One of the most sought after pieces of information about building an online business like this is how soon you can expect to start making money with your website. We all want to start making money ASAP. There is no doubt about that. The question is really difficult to answer with real accuracy though because there are so many variables. I will try to explain things so that you understand how long it might take in your situation.
SEO Takes A While
In the business model I use and the one I teach, we are usually focusing on getting free traffic from search engines. That means we rely heavily on search engine optimization as a primary means of generating traffic. We have to get our site to rank high before we start getting lots of traffic. Prior to that point, you don’t get much traffic at all. No traffic means no money. So, the longer it takes to generate a reasonable amount of traffic, the longer it takes you to make your site profitable.
Getting a website to rank high will take longer in some situations than others. It all depends on your skill level and what kind of competition you are up against. My general rule of thumb is to figure on it taking at least 100-120 days to get the site into the top 3 search results for Google if the competition is average. Sometimes it happens faster and sometimes it happens slower. That is the measuring stick I go by though.
Most of the sites I launch are on brand new domains. New websites seem to go through a probationary period with Google where it is hard to get them to rank high. In my experience that period is about 90 days or so. That is where that 100-120 days comes from. That is about the time frame when I see sites pop up substantially in the Google search results. If you have a pre-existing domain that has already been indexed for quite a while, then you can get rankings much faster.
Bing and Yahoo don’t have this delay if you are using the tactics that I use. Your site can show up high on either one of them much sooner. I have had sites ranking at the top of Bing in just under one month when the competition is average. That is an exception to the rule though. Usually you can expect it to take months for Yahoo and Bing too.
Your competition makes all the difference in how long it is going to take you to get ranked too. If you are competing for a very competitive keyword, then you might never get ranked high. You should shoot for average competition in keywords especially when you are first starting out. There is way more to SEO behind the scenes and it takes a lot longer to get good at it than you probably realize. Picking reasonable competition instead of stiff competition will help speed up your rankings.
It is Going To Take You A While To Build Links
In order for your site to rank high in the major search engines, you are going to need to get some links pointing back at your pages. That takes time and it takes work. Link building isn’t all that much fun as you will quickly learn. It is rather boring. You will drag your feet.
It also takes search engines a while to find your links and reward your website for those extra votes. It might take a few days for your link to be found, then a couple of weeks or so before you see the ultimate ranking boost resulting from that link. Maybe it will take longer than that.
You will be building lots of links for your site if you want to speed up the process of making the site profitable. So, the longer it takes you to get these links, the longer it will take you to start making money.
Natural Publicity Happens Even Slower
If you have built a great site then you will get some people spreading the word about your site for you. That is great when that happens. It is a sign of a successful site. That free publicity generally takes quite a while to build up though. Even if you introduce your website to someone who really loves it, it might be months before that person is in a situation where they naturally recommend your site.
Websites That Go Viral Are Rare
Don’t expect your website to go viral right after you launch it. I know a lot of people who have built these kinds of authority style websites. I don’t know of any who had their website go viral. Many of them are successful. But success comes over a long period of time.
Most Projects Kind Of Suck For The First Six Months
One thing that you begin to notice as you build more and more websites is that a lot of the projects will kind of suck for the first six months. Traffic levels will be relatively low as things build up steam slowly. Revenues will be low as you experiment with making money one way or another. You hit a hurdle here and an unexpected roadblock there. Those things take a little while to overcome. That is the nature of this business and you should expect it to take a while for your site to start earning decent money too.
That kind of time frame is not as long as you think. It is well worth the wait too. When you are building something that you enjoy building; that time will fly by pretty quickly.
The Truth About Making Money With Websites
So, the truth of the matter is that you can expect it to take at least several months at the very minimum. Chances are it is going to take you much longer than that to get your site earning what you would consider to be a good amount of income. If you expect it to happen faster than that, you will be disappointed for sure.