Why UGLY Simple Websites Make Money While Others Do Not?

Mitz Pantic
My name is Mitz and I am a serial full-time blogger. I started out with one website many years ago and it went so well, I sold my businesses and began living the internet dream. Since then I have been perfecting the system of blogging and building Wordpress websites to earn money online. This is an ever changing business and I love the challenge. Please feel free to download my favorite FREE REPORTS if you are interested in improving your blogging business or starting one from scratch.
Mitz Pantic
Mitz Pantic

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Mitz Pantic
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I would not call my websites ugly but they are quite simple and the thing is, they make money. There are many Webmasters with websites that would love to make money and some have loads of traffic but still cannot earn a cent. What is the problem here?

Well the problem of not being able to make money on a website is bigger than we think. Many Webmasters seem to be successful but cannot admit that their websites do not cover their expenses and do not cover the hours they invest working on these sites.

Why Ugly (or not) Simple Websites Can Make Money

An UGLY website is really in the eye of the beholder and the users. As long as your website is user friendly and is built for human enjoyment, you might gracefully pass the UGLY test. Who cares what it looks like if it converts and makes you money if that is what your goal is?

Non Simple websites can be both distracting and annoying to your reader.

If you are trying to create a successful WordPress website and make money, here are a few things that you should NOT do:

Waste Time on Unnecessary Stuff

I see many Webmasters spend too much time on weird and wonderful jobs and not enough time on the strategy of the website.

Here are some of the time wasting tasks:

  • Redesigning the website once a week. Remember a plain minimalist WordPress theme is very effective.
  • Generating traffic that goes nowhere and does nothing.
  • Completing tasks that have no impact or benefit for the website.
  • Learning how to make money online when they should be working.

Really? This time wasting thing is so common that you are probably committing all of the above offences.

Great Content but Then What?

Most Webmasters know that you need quality content to make a great website but unfortunately that is not the end of the story. Many Webmasters presume that the content will make them money and make them famous. This will not help if you want to earn money from your blog or website.

I have seen some absolutely fantastic content, but when Webmasters expose the monthly earnings, all we see is a sad story behind all of that work. Unfortunately these Webmasters are blogging away but earning no real income.

This just proves that great content will not put money in the bank. You need to have a purpose for the content and you also need to be selling the right products. This brings me to my next point.

Generating Traffic for NO Purpose

Many Webmasters say that you should wait until you get loads of traffic before

monetizing your website. I strongly disagree with this and I believe that you should monetize your website as soon as possible because if you drive the right traffic to the right page you will make money.

If you think you have to wait to make money then you really don’t know how to make money online and this is just admitting that fact.

Think about it? A webmaster can make an ordinary blog post and place an affiliate link within the article and to make money from this link. They have two choices here, they can post this article on an already established website and make money for sure, or they can post this article on a new website and drive the right traffic to it to make money. In each case the way traffic is driven may be different but to make sales, the outcome is the same.

You do not need to have a big website or a big following to make money. You can easily start making money if I create content that has a purpose. The problem is, Webmasters create links to the homepage that has no goal, or to any content on the website that also has no goal.

Having a simple, but not ugly website, will make your visitors goal obvious to them. The less distractions the better.

Not Tweaking Conversions

Many Webmasters make a sale and celebrate. I immediately investigate. This is something that is a part of any business. You need to analyze your success and repeat it over and over again.

How does your website make conversions or make sales? If I ask you this question you should know the answer.

What type of blog post makes sales? Where should the links or banners be placed within the blog post? What type of products our most likely to sell in these posts?

One way to keep your eye on your conversions is to track all affiliate links on your site and in your email campaigns.

Here is a quick video showing how to track your affiliate links.

