a huge amount of information about projects in order to encourage bids. This includes traffic, sales, commissions, competition, time to update the website every month, and much more. This provides you with a wealth of information on whether starting a similar project would be worthwhile.
By looking at sold listings and listings with the most bids, you can see what types of websites are making money and which are not. This will help give you ideas for websites you may have never have considered developing in the past.
2. Check Listings on BuySellAds
BuySellAds is an advertising marketplace that acts as a middle man between advertisers and publishers. Thousands of websites sell advertisements through the service.
By looking at the statistics provided by BuySellAds publishers, you can work how exactly how much websites are earning through banner sales, email sales, tweets, and more.
Each listing on BuySellAds displays the rate of advertising and the number of impressions the website generates each month for each advertisement zone. These values helps you calculate how much each website is earning directly through ad sales.
Other information such as the number of Twitter followers and where visitors are coming from may also be displayed.
BuySellAds take a cut of 25%. If a website had three banner zones that each generated $500 per month, you would know that the website earned $1,125 from ad sales on BuySellAds.
This obviously does not give you a complete picture about a website's income. The website could be making money in many other ways too, such as affiliate marketing, email marketing, direct product sales, services, and more.
It does, however, help paint a picture as to how much traffic a website generates and how much income it earns through ad sales such as banners. This is information that you could not normally acquire.
Once you have a rough estimate of how much a website earns, you can look at other aspects of the website, such as how the website is maintained. For example, for a blog you could look at how many articles are published every week, whether the articles are short or long, and whether the content focuses on news topics or tutorials.
For me, BuySellAds presents a fantastic opportunity to look at a large variety of websites and see how they make money and how much money they make. And just like Flippa, it may help you see what type of websites are profitable, which in turn may inspire you to develop a particular type of website over another.
3. Relax, Take a Step Back, and Read Some Books
It is easy to get stuck in a rut. I have always found it hard to generate ideas when I have had a large workload. It is easy to understand why.
When you are working long hours every day, dealing with emails all the time, and doing the same routine over and over, you simply do not have time to think of great ideas as you are solely focused on completing your work. And when you do stop working, you simply want to switch off and forget about the internet.
Downtime is important. If you are working too often, taking a break for a few days may be the best thing for you. Once you have recharged your batteries, I recommend relaxing at home and reading some books. You could read some books on internet marketing, stories about success, and books about something you are passionate about, such as sports, movies, or your favourite hobby.
Whenever I take the time to read books, I always start getting lots of new ideas. For example, when I was travelling South America, I would frequently read books on my iPad and take notes while reading. This helped long bus journeys pass quickly and it meant that when I returned to work, I had lots of great ideas to implement.
4. Browse Script Directories
When I first started working online in 2000, script directories were incredibly popular. I developed many websites over my first few years from scripts that I found in directories such as Hot Scripts.
Script directories have of course lost much of their relevance over the last ten years or so. Nevertheless, many great free and premium applications can be found in script directories; which makes it a great place to get inspiration for your next online project.
You should also check out theme directories as many themes for content management systems have been designed to help you build specific types of websites. For example, a theme that was designed specifically for publishing cooking recipes.
5. Follow Your Passion
It is very easy to lose interest in projects when you do not care about the subject matter. This is why people who follow the money and launch websites on topics they do not care about frequently abandon the project just a few months later.
I am a big advocate of following your passion online as you are more likely to find success with a website if you enjoy updating it.
If you are passionate about something, be it a hobby, sport, pastime, TV show, or whatever; then I encourage you to follow that passion. Build a website that focuses on your interest and you will attract visitors who share your passion.
What Say You?
How do you find inspiration for your new online projects?
I would love to know so please leave a comment below if you have time :)
Thanks for reading.
Featured Image Credit: Stephen Poff