Most of us start new sites/blogs because we have a passion for the subject matter. Well, let me re-phrase that. There are some sites we create because we’re passionate about the topic and other sites we create for the money.
If the moneymaking sites don’t make money, I recommend getting rid of them because unless you figure out how to make it profitable, it becomes a time and emotion drain. Sites created out of passion or a genuine interest in the subject matter is a whole different story.
The Story of a Pig
It’s not really a story of a pig, but in an attempt to honor the title of this post, I’ll refer to my Visit Hudson Valley site as a pig.
You see, I created the site back in 1996 when I was exploring the inner workings of site creation. Back then one of my favorite pastimes was eating in restaurants and discovering new foods. Being relatively new to the area, I searched online for local restaurant listings, but there weren’t any. Remember this is back in 1996 when folks were still afraid of the Internet.
Since I couldn’t find a site that had the information I was looking for, I created one. I loved creating sites, playing around in databases, taking pictures, eating out and so on, so Visit Hudson Valley was a labor of love. As time went on and life happened (in particular the illness and subsequent death of my mom), I lost interest in a lot of things, including creating websites.
Over time, my interest in the Internet returned and I re-created Visit Hudson Valley (yes, re-created VHV because when I lost interest I allowed the domain to expire and the site was totally offline for a few years). Around that time I created Tidbits & Stuff and a couple of other sites. My interest in the various sites ebbed and flowed, waxed and waned, peaked and valleyed (no pun intended). You get my drift.
Over the past two years I allowed Visit Hudson Valley to sit there in its own sty (lost interest again, but this time I didn’t take it offline). I didn’t update any of the databases nor did I add much content. It just sat on the Internet unloved and uncared for (queue the violins). Last month I earned a whopping $4.82 from the site. It was never a huge moneymaker, but $4.82 is pretty bad even by VHV standards.
A New Tube of Lipstick
This month I slapped a little lipstick on the pig in the form of a new blogging theme and I’m working on updating the databases (there are about 5,000 entries across all of the databases so it will take quite some time to go through them all).
By changing the blog theme and adding a couple of entries, I’ve more than doubled my last month’s earnings in the space of 1 week. Let’s face it, when you only earn $4.82 it’s not hard to double those earnings.
Lesson Learned from My Pig and Lipstick
All too often we take our sites down because we’ve lost interest. I’ve found that interest, just like so many other things in life is cyclical. If you were once passionate about something, give it time, your passion will return. It may take a month, a year or 3 years, but it will return.
All I know is that when folks search for “things to do in the Hudson Valley,” or, “Hudson Valley Maps,” or “Hudson Valley Restaurants,” my little piggy shows up somewhere on the first page of Google’s search results. That wouldn’t happen if I had taken the site down a second time when my interest waned.
In this situation, it’s much easier to make an old pig look good with a little lipstick than it is to create a new pig from scratch. Before you ditch your old pig, let it sit for a while. When the interest returns, pick out a nice shade of lipstick and apply.
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