Well, to answer many of your questions, Steve, and many people here, recommend Site Build It
. They will take care of the "hows it work" behind the scenes, and you just tell them what to do. It's an annual subscription for $200, but I hear it's a wonderful program, and they have a money back guarantee as well!
Note, however, I that I do NOT have any personal experience from them.
As far as ads go, I have no real experience with them, but it seems that it's a small amount of people who actually click on ads, and on average, you may a couple cents per person that visits your site (that's including people who don't click). This is using pay-per-click ads, like Google Adsense, but there are others.
Perhaps someone more experienced will come along to help you out.