We talk an awful lot about web hosting. Actually, we suppose that shouldn’t come as a surprise: After all, it is our job to do exactly that. However, we spend a whole lot of our time talking about the web hosting providers that exist now, including who they are, what they offer, and which ones are the best match for your web hosting needs. What we don’t spend a whole lot of time discussing are the exact ways in which you can take advantage of the web hosting market to make a little profit. It’s not quite as hard as you might think, and if you can spend the time and overhead costs to get your options up off the ground, you may quickly find that web hosting is a great way to make some pocket lining cash.
If you’re interested, we’ve got a full rundown of some of our favorite methods of making money through web hosting listed out below. This guide is intended to be a general look at some of the more popular ways in which you can get your toe into the web hosting market. We’ll try to give you as many pointers and specifics as we can, but remember that—at the end of the day—you’re likely going to need to do some digging on your own to find out how you can best market, distribute, and profit from these ventures. Still, if you’re absolutely clueless, but still want to break into the industry, you’re at the right place. We’ll be holding your hand as we dish out the details, starting with:
What Do We Mean by Making Money?
Before we go any further with the article, we feel we owe you an explanation of what exactly we mean by making money from web hosting. Surely, after all, we’re not talking about scamming the industry or its consumers into sending some of its billion dollar revenues your way. And we’re not saying that at all. What we are talking about is simple:
Web hosting and all of its individual parts is one of the single largest and most productive businesses on the planet. Thousands upon millions of people use web hosting services, are involved with their production, or otherwise encourage the growth of the industry. And as the Internet grows and expands, more and more people are going to drive this growth. In other words, web hosting is very serious stuff, and it comes with a huge pie, out of which you can easily take a chunk.
What do we mean when we say you can take a chunk of the money pie, though? Essentially, we’re saying that there are different avenues you can explore to get your foot in the door, even without any kind of web hosting education or skills. Yes, if you have just a basic understanding of how computers work—and how the industry itself operates—then you can start making some pretty serious money off the whole kit and caboodle. How is this done? We’re glad you asked.
Below you’ll find a list and rundown of our top money making methods through web hosting. We’ll give you a brief explanation of how each works, as well as some general tips on how to make the most profit out of each. If that sounds like a fun day out, then pony up, Solider—the details are ready to ride out, and so are we!
Become a Web Hosting Provider
Now, naturally the absolute best way to make money from the web hosting industry is to become a web hosting provider yourself. Certainly this isn’t the easiest, as you’re going to need quite a lot of “stuff” going in. Firstly, you’re going to want to have some kind of degree in database management, as keeping all of those servers in order and functioning is no small task. This is why huge corporations hire dedicated teams to manage their own hardware. Without these geeks in the basement, the whole system would collapse fairly quickly. In other words, be prepared to either know a lot or learn even more if you want to outright dedicate your time and money to establishing a full web hosting company.
On the subject of money, you’re also going to need a whole lot of it. You’re going to need to firstly purchase servers, as well as people that can manage them, but you’ve also got software licenses to worry about. On top of that, you’ll need a space to house all of your equipment, as well as the utilities to keep them all running. This means the mother load of all Internet connections, as well as some kind of dedicated power source. Most web hosting providers offer a diesel-powered generator network to their clients, ensuring that any sort of power failure does not bring down the whole network. If you want to compete in this already over saturated market, you’re going to want to have something approaching this level of enterprise.
So all in all, if you want to completely abandon your day job and become the founder and CEO of a web hosting company of your very own, be prepared to spend a whole lot of time, money and energy developing and establishing the company. This is no small task, and if you’re not prepared for the endeavor, you will very quickly find yourself in over your head. However, if you feel you have the technical expertise and the means to take on this huge project, by all means! Go for it, and when you’re company is huge and successful, submit it to our site so we can start reviewing it and getting it out there on the Net. After all, that’s the way this whole, beautiful process works!
Become a Reseller Host
However, if you’re instead like most of us and neither have the energy, the time, or the skill needed to commit your career and life to founding a web hosting provider, then you’ve got one other option that might just do the trick. It’s called reseller hosting, and above all, it’s one of our favorites.
