I personally own and maintain several successful websites. They are successful for many reasons: they earn a large revenue stream, have high traffic volumes, or address a specific need very well. In my time with online publishing, I’ve learned that there are many factors that contribute to success, but this last one – the ability to address a specific need in a unique or more effective way than anyone else – is often times the difference between success and a failure.
An example of addressing a specific need comes from one of my favorite websites, 1KM1KT (One Thousand Monkeys, One Thousand Typewriters), which is an online publishing house for independent role playing game developers.
1KM1KT earns its success not by being the most innovative role-playing game website, nor by being the largest. Instead, it addresses a simple need in a way that other sites had overlooked and is rewarded by a faithful following, a large search engine presence, and a reasonable income stream. 1KM1KT’s primary function is to act as an online library where independent game developers can store their games – a need other sites had failed to address to the role playing game community.
The point of this article is that innovative technology, big budget marketing campaigns and a staff of hundreds are not necessary to build a successful website. All you need to do is look around at your daily life and ask yourself, “how can I make this better?”