She may not have an MBA, a high-school diploma, or even a driver's license yet, but Ashley Qualls already has an influential and lucrative Web site. Whateverlife.com attracts more than 7 million visitors a month -- mostly teen girls, a valuable but typically elusive niche audience. In just two years it has generated more than $1 million in ad revenue and helped break new artists such as Lily Allen and the Jonas Brothers.

Whateverlife started as a hobby. Ashley figured out how to design MySpace layouts and posted them online for friends. When word spread in the MySpace universe, the audience exploded. To pay for the servers needed to handle her traffic, she signed up for Google AdSense. Now ad revenue reaches as much as $70,000 a month.

Ashley has a distinct advantage: She's a teenager, just like her audience. That gives Whateverlife an almost effortless authenticity. It's not something created by adults for teens. "I want it to sound like a normal teenager, not business people who are after your money," says Ashley.

With seven million monthly visitors, Whateverlife.com has a larger audience than the circulation of Seventeen, TeenGirl, and CosmoGirl combined. In July, Quantcast ranked Whateverlife.com a staggering No. 349 out of more than 20 million sites. She's million sites -- ahead of cbsnews.com, brittanica.com, americanidol.com and even oprah.com.

To create a viral campaign for the boy band Jonas Brothers, Nabbr debuted its video widget on Whateverlife. In less than two months, 60,000 fans transferred the Jonas Brothers video to their MySpace pages and the song Mandy hit No. 4 on MTV’s Total Request Live, unheard of without radio play.

Mike More, the CEO of Nabbr, says Whateverlife has become an instrumental viral tool in marketing new CDs and movies. In addition to the Jonas Brothers, the site has helped break Lily Allen, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Here Lily Allen gives a video shout-out to Whateverlife.

Last year MySpace co-founder Brad Greenspan, approached Ashley with a bid valued at more than $1.5 million. She passed. Later, Greenspan came back with a second offer: $700,000, the car of her choice (up to $100,000), and her own Internet show with a marketing budget of $2 million. Again, no thanks. "I want to see how far I can take it," she says.

Ashley didn't have the resources and connections of other teen entrepreneurs. But she's a natural. She understands the need to add new features, not just new layouts, to retain and expand her audience. The first week she launched her Web site-building application and one-teen-to-another tutorials, 28,000 people signed up.

The risk for Ashley is that she loses touch with her audience as she outgrows them. But she already grasps the importance of understanding her customers. She conducts polls about their favorite stores and celebrities, and solicits feedback on new features for the site. Here, in a recent contest, fans submitted homemade videos promoting Whateverlife.

Until now Ashley (second from right) has maintained a remarkably low profile in the offline world. Well, other than her site getting plugged on Carson Daily's radio show. Her scheduled appearance on the "Totally Wired Teen Superstar" panel at YPulse Mashup, a teen marketing conference in July, was her first public-speaking appearance -- and first business trip.

Recently, Ashley gained a much-needed mentor, Robb Lippitt, the former COO of ePrize, one of Detroit's fastest growing companies. He's helping Ashley turn Whateverlife into a portal for teen girls and pursue direct advertising, a more lucrative model. "When we’re talking about the business, I lose track of the fact that she's only 17," he says.

The CEO Who's, Like, 17

She may not have an MBA, a high-school diploma, or even a driver's license yet, but Ashley Qualls already has an influential and lucrative Web site. Whateverlife.com attracts more than 7 million visitors a month — mostly teen girls, a valuable but typically elusive niche audience. In just two years it has generated more than $1 million in ad revenue and helped break new artists such as Lily Allen and the Jonas Brothers.