It’s not all about the money!
A lot of the time I spend on the internet is devoted to making money however there are a few projects that I want to highlight that aren’t focused on making money.
Firstly there is my website The-Pier.co.uk which is a web site dedicated to the piers around the UK. This was the first website that I set up and was created as I was living in Brighton at the time. Most of the content was paid for with more recent content being written by “friends of pier” organisations or other interested bodies. Often these groups are interested in safe guarding and publishing their local piers so I often spend an evening trying to find a group for a pier that we haven’t got covered. A quick introductory e-mail often leads to the opening of a dialogue in which the groups offer to write a 500 – 1000 word article on the piers history and facilities. In exchange I offer a link back to their “friends” page so people interested can get further information. Although this site isn’t about making money the inclusion of adsense generates a steady income stream of about a £1 a day. That’s £365 per year and all I try and do is add pier related news to keep the content updated and fresh.
Stone is the small town in Staffordshire that I currently live in. There were some websites for the local area but these were old and stagnant. I engaged with the owners of these sites but they weren’t interested in bringing a fresher and more useful experience to their visitors so I setup stoneweb.org.uk. Unfortunately I just didn’t have time to develop the site as I wanted but I did spot a guy called Jamie Summerfied who had setup a blog on wordpress.com. After an introductory e-mail and a discussion of where Jamie wanted to take alittlebitofstone.com I offered him some hosting on my excellent tsohost cloud hosting account. I also offered my technical skills and we set about migrating the blog from wordpress.com to a hosted wordpress installation. Jamie had already found a theme he liked so it was just a question of adding in his bespoke requirements and it was good to go. Since launch we’ve added a forum to the site and Jamie has also linked it to a facebook and twitter account. Jamie runs paid advertising slots for local business to offer their services to this hyper-local site.
When we moved from Brighton to Stone we were finally in a house with a garden. The previous owners had left a bird box attached to the back wall of the garage so it was great to see in the spring of 2007 that we had blue tits nesting and using the bird box. When the birds left the nest in 2007 I decided that I would like a closer look inside the bird box so installed a miniature camera and created a website to post information and videos about the goings on in our bird box! 2008 was our first year of running the camera and website and we are now on our fourth year. I had to replace the camera in 2010 and am going to have to do some further changes in 2011. Ideally I’d like to swap the bird box for a new box with a window to allow colour recording. This however has me concerned that if we change the box the birds may not come back the following year There is a sprinkling of adsense and easy content units on the website and these bring in a little income each year.
It’s far to easy too focus on money money money. If you can spend a little bit of time on “other” projects it will help keep you sane and stimulate your creativity!