Every website idea or type is a potential winner. None of them can be ruled out definitively because a big part of any site’s profit potential depends on how well you market the site and grow it from the ground up. If you are an excellent marketer and strategic CEO, it’s not difficult to make even the most common ideas a success.
What sites are worth developing? Most sites are, if you have time and are willing to invest time/funds and energy on growing the sites aggressively. Being an optimistic webmaster, I would say that you can turn a profit on anything if you really work at it.
The Sitepoint marketplace and Digital Point marketplace are probably two of the more popular places to buy websites of all sorts. Monitor them if you’re interested in expanding your virtual estate. You’ll find all of the site ideas below in both forums:
- Affiliate Review Website. Create a website that reviews affiliate products like make money online programs, web hosting services etc. Run it on WordPress and update it everyday with affiliate feeds or articles. How much you’ll make depends on how thick (amount of content) the website is.
- Product Fan Blog. Create a WordPress blog around a popular product and update everyday with news about the product. The iPhone is a good example of a hot product to choose. Traffic will be quite decent over time if the product/s have longevity.
- Auction websites. Create a website that is similar to eBay to allow users to sell and buy products from each other. You will generate income by monetizing through ads and drawing a commission through each sale. You might get some steady revenue if you sell high ticket products or go niche enough to get a loyal user base.
- Dating Websites. Dating websites are communities which allow users to register, chat with and meet other interested users. They can be easily setup with turnkey scripts although you’ll really need a customized template and some coding work done to make it competitive or attractive enough to get some users. Markus Frind is currently the biggest individual Adsense publisher and makes well over $10K a day from his free dating site, Plenty of Fish.
- Made for Adsense Websites. These are websites with a keyword domain and they come with a bunch of pre written articles around a specific topic. Examples of common topics include acne, cancer, health and finance. These are generally boring, low maintenance sites that are plastered with contextual ads. Incredibly easy to create using the WordPress platform.
- Affiliate Product Website. This is a salespage which sells an electronic product like an eBook. Create the product, buy an existing one or just get someone to do it. The main way to make money is to drive or buy traffic to your salespage and make money when they buy your eBook or opt into your email list. This is an easy way to generate some real income, especially if you are have a great niche product or am skilled in promoting your personal brand and salespage.
- Online Games/Arcade Sites. Get someone to develop an online game that is for members only and earn money by selling points, which allow users to unlock extra options within the game. Arcade sites are simply sites with a collection of flash or online games. They are monetized through display ads. Games can spread quickly if they are very well designed and appealing.
- Forums or Social Network. Pick a topic that is able to attract a decent amount of users and create a forum or social network. Income will not come quickly and a lot of work is needed to build the community. Create a blog on the same domain and use for promotional purposes. There is a potential to earn a good amount of money when the forum gets big or popular.
- Specialized Search Engines. Build a search tool that allows visitors find media of specific types. Include your adsense ads within the search pages. This sort of tools usually don’t do very well unless you provide additional value on top of search. Examples of things to add include ajax search, folksonomy and recommendation engines.
- Paid Membership Site. These are membership sites which provide ongoing educational lessons on a specific topic or offer a large archive of resources, along with a forum. An example of this is the Teaching Sells website. Members will pay a fixed fee every month to maintain their membership.
- Design/Coding Service Site. Create a website that offers customized logo or website design, alongside coding for PSD to XHTML, WordPress and Joomla. Hire freelance coders and designers and manage them. Pay them a portion of each sale and promote your website through blogs and webmaster forums.
- File Hosting Website. Set up a file host which allows users to upload and share their files online with other users. There’s a tremendous amount of competition in this niche so its very difficult to make some real money unless you innovate on features or market it well.
- Web Directories. A web directory provides listings for websites and makes money from both display advertising and sale of premium listings. Most of the work needs to be focused on marketing and branding the site. Niche directories with a good reputation might find it easier to make money.
