Self publising enables you to get your writing out there without having it editorially reviewed by others. This can be both a blessing and a curse. To succeed in self-publishing you only need to write and have the technical know-how to publish your writing on the world wide web.
Self Publishing and profit (The basics)
To succeed in self-publishing AND make a profit, however, you need many more skills and may well have to be much more talented as a writer. You will need technical skills that will enable you to manage web publishing software and understand how to upload your writing to a hosting service on the web. You will need marketing skills to promote your writing and draw visitors to your self-published material. You will need business skills to make decisions about where best to invest your time, energy and money. You will need to be self motivated and skilled - you have to self-publish your writing and content that other are interested in, and then, work hard to enable readers to find and enjoy your writing. This is the business of web publishing.
Self Publishing and profit (Failure)
There are many, many blogs and static websites already published on the web, as an example, that have little, if any, literary merit - they do however qualify as self-published. They may have few, if any visitors and readers. They may have little original content to interest the search engines, they may have nothing to say and often very few words used to say it - these self-published blogs and websites would be deemed failures as profit making sites - however they are a success in self-publishing terms because the author has done the minumum - they have written something and they have self-published! The author has got his / her writing out there. They have self-published! The next step would be to improve the writing (content) and start to make money from their writing and publishing.
Self Publishing and profit (Success)
Another class of self-published blog or website will be the one that makes a profit and earns the author money, a residual income or a capital gain from sale of the website. These self-published sites will have unique and original content - this will interest the search engines with their original content and get the self-published site indexed and ranked higher than less original sites. The successful self-published site will also have something interesting to say - whether it is about the authors own personal experience or whether it is a collection of facts giving information is irrelevant - the test will be if it attracts new visitors and, over time, most of those same visitors return. This is the way forward to make money from self-publishing on the web.