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Ecommerce Blog Archive

Anatomy of a Website

August 27, 2006 | The Practice of Holistic Web Design

In July 2005 I wrote a blog post called Make Money with the Internet in which I posited three rules for building a revenue-generating website. I ended the post by claiming I had a few ideas for such a website and promised that I would update this blog with a case study once I had built something. The good news is that now, over a year later, I’ve finally put the finishing touches on a new website called Inherently Funny, a database of funny names, funny songs, and more. Of course, the requisite bad news is that the site makes almost no money. There are a lot of good reasons for this—for one thing, I only followed one of my three rules for building a revenue-generating website—but despite this lack of success, I don’t believe Inherently Funny was a wasted effort. Whether or not my idea for an online database of jokes without punch lines was any good, building the site did remind me that good web design requires more than simply knowing HTML and Photoshop. Good web design is in fact a holistic practice requiring the additional knowledge of search engine optimization, web usability, and web analytics. I wouldn’t expect anyone to simply take my word for it though, so what follows is a discussion of each of the three fields and examples of how I applied them to Inherently Funny. Continue reading Anatomy of a Website.

Make Money with the Internet

July 10, 2005 | Three Rules for Generating Revenue

I should start this post with the disclaimer that since I make little money off this or any other website, the advice that follows is nothing more than my own dreamy conjectures. That said, if you intend to generate website revenue, you could probably do a lot worse than considering the following three rules.

1. Your website must “own” a popular niche keyword.
Any website with an ad-driven revenue model is dependent on traffic, and the best way to drive traffic to your site is by optimizing for search engines. Many separate efforts encompass search engine optimization, but perhaps most essential for generating revenue is identifying niche keywords. Niche keywords are phrases that many users search for but which few competing websites serve. For example, you might find that several websites are already optimized for the keyword “dog photos,” but that very few are optimized for “dog pictures.” If research also shows that a large number of internet users actually search for “dog pictures,” the phrase would be a very good keyword. Online software like Wordtracker can tell you both how many searches are done for a particular keyword and how many competitors for that keyword exist. Continue reading Make Money with the Internet.

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