The Moral of the Story

My answer is to buy a premium WordPress theme and be done with it. (most are seriously minimalist) Then create fantastic content and promote it. Make sure each piece of content has a goal. That is it in a nut shell. After that, see what results appear and make adjustments. Don’t waste time on tasks that see no benefits. This is why I have UGLY simple websites that make money. :)

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  1. Well, Ugly and Simple is not a big deal. I come to the site for the info…of course I don’t want to read red text on green background but as far as the site is simple (even ugly in a way) I can handle it. it is like going to the coffee shop to get some awesome Brazil coffee, and i absolutely don’t care whether I buy it in a posh luxury shopping mall or in a tiny corner shop next to my house.. it is all about coffee first of all, oh, I mean content)) and coffee)))
    Evan recently posted..Top 50 Corporate WordPress Themes best of 2013My Profile

  2. I have exactly spent time on the stuffs you considered a “waste of time” here. Even though I agree to most of the points, I certainly don’t agree on the ugly part. I personally never return to a blog which bleeds my eyes, so I don’t want others to do the same to me

  3. Twitter:
    I think as long is the website is easy to navigate its a good site. If I can’t navigate it then I most likely will leave and look elsewhere for what I’m looking for.
    Tanya recently posted..The Best WordPress Anti-Spam Plugins for 2012-2013My Profile

  4. Yeah some times ugly ones make more money then really pretty ones… Not fare, like me, i setted my website as pretty as i can but still it makes no $. Cheers.
    Justas recently posted..Vegetarian Diet Plan That WorksMy Profile

  5. Twitter:
    “Many Webmasters make a sale and celebrate. I immediately investigate. This is something that is a part of any business. You need to analyze your success and repeat it over and over again.” So very true, you have to keep up the momentum of your success
    Andrea recently posted..Watch out! Top Tech Scams of 2012My Profile

  6. Twitter:
    I don’t think money has a preference. Nor do buyers or affiliate links. Simple, informative sites make money. Point blank
    J. Seals recently posted..The Truth About Teflon Coating Your CarMy Profile

  7. Twitter:
    Awesome article, Mitz! Right to the spot!
    I believe this is one of the rare articles around the internet nowadays that is written by someone who genuinely knows their thing when it comes to creating a profitable website!
    While some, as you say, generate traffic for no purpose, there is also the opposite case – where people have great content, but spend ALL of their time writing it. They don’t do networking at all!
    So those articles go to waste, their authors thinking the content itself was the problem, when really the problem was the total lack of promotion.
    Andrew M. recently posted..5 Practical Ways to Be MemorableMy Profile

  8. Twitter:
    Good one Mitz,

    I agree with you on Monetization.

    You have to learn how to make $1 before you can make $100.

    There is a ton that you can learn from adsense about your content and the way Google sees it.
    Darnell Jackson recently posted..Grow your audience with The Monday Morning Momentum Marketing ManualMy Profile

  9. There is some good insight in this article. Thanks for posting!

    I think that websites and blogs should be “simple” in that they should not confuse the visitors. At the same time, I feel there is a common misunderstanding among people who think that “simple” means “low-budget” or “tacky”. If your website looks like it was thrown together in 5 minutes, it could have the most valuable content in the world, but I will skip to something that shows that someone took a moment to make it look presentable.

    My view is that ideally you have quality content with a solid goal and a layout that is simple and easy for the visitor to follow but also tight and presentable.

    Nice post, and thanks again for sharing!

  10. Twitter:
    I agree with you on the fact that more simple websites with less distraction have a bigger chance to make good money than fancy websites. Great article!
    Elena recently posted..5 Unique Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas You Can not MissMy Profile

  11. Twitter:
    I agree with you, but i think the way in which ads are placed on a website has a great role in conversion

  12. Hi Mitz,

    Great article. I agree with you that many simple sites are the nicest. For the longest time I was looking for a simple site that could be modified to my needs. Thesis was one of them but it was too technical for me so I abandoned it.

    I think that clutter distracts people and too much monetization could mean distraction as well. I think that even when monetizing a website one must consider simplicity.

    By the way, I do not think you website is ugly. Which plugin are you using for the related articles on the bottom of your posts.


    Dita recently posted..How To Change Admin Username In WordPress To Boost Blog SecurityMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      I know my sites are not that ugly but they are simple. I was really just using “ugly” as an example for a way a site might look. The fact is that it does not matter if the users like it and complete your goals.

      When I first started out I did really have an ugly website as I hand built it in html. But people still loved my website as they needed the information that was on it. Seriously the website could have looked like anything and they wouldn’t care because it had some answers.

