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Website Startup Ideas

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    • There are a lot of opportunities for earning money on the Internet.http www image by mbs from Fotolia.com

      In 2009, the social networking website Twitter was valued at $1 billion, just three years after being launched. Although some might say that opportunities for Internet startup companies ended in the late 1990s when the dot-com bubble burst, the truth is that the right website idea can generate a lot of money--even in a down economy. Learn about the types of websites that are successful, then think about how you could put your own spin on a successful concept to create a new website startup.

    Marketing a New Product

    • A product that does not exist already and fills a niche can draw a lot of traffic to a website. A product sold online might be a physical item that you have invented, or a digital item such as an electronic book or computer program. If you have the funds to start a website but do not have a product to sell, consider purchasing an exclusive license to sell a product created by someone else, or purchasing the product outright.

    Affiliate Marketing

    • Many online merchants have affiliate programs. To see if a website has an affiliate program, look for a "Partners" or "Affiliates" link, generally at the bottom of the page. When you join an affiliate program, you create a website that is designed to refer prospective customers to the main website that sells the product. If a customer that you refer makes a purchase, you receive a percentage of the sale. The referral is tracked by the link that the customer uses to browse away from your site, or by a small file called a "cookie" saved in their Web browser. The affiliate share for physical products is generally in the single digits as a percentage of the purchase price, while the affiliate share for sales of digital products can sometimes be quite large.

    Professional Blogging

    • On its simplest level, a blog is a website to which new content is added on a regular basis. A blog might consist of product reviews, or news, rumors and opinions about a particular hobby or field. Visitors will come to your website if you provide content that is not available elsewhere, and you can generate revenue through targeted advertisements.

    Social Networking and Dating

    • Some of the most popular websites on the Internet are the ones that bring people together. Examples of popular social networking websites include MySpace and Facebook. Although you might think that no room remains on the Internet for new social networking or dating websites, consider the fact that MySpace and Facebook were both considered unstoppable juggernauts when Twitter was launched in 2006. Twitter's new angle of combining social networking with mobile phones turned it into a success. If you have an angle of your own, you could do the same.

    Penny Auctions

    • Penny auctions are a relatively new development on the Internet. A penny auction is not unlike a standard auction. However, in a penny auction, buyers pay for the ability to bid. Each bid is purchased for a flat rate--usually a dollar or less. A bidder then "spends" a bid to advance the price of an item by one cent and put herself in the lead. When the auction is complete, the winning bidder pays the final bid price to purchase the item. Because each bid costs around $1, the final bid price of an item is generally well below its retail value. Although it is possible for the final bid price to be as high as the actual value of the item, the cost per bid tends to be a self-limiting factor. Bidders are enticed by the possibility of buying an expensive item for a fraction of its actual value. However, when the cost per bid is taken into account, a tidy profit can be made by the owner of the penny auction website.

    Combination Websites

    • Consider the fact that the most successful websites often contain some combination of the elements described above. For example, a product review website can be both a blog and an affiliate marketing website by providing reviews and directing readers to purchase the products from businesses that the website is affiliated with. Remember that it is useful to study what other websites have done to be successful, but you should try to come up with an idea that is completely unique for the greatest likelihood of success.

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