Make Money Online: Set up a Webcam Site
It was probably around 2002 when we set up our first webcam site and started broadcasting bits and pieces of our lives to the world. That initial site was set up to bridge the gap between families living an ocean apart and interestingly, was called Kitchen Cam.
You may think it strange, but we had a webcam set it up in our kitchen in Brentwood, England. Most evenings, around 5pm, I’d be making supper and my Mum, who lives in Montreal, Canada, would check into the site, call me up and ask me what I was making. I had moved to the UK a couple of years prior and we had finally found a way for my Mum to dip into my life whenever she fancied it.
Sure, we had the occasional stranger stop by and view the cam. They’d send us messages – mostly supportive or inquisitive – but of course we knew not to go into the kitchen naked or anything.
Since then, we’ve hosted various webcam sites, both in the UK and now in Canada. It is remarkably simple to do, takes up very little bandwidth, and encourages many first time and returning visits.
What will you need?
To set up your own webcam site, you will need:
- a place to put the site. If you don't already have one, you'll need an account with a reputable webhosting company. For years, both in Canada and the UK, I've used 1&1 and I've had no complaints. Their prices are very reasonable too. They will provide you with the webspace needed to hold your files as well as your very own domain name (Eg.: www.yournamehere.com)
- a webcam, for as little as $10-15!
- a webpage. If you have some basic knowledge of html, you can create the page yourself. Or, you might choose to pay a nominal fee to someone to throw to together a quick page for you.
- a Google Adsense account. There is very little point in having your own website if you don't have the potential to earn from it.
- webcam software. I use yawcam. It's FREE, easy to use and, simply put, it works.
- a view. A lot of the webcam directories like you to be showing an outdoor view so if you can , point the camera out a window, preferrably at a bridge, a busy street or an expanse of water. But really, any old view will do. People will likely visit to see what the weather is like in your neck of the woods.
So now you have your webcam set up in your window and the view through the lens looks great. You've created your webpage with your webcam image taking center stage. While there are several ways to make that image refresh on your page at preset intervals, by far the easiest way to make that happen to have the whole page refresh.
The technical name for this is the Meta Refresh Tag. It is a short line of code that you will need to place between the open and close HEAD tags of your page. The code looks like this:
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="30">
The "30" relates to the refresh rate and it is shown in seconds. So a webpage with this code between the HEAD tags will reload every 30 seconds.
- Be sure to include your Google Adsense ads. These should be the second most prominent thing on the page, following your webcam image. Place them in a way that makes them appealing to your visitors. Know your audience and target the ads for content, size, shape and color.
- Be sure to Google the words "webcam directory" and add your webcam site to every directory you can find. It is well-worth it and will bring you many visitors.