One of the questions I get all of the time is: Should I start a web community site, e-commerce site, or a blog to try and make money online? I find this to be a very difficult question to answer. For starters, it is not really something with a boilerplate answer you can simply toss back and be done with it. I find the best choice really has to do with each person’s individual strengths.
Take myself for example. I would classify my background and experience as 90% software development/programming, 10% web design and graphics, and 0% professional writing. To me, my strengths are entirely on the development side of a new site. My ideal projects are ones where the majority of the focus is on designing and automating tasks. With that in mind, I always tend to gravitate toward e-commerce ventures or community portals first before looking into a blog.
Some people, though, have much different strengths. If your background is in web design and graphics, you’re more likely to be successful working on something related. If you’re a great writer and you have tons of unique knowledge just itching to be told, then a blog might be right up your alley. There really is no wrong choice, but choosing an avenue you’ll be successful in may take some testing before getting it right.
Just because you’re strengths lie in one area of online business does not mean you shouldn’t experiment with others. Take Bookmark Bliss for example. Based on my background, I shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a blog. My writing is not the best and my worldly knowledge is very limited. What I did though is play to my strengths in development even in this arena. Bookmark Bliss’s main topics are those that I have experience and a solid background in. I’ve done a lot of optimization on the site itself and spent a ton of my time figuring out ways to improve traffic and also use social networking to my advantage. These are things I find enjoyable and a blog has turned out be a great way to use my strengths to my advantage.
If you play to your strengths in online business, you will end up on top at the end of the day. Don’t try to force things, but never be afraid to try something out that’s new. After all, some of your strengths you might not even know about yet….