A lot of websites are time-sucking wastes of time – for the owners, that is.

Perhaps you’ve spent hours and hours on your site, because, well, you know your company is supposed to have a site, right?

However, it never draws any readers, let alone any customers, despite the time you put into writing articles and tweaking stuff to make it look all purty.

But, you begin to resent it and blame all your business failures on your stupid site not working better.

It’s almost like an annoying hobby – you’re putting time and money into building something, yet you don’t make any money from it. Kinda like building model bridges out of balsa wood only to keep super-gluing your fingers together—only to get a C from your Physics teacher (not that I would know what that’s like).

What you want is a business. Your site is never going to rival Amazon.com. But, a few trusty principles can help your site actually work as a business, and less as a time-vaporizing black hole in your life.

Automatic Sales

Your website should sell products that don’t require any human interaction. There is a finite amount of time that you or your employees can spend earning money for your business. You could expand your business, but that requires more resources – such as buildings, computers, and labor.

Let’s take a veterinarian for example. It’s generally accepted that vets make money when they or one of their techs see an animal. One tech can give one shot at a time, and can’t earn any more revenue for the vet clinic during that one appointment.

However, by taking a leveraged approach, the owner can make more money than would be normal for the amount of employees he has. A vet could easily sell products on his website associated with animals, such as food, shampoo, collars, leashes, etc.

Or take a realtor as another example. He or she could write an eBook entitled “The Top 10 Best Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home.” That type of information could carry a nifty price tag, and the Realtor didn’t have to work any harder to sell a copy.

Basically, you can earn more money than your current resources would normally allow. Now that’s a great way to run a business!

Offer Sales

Another strategy to help your site actually run as a business is to offer sales and deals. Your site will look like a real business. Your visitors will return over and over again to check out your sales. Plus, if people begin to latch onto your brand, they’ll even share your offers on social media.

Take Ideeli.com for example. Every day they have a flash sale that runs until the day is over or they sell out. Basically, the product on sale each day goes viral and they get overrun with customers!

Email List!

The last and potentially most effective strategy to keep your site from being just a hobby is to build an email list.

Similar to Arrested Development’s “There’s always money in the banana stand,” I’ll say that there’s always money in your email list!

Every person on your list took the time to check out what you do, and they recognized your value. That’s a pretty big step up in the buying process from a Regular Joe off the street.

Mail your list often, and continue cultivating that same relationship you started when they opted in. Soon, they’ll start turning into full-fledged customers!

Do you know any other ways to turn your site into a money-making business site?