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Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Money Machine

This post has been edited after getting some comments from Jawad Farid on Oil Insights.

The Money Machine is a hypothetical machine that churns out money for you even when you are asleep. Google's ads supported search engine empire is an example. Your investment in a fixed deposit certificate could be another.

I want to build such a machine for myself---not because there is a never ending lust for money but because such a machine can let you take bold decisions in life; for example, it can empower you to work for love and not for money in your 9-6 routine.

So, what can be the possible options?

One is, of course, adsense OR any other ad brokerage system, if you can weave out interesting content on the web. Please note that there is difference in earning money by writing articles for someone and earning money by publishing something. The former is directly proportional to the effort you are putting in. The later is "scalable"---you can grow from 100 dollars to a million dollars without requiring proportional workforce.

An example is freepaisa.com, a news site for branchless banking. A quick search on who.is tells that the domain is registered by one Kaiser Shahzad, living at Malir Halt, Karachi. The domain is hosted on godaddy.com. Another quick search on linkedin for Kaiser Shahzad tells that the guy has some background on Branchless banking and is somehow associated to Fundamo. The Alexa rank of freepaisa.com is 6,422,215. There was only 1 site linking in but as soon as I post this article, there will be two, and this will impact the search engine ranking of freepaisa.com. So, the basic model is to register a domain; put in some content and get ads from Google.

How much money would this guy be making? I've no idea. In fact, in such models, nobody seems to have a precise answer. But I can give you another example.

Jawad Farid recently registered oil-price.net. If you take a look at the site, there is hardly anything appreciable from a web-designing point of view. I can say that the content on this site isn't very informative either (I might be wrong here as I have no background on petroleum or oil pricing).

Jawad Farid recently registered http://oilinsights.net and he has been providing updates on his Alchemya blog. By now, he has started making a few dollars every month. Of course, the path wasn't as simple as stated in here.

So, you go the idea? You find a topic that interests you (having an interest is important because you have to "generate content" for your website); register a domain---make sure that you use Google Insights for Search to come up with the most sought after keywords---your domain must have the targetted keyword; publish content, and make sure that you use Google Analytics to understand what is popular in your site and what couldn't gain significant momentum. To get your site listed properly on The Search Engine, you must submit your sitemap via Google Webmaster Central to Google. And finally, you must build links to your sites---in other terms, work on SEO. Once you cross all stages, you should start building a community around your website---i.e., make the visitors come again and again---and add some CPM ads apart from CPC ones.

How much money can be made in such a model? As I said earlier, nobody has the right answer. But people have left their day time jobs when this model has worked for them. Here is a list of Indian bloggers with their "estimated" adsense revenue.

While the answer is not accurately given anywhere but one thing is sure, Google Adsense is the most revenue generating for publishers, followed by Chitika. And also for sure, the amount of money generated is directly related to the traffic you have. So, just to understand how adsense works, I am temporarily adding "ads" to this blog. It's not meant to generate money but to understand the mechanics of the same.

to be continued...