SincerelySandy - 2:54 pm on Jan 9, 2006 (gmt 0)
More good questions people,
First off aleksl, I don't have a very good sense of time, nor do I have access to my records at the moment, but I will try to give a time frame. One thing to note is that even though I only work on my sites a few hours a day now, during my first year I spent alot of 12 hour days reading and learning (I have the motivation and tenacity of a pit bull).
I created my first website about 1 year before adsense was born. A few months before adsense came around I had figured out how to get that site near the top of the SERPs. I had also come to realize no one wanted my product so I started running advertising on the site. I started making a little money and realized that even though no one wanted my product, there was definately money in that niche. So I created another site that was informational and ran ads on it. Note: I did not create a second site until I learned how to get good positions with my first one. When adsense came out I was just starting to make money with advertising with other companies as well as direct advertising. About this same time I was getting inquiries from people that wanted a website designed or optimized. Within a few more months I was making enough money between freelance work and advertising that I quit my job. About a year after starting freelance, I stopped so I could focus on my own sites. That and I was getting stressed by all the clients that kept finding me.
I think it's important to note here that even though there were no sandbox issues when I started, it still took me almost a year from the point I had started my first site to the point where I was generating enough money to tease me and make me realize I could earn a living.
Someone asked what type of editing program I use, I have nothing against editing programs but I prefer not to use them because of all the additional coding (code bloat). I start with a blank notepad document or I copy one of my existing pages to use as a sort of template for the new one. When I first started, it almost seemed just as easy to gain a working knowledge of programming languages as it would be to learn how to use editing software. Also, because I learned the languages instead of a program, I felt as though I was better equipped to work on other peoples sites.
No process really, just hard thinking and the good luck to come across an idea that works. Funny sites and sites that invoke strong opinions and emotions tend to be more viral that other types of sites, so when I'm trying to think of ideas, I keep this in mind.
what process do you use to come up with ideas for sites that do not require SE's for traffic?