Building a database driven website using stock data

Most websites are database driven in a web 2.0 internet world. They rely on user generated content to give them the things that viewers and search engines want to see. But what if you don't want to manage a web 2.0 social community? What if your goal is to simply create a website that can help you earn a living? Can you still use a database driven website to help you reach your goals? Obviously the answer is of course you can! Let's look at a few examples where a database can help you with your website.

Ringtones: Assume that you want to get in to the competitive, and profitable, ringtone market. People looking for ringtones start off by looking for their favorite song. You could hand build a website with lists of songs and artists and hope that you picked the ones that will make you a few dollars, or, you could use a lyrics database and create a database driven website with tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of artists and songs in an afternoon. You would have a full website with the content needed to help people find you so that they can buy your ringtones, or mp3s, or even full CDs using your Amazon.Com affiliate links.

Professional Portal: Another great use for a database is building a professional portal. Say you want to build a website that focuses on the cosmetic surgeon industry. A great way to get the site started is to create a web directory listing thousands of surgeons all across the country for your visitors to search. A cosmetic surgeon database would allow you to provide continually updated content to base your portal on while you grow it with articles, forums, and even some advertising.

Recipes: Everyone loves food, and recipe websites are becoming more and more popular every day. You could download a recipe database with thousands of recipes in it to start your site off right. By starting a site with 50, 60, or even 100 thousand recipes you don't need to spend months, or even years, trying to find, or write, or hope that your visitors give you, the recipes you need to build a popular, and profitable, website.

Where do I find all these databases? There are many data service providers on the internet. Some are better than others. Some are less expensive than others.

The first thing you need to decide is if the data you need is time sensitive or not. A list of recipes never goes out of date, but a list of roofing contractors can change monthly. Does your service provider offer a monthly subscription? Is the data updated regularly?

The second thing to consider is value. Most providers are delivering publicly available data. They have simply gathered it and put it in a format that you can use.

Finally, customer service. Is your data provider listening to you? Is he willing to go out and get a database that you need without charging an arm and a leg for it? Or will they happily go out and search for the data you need just for the asking?

The internet is nothing but raw data waiting to be put to good use. Take that data and put it to work for you.

Author: Steve Gerencser
Steve Gerencser is a data collection expert with nearly a decade of experience in gathering real time civil and criminal data and is currently a managing partner at Databases 2 Go.