- Online Web tool. This includes URL shorteners, spell checkers, picture editors, file converters and various webmaster tools (keyword volume, link popularity). Visitors will often return to your site to use these tools if they are comprehensive enough or if your site is well designed and genuinely useful.
- Proxies. Proxies are websites which allow a websurfer to not only surf anonymously but bypass certain filters which prevent one from viewing a site. They are popular with the Myspace crowd and will often require a dedicated server. There are many proxies on the market but they may be worth exploring. Income is largely passive.
- Commercial Template Sites. Basically this involves the creation of readymade website templates for sale. They can be bundled up into sales packages and traffic can be obtained through PPC advertising. If you’re not interested in producing original templates, you can run the site using affiliate feeds from the other more established template websites like Template Monster.
The ideas mentioned can all be created by yourself using an existing script or you can set up your own by hiring a coder and designer. It’s more or less DIY, although you will need to some research on the market and have some basic webmaster skills
Now for your opinion. I imagine that some readers might want to start purchasing or building up some of these websites. What do you personally think has the most potential for profit and which idea would you recommend?
Interesting in investing in websites? If you want to get into this but have no idea how to search for, value, evaluate and manage a website, give us a call. We’ll work something out.
The internet is a wonderful thing that can help you with a vast variety of things, ranging from learning a new language to keeping in touch with your friends from other countries quickly and easily. Also, it is a thing that can help you make a living. There are millions of people all over the world that use the internet for work – and the work that can be done online is incredibly diverse, from customer support and data entry to content creation and security. There are, in turn, quite a few means of “making money” online that don’t work as advertised. No, we’re not talking about Betway online sports betting and online casinos: these are not money-making methods but entertainment. We’re talking about the things that are among the first to be recommended by various blogs and websites out there are foolproof ways of making a living online.
“If you have even the slightest talent in writing, you may want to give freelance writing a try. You’ll have a flexible schedule, you’ll get to work from home, you’ll get to choose the gigs that are the best for you, and you’ll make a decent living”. Except, this catchy way of describing the life of a freelancer is not quite accurate.
As a freelancer, you will spend a great deal of time hunting for gigs, competing with the thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of others who want to make a living doing exactly what to do – and there will always be others that are either better qualified for a gig or willing to do it for less. To make a living as a freelance writer, you have to be good at what you do and build a reputation – simply registering an account on Fiverr and posting a gig will not do. Besides, you’ll have a lot of extra work with accounting and such (quite often, you’re expected to give invoices for what you do) or pay for an accountant.
“One of the best ways to make some money online is to start your own blog and you’ll be able to make top dollar from online ads and affiliate programs”. This sounds great, I know, but once again, it’s not as easy as it seems. Starting a blog and filling it with content is the easy part – gathering a loyal readership big enough to cover its expenses, let alone generate some profit, is much harder. It literally takes years to turn a blog into a source of income.
Affiliate programs, PPC ads, and such will only generate a decent amount if you have many visitors – and spamming search engines will hardly do. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your hand at publishing your ideas online – just don’t expect it to pay the bills anytime soon.
Paid online surveys
Paid online surveys are among the few means of making some money (as in not too much) online. By “some” I mean a relatively low amount if any. These paid online surveys usually reward you with points, and you can convert these points into rewards ranging from gift cards and promotional items to actual money. But don’t expect to be able to get your rewards right away – you have to collect a certain number of points to be able to cash out or receive your reward. Depending on the service, this can take anywhere from weeks to months.
If your goal is to make a lot of money online, don’t think it will be easy – it will take just as much work, perhaps even more, than a traditional job. And there is no guarantee you will succeed.
Have a look at the graph above. Go ahead, you can click on it to make it bigger. As you can see, the internet usage rate in Kenya is growing rapidly, especially when compared to other countries which are slowing down. In those countries, the internet is already mainstream meaning that a lot of people make money online. However it also means that it is much harder to make money online because there is a lot of competition. Compare this to Kenya and you realise that while at the moment you may not be able to make much money online, it is much easier to launch something and have it do well in Kenya. But this will not last forever.
