What a problem. You spend all your spare time for months creating a web page. Staying up late into the night even when you have to get up and go to work the next morning. Your wife or kids or friends wonder what happened to you and start to believe you do not care about them anymore.
Finally, the web site is ready. You have an account with a hosting company and you get your files uploaded and low and behold there it is. Your own public part of the internet. You could go anywhere in the world and get online and look at your website. Its got your name on it and your sweat and your heart went into making it like no other site around.
So after telling your mom and sister and friends you get a few emails congratulating you on the "really cool looking site." Mom wants to know how you can make money off of that and Dad wants to know how much it cost to have it there. Some friends leave little messages on the forum part of the site and things are looking good.
Sister says she is going to sue if you do not remove the paragraph about her and Billy in the garage in your family stories part of the site. Your wife thinks you should remove the pics of you bare-chested out in the back yard. Your best buddy says you should not have a direct link to your email address on the site at all, but what the heck does he know.
The web hosting company where you have your site hosted provides some statistics about the visitors to your site. You can see how much traffic there was to the site, what web browser they were using, what part of the world they were from, and what site may have referred them to your site. There are other stats that maybe you will examine more in depth later.
So a few days after going live your email account seems to have a lot more offers for prescription drugs and loan application acceptance notices. There are emails from someone named XTC and various other people who you do not know. In a week the email traffic doubles and then it quadruples. So you remove the direct link to your email address from the site.
Back to the web stats. You are not supposed to spend time at work messing around on the internet but a couple of times a day will not hurt anything. And before you shut down your computer at home each night it is the last thing you look at. Even over the folk's house for Mom's birthday you found yourself using their slow slow dial-up service to look at your web traffic stats.
The stats identify the googlebot crawling your site and inktomi and the msnbot, and others all out there indexing and recording the web for their search engines. They show up every once in a while. Getting in those search engines will certainly bring traffic once they get your keywords all in a row.
And you know your keywords will do the job. There must be millions of searches for millionaire and hunk and genius and top gun. Once people get to the site they will most surely come back because it says right at the top, visit us again, soon. So once the traffic starts coming then you can start generating some ad revenue and once the ad revenues starts to build you can think about telling the boss to forget it because you have a web site that is making more each week than you are getting out of this place.
So after a couple of months of watching the traffic on the site you can see those web bots and the random hit from locations that cannot be resolved into any ip address. Hmm, wonder why that is? But, alas, not much is happening. So it is time to find out how to get traffic to your site. A couple of searches and there it is, Voila! Marketing your website by writing articles for free. Easy. Get to work.
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Michael Dappert is a co-founder of Winco, Inc., a provider of wireless internet access to small communities in West Central Illinois. He also administers the web site Musicgig.us and discusses a wide range of topics at Flyoverfolks.com.
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