nickreynolds - 9:15 am on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)
V helpful thread so I'd like to contribute my experience. I work part time in a self employed non-internet based job. It was full time but my various internet income enables me to do both part time. First I built my own website. Then I built websites on related subjects with real, helpful content that got some advertising revenue. Then I realised lots of people in my niche are small businesses or selfemployed and need a website like mine. I built some templates (looking back they weren't so great design-wise!)and then wrote an article (about 3 years ago) for a trade/professional magazine about why people need a website, how to build it themselves including design, optimization for SE's etc. They didn't pay me for the article but gave me a free advert in the mag. So i've really just been focussing on my niche. Some of those people who signed up then are still with me, paying their little bit each year (the arrangement is that I design and host so it gets a recurring income).
No it would never pay me full time. Yes it's another string to my bow. Yes, some of them are a pain in the backside. Yes some decide they want something bigger and better and pay more. Yes I started charging too low - I now charge more.
So in my experience it's not a business model but it can add some income. For me, if i host their site on a reseller hosting account, in my niche that works fine and can produce a regular income with little work.
Oh and just another little thing - I've found that the more sites I do, the harder the admin is to maintain the whole portfolio. Do 3 sites and you can remeber everything in your head. Do 30 similar sites and you need some systems!
Finally I appreciate most of you guys are at the top of the market looking down and I'm at the bottom looking up but hopefully their might be some helpful thoughts here.