Why is building a website so important?
The internet plays an integral part in most of our lives nowadays. Can you remember life before it? I can (just about), but unfortunately people like me are quickly becoming the minority! There are now generations that exist, who do not understand what life without the internet was like. The term ‘I’ll just google it’ is a normal part of everyday language. We use the internet for just about everything, because there are websites that cater for just about everything.
So it stands to reason that if you want to start your own business, even if it’s not an internet based business, like a yoga teacher for example, that you should have your own website. It’s an excellent marketing platform. You will find some small business’ that do not have a website, but they are outnumbered and generally struggling to compete with those who do.
If you want to start an online business, you HAVE to have a website. It’s not an option, without a website you have nothing!
Now if you’re anything like me, the thought of ‘building a website’ might fill you with dread. My initial thought was ‘I have no idea how to build a website, so there is no way I can start my own internet business’ Well, stick with me and I’ll show you why this small issue of building a website is not such a big deal.
Firstly, check out this website, I think it’s pretty stylish, actually it looks quite professional. I ‘built’ this all by myself! It was not the huge challenge you might expect. Now I will share how I did it, so don’t worry. And just so you know, I am NOT technologically minded in any way, shape, or form!
What is your goal?
Before you start to create your website, you need to consider what the purpose of it is going to be. Are you looking to just build a site for fun, do you want to provide information, or perhaps you are going to be selling products/services. The cost of creating your website, will depend on what you’re planning to offer.
Content sites don’t require as much time and money invested, but they do have a great deal of competition.
E-commerce sites need more time and money to maintain them, deal with shipping, collect sales tax, and do all the things that are similar to a brick and mortar storefront.
When I started this website, it didn’t cost me a penny, and I will share with you how I did this.
Also knowing what your goal is will help you stay focused with the actual content of your website. It can be so easy to get carried away adding content after content. While a content rich site is encouraged, it needs to be relevant. For example, if your site is about making money online, keep it topical to this subject. Don’t spread yourself too thin and don’t go off on tangents as this will leave your visitors feeling overwhelmed and confused.
Knowing who your target audience is, will also help you to stay focused. You need to consider who it is you want to reach with your website. How old is your target market? Where do they reside? Are they male or female? What are they looking for if they have come to your website? Having this information will help you to create relevant content that your reader will be interested in. It will also help you determine what people are actually typing into search engines, which means you can optimize your keywords. Although keywords and phrases are not as important as they used to be, it is still worth including them within your website.
Where to start?
Whether or not to start with a free website, is not as straight forward as it may seem. The benefit of a free website is (obviously) that it’s free. But not all free websites are the same.
WordPress.com is one of the most common free websites available, but some view this as a trap. WordPress is a great platform on which to build a free website, but the rules are strict about what you can and cannot do on the WordPress.com site. Unfortunately, monetizing it is actually very difficult.
Sites like Blogspot at Blogger.com will also let you build your site for free, but the downside of these types of sites are that your site is never really your own. You could potentially find yourself in the situation where you have invested a lot of time and research to get your site up and running, only to find Blogger.com shut it down at a later date. All your work gone.
A free site is OK when you’re learning about how it all works, but if you are serious about making money online, you will have to invest a bit of money to buy your own domain name and have it hosted. This does not have to be expensive and the advantages far outweigh the cost; it’s your own website, you can monetize it however you want, and you know it will be there as long as you want it to be.
Now I did mention earlier that when I started, I began with a free website. I got this through Wealthy Affiliate who allow you to set up and host 2 free websites. These websites are hosted on wordpress.org so rules are different and monetizing the site is much easier. There is also no risk of them just shutting it down one day. Check it out and see what you think, it really is a great way to get started. Not only do they provide you with tools to set up 2 free websites, but they also provide all the help and support you may need too. I was curious about how easy it is to make money with free websites, so I asked the question in their community. You can check out the response I got here and this will also give you an idea of how helpful they are in supporting you to get up and running.
If you would like to find out more about Wealthy Affiliate, check out the blog post I published which is a review of their service.
