The first web site that I ever built in an attempt to make money is The Electronic Fortune Cookie. I’d developed other sites before, but not monetized sites.
I naively thought that I could make a site that is incredibly entertaining, put up some AdSense ads and affiliate banners and that would be that.
I developed the site in xhtml/css and php (I am a programmer after all 8=) with an excellent template as the base for the site. It randomly spits out quotations, jokes, etc. from a database that at this point has about 10,000 entries (there are about 100,000 more on my computer waiting to be converted to go in — they’ve been waiting a long time 8=(
What I expected was that this would be so entertaining that it would go viral. People would come, have fun and tell their friends. Plus they would come back day after day.
I invited my friends expecting they would share it. Some of them came and told me they liked it. But that’s where it stopped.
I was very puzzled and started my adventure trying to figure this thing out. EFC is a labour of love on my part. I like the concept and the way the site is laid out. But I didn’t know enough about how to get the traffic (not to mention how hard it is to get relevant AdSense ads to show up on random content 8=).
I hope to come back to EFC at some point and add some of the sharing features and integration into Facebook that I’m learning about. It would be great to turn it into a Facebook app.
But other projects have taken the front burner — those that I feel have a better chance of turning a return on investment. And I still have so much to learn.
So EFC languishes … for now.