If you are interested in making money online then a website is a great way to build a platform and showcase your services and products. Setting up a website is a great way to give yourself instant credibility, even if anyone can do it! Just the fact you have an online presence and some contact information is really assuring to people.
There are over 3.2 billion people with access to the Internet, so the Internet is a great way to reach people wherever there are in the world, in a way you couldn’t in any other way.
If you are starting a blog (like this 🙂 ) then a website is a great way to reach an audience and engage with them. You might have started a business, online or off, and want to provide an easy way for people to find you and learn about you and your business. In that way, a website could be used to capture more leads and generate more business for you.
The great thing about a website is that it can be used to sell your products and services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without you constantly being on call and is a great way to generate income in a passive manner.
A website can also be a great way to earn an income by helping people by providing information to them. I have started websites that provide information about a product that is sold on Amazon and I earn a commission when someone buys something from Amazon after I have sent them to Amazon.co.uk.
Aside from making money online, a website is a great way to engage in others, provide information and maybe, even, just a place to put your thoughts and ideas down. There was time centuries’ ago, and even a couple of decades ago, when it was very difficult to spread your ideas. Now with your own website and the internet, it is so easy!
This post is going to talk about different options to help you achieve this and show you that there is something for everyone to let the world know what they are up to and I’m sure you’ll be able to find someone interested in it!
So, what is my website going to be about?
Now you know that a website is for you, the first thing to decide is what you want your website for. You might already have an idea to showcase your business, your art work or just to talk about your experiences.
It is best to pick a niche, instead of having a more general theme to your website. A niche is a focused area for you to serve an audience who are passionate about that particular interest.
Making your site about a specific niche will better serve your audience and will also help people find your site on search engines, like Google. This practice of being easier to find on search engines is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
If you’re interested in starting a website but are not sure what it should be about, here are a few questions to answer that will help you out;
- What are your interests and hobbies? i.e. knitting, rock climbing, meditation, etc.
- What skills and experience do you have? i.e. web design, nutritionist, D.I.Y. handy man etc.
- What are you passionate about? i.e. preventing snoring, aids for the elderly, etc.
That is half the battle. The next thing you need to work out is if there is an audience for this niche and how to make these people aware of your website.
First come up with a phrase or a name for your niche, for example ‘rock climbing’. This is called a keyword phrase.
There are loads of ways to achieve this and here are some of the ways,
Google Trends provides you with all sorts of free information on your niche. You can find out when people are searching for your niche on Google at different times of the year and where in the world they are searching from.
Google also provides related search terms that should give you some more ideas to look at and you can compare those two search terms against each other.
Google Trends also shows you if your search terms are trending up or down. It might be a bit of a one hit wonder or its search volume might be steady for the past years. These are all things to consider when picking the right niche for you.
This is a really simple way to find out what people are interested in searching for in your niche. Just type in your initial keyword phrase, in our example ‘rock climbing’, and then hit space.
Google will suggest to you some of the most popular searches for rock climbing plus another word. Google does this because they want you to have the best experience using their search engine and as they know a ton of people have been searching for similar keyword phrases, they will suggest those to you.
You can go a step further with this by typing in your initial keyword phrase and then a single letter after the last word. In our example, you would type in ‘rock climbing d‘. Some people call this method, ‘alphabet soup’.
If you wanted to, you could go through the whole alphabet and it would give you a load of great suggestions for posts on your website.
The great thing about this is, is it’s absolutely free! That said, it’s not the most sophisticated method of keyword research.
Remember to write down all the keyword phrases that you find!
Wealthy Affiliate keyword tool
Wealthy Affiliate is an online platform that provides you with loads of great training resources and a huge community of other members to interact with and help each other. You can sign up for free, but there is also a premium membership you can pay for, which I do.
Wealthy Affiliate also has some really useful tools and one of them is its keyword tool. You enter in your keyword tool, say, rock climbing and then the tool will give you a number of related search terms, how many people search for these terms, how much competition there is and then a score rating how competitiveness these terms are.
The idea is that you find a few of keyword searches that have relatively low competition. I would aim for a Quoted Search Results (QSR) score of 300 or less. Once you have a few of these low competition keywords, make a note of them. You may notice that as you become more specific, the competition becomes less (the lower the number, the less the competition).
If you have managed to do this, then these are strong indications that you will be able to get website visitors from Google to your website, which is what we want!
Jaaxy is a dedicated keyword research tool that has a free trial available, but for its continued use of its full functionality, you need to pay for access to these premium features.
Using Jaaxy is similar to Wealthy Affiliate’s keyword tool. You search for a keyword tool and then a list keyword phrases with your input phrase plus another word are supplied.
There is also a list of related keywords you might want to check out as well.
Aside from the number of searches, sites in competition for that search term and the QSR score, there are a number of other useful stats for you to use.
There is a traffic light tool, called Keyword Quality Indicator (KQI) to let you know how good the keyword is. Green is good, amber ok and red poor.
SEO provides a score between one and 100. The higher the score the more likely you are to rank on page one of Google’s search results, which would be great!
You may have noticed that whenever you search for something on Google, you only click on the first few links and almost never look on the second page. Getting on the first page is a big deal!
There is also a version of the alphabet soup method I suggested you use in Google, but with all of Jaaxy’s additional information and metrics available.
I should also say that there are a whole host of other services Jaaxy provides, but I haven’t had the chance to try as I haven’t gone premium yet 🙂
Which method to use?
It really is quite simple.
