Recently I received an email from a client that had bought a website from me and had grown frustrated that they were not making money from it - despite having only owned it for three weeks.
Here is what I wrote her back...
Mind if I tell you a story.
Coming up 8 years ago, my daughter was born and I was really at a crossroads, wondering where my life was going. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I remember it very clearly as I decided to try and look into the future and come up with that in 10 years from then, I would look back at and wish I had been part of. Kind of like being able to buy Mircrosoft stock back in the early 80's. This though was 1997, and the internet was a new gadget, but you could see clearly it was where the future was. I borrowed enough money to buy a computer that was internet ready, ( from the bank of Mom ) and set out to make my fortune online. I taught myself html, figured out how java script works, and put my graphic design skills to work. My first check for three months work was a wopping $27.63. My step father said he would by me a steak dinner if I ever made more than a $100 online...
In the first year, if I made that $100 I would be surprised. In the second year, I maybe made about $300. Year three, that jumped to about $5000, year four it dropped back to maybe a $1000. But I kept trying, and kept at it. I would go to work at 7 am to my job as the manager of the local grocery store, come home at 6, have supper, spend an hour with my kids and then head down to the basement and back at it on the computer to usually about 3 am. I did this day in and day out for years on end. Then as with all over night successes, ( literally ) things started to go my way. In year six, I made 30,000, in year seven that jumped to $100,000 and in 2005 I'll make well over $200,000 online. I don't work for anyone any more and after thousands upon thousands of hours working at getting ahead - go figure - I finally did.
The reason I am telling you this story is because it is far too soon to decide if your website is working or not. I run a similiar site that is the prototype for the site you bought and it has made a couple of sales so far ( about $20 worth of commissions ). I leave it on though and work to promote it every so often with search engines etc. I have no doubt in a few years though that it will be making several hundred dollars a month - that's just the way things work online.
I'll leave the site on for you on our server as I want you to keep at it. Don't worry about paying anything - but don't lose faith in your ability to succeed online. It will take time and it will take effort - there is no doubt about that - but keep trying new ideas, keep learning and just as importantly as figuring out what works, also eliminate what doesn't work.
By the way, my stepfather still owes me that steak dinner.
The message to her, and to you is to keep at it, don't give up selling and ultimately, after you figure out enough things that don't work, you'll finally find the thing that does work.