We’ve all seen the testimonials from bloggers who claim to be making thousands of dollars online. It all seems so far-fetched and only worthy of superheroes.
They make more money in a month than most people make in a year! But how is all this possible? Can the average person create such cash flow?
One fact you can take solace in is that everyone starts from scratch. Some online entrepreneurs have advised many beginners as much.
And not everyone will achieve success with their first venture. It’s a learning process that does not involve knowing everything beforehand.
In this post, I’ll explore what an online business is all about. How to go about starting one? And what it takes to become successful and make a living off of it.
But also remember, success means different things to different people. Therefore, we cannot all use monetary terms only.
Why Would You Want To Build a Website?
I recently watched an interview on internet entrepreneur Stefan James’ YouTube channel Project Life Mastery. The interviewee was Steve Raiken, and he said something profound.
Stefan had asked him what prevents people from taking that first step in online business.
Steve says the one reason most do not start is overwhelm. We look at all the successful people out there and conclude it’s not possible. He gave an example of YouTubers who have more than 2,000 videos. What we forget to note is that it’s all a journey.
And in the online world, it all begins with a website.
But you can’t figure out how to build a website. You do not possess any coding skills or any of that stuff. What now?
In the above interview, Steve says that you have to change your internal state before achieving anything externally. It means that you have to believe before you make it happen.
Freedom Over Content
For example, Facebook can ban your account if they feel your content is offensive. Or for myriad other reasons. Which to say the truth can be very subjective.
But if you own a website, you have control over the content you publish. Of course, you have to observe common decency and be courteous to have a shot at making money at all.
A Website Is an Asset That Can Be Traded
How are websites assets? You might be asking. Well, it might interest you to note that you can buy and sell websites for thousands of dollars like physical property.
A brand new domain name on its own might not have much value. But once you create a website, publish helpful content, generate traffic, all these over time, its value rises. Just the way big corporations started and are now being traded on stock exchanges.
And since the website is in your name, you can decide to sell it later for several times over the cost of the domain name and its monthly revenue.
Visit Flippa to have a sense of how big the market for websites is.
Most people prefer to deal with a face they recognize and trust. You build a reputation over a lengthy period. Only having social media accounts as your source of branding is risky.
As I’d said above, you have no control over these platforms. It’s unlikely, but if they disappear overnight, you are left clutching at straws. Or maybe even a change of service that can be detrimental to your profile and list of followers.
How To Build a Functional Website
All websites need a few ingredients to become functional. One is a domain name, and the other is hosting. Do not worry about these things at the moment if you are a complete beginner.
You better focus your energies on choosing a profitable niche you will love and coming up with content ideas.
With current advancements in web technologies, you can have a website up and running in no time. And with all the technicalities working behind the scenes, unlike in the early days of the internet.
Finding The Right Domain Name
A domain name is the most vital aspect of a website. It is the first thing that people see. It has to be memorable and catchy as well as convey the message of your site.
Two main parts make up a domain name.
- A Top-Level Domain (TLD)
- Second-Level Domain (SLD)
For example, in “www.example.com” the TLD is “.com” while SLD is “example“.
You can register domain names through many different domain registrars – such as Godaddy, Namecheap, or HostGator.
When registering with these providers, search for an available domain name that matches your business and budget, then purchase it from them for a set monthly or yearly fee.
Ensure the domain name is relatable to your niche. For example, if you intend to blog on off-road motoring, domain names like offroaddiscovery, fourwheeldrivecrew, allterrainmotors, etc. would be appropriate.
Choosing The Right Hosting For Your Website
As website owners, we should be careful in choosing the right hosting provider for our site. The wrong hosting provider can result in downtime, poor performance, and security problems.
There are many hosting providers to choose from. It is crucial to consider these two aspects when deciding on a host.
- Bandwidth – How much traffic your site gets will determine how much bandwidth you need. If your site gets little to no traffic, then you will not need much bandwidth. If you have a popular website with lots of traffic, you want to ensure that your host has enough bandwidth.
- Uptime Guarantee – This is important to ensure that your site doesn’t go down when it needs to be live online to serve customers or clients.
Luckily, all mainstream service providers pass these thresholds. And as a beginner, you do not need to worry much about bandwidth and disk storage space.
If you've already settled on a niche, follow this step-by-step process to build your website TODAY. It only takes a few minutes and NO technical knowledge is needed whatsoever. This process uses WordPress as a CMS.
How To Monetize A Website
Once you have your website up and running, the next stage is monetization. But even before that, first, you have to get sufficient targeted traffic of readers/viewers to your blogs. People who are interested in what you have to say and show them.
That’s where SEO skills come in. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds if you are new to it. These are skills that anyone can learn with some time and dedication.
There are many ways to monetize a website. These range from affiliate marketing, selling your products to selling ad space. It’s best to focus on one avenue at a time so as not to get overwhelmed.
The monetization of websites is a whole topic by itself. It might not be beneficial to know all the nitty-gritty right now as a beginner. However, just for your sake, I’ve listed the main ways below.
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling ad space
- Donation-based monetization
- Sell a product or service
- Paid membership
- Sponsored reviews
Affiliate marketing would be my ideal recommendation for a beginner. It’s easier to incorporate as you do not need to manage anything. These are all done by the merchant through an affiliate program or network.
You also have access to thousands of affiliate products you can promote. Just don’t be salesy, or you run the risk of alienating your audience. For example, I can write about my struggle with a particular problem and how product X helped me get over it.
Remember to always serve first. The selling part should not feel like a hard pitch but a recommendation of solutions to solve your audience’s pain points.
The other monetization means can be incorporated later when you establish the site’s authority and receive tons of traffic.
Now at least you have an idea, if not a whole picture, of how to go from idea to income generation with websites.
It’s not as hard as it seems once you have an overview. You can break it all down into stages that you can tackle one at a time. Remember Steve said overwhelm is what keeps you from getting started. Don’t look at it as one big mountain but a set of steps to take.
Wealthy Affiliate is where I got my knowledge of building affiliate marketing websites. And you can follow their blueprint to this end as well. All it takes is action and a resolve to succeed.