Journey from hobby website to microbusiness

The news of online startups making it big are now commonplace. These stories inspire many enthusiasts to start their own web projects in the hope of making it big one day. Most of these hopes do not come to fruition, it is commonly reported that just 1% of startups make it big. This is the story of one of the remaining 99% - the story that does not get reported, but needs to be told so that the complete picture is known.

This website is the story behind the journey from my web project to my microbusinesss XLnControl. It is the story of how the site moved from a small beginning to grow over the years, its ups and downs, the many frustrations, learnings and the thrills: from getting great feedback from visitors, from recieving the first payment for ads, and the first payments from product sales. Hopefully it can be of help for others, non-professional web designers in particular, who are either travelling on or thinking of embarking on the same path.

It consists of 2 sections - the story that reads like a book and a brief "how-to" section that answers some common technical queries from non-professional web developers.

The story

1. Introduction: The questions that motivated this site

2. In the beginning: The idea

3. In the beginning: The dreams

4. The crash of the dreams!

5. The hard slog

6. Site Name

7. Wikipedia story and sad ending

8. Ugly vs beautiful site - a hard choice

9. First cheque!!

10. Growing further

11. The social media experience

12. Starting E-commerce

13. Epilogue and key lessons


FAQs - How-to

Introduction - Do I need a website?

1. Choose a hosting provider

2. Build a website

3. Monetise a website

4. Measure site performance

5. Market a website