How I Created This Doll House Website....
And how today it earns me a full time income!
I have so much fun building and maintaining this doll house website that most of the time I can't believe this is my job. It's my hobby but it's also what I do for a living.
Here's how it all started....
I never really thought it was possible to make a living from your hobby unless you had a large business or a shop or sold your craft items at craft fairs. To tell you my story I need to go back a few years.
My hobby since I was a young girl has been building and collecting dolls houses and I always wanted to own my own doll house business. I thought it would be fantastic to own my own shop selling dolls houses and miniatures. Collecting and building dolls houses was what I loved and what could be better than doing something you love every day. So when I left University I opened my own dolls house shop.
I called it Laura Anne Dolls Houses after me. To begin with I loved being in the shop, I got to build and sell dolls houses all day which was what I wanted to do. What I hadn't really considered when I had the idea of the shop was the amount of work I would have to put in. The shop was open five days a week and I had to be there serving customers plus on top of that I had to find time to check and order my stock, build doll houses for customers and do my accounting and admin work. I ended up working over 60 hours a week and the hobby I loved turned into a endless job and when I did get a little time to myself I didn't want to spend it working on my own dolls house.
I found myself wanting to go back to enjoying dolls houses as a hobby and not having them as a full time business. I didn't think this was possible unless I went to work for someone else and the idea of that didn't really thrill me. I liked being my own boss and although I didn't like the number of hours I worked I didn't think I could go back to working for someone else.
One day I stumbled across a web site online that said you could build an information web site about your hobby and actually make money from selling advertising and promoting products on it. I was very skeptical about this claim, I already had a doll house website for the shop and although I received some sales through it these were few and far between and I didn't see that it was possible to make money from it in other ways.
As I read further though the site seemed to make more and more sense. It said how if you have a hobby or an interest that you know a lot about it is very likely that the information you have learnt about your hobby will benefit other people and that there are other people out there on the Internet searching for that information. That made a lot of sense to me. I knew an awful lot about dolls houses and customers were always asking me questions about them. If I had more information on my web site then maybe I could make some money off advertising on the site and hopefully also boost my online dolls house sales as well.
The site I came across with this information was Site Build It . They have a web site hosting program that sells itself as an all-in-one site-building, site-hosting, site-promoting suite of tools. It supposedly eliminates all the confusing technical complexities and exhausting manual labor involved in building and promoting a site, and leaves you with the fun part - creating content.
Site Build It boasted that with their program anyone could create web pages that would rank highly in search engines and get lots of visitors. I found this quite hard to believe. I had been running my web site for a couple of years at this point and had never ranked highly in search engines despite trying the advice of many Internet marketers who claimed they held the secrets to search engine rankings. I decided this couldn't possibly be true and went back to concentrating on working in my shop.
Months went by and I was still working 60 hour weeks and really considering giving up my business and going to work for someone else. All the time I kept thinking that there must be an easier way to make a living doing something I loved. My mind kept going back to what I had read on the Site Build It web site and eventually after six months of deliberation I decided to give it a go.
I changed the hosting of my doll house website www.ladollshouse.com to Site Build It in July 2004 and it was the best move I ever made.
My goal was to build an online business that would generate an income equal to a full time wage.
Site Build It comes with an ebook that takes you through a ten step process to building a successful web site. It took me a few months of fitting in an hour here and there but I eventually optimised my web site pages and got them up and running.
I started to see results from the start. About a month after I transferred the web site it started to pop up in search engines and the number of visitors I was getting started to grow. My online sales went up as my visitors did.
The underlying philosophy is to rank high in the search engines for keywords that are in high demand and that way generate lots of traffic to my site. My site is full of helpful information that real people searching for doll houses are looking for. The site provides visitors with that they want and also recommends and reviews products that they are looking for.
Originally the web site made an income in three ways:
1)Dolls House Sales :- I sell a few select doll houses on the web site that the manufacturer sends to my customers for me. 2)Advertising with Google Adsense :- I earn money when people click on an ad that appears on my site.3)Affiliate Programs :- I provide content and make suggestions as to where to buy quality products. If a visitor clicks over from my site to my affiliate and purchases a product I earn a commission.
In November & December 2004 just 4 months after transferring my site to Site Build It I made over £1000 profit from the web site.
Since then www.ladollshouse.com has gone from strength to strength. I also launched this doll house website www.doll-house-miniature-club.com to provide even more information and help to doll house enthusiasts.
Today the web sites receive over 1200 unique visitors every single day.
They have done so well that I closed my shop to work from home instead. There was no sense in running a shop when I was making more money from my online business and could work from home with a lot less stress and work load. Dolls Houses have gone back to being my hobby. I write about them on my web site and spend my time building mine instead of building them for other people - I love my hobby again.
Today 100% of my income for my dolls house business comes from advertising and sales on my web site.
Anyone can build a web site about their hobby. If you have the passion for a hobby you love how easy would it be to just tell people about it. If you want to find out more about Site Build It, the tool I used that made my web sites so successfull Click
Doll House Website
New! CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.