I think that now is the time for aspiring internet entrepreneurs to attack and completely own internet business niches. It may take a while before you get super-impressive results but if you invest in online business now and take root, you will be reaping huge rewards as more and more people and businesses get online in Kenya.
So what are the best niches to invest in? Going by what works in other places the following, in my opinion, are some of the most lucrative areas to invest in:
Online shopping in Kenya is nothing to write home about at the moment. But as the number of people who are online grows, it will definitely become very lucrative. Just as Amazon.com grew from nothing to one of the largest and most powerful businesses, you can grow a small little online shop to massive proportions and potentially millions in the bank.
Food, recipes and cooking tips are traditionally very popular. This is a saturated market in more developed countries but is quite accessible locally. You should get creative but the basic idea would some website that provides tips on cooking and recipes from around Kenya and possibly the world.
Making Money (or Saving Money)
I think it would be safe to say that literally everyone has an interest in how to make more money, save more money or reduce their expenses. Why not position yourself to cater to this need? There are so many different ways to approach this. Some are:
- Personal finance
Almost everyone has some thing that they want to improve about themselves. In fact, in developed countries, there are countless online “gurus” providing information and guidance on things as diverse as healthy living, career advice, money management, relationships, etc. Your job would be to motivate and instruct others on how to improve their lives in a certain way.
Believe it or not, this is big online. I’m thinking that as big as it is in other countries, it could be even bigger locally. I put the word supernatural in quotes because it can cover many different things from horroscopes to planets aligning with your birth date to psychic readings and even witchcraft/wizardry.
Like me, you may not believe in this stuff but lots of people do and an opportunity exists for you to fill their need. As usual, do not do anything illegal.
So there you have it. We are at a point in time where you can take root in an industry early and absolutely dominate it as it grows. I am sure a lot of smart people are already diving in and establishing themselves. What are you waiting for?
If I missed any important opportunities, don’t worry. My list is not conclusive.
An old nugget from doshdosh.com:
Making money anywhere involves understanding the value of your business, idea or website. Are they profitable or are you attempting the impossible by trying to squeeze blood from a stone?
We all have many ideas on what types of money making websites to set up and we often execute these ideas only to find them withering due to neglect or intense competition from others.
Knowing when to terminate a project is just as important as starting one. By cutting off these additional channels, you can focus exclusively on the ideas that will actually make you money.
According to a Forbes article on this topic, there are three main reasons why you should consider dumping your great money making ideas. Headlines below come from the article, comments made are mine.
1. Paying Customers Never Show Up
Are you getting sales? What do your visitors say or think about your online business? Is your website or service well received? These are some points to assess once a project has been initiated.
If you don’t meet your goal forecast, reevaluate your business model or tweak it to better fit the target market’s needs. If you still don’t make money after all these efforts, terminating or selling your business will help you avoid unnecessary costs.
At bottom, it doesn’t matter how ingenious your product is–if you can’t communicate its value, it may as well not exist.
2. You Can’t Sustain a Competitive Advantage
It is important to have a long-term plan to cope with other competitors in your field. If your idea is truly novel, you should expect a bunch of copycats. To succeed to constantly adjust your website to provide an unique selling proposition.
Allocating a significant portion of your income towards consistent marketing and promotion is always a good idea after the initial site launch.
Remember: Your idea is what gets you in the game; your competitive advantage is what keeps you there. If you can’t figure out how to stay ahead in your market, start looking for a new one.
3. You’re Not Ready To Quit Your Day Job
A great money making idea only reaches its full potential when you support it 100%. You need to push your idea as much as possible if you truly believe it. If you are passionate about professional blogging, giving up your day job to focus on your projects is a move you will eventually have to consider.
Chances are, if you’re going to make that leap, you’ll do it sooner rather than later. Commitment to an idea spurs action. Driven entrepreneurs can’t wait to hit key milestones–incorporation, building prototypes, drumming up customers.If you’re not moving fast, it’s probably time to move on.