What is reseller hosting? To put it simply, it’s like renting out a portion of those large web hosting provider’s space, and then giving it back to your own clients, as if you were one of those blokes from the first method that started their own company. You reap the profits, and all under your own name and branding. The catch? You’re going to have to pay monthly to lease the space and bandwidth that you sell out.
Still not clear on how this works? Let us explain it a little better with the help of a tasty metaphor. Essentially, the scheme works like this:
You rent out a space (in the metaphor we’ll call this a house) from a real estate agent that owns thousands of different proprieties. Out of all the land that this guy owns, you’re paying a small monthly fee to rent the house. However, you have no intention of living in the thing—though we suppose you could. Instead, you’re going to turn around and flip the property by selling it off to your own clients. They rent the rooms of the house, paying you monthly for the space they take up. You, in turn, continue to pay your monthly lease to the proper landlord, and everyone is happy about it. And as time goes on, and you’ve made quite a lot of profit from your small real estate venture, you can decide to rent more properties and do the same. Sell enough empty rooms, and you may even decide to buy your own properties without dealing with real estate magnate.
That’s almost exactly how reseller hosting works, and the great thing about it is that it can grow into a proper business—as long as you’re doing the right things, of course. If you start to make enough profit off your business, then you could easily swap the whole client list over to your own servers, your own data centers, and your own support teams. So if you’re looking for a great way to break into the market as a proper web hosting provider, but you don’t have the resources to get the job done right out of the gate, we very strongly suggest that you consider becoming a reseller host.
So what if you already are a reseller host? How do you make money off that investment? We’re glad you asked, as we’ve got some really hot tips line up and ready to go for you. If you’re looking to turn a bigger profit off your reseller hosting account, look no further than the pointers we’ve spilled out below. Starting with:
- Pick a Niche: The absolute best advice that we can give to turn your empty reseller account in a bustling and profitable venture is to pick some kind of niche that needs its own web hosting provider. What we mean is simple: Find a market that hasn’t already been catered to as far as web presence is concerned, and then become the only real option on the table. This might be doll collecting, tennis players, or some other obscure corner of the world. But no matter what genre of interest you decide to pick up, you’re going to want to find some kind of corner that you can nail down and call your own. This is the only way you’re going to get enough clients out of this already overpopulated industry. It’s kill or be eaten, so find those clients and sign them dead!
- Don’t Make a Cheap Website: Our second tip should be common sense, but out of all the reseller brands that we’ve seen through the years, it’s apparently been swept under the rug. When creating the brand for your web hosting service, be sure to make a website that looks good. We’re quite serious about this. If you’re website looks unprofessional, why on earth would anyone choose to sing up with you? It just doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t reflect well on the services that you offer. Take the time, and create a brand that has lasting value and lasting impact.
- Price is Right: Lastly, be sure that you’re pricing your services correctly. Stop for a second and do the math on how much you need to sell each account for to turn a profit. Then, set your prices just slightly higher. Is this price more or less than what a standard web hosting provider would cost? If you’re doing your job right, the total price should be slightly higher than the standard budget rate. This means it should likely be somewhere in the neighborhood of $7-9 bucks. This is certainly higher than some of the under $3 budget hosts we talk about here on the site, but what you’re giving your customers is personal service and an actual face to communicate with. In our eyes, that’s easily worth a little bit more cash, if for no other reason than the simple peace of mind.
If you’re looking to make money off the big web hosting companies themselves, though, becoming a reseller is not the only way to go about it. No, there’s another option that, in the right hands, can be far more profitable with far less work. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking about becoming a proper affiliate with a large web hosting company.
If you’re unfamiliar with how an affiliate program works, we’re ready to explain it. And in our traditional style and flair, we’re going to do that explaining through a clever metaphor. Here’s how it goes:
Let’s assume that you own a shop in a small town. Your customers keep asking for a single product that you don’t sell (in this case, the product is obviously web hosting.) However, you know the owner of a shop down the street that sells an awful lot of the product that your customers keep asking for. So, you kindly refer them to that shop. After a number of recommendations, the owner of the shop you’ve been referring to stops by and hands you a fat envelope full of money. It’s a thank you gift for all of the business that you’ve been getting him.
