You use legal content that other people wrote, have forums, wikis ... everything where other people write and and the money is of course over 2 1/2 years, divided through 2 people - taxes expenses and all the other shoot. So this ends up as somewhere being a £20.000 pound salary before taxes, not that spectacular ..
Web 2.0 is for me others writing, there might be a better definition. The same as youtube, flickr, facebook and so on do it so much better than me, feed of the hobby market, the desire of people to portray their egos .. Give the silent, technical and mostly artistically inept masses an outlet to their self perceived grandiosity.
The rest of my post means, I do some self created stuff that earns money ranks well, but i would need to write about 30 years to make that niche an income on writing myself. It of course shows some enthusiams for the topic which might have a knock on effect on the other operations .. but from the data I have, self made stuff is way to labour intensive to be viable. In other markets, computers , travel it seems to work. Additionally I am more an optical image creating type than a writer.
My market is heavily plagued by hobbyists and WP, so no chance to make work pay, really if millions others work for free, the only chance is to harvest their efforts. I am still not good enough at it, sadly...
I am also 50% shareholder of an offline business with a much higher turn over, which tells me that my online operations are still pathetic at best ... but no bank loans, 95% profit before taxes ..
What helped prebust was to find some hapless non techies with web ambitions that pay you $20.000 for 10 minutes work and then get shut down by their business angel.
Alexa tells me that the biggest publisher in my field with loads of money doesn't do much better than us. The only advantage they really have is that they have old connections with ad agencies that pay them 10 times as much as adsense does. They rented our domain for 2 years at around 40.000 Euros, but then couldn't turn it into a profit, so handed it back to us. We then of course cashed in the IBLs, which was nice. :)
So in a nutshell, the online business is still largely a hobby outfit ..
What helps is to look for a partner that balances out my weaknesses. I am the chaotic PhD type with too many ideas, while he gives the things a bit more grounding in the legal and administrative stuff, I can't be arsed doing cause of my genius.. [that's a self critical joke]
My granddad became a millionaire by having a business partner balancing out his weakneses. My dads a millionaire too, sadly they don't part that easily with their money and are of the distinct opinion that each has to do it on their own. That's possibly also a reason why they are millionaires .. , ya ain't get rich by wasting money on your offspring ... so I am still driving an old but paid type motor.. ;)
Hope that's enough info.
I think better info on how to become a millionaire with adsense is the guy who actually did it. He provided paid services on the web for free, as such doing the old lower your prices game. Sadly this is a short time strategy as the the next step after free is you get your users paying for the privilige to work. "Charities" like WP and the various environmental cruises ala "meet the blue whale" get people paying for work.
I think there was a tech talk on G Video of the guy who made a million out of adsense. Google invited him.
[edited by: mattg3 at 1:21 am (utc) on Sep. 25, 2007]