If your idea fulfills all the above conditions, it might be better to drop it in favor of another idea that would fare better. My personal belief is that most ideas will turn out to be profitable if you have in-depth industry knowledge, sufficient personal networks and the will to sustain it through the difficult initial growth period.
Play it smart and be intuitive when building your business empire and you will eventually generate a lucrative income from all your businesses or projects.
So, recently, a friend of mine who had struggled for a long time looking for an employee, decided to send the job details to one of the many Kenyan job sites out there. They had a notice on their homepage that if you sent job details to them via email, they would post the job to an audience of thousands. They were right.
Soon, my friend’s inbox was flooded with job applicants. He’s extremely happy and cannot thank the Kenyan job sites enough. He’s still sorting through them and is certain that he will get what he needs.
This intrigued me a little and I had a deeper look at what had happened. Not only had his little job advert appeared on the site he posted too, but it had “magically” spread through Kenyan web space like you would not believe. It was suddenly on all Kenyan job sites, it seems. Big sites, small sites – they did not seem to care.
What might interest you, though, is that his ad also ‘magically’ appeared on heavy-hitters N-soko (by nation Media), Dealfish and Brighter Monday. It seems that these large sits employ someone (or perhaps a bot) to go through the other, small sites, and copy their content (at least as far as job ads go). Worse, the ad that appeared on these “heavy-hitters” was absolutely worthless to a job seeker – they had removed the contact address before posting the job ad. Can you believe that?
How would akina Dealfish gain from posting a job ad that no one can apply to? Sad truth is that they don’t really care. All that these job sites, big or small, are after is eyeballs. They want to post as many job openings as possible in hopes of attracting as many job seekers as possible. I would wager that they dont care if these job seekers actually find jobs….. they only want them to click on their little adsense adverts. And that, my friends, is business.
Of course I am not saying that anyone is doing any wrong – in fact I think that the whole system put together serves job seekers very well. As my friend learnt, it is also extremely useful for employers. At the end of the day it is just business – only at the cost of endless copying and/or plagiarism to entice job seekers and hope that they click on some adverts. This must be one of the easiest “online businesses” to start in Kenya, right?
As they say, if you get a product/service for free then think again. You are the product.
This is a free online course about Cryptography. In the video below, the course instructor mentions that he will teach you how to use cryptography to “make money from nothing but numbers”! Sounds great, ama?
Cryptography means “secret writing”. It is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties.
I do not know about you, but I would love to learn how to make money from “nothing but numbers”!
See you in class?
I just read a very well written and thought-provoking article on how piracy affects the Kenyan movie industry: Secrets About Piracy Revealed By Jitu Films Director. It seems that a very interesting problem plagues our industry:
- Piracy is apparently illegal in Kenya.
- However, all those “DVD for 50 bob” shops in town sell nothing but illegal pirated stuff. But they sell foreign films and so no one bothers to go after them. (An instance of how the law fails local film makers).
- Those shops in town can never dare try to sell Kenyan movies because they need a special license to do so and because if they did, the city council will be on top of them quickly.
- This presents an interesting problem for local film makers: they cannot hope to compete on price with foreign films. Would you buy “The Rugged Priest” at 100/- when “Avatar” is available at 50 bob?
- To add to that, there is no local DVD factory hence local film makers have to import these and pay import taxes on top of all the other ‘normal’ taxes int heir industry. Essentially, they are unable to sell their movies at 50 bob and remain financially viable. The illegal shops in town selling pirated stuff pay no taxes.
- This creates a situation where locally made movies are more expensive than foreign movies. They are also harder to find because to sell them you need a special licence which the 50 bob shops typically do not get.
Of course this creates an industry in which it is difficult to make much good money. What do you think can be done to overcome these problems?
IN my mind, piracy is a problem that can be best solved by offering a more convenient alternative. However, I am not to sure what, exactly, can be done to bring up such an alternative.