      The plugin on my site is SEO Auto Links, the pro version. I do not use the auto linking but it has other amazing features.
      Mitz Pantic recently posted..20 Often Forgotten Website Traffic TipsMy Profile

  13. Twitter:
    I agree with you Mitz coz most of the people think that if they have great content they will make more money…lolz
    Ruchika recently posted..MP Discom, Recruitment for Testing Assistant – 1339 postsMy Profile

  14. Twitter:
    when i am start my blogging i was curious about how to make money from blogging within one month!! i think bt writing about high cpc keyword and do well optimization.it may boost our earnings.
    shafeeqali recently posted..6 secrets to make more money with fiverrMy Profile

  15. Twitter:
    agree with you mitz. we should not wait when it comes to monetizing our site. once i was using the same strategy (not monetizing my site) and suddenly one of my keywords reached at the top and i got almost 4000 visitors/day from that keyword. but i was not using ads on my site and all that traffic was wasted. so we should not wait.
    prabhat recently posted..Speaktoit: The Best Verbal Assistant for Android DownloadMy Profile

  16. Twitter:
    Hey Mitz,

    You’re certainly right, before driving traffic on your blog you must know what action you’re expecting them to do. Unless you’re not about it, you won’t be able to see any conversion.
    Pankaj recently posted..Mobile Recharge SoftwareMy Profile

  17. Ugly but simple websites are good as long as they are providing good information but when the same website is too ugly that you cant even find the information on it then its not too good.

  18. Twitter:
    Thanks for reminding me about this point, cause sometimes we tend to get too preoccupied with “beautifying” our site that we forget the most important thing, which is to provide good content. Simple is really good, but not too ugly, I guess.
    Nikki Mendz recently posted..“Be Careful With My Heart” February 5 2013 | Sir Chief’s 1st HugMy Profile

  19. Thanks for this, I was thinking of affliate since few days, and this is gonna help me for sure, thanks agian
    Akash Jain recently posted..ALL Quiz – 8 : Guess the Indian PlaceMy Profile

  20. Thanks for this post, especially the tip about conversion analysis. I’ll try using google analytics and the affiliate links software
    nelnel recently posted..Remote Control HelicopterMy Profile

  21. Twitter:
    Thanks for this nice post. Got some idea also. Till now I was thinking that only content matters more but here I got many awesome tips. Thank you again.
    Lalit recently posted..Zuckerberg clarifies no Facebook phone is comingMy Profile

  22. Twitter:
    A lot of our web design work comes from existing sites that are outdated or not built for the user as you say. It’s important to get a site done right the first time wherever possible.

  23. Twitter:
    A good call Mitz!

    While I do encourage bloggers to have a beautiful and excellent design, don’t overdo the design so that it takes all of your time!

    You have to spend your time on other aspects of your online business.
    Samuel Pustea recently posted..The Best SEO Tools I Recommend!My Profile

  24. Twitter:
    very interesting post. I think websites ugly smile websites just use bad ways to get traffics and have more income.
    Taimoor recently posted..30 Simple Blogger TemplatesMy Profile

  25. Twitter:
    Hi Mitz,

    I agree, buy a wordpress theme and be done with it. Too much time is taken tweaking those kinds of things.

    When I taught MS Office in the 90′s we realized that too many employees were wasting time with power point and tweaking the presentations. It’s unproductive.

    Thanks for the great article and best wishes!
    Rich Donahue recently posted..Juice Cleansing That Works Part II: The 24 Hour Juice FastMy Profile

  26. Twitter:

    Does it matter as to what your site is supposed to do? Does it matter if the site is trying to drive credibility versus sales?
    Gary recently posted..SBA Announces Changes to Contracting Program to Help Women-Owned Businesses compete for Federal ContractsMy Profile

  27. Twitter:
    I think that the market to which you are speaking is a big determining factor. ‘Simple and/or ugly’ may not be appropriate for say, the luxury market, which is often about recreating ambiance and influencing mindset toward sumptuousness. A plain and uninspired design is not going to fit with the mindset of the people to whom the site wishes to cater. Fashion is another example of an industry that needs wow factor as well as good, hefty content. Good read.

  28. The reason why some of the undesirable websites may make more money could be due to the speed of the overal site and and off site SEO they have had done.

    And also careful placement of the CPA they my have in the site.

  29. Twitter:
    I’ll have to include this in my next “PopStars” must read list for my clients.

    I cannot tell you how many people I know who spend all their time futzing with details and actually NEVER get down to actual blogging. Then they give up, thinking blogging is no use.