Choosing a Domain Name for your Website
Your domain name is what your website is going to be called, and should ideally reflect the name of your business. Having a domain that matches your business name makes it easier for those who are looking for you. For example, I have called my business ‘Income Objective’ but if my website address was something like ‘makemoneyonline.com’ it could get a bit confusing and this may result in less traffic to your site. Which will result in less money. Which is not the direction we want to go in!
You can have a domain name that is up to 67 characters, so you don’t have to settle from short abbreviated name, that will also be confusing to your visitors. There still seems to be a lot of banter over whether a short or long domain name is best. Some believe shorter ones are easier to type and there are fewer mistakes, while others argue that a long domain name is easier to remember because it will include keywords. I personally think it needs to be simple, catchy and not too wordy. If you can include a decent keyword in it, even better.
Some people will opt for abbreviations if they can not get what they really want. Burger King have done this, with their website address being www.bk.com however they are a well established brand and i’m pretty sure they own www.burgerking.com too! I don’t think www.IO.com is as obvious as www.incomeobjective.com in portraying what the website is about.
Another option is to include a hyphen within your name. Coco-Cola do this.
At the end of the day though, it is a personal decision. Check out what’s available, what you like, what you don’t like and speak to other people too to get their input and opinions. Do always try for a .com though.
There are lots of different places you buy domains from such as godaddy.com or namecheap.com or you could just google where to buy domain names. Once you have purchased your domain name, it will be yours for as long as you keep up to date with renewal.
Hosting your website
Hosting involves where you website pages reside. In order for others to see the website you build on your computer, it must be hosted somewhere.
Depending on where you buy your domain name, will depend on the options you have for hosting it as a website. Most websites that sell domain names will offer various levels of hosting services, and also support for getting up and running.
It is the hosting services and platforms that will enable you to create how your website actually looks. I have only ever used WordPress to build and design my websites, and they make the process pretty simple. They offer a variety of different themes and templates that you can use to create how it looks, and there are the options of thousands of additional pluggins which allows you to customize it to your liking, for example to have social media buttons, drop down menus and eliminating spam. I find WordPress very user friendly and does everything I need, so I have never looked for an alternative platform.
If you did want to look at some alternatives to WordPress, then check out this blog post.
You can buy a domain name from any seller and host it via Wealthy Affiliate’s upgraded service. If you wanted to start out with their free website service, you do not need to buy a domain name.
The hosting and support you get in the upgraded service at Wealthy Affiliate, is in my opinion better than any other service I have hosted domain names with. They use the wordPress.org platform, plus they provide so much more than just hosting and support, they could charge way more than they actually do!
Every day tons of people start a website hoping to make extra income online. You do need to be ready to put in a considerable amount of work. You have to fill your website with content, and this content has to be meaningful, relevant and up to date. This will often mean you have to invest the time to research your subject, if you are not as knowledgeable about it as you could be. Whilst it really is a realistic expectation to make good money on the internet, achieving this whilst putting in very little effort is not so realistic. Income Objective’s work ethic and business model is based on providing open, honest and real information about making money online. Unfortunately ‘get rich quick schemes’ do not fit into this, and I feel it is important to put that out there, so you are not under any false pretenses. However, if and when I do find a get rich quick scheme that works, I will be sure to share! On the positive side of this, if you are focused in your goal to make money online, and take frequent and consistent action, then you can make a lot of money. If you have read the about me section, you will know I have set myself the target of retiring by Jan 2017. Now that’s only a bit over two years away, and in the grand scheme of things that will come round pretty quick!
So there you have, this is how you can build a website and get it up and running. That is not the end of it though, this is the easy bit really!
You need to create great content for your website, make it appealing and informative and so you get it out there so that you start getting visitors and traffic coming to it. This is another subject, which will be covered in another section.
For now, I hope you have found this article helpful, and you have a bit of a better understanding about what is involved. Please feel free to comment below about whether you found it helpful or not, or if you think that there maybe something that has not been covered, or just to share your experiences.
And don’t forget to check out Wealthy Affiliate if you need a very helpful hand for a more in depth guide on getting started.
Bye for now 🙂