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10 Steps To Become a Social Networking Site and Make Money

If you know how many billions of dollars Facebook is valued at the moment, your blood will most likely boil with envy. And it’s the same with Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks. That is to say, starting a social network is one of the surest ways to own a multi-million dollar web asset.
Anyone can start a social networking site; even you. And it’s even much easier now, since many applications are now available to help you set up a social networking site with ease. If you seem to be interested in the idea of starting your own social network, and would like to give it a shot, then follow these helpful guidelines.

Why You Should Start your Own Social Networking Site

  • Well, starting a social networking site is now easier with the recent advancement in technology
  • It is no longer capital intensive as before, you major cost will be marketing and advertising
  • You can start as a one-man team and scale-up as you grow. After all, Markus Frind; the owner of did the same
  • The recent Facebook algorithm tweak that reduces organic reach and promotes ad sales is being resented by users. As a user of Facebook, I can tell you that a lot of us are getting pissed off with this development. This was the one of the reason WhatsApp became a success, they leveraged Facebook’s weakness and became a billion dollar app company.
Most importantly, you can start your own social networking site and be successful without competing directly with Facebook, though you may have to legally poach or steal some users from Facebook via aggressive marketing. Now how to you steal from Facebook to build your own social network?
As we all know, Facebook is a multi-purpose social networking site; catering to a wide audience. You can win by going after niche audiences. Rather than starting a multi-purpose networking site, you can target specific markets and build a social media site for:
  • Pregnant women
  • Nursing mothers
  • Newly wedded couples
  • Farmers
  • Sports enthusiasts
  • Gamblers
Now that you have gotten the drift, let dive into the technical details of setting up a social networking site.

How to Start a Social Networking Site – Sample Business Plan Template

1. Define your concept-: The first step towards creating a hot social networking site is to define a unique concept. Twitter came with the micro-blogging concept, which allows for brief updates (tweets). LinkedIn came with the business connections concept that helps individuals build network with other professionals. Pinterest and Instagram came with the concept of picture sharing.
To attract massive attention to your social networking site, you need to come up with a unique concept and a niche focus that will differentiate it from others. Remember, there are many social networking sites on the web, but only the ones with unique concepts are widely known. Without a unique concept and a targeted niche, you site will most likely end up among the unknown majority.
2. Choose a name -: This is another important step. Be sure to choose a name that is both brandable and easy to pronounce and remember. Coming up with a name that meets both requirements is very easy. You can string together two seemingly nonsensical words, as in Facebook, CreateSpace, and so on.
A good idea is to put look around you, pick any two items you can think of, and combine them into one word (e.g. pen + table gives “Pentable,” just as chat + folder gives “Chatfolder“). If you don’t like that idea for any reason, just make up any word that is complete nonsense, as in Twitter, Imgur, Bitly, and so on.
Better still, I advice you string up names that align with the niche you are targeting. For example, a social networking site targeted at farmers can use the name “FarmUs” or “PlantUs.” While a site targeting pregnant women can use something like “PregMoms” or “PregPeople.
Now there are no rules regarding this step. So, feel free to choose any name provided it’s still available and it’s fine by you. No matter how ugly the name might sound, people will become familiar with it if it becomes popular.
3. Obtain financing-: The startup costs you will need for your social networking site depends on the size you are looking at. A private network that admits only specific members will require much less capital than a social networking site that is aimed at a global audience without any restrictions.
The best source of third party financing for social networking site projects is venture capital. So, you will need to find venture capital firms that are willing to support your project. You can contact them with a brief about your project and set up meetings with them. Before your meeting with an interested investor, you will need to prepare a business model pitch. This part is quite easy because most investors are not very much internet- or tech-savvy; so they won’t ask you about technical details. But you will want to use terms like “social media” and “web 2.0” early and often, to reassure them that you know what you are talking about.
Finding a venture capitalist or investor who will show interest in your idea might take time. But if you have a very promising project, then you will quickly find interested investors who will hand you that check. However, when it comes to raising funds for a web technology company like a social networking site; I advice you start small and test the viability of the niche before seeking funds for scaling up. And as a pointer, you should try raising money from investors or VCs that understand your industry as their advice can come in handy sometimes.
4. Hire employees-: Having acquired the startup funding you need, you should hire employees to work with you. Even if you are a tech-driven guru in what each employee will be hired to do, you will die of burnout should you try to do everything yourself.
The golden rule here is: “hire competent employees, assign them their tasks and get out of their way.” They don’t have to be individuals with intimidating credentials, but they must be very good at what they do. You will need a programmer, marketing coordinator, graphics designer, and so on. Be a cool boss and pay your employees well. Only when you satisfy them will they give their best; which is germane to the success of your project.
5. Program your site-: This is the point when the structure and functionality of your social networking site is defined. If your programmer is a bit poor in the aspect of creativity, or you cannot afford to finance a never-used-before template, you can consider using a clone of Facebook or any of the other popular networks. Don’t feel guilty. Great artists “steal,” too.
6. Launch your site-: After coding your social networking site, it’s time to send it live. Get a dedicated hosting account with a reputable hosting company, register your domain name, and start uploading your files. This process shouldn’t take more than a few hours. Be sure to choose a reputable hosting company, as the success of your social networking site hinges partly on the quality of their service. Nobody likes a social networking platform that goes offline at intervals.
7. Market your site-: This is the point where your marketer starts working like wild. With the fraction of your budget already dedicated to marketing, you should start promoting your network and attracting users. With time, the numbers will grow, and your profits will start trickling in.