    It kills me.

    May I say, however, that clown image is disturbing.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted..Best Toys RoundupMy Profile

  30. Twitter:
    Hey Mitz,I often say this but for me a blog or site that is overrun with adds, popups, and toolbars is a big turn off for me – I normally don’t hang around long enough to get to the content.

    Hands up – I’m guilty! I often get lost and distracted in tweaking my website and themes and before I know it, I’ve lost half a day!

    Mark Morphew recently posted..Microsite MastersMy Profile

  31. Twitter:
    i guess simple web blogs will be very much great to get the things right to make maximum money out of our adds ! tweet deck allows to tweet to multiple accouts that i have authenticated ! also this app is available on android and iOS ! i really recommend other to get this app !to get traffic on the go !
    harshi recently posted..Projector for $5 for any phone !My Profile

  32. I recently spent some money to have a professional give my site a face lift. He said the original looked old, and suggested the content was stale, and the information was too difficult to find.

    The new design does look much better, but the monetary metrics did not change one iota – to your point.
    Kevin H recently posted..New Parent Credit Rating Survival GuideMy Profile

  33. Perfect call. Just about everybody reading this article has a webmaster’s eye for what a site should look like. It may be ugly to us as webmasters, but we are not the users.

  34. Twitter:
    I prefer simple website that makes money than great design websites. I’m agree with you mitz, that many webmaster spend too much time in activities that don’t have big impact for making money online. As webmaster, we must focus our time to strategic plan that have big impact to make money online. SEO strategy, social media strategy, advertising strategy and create great content are several things that webmaster must concern about.

    Thanks Mitz for share this posting
    Werry Adnan recently posted..Jual Jersey Grade OriMy Profile

  35. I agree with the general idea–a minimalist site will usually make more money for an affiliate marketer than a site loaded with advertisements, but I don’t think ugly is the right word to use. Ugly is what I would use to describe sites that make too much of an effort to look sleek–minimalist, however, I’d call simple and honest. They’re the real beauties when it comes to profits.
    Jacob Arvin recently posted..How to Write a Product ReviewMy Profile

  36. Twitter:
    I appreciate what you say about having simplistic websites. Just yesterday we had a person that came to us with a website that talked you through every element of their website, explaining how to navigate it. They didn’t realize that the person that was talking was interrupting a person’s experience on their site. Nothing is worse than visiting a site when scanning the web and have something scream at you and you don’t know how to turn it off. The sites I like the best are simplistic and easy to navigate. Stick with the KISS principle, people, and Keep it Simple, Stupid. ;)
    Julie recently posted..Mobile Website Design for RestaurantsMy Profile

  37. I agree with the minimalist idea and easy navigation is always going to be a winer – there’s nothing worst than pop ups that need to be click to dismiss especially when they are translated across onto the mobile version witch renders the site impossible to view.
    Driving traffic to a site before monetizing is really dependent on the service the site offers… A dating site for example will find it hard to generate an income with no members where as one that has 100 members is a lot easier to monetize…
    Tony recently posted..IBT Module 5My Profile

  38. Hi Mitz,
    So, I think now I have to make my site look ugly. Huh? Just kidding. Awesome post. The thing is if you would work constantly on any blog with the right knowledge than you can earn thousands of bucks from it.
    Anurag recently posted..SEO Tips For Beginners – Kickstart Your Search Engine Traffic NOWMy Profile

  39. Twitter:
    I don’t think to earn from a website we need to make your website beautiful because To earn money from your website your website need correct SEO and good contect that’s it. But I don’t think it is too easy…
    Alok Dey recently posted..SEO: Link Building in Depth By Lynda Free DownloadMy Profile

  40. I am still confused why i am not able to get a good traffic… i keep on posting about the new trends .. is it because of my keyword selection…please. enlight me..
    and thanx for clearing out my another confusion about selecting a theme for the site… i would keep on searching theme for my site… but now i wont do it again.. simple website is enough to attract the traffic.. ;)
    Lalit Singh Shahi recently posted..Propose Day Wishes And Messages In HindiMy Profile

