Profitability of sites and services

This article will be useful for anyone who wants to make their own business on websites and services. Here you can find examples of profitability and average site traffic after a year of work. The main purpose of the article is to give an approximate idea of the complexity of project development for those who are planning to make their first startup.

The article suggests that the reader has already gone a little deeper into the topic of profitability iT projects and presents what and how you can make money.

Surely you have heard the stories from your friends that they easily earn one average salary in your country from their sites (hereinafter referred to as s/n*). The age of the site is calculated in weeks, and the experience of creating such projects from your friend tends to zero.

It was with this situation, I began to deal with sites and services. After reading a couple of dozen forums, I found that the websites can make good money. In addition, I liked the theme of process automation and the idea of creating services for a large number of people. And comments on forums promised revenue level “1 visitor brings exactly 1 ruble.

Having worked for 7 years, I can say that the stories about the fabulous wealth – it is not true. Perhaps, once upon a time there were ultra-high payments from context advertising on the Internet, but they are no longer there. Perhaps once upon a time sites easily overcame the mark of 100 visitors a day a couple of weeks after creation. But now there is no explosive growth and super profits anymore. Of course, there is a chance to get to the golden percent and make a super-popular resource. But that’s a probability that’s going to zero.

Next I will describe only two types of sites that you can make money on. The first is content sites. As the name implies, visitors come to such sites to obtain content (text, pictures, video, audio). Usually on such sites, the main source of income is advertising (often contextual advertising from Google / Yandex). Much less frequently, content sites earn on paid access to closed sections. The second type of sites are services. For example, a site-service for generation of domain names, service SEO-analyzer pages, etc. Such sites may charge a fee for their use. Sites of shops I will not consider separately, because at the start everything that will be told about sites-services is applicable to them. And it is rare that anyone makes an online store as their first startup.

Let’s look at the statements in order:

The site with a daily attendance of 100 people is a large site.

Content sites do not bring income.

It is impossible to make a cheap startup.

Do it yourself to save money.

Each of these items is imbued with harsh reality, tested experimentally.

A site with 100 visitors a day is a big site…

For a content site to grow to the level of 100 visitors per day, requires a minimum of 1 year of work on its filling at a rate of 4 to 6 new articles per week.

Attendance to the site depends on the subject. If you make a blog with the theme “Hodgepodge team”, the site will gain its hundred only after 2-3 years. The choice of popular topics will reduce this time to 1-2 years.

So that everything does not seem so gloomy, I say that there is a way to make a content site with explosive popularity. You only need to get into the trend and hope for lack of competitors (but this is fantastic). For example, you can make a regional fan site popular new video game. Fans will be many, the site will quickly overcome the bar of 100 visitors per day. This can happen in a matter of weeks or months due to the fact that there are no competitors yet. But this way worked until 2010. And now there’s a whole army of site makers chasing trends. And tell yourself honestly, to make a site uninteresting for you topics just for the sake of money – it’s boring.

Attendance of sites-services is growing almost an order of magnitude worse than that of blogs due to lack of content, because search engines have nothing to hang on to – few words on the site. And 80% of visitors to content sites come from search engines. Therefore, sites-services imply a constant injection of money into advertising and hope for organic distribution of links to the service.

Content sites do not bring income

Due to low site traffic and sluggish growth, you should not hope for income in the first 2-3 years of life. Even attendance of 500 people a day will not give any amount of profit (you can not even buy a cake on this monthly profit).

My most popular project takes 4 thousand unique users per day. For 6 years he earned on contextual advertising a little less than half 1 s / n. It is worth mentioning that I did not try to load the site advertising. Appearance is still more important than income.

Comparable to 1 s/p income from content sites now starts with 25 thousand people per day. And to grow to these figures need many, many years of work, thousands of articles and advertising. Or be damn lucky.

It’s impossible to make a cheap startup

Previously, site creators did not even think about advertising their resources, because there were no competitors. Under these conditions, attendance grew like on yeast. Now it’s the other way around. There was fierce competition for traffic. Now any startup without advertising is a net loss of money. The advertising budget should be several times higher than the cost of developing a startup. And this amount is only enough to understand the payback time of the site.

From life. Once a friend decided to make an online service as his first startup. A few months after the launch, he asked me how much it costs to “promote” such a project. I decided not to hurt him and called the amount cut in 2 times. I said that he would have to pay for advertising about 10-12 s/p. And that’s enough to just feel the market a little bit. But lying softening the harsh reality didn’t help. A few days later, an acquaintance closed the startup and even removed his personal account from the social network.

To date, the advertising budget of the startup should be several times larger than the development budget. And this advertising will suffice only for an estimation of profitability of a startup to involve the first clients and to understand time of recovery of outlay.

I have a startup in which all profit comes only from B2B (business for business) interaction. In this startup the cost of attracting one client is 1 s/p. Are you ready to spend 1 average monthly salary only on attracting one client? There is no other way to promote a startup.

Here’s a hint. If you think that the cost of advertising is too high, you can always compare with the profitability of another business. For example, if you rent out commercial real estate, its cost at best will pay off in about 8 years. If the cost of advertising your iT business will be reflected faster than in 8 years, then such a startup has a chance to exist.

Do it yourself to save money.

If you have no experience at all in creating websites/services, then:

Go to a website with vacancies and candidates.

Find a programmer for the project.

Take a look at the cost of his work.

Close the site and try to keep your cool.

The salary of medium level programmers is 3 times higher than the average salary in the country. Is it possible to hire such a programmer? For most startups, this is absolutely unrealistic. Because all the money will go to only one employee, and there will be nothing left for advertising. As I wrote earlier: “The advertising budget should be several times higher than the cost of developing a startup”.

To give life to your startup, you must be a programmer. You can order the design and layout on the side. But programming takes up most of the budget, so there is no alternative.


When I first started studying sites, I could not find true information about the level of attendance and income. So I took the statements on the forums as a blank coin and was extremely disappointed with the results. I hope that this article will help beginners to assess the budget, time and energy to start their business.

I would like to thank everyone who finished the article. Please write in comments how much you earn per month on your sites in the following format: “content site/online service – number of visitors per day – profit per month, expressed in the number of s/p”. You can write about several sites/services. I will start first:

Content site – 250 visitors per day – profit 0.0005 s/p per month.

Content site – 4 000 visitors per day – profit 0.002 s/p per month

Online service – 160 visitors per day – profit 0.015 s/p per month