It doesn't matter that you don't have any cool products to sell or offer from your website, your product can be information. Just about any Industry can earn you money online, given that you know enough; and that your writing skills are good enough – a target audience of professionals and/or "do it yourself" people is a good foundation for a information based site. Maybe your goal is not to make a lot of money on ads – maybe your goal is to lure in customers and business partners – but the possibility to make money online is very real. In hard times where you don't sell much, you will most likely still be earning a little on ads on your website.
It doesn't matter that you do not have anything physical to offer or sell your users, what you will be offering is information, and you will also be paid adequately for this information! It can of course be a huge advantage to own a business, as you typically already have a lot of available knowledge – and you can use the information that you make available on your website as "bait" for new customers or business partners – but its not a requirement. Many people who's main income is coming from online advertisement such as Adsense, started out with nothing; knowing little or nothing about the subject they picked – but they learned bit by bit on their way.
See also: An Introduction to Adsense
Traffic is the key to making money online
People often find it very difficult to make any good money from their website, they will join ad networks and get disappointed at how little they are making – feel discouraged because it would seem like they need an overwhelming amount of traffic to make enough money to be able to quit their job.
It is true – you do need a lot of traffic. Maybe you currently only got around 300 visitors per day, perhaps even less than that! But if you write enough content, the traffic is almost guaranteed to come on its own! And best of all – it is a lot easier than you think! For example, how many people in the world would you say are searching for information in the subjects that you write about?
The main source of traffic will be search engines, so writing about fresh topics will help you rank for your keywords – but even when dealing with a few competing sites, you should still be able to take over a couple of positions. Its about content, and writing lots of it. You should also check out out SEO Tutorial, to get an idea of how you can optimize your content, and gain an advantage over competing sites.
Traffic can double or triple unexpectedly, this is especially the case if some of your content goes viral. You got even more opportunities to get traffic today, than you did before YouTube and social networks – search engines are not your only option! Referral traffic is just as important!
Writing and quality content
Quality content and writing doesn't necessarily go hand in hand – but you should understand that it requires dedicated writing, you need to really put an effort into writing – not just writing, but also improving your existing writing skills, if they are poor. Having poor writing skills shouldn't hold you back; there are many tools today to help you – browsers got build-in spelling tools, and so on. Punctuation can also be important.
People are generally forgiving on the Internet, and many are used to poor spelling and visible punctuation errors. Spelling problems can almost be entirely solved by the help of todays build in writing tools for browsers, but punctuation errors are harder to get around. Its not essential to your success, but it will often make things easier.
Good writing skills are also more important for bloggers, than for someone writing for a site like Brugbart. We mostly write programming and scripting tutorials – so even if the tutorials are filled with spelling errors, and the punctuation is one big mess – we would still know that the source code examples would be right, because making an error would break the script or program; and we usually test code before posting it! Search engines just love this thing called quality content – to build an authority site, you need to write quality content.
Enthusiasts and internet entrepreneurs
If you are just some no-name with an interest in a particular subject, there should even still be money to make for you. Being directly interested in the subject is not an requirement either however, as long as you at least put in an effort to get things right; and as long as you are able to bring in visitors to your website.
As a no-name – maybe starting out with nothing – you might feel discouraged, especially if there are larger competitors in the field'(s) that you have chosen. You got no reason to be really! Instead of viewing your competitors as a threat, you should view them as valuable resources of knowledge.
You will often have an advantage over businesses, because you will have the time needed to write content for your website; your primary focus should be writing, improving your writing; and learning about the subjects that you write about, as well as how you best sculpt your text to match what people are searching for. Many businesses fail to see the potential in their websites, and some businesses don't even have a website yet. Many information based sites to come, is therefor likely to be operated by people just like you.
Perhaps the best of it all. There are still a ton of different industries, just waiting for someone to start writing about them online. What about furniture? Food recipes? Sports? Programming? Ok. Maybe you don't know much about programming, but the good news is that there are a lot of existing resources online where you can learn. Not that you should just copy their information, but you can often write a better tutorial then they did, after reading theirs!
The problems that businesses might face
Maybe your business doesn't have a website at all, so lets get this straight – nearly all businesses can benefit from owning a website! Its a misunderstanding that it requires to much work to operate a website – you do not have to update it very often at all, but spending time updating it sometimes, can be a very profitable investment. Once the information has been posted to your website, it just sits there; done right, the information that you post should rarely get outdated – information rarely has has a known expiration date! Some information will stay relevant to the end of days!
The problem is often that people specializes in different fields – those writing for your website might not know enough in each of the fields in your business, to be able to write quality content, or provide useful solutions to problems. The employees of the different fields, might not have the writing skills or time to write – so there can be some obstacles in creating a successful business website. When you find a way to overcome these obstacles however, you may gain a huge advantage over competitors in your industry online.
Making information available to competitors in your industry, can of course sometimes be something that you don't want to do – for obvious reasons. However, when you know that this knowledge, is well known in the industry already, even among your competitors, you should really consider being the first to release it on your website – being the first to do something is often a huge advantage, being the first to write about something, will also currently make it a lot easier to rank in the SERPs.