  41. Simple websites are good enough as long as they are providing good information but when the same website is too ugly that you cant even find the information on it then its not too good. We dont want to spend too much time to make site looks too beautiful.
    Esteban recently posted..worldgovernanceMy Profile

  42. Twitter:
    Great information! I am new to the entire internet experience & gained a lot of insight from your article. Thank you!
    i am planning on reading more from you on this topic. I like what you have to share.
    Lisa recently posted..Cle De Peau ConcealersMy Profile

  43. If your goal is to make money on sites, I think the best way to do it is to mass produce content, see what does well, then refine and make better. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!
    Jason recently posted..Shiba Inu Lab Mix – The Best Shiba Inu Ever!My Profile

  44. Simplest is always the most beautiful :) If a website is well decorated but the content is of low quality, then its owner can’t expect success for only design. People visit sites for information, not to watch the beauty. A simple site with GOOD content will always beat many beautiful sites with poor content. Well written article..
    Rehmat Alam recently posted..How WordPress Makes Running an eCommerce Site EasyMy Profile

  45. Twitter:
    well this post made me serious for minimalist template ..i am gonna follow your instructions and will share my earnings with you.
    Rohan Mod recently posted..High CPC KeywordsMy Profile

  46. Twitter:
    This is an excellent article. I can’t stand websites that have a ton of flashy graphics and animations and it’s slow to load and scroll around on. If I start loading up a website and it looks like that I will just close the tab and move on because chances are I’ll never be able to navigate the site anyway.
    Mike Howg recently posted..Redirect Commenters to a Thank You PageMy Profile

  47. Thanks for the info, I do need to clean up my site some and make things more simple…
    Kristi recently posted..Free at Walmart: Gold Bond Ultimate Healing LotionMy Profile

  48. Twitter:
    Nailed it again Mitz. Currently building a blog. Still young and a little content (by my estimation), yet to monetize it (adsense isn’t the best with little traffic). I’m looking to improve and see how to monetize it within one week. You can view my page and make suggestions on how best I can do that. My blog is just a month old and I had 1590 visits, what do you think for a month old site? Your thoughts all.

  49. Twitter:
    Hey Mitz,

    This is not a hobby for me. I have many things including school to occupy my time. That is why I appreciate your straight forward and honest advice. It gives me direction consciously considering where I am sending my visitors.

    Thank you.

    P.S. Girl Power!

  50. Mindy Cyrus says:

    Well, it definitely seems that way but if you really look into it, it\’s more about the content that people care for. If your visitor is there specifically for a product, in search of something that need, or for pure entertainment, then these examples will just show you people will not care how ugly your site is; they will still help you make more money.If you are interested to make money online without investing any money to build a website, then eseekerz.com is what you want! A ready-made site with no registration fee at all. You just need to add product and refer it to your community. If they make a purchase you will earn a commission. Simple and easy, worth a try.

  51. I find this article interesting because of a site that my co-workers love to visit. Mitz one of the ugliest sites I heard brings in near 6 figures for it\’s owner is traemcneely.com .Some guy posts two photos and randomly updates them and people flock to this site like sheep. Really popular in the workplace making this kid easy money. smh.

  52. Twitter:
    The design doesn’t matter at all. We should focus on creating quality content. And generating new customers.
    Prakash recently posted..UC Browser for PC Free Download, Android APK, Symbian, BlackberryMy Profile

  53. hello mitz great post
    you have raised a valid issue here. sometimes good sites dont make money whereas crap sites make huge money. we should not only focus on quality content. we should promote our articles and optimize them for search engines
    raj recently posted..Temple Run for PC Free Download for Computer, AndroidMy Profile

  54. Hey MItz,
    Nice post and Thanks for sharing this post with us. Yes, we have to monetize or blog as soon as possible because if we drive traffic to or blog but there is no adds in our blog then these is no use of such traffic. For me design is not a big issue but our main focus should be on creating quality content.
    Sudipto recently posted..Best Android Phone Under 10000My Profile

  55. Excellent Article. A few things all of these sites have in common are ancient domain age, killer seo, and insanely high traffic volume. Extremely difficult things to duplicate.
    Sarah recently posted..My 1st n true luvMy Profile

  56. Twitter:
    Excelllent article, and what’s better is the topic! It really frustrates me sometimes when I see idiotic ideas go viral! I wonder what will become of mine is future! :/

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