For people building a website if may be useful to read about the struggles to achieve recognition and traffic in the intensely competitive market of the internet.
I would recommend using Site Sell (SBI). My site Pictures of Cats began in June 2007. The first thing that comes to mind about building a website is the amount of effort that you have to put into it if you are to be seen and read.
There is no reason really to run a website if only you and one or two other people (who you give the URL to) see it.
It has to get recognized and read. That is about SEO work, good content and lastly and importantly making it as big as possible.
I think that the big SEs recognize that there are a lot of people who think they can slap up a website and enjoy the income that flows in. That isn't the case as most of us know.
It really is a long distance race rather than a sprint, with a continual focus on content; trying to give visitors what they are looking for.
What I do (and I don't know if others do this) is to try different types of page content and track the page using SBI traffic center and Google Analytics. Google Analytics is actually awesome. It is completely comprehensive in the information that it provides. Although it does take a little time to understand how to read it and get the best from it.
SBI information is very good too. The way I see it is this. It is the building of a business. Most of the work is up front and then you just maintain the site. So, in the world of internet business if your site is a niche content site most of the work is up front hence the extra effort at the beginning. It's like you are compressing work that is normally done over a long period into the beginning. The rewards should come later if you keep going.
In my case the rewards are not commercial as the site is not for profit but for cats charities. Although running costs will have to be deducted.
As traffic builds I am beginning to work more on monetization. My target has always been to gross $1000 per month. The money will be divided between me (pure admin and charges such as hosting costs), Helmi Flick, tax man, cats charities.