10 Profitable Niche Social Network Ideas to Start from Home

I can bet my last penny on it that you have definitely heard about Facebook at least once. The social network is one of the biggest in the world right now closely followed by Twitter. There are other growing social networks as well.
Social networks are a very good platform for people to meet, socialize, interact, share ideas and make discoveries, share news, make donations and even raise funds. It has also become a great avenue for people to advertise their businesses. A lot of businesses generate high revenues just from advertising their products and services on social networks.
Although there are different social network platforms, there is still room for interested people to set up their own social network platform. You have to come up with an idea for your own social network. Of course you can borrow other people’s ideas but it is always better to research untapped niches that you can build on. There are several niches that you can consider. Some of which include-:
a. Religion-: You can create a religion based social network where people can meet with other people that share similar religious beliefs. Such a platform can bring people of like minds together and afford them the opportunity to pray together, help and encourage one another, support one another financially and even build strong marital and personal relationships. A religious social network is a very good idea. You can target religions that have high numbers of followers like Christianity, Islam and Judaism. There are also other religions that you can consider.
b. Movies-: You can also build a social network platform for movie enthusiasts to meet and discuss their favorite movies, share files, discuss movie plots, criticize and even buy movies. There’s a particular movie series I love and I belong to a forum group where we meet to discuss these movies. There are also different movie groups on this forum. Now, consider what would happen if someone gave us a social network platform to meet with other movie enthusiasts all over the world.
c. Artwork-: Another idea is to create a social network for lovers of art. It would be a nice thing for artists and art collectors to have a social network platform where they can meet to discuss art related topics, display their works, chat, get feed backs and help one another. It is also a way for art lovers to promote the business aspect of their work as they can organize exhibitions or you can even have an online store embedded into the platform for people to display their pieces for sale.
d. Sports-: Sports is another area where you would definitely find a lot of willing subscribers. There are a large percentage of sports lovers in the world today and they can certainly benefit from having a social network platform to interact with other sports lovers. This is one idea that would certainly fly.
e. Motor Vehicles-: For some people, their love for vehicles surpasses having it as a means of transportation. Some people are in love with vehicles. These are people who would buy a vintage car manufactured as far back as 1960 just to pimp it up and add it to their existing collections. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to build a social network platform for such people to meet, show off their collections, discuss and organize exhibitions. Apart from car lovers, regular people who own cars also need information about their vehicles from time to time. They need information about how to maintain their vehicles and they also need to discuss vehicle-related issues. A motor vehicle social network platform can also be a good place for people to buy and sell motor vehicles.
f. Business-: The world has gravitated so much towards business that everywhere you go; there’s likely to be a business related discussion or a transaction going on. A social network that focuses on bringing business lovers together to discuss ideas, share knowledge and experiences and help each other solve challenges wouldn’t be such a bad idea. This type of social network is not only good for social networking; it’s also very good for the economy generally.
g. Travel-: If you go on some popular travel blogs, you would discover that there are lots of people interested in travel related discussions. When you are traveling to a place for the first time, you would need as much information as you can gather about your destination so that you don’t end up frustrated in a strange land. Only people who have been in your destination before or who are natives of such a place can give you extensive information. That is why on TripAdvisor, you would see lots of people looking for information and a lot of people willing to share. You can borrow the trip advisor concept too and turn it into a social network where frequent travelers, holiday makers and travel lovers can meet to share information and pictures about their trips and also help one another get the best out of their trips.
h. Cooking-: You can also create a social network for food lovers, caterers, cooks and home makers all over the world. It is a common trend for people to display pictures for people on social network platforms like Facebook and Instagram to display pictures of what is on their plate. I am certain that a social network platform that allows food lovers to meet, share pictures and recipes and interact would be a good idea.
i. Pet lovers-: Another idea to consider is creating a social network platform for pet lovers. A lot of pet lovers are obsessed about their beautiful pets and wouldn’t mind an opportunity to show off and also gather more knowledge about how to take good care of their pets.
j. Fitness-: Fitness is also a very hot topic all over the world today. You can create a social network for people interested in losing weight and keeping fit to meet, motivate each other, share tips and also display results.

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