Through my brief work with Space Yangu, I read numerous emails from people asking us where they could buy Kenyan movies. I believe there’s demand here and money to be made – someone just needs to figure out the logistics. I can think of two approaches to a solution:
- Someone to open a chain of little shops in Nairobi (and eventually elsewhere) to sell Kenyan movies. (this was suggested in the linked article)
- Someone could open up a huge online shop that sells and delivers a wide selection of Kenyan movies. Perhaps it could eventually lead to a Netflix like service.
What do you think can be done?
The lack of a good and reliable way to withdraw money from PayPal in Kenya is one of the factors which hinder the average Kenyan’s potential to earn online most significantly. On Like Chapaa, we have had a long and hard struggle to try to find and identify the best way to withdraw from PayPal in Kenya. I believe that we have a contender for this title in e-Pay Kenya.
e-Pay Kenya opened its doors in January 2009 as e-pesa then rebranded in 2010 to ePAY-KENYA. Esther Kimani of e-Pay Kenya reached out to us to provide more information on what e-Pay does. This article is based on her information to us, and on good reports their customers.
e-Pay Kenya offers two ways to withdraw your hard-earned money:
“We have an Merchant Agreement with Moneybookers allowing us to officially run a Money transfer website using their services. This explains why the moneybookers fee is lower (11%) than Paypal. We therefore do not operate under any fear of account limitation as we operate with blessings from Moneybookers. We deliver within the hour but often less,” says Esther Kimani of e-Pay Kenya.
Esther continues, “We use a third-party gateway to avoid the direct interface with Paypal because we have experienced the danger of doing so (when we operated as e-pesa). This explains why the transaction charges are higher (14%) than Moneybookers but then our users enjoy the following benefits:
- Peace of mind when dealing with us as there is no possibility of our users’ accounts being limited by PayPal
- Our third-party gateway does fraud tests on our behalf to minimize fraudulent transactions.
- We have a strict KYC (Know Your Customer) policy. All our users have to send Identification Documents in order to have their accounts verified, thus allowing them to make transactions.
- We demand that users forward their Paypal Transaction Confirmation emails before they can cash their money. We use this document to authenticate the bona fide account holders. We have caught up with fraudsters who hack into unsuspecting paypal account holders’ accounts.
- Delivery within 24 hours but often less.”
The bulk of the fees are charged when you deposit money from Moneybookers/PayPal into e-Pay Kenya. Their charges at this time are as follows:
- Deposit 11%
- Withdrawal USD 3 irrespective of the amount
- Deposit 14%
- Withdraw USD 3 irrespective of the amount
It seems to me that e-Pay Kenya has a very well thought-out service. It is the best of all such businesses that I have come across so far. It is a bit pricey, but as we wait for PayPal to open itself up, e-Pay Kenya remains a good and reliable alternative.
What do you think of e-Pay Kenya?
As far as I know, the REAL e-Pay Kenya is at: www.epay-kenya.com
I was a bit hesitant to write about this new service after the rise and fall of PayMPESA, but here goes:
Trinc Money seems to be a new service that allows you to transfer money to and from PayPal via MPESA. yes, this means that it lets you both withdraw and deposit money into PayPal using MPESA. Sounds good, eh?
Apart from the usual PayPal and MPESA fees, Trinc Money
charges what seems to be a used to charge a standard flat Kshs 1000 transaction fee. Depending on how much you send, this can work out to be extremely cheap. But is it sustainable?
They have since updated their fees to 6.9% + KES.250
I worry about this service. Does it have the required blessing from PayPal? As far as I know, PayPal does not allow this kind of money transfer service. If your remember correctly, other services got around this issue by packaging themselves as selling “vouchers” which could be redeemed for money. This seems not to be the case with Trinc Money.
Additionally, PayPal is rumored to be very very close to launching fully in Kenya. Would this not outright kill TrincMoney?
I have reached out to Trinc Money for comment on both of the above.
I am sorry if I feel overly critical of TrINC Money, I am just being prudent. I am aware that PayPal frowns upon this kind of “money transfer” business working through PayPal and I would not want the readers of Like Chapaa to suffer any loss as a result of reading this article.