The free tools using Google will provide some information to start and give you an initial indication on whether you’ve found a good niche, but if you want to be more thorough, then I would sign up to Wealthy Affiliate and Jaaxy if I were you.
In my opinion, Wealthy Affiliate is the best option, as you can sign up for free and use their keyword tool. Sign up for Jaaxy premium if you really want the additional tools to provide you with that higher level of information.
I’ve found my chosen niche, now what?
Right now, you have picked a niche you are happy to build around an interest of yours and you have found that you will be able to get people to find your website on Google, you need to start building your website.
For a website, you need a domain name, web hosting and a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS is just a way for you to add pages and posts to your website.
The next step is to decide on a domain name, basically a web address, for your website.
I would suggest picking a name that is relevant to your niche, i.e. www.getintorockclimbing.com, but feel free not to stick too closely to these keyword phrase domain names and come up with some sort of branding, i.e. www.rockclimbingwithanna.com.
Both approaches have their merits, but I would go with some branding in your domain name. This will serve you better later on when you become more established and more of an authority in your niche.
How to get a domain name
There are loads of places to buy domain names and here is a list of some of them,
I have used all three and I haven’t noticed a great deal of difference between them. You might be able to find some difference in price between them, but that hasn’t been a great concern to me.
A new domain should cost no more than about £10 a year from these sites. There is a practice of buying expired domains that have been used before. This is something I have not tried, as it is a bit more complicated, but there is a chance that they will be higher up Google’s search rankings.
I would just stick to getting a brand new domain for now 🙂
There are other places to get domains. Wealthy Affiliate gives you the chance to buy domains on their Site Rubix which is part of their platform, as well as provide web hosting and build your website on WordPress really easily.
You can also buy domains with Hostgator which is mainly known for providing web hosting, which I will talk about now.
Web hosting allows your website to function and be viewed on the Internet. Your website will be stored on your web host’s servers along with your site’s information. You can get a domain name email address, which looks really good and professional with hosting.
Hosting should cost in the region of around £10 a month, but you only need to sign up to one hosting account for all of your websites. It will only be when you are getting tons and tons of traffic before you’ll need to upgrade your hosting and spend some more money on it.
I have used two different providers of web hosting and Hostgator and Wealthy Affiliate’s Site Rubix. I have been pretty happy with both of them.
That said, Hostgator is a bit more involved to use and I’ve had to use the help pages to provide a bit of guidance, whereas Site Rubix is easier to use. So I would recommend signing up to a premium Wealthy Affiliate membership to get the most out of the Site Rubix hosting.
Both Site Rubix and Wealthy Affiliate have great WordPress integrations, which make it so easy to set up your WordPress site, you’ll be set to go in a matter of minutes!
I would recommend WordPress for pretty much any website you want to set up. If you want an eCommerce store, then I would recommend Shopify, but pretty much everything else WordPress 🙂
WordPress is free, although you will be added some add ons, they’re definitely not necessary when starting out.
Shopify has a 14 day free trial and then has different pricing options after that, starting from $29 a month (about £25 a month).
WordPress is a very popular choice for people to start their blogs and websites with and it is so easy to use. Because it is so popular, there are loads of support on different people to help you get the most out of WordPress and all its features or save you when something goes wrong!
There are loads more I could talk about with WordPress, but that is for another time!
Tumblr is a very easy way to set up a blog. Tumblr is sort of half social media network and half blogging platform. It’s completely free and it is really easy to add content to your blog. It’s so easy you could just use your smartphone app to run it.
Most people post images, GIFs and videos, it’s a very visual platform. So if you want to post a load of pictures, then this could work really well. Different niches that work well for this are;
- Make up
- Interior design
I’m sure you can get some use out of it if you don’t fall under one of those categories and it’s so easy to set up, there’s not much lost if it’s not working out for you and you decide to stop. You can also post text as well and some people add in quite a few words.
You can also change the ‘theme’ of your blog on Tumblr, which is basically the layout of your blog. You can also edit the theme and its HTML to make changes, which include being able to put adds on your blog to monetise it.
That said, I wouldn’t recommend starting a blog on Tumblr, especially if you’re serious about having control over your site and making changes to it. A Tumblr blog just doesn’t offer you all the features you need to have a proper, bona fide website. It might be useful if you want something easy to run or to practice having your own online space, before moving on to a WordPress site or something.
Wealthy Affiliate and Site Rubix
If you choose to get your domain from one domain and hosting provider and then get hosting from someone else you will have to change what’s called the nameservers. This is a one-time thing and just makes sure that your domain name is linked to your where your website is being hosted.
One way around the potential complications is to get our domain names from the same provider you get your web hosting from.
You could do this with Hostgator and a few other providers, but from my experience, I would suggest Site Rubix. I recommend Site Rubix as it is just so easy to use, especially if you are just starting out.
There are loads of great benefits with Site Rubix which include daily backups and great support, so you know your website and all your work is in good hands.
A website is a great way to provide an online presence for you and your business or interests and can be used to promote those things. A website allows you to connect with people from all over the world and allows you to put a face to your work and makes you easier to contact.
This is really important, as it gives you more credibility and helps people trust you more easily.
Then you need to decide what your website is going to be about if you haven’t already. Think about what you would like to write about and use keyword research to make sure you don’t have too much competition and can reach your audience.
There are loads of different ways to start your own website or blog. I’ve used a number of different services and am comfortable to recommend them to you, but if I had to pick one to start with it would be Site Rubix as part of Wealthy Affiliate’s training tools.