Every new website starts with an idea. Some ideas will be more successful and more profitable than others, but the key thing is to actually have website ideas in the first place.
But what if you don't have the foggiest idea of what to pick? Well, luckily for you dear reader, I had the bright idea to list some examples of the type of website you can build.
The aim of these website ideas is to be profitable, but all of them can be tailored to specific niches or topic areas so you can literally make a website about anything your little heart desires.
Ready for some ideas? Here we go. 😉
Example website ideas.
- An online app. Apps and online software are very popular right now. If you can create something that is useful and fills a basic need that a lot of people have, you might have the beginning of a successful web app.
Salary Calculator Pro, for example, is an extremely simple web app which calculates your salary, pension payments and income tax. Anybody who is switching jobs, wanting to invest more in their pension, or take childcare vouchers from their employer, would be interested to use a well designed tool like this.
- An affiliate website. Affiliate websites make money when you sell somebody else's product for them. You get given a specific URL (called your affiliate link) and whenever somebody clicks through, it tracks them as being your referral. If they buy whatever it is you're recommending then you'll get a percentage of that sale. Awesome, right? There are plenty of ways to promote products as an affiliate (for example, iHerb promo codes) and just about anything you can buy online is available somewhere on an affiliate program.
A couple of places to start are the Amazon affiliate program (which offer 5+% commission on sales) and Clickbank (where you can sell ebooks, video courses and more and get paid 50-75% commission. Seriously!).
- A review site. A review site is really just a very specific type of affiliate site where you review and compare multiple products on a similar topic. People are always looking for reviews online and trust the judgement of others when making their own purchase. I know I do.Whenever someone searches for something like
best rice cookeror
rice cooker reviewsthey're gonna be looking for multiple products and comparisons to see which one is right for them.
The good news is that most people suck at making affiliate sites and a review site is often too much effort for them. This works for you because if you put in the effort you'll have a better site for the users – which will help you stand out from the crowd.
- A “how-to” site. Tutorial sites that teach people and show them how to do something are hugely useful and that's alway a good place to start a website. Need an example of such a site?How about Site Beginner?
Compared to other website ideas there might be a bit more effort involved in this type of site because you actually need to spend more time crafting the tutorials.
You might want to record videos, or podcasts or even have case studies. These take a lot more time than basic content you can put together for an affiliate site, for example.
Still, I love this type of website and I think it's one of the few ideas that feels like a “real business” in the value it gives to people. Plus, if you pick a topic you actually enjoy then it can be a whole lot o' fun too.
- A niche site. Niche sites have become a popular term over the years, because the idea is that you pick one very specific topic or keyword that is well searched in places like Google but has low competition. An example of this would be My Best Coffee, which is aimed specifically at coffee lovers. The theory goes that if you focus the whole site on this specific topic, you'll get high search rankings and can then make money from that traffic with advertising, affiliate links or by selling your own products.
It can be very profitable and as far as website ideas go it's fairly quick and easy to setup and get results.
The problem comes if you create a “thin” niche site.
This means very minimal content, not that engaging or useful for the visitor and usually done for the sole intention of ranking well in search engines. It works, but never for long. Plus, it's no way to make a living.
Instead, I like to build what I call niche brands. More on that soon. 😉
- A product site. Lots of people who want to make a website will want to make it so that they can sell their own products online. (My free guide How to Create a Website can help with this, by the way.)Shopping carts and accepting credit cards on your website is becoming easier and easier so if you do want an e-commerce type website to sell your stuff on, then it's very doable.
The software that I recommend you make your website with lets you add products and a shopping cart very easily and for the most part it's totally free to set up as well.
- A dropship site. Dropshipping is basically selling products online (like a product site) using e-commerce, shopping carts and what not, but without having to stock or ship the actual product yourself.Instead, you place an order directly with the manufacturer and they ship the product straight to your customer. The customer, in most cases doesn't know this or need to know. You essentially buy at 30-50% off retail price and then make a margin based on whatever you sell it at.
The trick is to find products and suppliers that offer heavy discounts off retail to make your margins bigger. This means you can afford more in advertising to get the customers to visit your site.
- A portfolio site. For creative folks, you will probably want a gallery of your best work online for potential clients to see. Artists, designers, photographers, sculptors etc and anyone who's work is very visual would do well to have a personal portfolio.The idea is to showcase your way and show potential clients what they can expect if they work with you. Getting all of that online means your CV (or resumé) is always available for people to view all over the world. Wow, right?
This is why so many web designers and graphic designers have clients across the global. You're not limited to your local area anymore which means the number of people out there who might give you money has just drastically increased. You're welcome. 😀
- A company website. You might want a website for your company, not necessarily to sell online but to have an online presence for your brand and to help local customers contact you, visit you etc.This is a good idea for companies who don't sell to consumers (business to business) or who don't have a product or service that can be bought online. A local lawyer for example would want you to either call or visit to discuss what they can help with.
Chosen an awesome website idea? Well done you. Once you've got yourself a good idea that you're happy with, it's time to build your site and start creating something awesome.
My free guide to making a website will help. Check it out.
There are plenty of ways to spin these website ideas into something a lot more specific too. For example:
- A ninja grappling hook review site. Seriously, Amazon sell these.
- How to make pancakes from scratch. Almost 10,000 people a month search for this term.
- Dropship an inflatable party sheep. Again, you couldn't make this stuff up.
How to test your website ideas
You've seen me mention a couple of times in this article about the specific keywords people might be using in a search engine (usually Google) to find your website and you're probably wondering why that's important, huh?
Well this is a topic that I'll cover entirely in another blog post (because there's a LOT to cover) but if you're just at the stage of brainstorming website ideas you just need a birds eye view to get you started.
Here's what you do.
- Go to the Google Keyword Planner Tool.
- Enter one or two of your website ideas into the phrase box.
- Look through the list for search terms that have 1,000 to 12,000 searches.
This basic step will let you look at the search engine traffic you might get for your site ideas. Traffic can search engines is one of the best ways to get visitors and they will convert well too – since they searched for exactly the thing your site or page will be about. 😉
Keeping between 1,000 to 12,000 will limit the chances of you picking a doozy that takes forever to rank for and makes you lose interest. Focus on quick wins and more specific keywords with less competition.
Of course, just checking the search volumes doesn't mean you've find yourself a winner. I've made the mistake of going after keywords I thought would be easy and never managed to rank for them.
Doh. Shoulda checked the competition too, eh?
You can do more advanced research (including competitor research) using an advanced tool like Market Samurai. (I'll have a video demo of this software up on the site soon.)
For now, this is an easy way to check if your website idea has any legs.
Don't copy or steal other website ideas
It can be tempting to spend your time worrying about competitors and other people online and what they're doing. You could waste hours researching their sites and business just because you like the idea.
The truth is that if your heart isn't really in it or you're not excited by the topic (or by putting in the effort to make money) then you'll fail. Bad times.
Pick sites that will interest you and keep your attention so you build something that a) you can be proud of and b) you won't get too bored with. You don't have to pick something you're passionate about but definitely pick something unique or come at the topic from a different angle.
Whatever you can do to make your website ideas better than anybody else's.
Ready to get started? Turn your website ideas into a proper website that is, y'know, on the web for people to see with my free tutorial.