#1. BUILD CONTENT
You need to be adding 80 or more new pages / posts per year. This is EXTREMELY important. Building new, high quality, unique content is the bread and butter of any website. The content has to be uniquely yours (not stolen from another source or found anywhere else), the writing should be quality and original, and you should update the site with new content regularly. I say a minimum of 80 pages per year if you want the site to be truly successful.
80 is the MINIMUM if you want to make the website a financial success. There is no maximum. If you can write hundreds of new posts per year then all the better. More power to you!
#2. PAGERANK 2 or BETTER
You want to reach a Google PageRank of 2 or better in the first 6 months. You will need to invest in a SEO campaign in order to do this, either by hiring someone else (eg. designSEO.ca) or you take a Do-It-Yourself approach. Either way it needs to be done.
Your long term goals should be get a PageRank of 3, 4 and eventually 5. But that will take years to accomplish.
#3. DOMAIN NAME
Your website should have its own domain name (as opposed to a free typepad, blogspot, or wordpress page). It will cost you approx. $10 to $20 for the domain name per year, but you will make that back easily in Google Adsense advertising if you actually write lots of blog posts for your website (see #1).
#4. MONETIZE YOUR WEBSITE
Many ways to do this. Have advertising on the side. Offer product reviews. Sell eBooks that you've written. Offer a service that is both desirable and profitable. Sell products you've made yourself.
#5. NICHE TOPIC or BROADER TOPIC
Depending on the topic of your website it might be a niche topic such as "archery lessons in Toronto" or it might be a broader topic like "Toronto real estate". Both are profitable. The archery lessons bring you cash from local Torontonians looking to learn how to shoot an arrow - whereas the real estate blog will bring in advertising revenue from real estate agents and brokers in Toronto and the GTA.
The real lesson here is that it pays to be LOCAL.
Unless of course your topic is more international, such as "art history", which means you are likely advertising to anyone who speaks a specific language and is interested in art history. It is a broad topic which you can build a lot of interest and gain advertising revenue - but it is also a HUGE topic. You might be better off to sticking to one branch of art history such as "DADA" or "Canadian art history", because otherwise you will end up with a website which is half finished and looks incomplete.
#6. PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
Make unique photographs and videos for your website. Make your own graphics. Logos, buttons, etc. An unique look and lots of unique content helps. Post the videos on YouTube and Facebook and get a lot more traffic.
#7. BUILD A SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Every time you post a new page mention it on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.
#8. PROMOTE YOUR PROFESSIONAL IMAGE
That means business cards, business listings, official photographs, logos on your photos and videos - remember to keep things family friendly and avoid anything that could draw negative publicity. Maintain a positive reputation.