This is, more or less, how becoming an affiliate works. You recommend your clients, customers, or even friends and family to a specific web hosting provider, and that provider in turn kicks you back a portion of the profits. And to be honest, it can be a downright massive sum of money, especially considering you did nothing but offer up a name. When you’re an affiliate with a larger web hosting provider, you can expect to make anywhere from $50 to $200 off a single recommendation. Depending on what kind of services your mate, customer, etc. decides to go with, you may just find a thick sack of gold on your desk.
Before signing up to become an affiliate, be sure to check out a lot of the options that are out there on the Net. Most hosting providers come with this kind of program, so you’re going to want to see what the standard going rates are. You should also check some user reviews to see how quickly and painlessly these hosting providers actually pay their customers. If the return rates are somewhat sketchy, you’re not likely to enjoy the experience, or even to get paid from it. And at the end of the day, you know you’d really like to avoid being scammed.
For more information, you can always use Google to do some research. However, we also happen to have a wide load of information regarding affiliate programs right here on the site. Check out the information that we’ve got, and then come up with your own decision. After all, it’s your money that you’re looking to make.
Offer A Service
Last, though hardly least, we’re going to talk a bit about some of the services that you can offer to make money off the web hosting market. In terms of “shadiness” this is the least weird way to go about making a pretty penny off the industry. What we mean by that is simple: To offer some kind of for-pay service to those in the community, you’re going to need some skills, some time, and some tech knowledge. You might not need to go back to night school, but you’re certainly going to need more in the education department than if you were simply to become an affiliate. So without any further blabbering on, here’s the low down on some of the top skills and services you can market to consumers within the web hosting community:
- Graphic and Web Design: When we’re not writing for Web Hosting Geeks, we’re actually full-time graphic and web designers. So what we’re really saying is, we’ve got a good handle on how all of this works. Essentially, by offering the ability to design and market users’ websites, you can make quite an hefty load of cash off the industry itself. This is because of a very simple fact: Those who are looking for web hosting also need to be on the lookout for a website. After all, there’s no point in getting hosted if you haven’t got anything to host. If you can try to work out a deal with a web hosting provider where you offer your design services to their clients. This is a great way to not only network your business, but it also guarantees quite a lot of business from not a lot of marketing work. Not to mention the fact that it’s just nice to have a source of constant revenue in this business. Trust us: Some months can be quite difficult.
- Site Optimization: Another service you can offer of a related wing is site optimization. This bears a lot of similarity to web design, but it differs in some very important ways. For instance, you’re not going to be offering design, but rather services that streamline the client’s website for search engines and other media. This means search engine optimization, speed and performance upgrades, etc. This requires quite a bit of tech knowledge, but if you can get your foot in the door with this method, you’ll find yourself making some pretty money. Website owners will often pay a whole lot of dough to ensure that their site is performing at its peak. After all, they’re simply looking to make money off web hosting, too.
- Education: Another service you can offer is education. Now, obviously this one requires the most amount of pre-knowledge, and if you’re not comfortable instructing others, this won’t be a good fit at all. Still, if you’re looking for something fun to do, teaching others to use web hosting is a great way to pass the time—and get paid all at once! The idea goes something like this: A lot of small businesses these days are getting websites because they feel they have to. However, they see it as an opportunity to learn new skills and expand in a more tech direction. You can use this to your advantage by offering to teach them skills like using WordPress, simple coding, or even just cPanel. All of these might be easy to the tech literate, but if you’ve never used a web hosting provider before, it can be quite confusing. Use this to your advantage to set-up classes where you instruct new online business owners, or even perhaps the elderly that want to start their own website. The possibilities are just about endless, but if you have the knowledge and a desire to share it, you can easily turn a pretty penny off doing so.
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