I have an idea that I am brain storming in my mind ( rather cooking ). The idea is to launch a website with free info etc. But I also want to know how to generate income through it. Also will have other options and services as it grows. Do I charge for advertising ads etc. Is that an option? I am new to all this. Website development, whom to approach etc etc. The idea is still at a very initial stage. Wondering how Facebook is a billion plus compnay when it just started off as a social networking site for free. Thanks ahead.
The easiest method to get started is to become a reseller of marketing space on your website. Google, Yahoo, etc has a complete marketing package that you can simply copy and paste into your website. Its called pay per click advertising and works great as soon as you have enough visitors on your site.
I would advise you to go to "blogger" and start a blog. If you want to give free information away and use this as a means of generating feet, then become good at content generation first. The cool thing about blogger is that it allows you to simply add your initial ads (from google) that will give you an introduction to how ppc works.
Good luck on your new venture.
Generate income from an idea
What you are looking for is a Business Model. This is a very crucial part of every startup and it's a reason why so many startups fail.
You should also be aware that most startups don't know what working business model will be, they just have a structured idea about how they can make money and then try to prove it and grow on what they learn.
There is way too much information about this to possibly be able to answer here, so I'll just recommend the best book available right now on that: Business Model Generation. It covers a process to develop a business model from scratch, as straightforward as it can be.. There are also valuable examples there to explore as newcomer, so I really recommend it, it'll help you start.
Ads are a marginal profit. They won't make or break your website, but it can be a "Good to have" on certain businesses; on some others, not so much - depends on the audience.
Freemium is a model where many users have limited access to your website (e.g. if it's a project management tool, they can only create X projecs) and revenues come from the paying customers who appreciate and need your application enough to pay for it.
There are lots of different business models, I'm just trying to give some context to help your research.
It's an option but will only cover your hosting expenses, not much more than that of course unless you attract thousands of visitors per day.
I'd say if you have a very low number of visitors thinks like google adsense or even Amazon could work but if you manage to get to a level around 500 visitors per day then you can start thinking about selling Ad space to specific companies (either doing it yourself or through specialized companies like BuySellAds.
I'm now in this situation and I take care myself of selling the ad space in my web portal, you can read about my story (and why I chose this model) here