How Long Does It Take To Make Money With A Website

Short Answer: More Then 3 Months

If you are on the verge of starting a website then the biggest question you have is ‘how much traffic and money will my website have in three months?’ Three months is a long time away. Right now you can barely see tomorrow. Everyday you work on your website adding content, designing, setting up email accounts, hosting and domain name. It is a busy time.

You do all this work with eagerness. The future is rosy. You are starting something that you find interesting, exciting and potentially rewarding. The beginning is great.

At the beginning as you create the website your imagination goes wild. You see yourself as a successful webmaster with a popular website; at home in your pajamas and the dog at your feet. Emails of praise fill your inbox. Everyday your bank account fills with more and more money. Your dreams of self employment and doing something you love have come true. You are the envy of all your friends.

Of course, this might happen at some point down the road. But let me be the first to tell you that it will not happen in the first 3 months. You have probably heard stories about some grandmother who, without knowing anything about websites, created a website and within 2 months had $100, 000. Most likely the story is not true – someone was trying to sell you something. Or it did happen, but like winning the lottery, it will not happen to you.

If you expect to be successful in three months then expect to be disappointed. It will take a lot longer than that. But how long will it take? Nobody knows. The only way to find out is to do what you are doing – create a website and see what happens.

Most new websites do not last long. The reason is that people get discouraged too early. They believe that success should come early. Working hard at the beginning they expect returns, they expect to be paid for their efforts. And then when the website does not receive the traffic or revenue they expect they give up.

The problem is that people's expectations are too high. They get these expectations from other people who are trying to sell them an idea – the idea that having a successful website is easy and quick. It is not easy and it is not quick.

The most important thing for you to realize is that success will not come quick and it will take time. Realize it and believe it, so that you are not surprised at your progress in three months. By knowing before-hand that progress will be slow you will not be like the 99% of other new website owners that give up too early.

Use This Website As An Example For Your First 3 Months

I was like everybody else. I thought success would come quick. I thought that in 3 months I would be a success – thousands of visitors a day and a PayPal account with a continually increasing balance.

Obviously I thought I had a unique idea - a unique website. I believed that people would be impressed by it and they would send a link to all their friends. Like the news of Britney Spears gaining 2 pounds the website would spread on its own. All I have to do is build it and they will come.

I was wrong. I built it and only a few came. And in the first three months few will come to your website. But do not be discouraged. Be glad that you know this now instead of finding out later. Because now you can use the first three months on improving your website instead of worrying about why it is not taking off.

What Were The First 3 Months Like For This Website

This is a great website. It has well written content with lots of information. It looks good with lots of charts and tables. It follows all the basic rules of a good website. Informative, entertaining, good navigation, and pleasing to the eye. The first 3 months is the blast off period - a time to get off the ground.

Your website, whatever it is about, also has these qualities. It must. If it does not then it will fail and you are wasting your time.

So if your website shares the same necessary qualities as this one you can expect the same kind of progress in the first 3 months. Traffic, revenue and costs will be pretty much the same as this website.

Below are the statistics of this website for the first free months. From the first day the website went live with 0 visitors.

To help you make a comparison with your situation, the state of this website on day 1 was:

  • the basic layout and appearance of the website was complete.
  • there was about 15 pages of content
  • during the first 3 months to promote the website I joined webmaster forums and participated in conversations. I also visited other blogs and left comments.

Below are the actual statistics for this website. Hopefully they will give you a good idea of what to expect for your website during the first 3 months.

Website Traffic

Traffic was the biggest upset. I expected it to be a lot more in the first three months.

But even though there was not a lot of traffic I was happy with every new visitor. It was exciting to see even small increase of 20 visitors a day to 40.

The nice thing in the first few months is that even a small increase in traffic creates big spikes in traffic.  For example the two peaks below are because the site was mentioned on Only 60 more visitors than usual visited the website but it caused more than double the average traffic.  Exciting days.

How Much Traffic This Website At The Start

Website Traffic Sources

It takes at least a month before Google and other search engines notice your website. So at the beginning most of your traffic will be hard got. The only method of getting traffic to your website is by leaving a link to it on other websites. The standard approach is visit forums and to leave comments on other blogs. People read your forum posts and click on your signature and visit your website, or they read your comment and click on your link.

Website Traffic Sources at the Start

Costs Of Having A Website

Most costs are incurred before your website goes live. You need to pay for a website hosting service and domain name. Usually you pay these for the entire year.

For this website I purchased software to create the website. This was the greatest expense. But depending on your needs you might not need to purchase any software. There is a lot of free website and blog creation software out there.

Costs Details For First 3 Months Online
DateDescriptionCosts% Total
12/9/2008 Purchased Dreamweaver online $380.25 71%
12/7/2008 6 month standard web hosting plan $81.59 15%
12/5/2008 Registering domain name for 1 year $10.19 2%

Hours Worked On Website

Motivated by the newness of it all the first three months I worked like a dog. Adding content and generally improving the website everyday. I was excited and it was easy to work on the website. Everything was fresh and exciting. Lots of work but fun.

Hours Worked Details For First 3 Months Online
DescriptionHours% Total
Total 240100%
Creating New Content 107 44%
Visiting Forums And Blogs 59 25%
Website Update/Maintenance 55 23%
Writing Blog Posts 19 8%

Money Made With Website

Money was non-existent and rightly so. At the beginning nobody knows about your website. Without traffic you cannot make money. Even if your goal is to make money, forget about it during the first three months. Focus on building a better website – the money will come later.

All the review in the first few months was from Google Adsense.  There were a couple odd days when more than $5.00 was made - but mostly it was either $0 revenue or a couple of pennies.

Website Money Revenue at the Start
* On the first day I sold a PAJ to a friend - that is why the revenue is so high on the first day.

Webmaster Psychology

Like the first days of a new job, everything is exciting. You will be a happy person. Waiting for the bus, in the shower, watching TV, you will always be thinking about your website. New ideas will appear out of nowhere. You will be overwhelmed – there will not be enough hours in the day to do everything you want to do.

Every morning you will jump out of bed and head straight for the computer. You will be obsessed with the stats: how much traffic, how much money. You will be your website’s biggest fan.

Enjoy the beginning. Do not focus on progress and statistics. Just learn, build, and experience the joy of creating something from nothing. Like your first kiss, just revel in the newness of it all.

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If this website has helped you, or if you believe in Karma, or most importantly if you want me to feel good:



My name is Roman and I want to provide you with an honest account of what it takes to make money with a website.

When I started this website in January 2009, I thought I would be rich by May.  I was wrong - really wrong. 

At the beginning I did not know anything about websites, SEO, blogs, and how long it takes to make money with a website.

Since then I have learned a lot. By revealing my journey I hope this website will help prepare you for yours .

Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments and visit my Google+ page.