Anatomy of Online Revenue

Starting at the very beginning, let’s examine how online revenue, dissect it in order to understand its basic structure and mode of operation.

It is appropriate to note here that this 0 to independence exercise is slanted towards generating online revenue from online sources as opposed to sell physical products or offline services.

At the root of online revenue is one word, traffic. Traffic translates to revenue. Taking a step back, we ask,

  1. How to get traffic? (Pre-traffic)
  2. How to turn traffic into revenue? (Post-traffic)

I term these 2 questions, pre-traffic and post-traffic.

Obviously I know a fair bit, but I also have plenty to learn too. Because these are the 2 most important question every website face, there are loads of information out there. Some work, a few are gem, but most are red-herrings attempting to cash in on the masses looking for answer.

Pre-traffic

Ever wonder how many sites go live each second? Forget the notion of “build it and they will come”. Without some serious work on traffic generation, no one will discover the website.

How to generate traffic involves a number of topics. These days it centers around search engine and linking from other website. But it is also worth exploring other creative options.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one hot topic. Everyday I get phone calls, email and salesperson promoting it. In China they called it 搜索引擎优化、推广 (search engine optimization and promotion).

Ever saw some claim of submitting to thousand of search engines? Delivering thousands of targeted traffic at fraction of the cost? My advice is to hold on to your money.

Post-traffic

Transforming traffic to revenue is a science as well as an art. Plenty of professional jargon here as well. Heard of conversion rate, click-through rate, click stream, ads trafficing?

They are just part of the equation.
Is content important? How to structure the content? How to place the ads? Are relevant ads important?

What monetization strategy to use? Is Adsense the best solution? What about affiliates programs? RSS ads? Web services? Develop a full blown idea-based application?

These are some of the questions I like to explore in this 0 to independence exercise.

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