So once you've started your website, how do you make money from it?
First of all - don't put adverts on the site!
The first thing you need to get for your site is TRAFFIC. Monetization can come later!
So when do you monetize your site?
My recommendation is to wait until your traffic shows signs of going exponential, like in this traffic chart for the Niche Laboratory website:
So in the chart above (click for full size) I'd say that May 2015 was the time to start thinking about monetizing this particular site.
By the way, don't worry too obsessively about significant drops in traffic. As you can see below, the traffic to an authority site I built really took off in 2012. Then traffic slumped for about 18 months, before smashing past its 2012 traffic peaks:
So hopefully you've taken heed of the previous section, and not rushed into monetizing your site.
Once your site has some good traffic, then how do you make money from it? Here are a few tips:
I work as a software developer (i.e. I'm a geek) and I've met a lot of successful website owners lately. One secret the big guys have is that they'll often have an exit strategy for their business.
So I'll just mention that if you're building a niche site and it becones successful, you can monetize that site by simply selling it to someone else. It's true that websites sell for more money if they're profitable. However, just remember that Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, despite it making barely any money. The main way buyers evaluate the worth of websites/services is by their amount of traffic and potential, rather than their past and current earnings.
Building a product-based website? The Product Laboratory will help find you brainstorm product ideas.