So, dear readers, what do you think of this? Has anyone tried to use Trinc Money?
Response from TrINC Money:
Trincmoney is neither a money transfer service nor a currency exchange service. What we do provide is a platform for registered PayPal users to send electronic PayPal value to the Trincmoney PayPal account. These funds are not withdrawn and are valid PayPal transactions initiated by registered PayPal users.
Upon a customer’s request, our service sends our customers electronic monetary value depicted in ones M-PESA Account representing an equal amount of Cash held by the MPESA Holding Company Limited and which may be redeemed through an M-PESA Agent for an equal amount of legal tender in the Republic of Kenya, to their MPESA registered mobile numbers. Note that MPESA electronic value is NOT legal tender.
With regard to money laundering, Trincmoney carries out the required due diligence on customers who send us money and who receive money from us.
If PayPal were to open up shop on Kenya it would be a blessing to a lot of people who use the Internet to send and receive money. Trincmoney will survive simply because a PayPal withdrawal takes 4 working days to effect while our service is effected within the hour. Also chances are that the charges will be higher.
I hope I have answered your queries. I have also read your blog on our service. Please note that we changed our rates and are now charging 6.9% + KES.250. Check out our Facebook Page and Twitter handle and sample some of our customer reviews.
As the year starts, here is an absolute GEM from DoshDosh:
“It’s the first month of a new year and at this time I’m itching to start new web ventures both for fun and profit. I usually do up a list of possible startup and site ideas and narrow them down into those with the highest potential. But success depends on execution and not just plans so I tend not to be too hung up about having a complete vision of what I want.
A little vagueness won’t hurt. I can always muddle through and change things up in response to market conditions or personal interest. No need to be perfect from the start.
I looked at many websites to study their methods, to learn what made them a success. I started planning what specific niche I wanted to explore and suddenly realized that I was thinking about the whole thing in a roundabout way.
There’s really no need to think hard about having the perfect idea. The foundations of popular and profitable websites/services are deeply related to the basic reasons why people get online and use the internet. Let’s do some reverse engineering from that perspective.
So, why do people worldwide use the internet?
- To communicate and socialize
This is very much a fundamental human need. People like to meet and talk to other people through the internet. They use it to maintain new or existing relationships. They want to communicate ideas and find solidarity with others who share similar interests. So do something which facilitates communication. Hyper-local or cross-border communities, social networks, virtual worlds, apps or services built on existing communication/social protocols and services. Bring human social activities onto the internet grid. Socialize existing web functions, emphasize on connecting people.
- To find information, learn new things and be entertained
The internet is a massive archive of new and old information. It is also a source of pleasure, giving immediate gratification in the form of images, sound and interactivity. As an educational tool, the web is essential for people who are seeking to learn.
People want to find things online. So help them. Create a system which provides information or filters existing content. Monetize the flow of data. Blogs, training courses, social news, aggregated news, paid membership sites, online journals, one-stop entertainment portals, video, image and game hubs with a specific focus.
- To do work, generate income and run a business
People use the internet to make a living. It is essential to many businesses that want to increase brand exposure or sell a product/service. They also use the web to help them work better. There is a market of webmasters, entrepreneurs and small/big businesses out there who are willing to pay to boost their revenue. Consultancies, design firms, freelancers, enterprise software, business-specific tools/apps and services. Think of ways to help people work smarter and more efficiently online.
And of course, there’s the e-commerce industry and the buying/selling of products. There’s really a lot more specific reasons why people get online. Everyone of them is an idea for a product/service/website. Most likely there’s already someone out there in the same niche doing the same thing. The question is not how many competitors are there but how saturated and fulfilled are each web user’s reasons/needs.
Differentiate by presenting alternate solutions. Or stand on the shoulders of giants and improve existing services/websites even more. Learn to do some clever marketing and you should do fine. Cut your losses early by quitting when you’ve lost the passion or will to work hard. Because one rarely gets profitable or influential without interest or perseverance.”