There's a lot of information on my website about affiliate marketing specifically, but I wanted to make a general page about how to build a simple website so I could reference back to it.
There are many ways to build a website, and many reasons to make one. I'm how to show you one specific way to build a simple website that can be use for many different reasons. However, our end goal is going to be making money with this website.
If you want to learn how to build a simple website and make money from it, this is the page to be on.
Of course, I can't show you the entire money-making process here because that takes a long time to learn and I don't want to confuse this page with a bunch of unnecessary information.
I will link to resources at the bottom for you how can turn your website into a real business. For now, I suggest you skim the page for basic information, because you have a few options to decide before you take your first step.
Let's get started.
Basic Things You Need
There are three basic things you need to get your website working properly.
- Website Builder
They all work together to make the millions of websites available on the internet. Just those three things!
The domain is like the website address, that's pretty obvious. The hosting is like the place where you store your files: images, text, and code. The website builder is the engine that runs everything and displays it nicely so people can read it on their computer or smartphone.
There are many choices for website builders, but we are going to use WordPress. It's free, and is very versatile. That means you can do a lot of different awesome things with it, AND it means you have a lot of choices of hosts (we'll discuss that later).
The domain part is easy. There are many “registrars” where you can purchase domains. They are paid yearly, and cost about $15. You can choose a domain registrar and host at one company, or separate companies. It's your choice.
If this is your first website, the “host” bit might seem unfamiliar. That's OK. Hosting is very important though. A good host will keep your website running smoothly, keep it safe from hackers, and help you with tech support if something goes wrong.
I will make some hosting suggestions on this page. Prices range from $10/month to $50/month and up.
Time To Make Some Choices!
If you plan on building a website on your own and doing your own research to learn how to make money from your website, here is my recommendations:
Namecheap is cool because they have flat-rate pricing and free privacy for the first year. Knownhost is very fast, and I love their support (super fast!). I previously had many issues with hacking and after moving those websites to Knownhost I've had no issues at all for 4 years).
Avoid Godaddy for your registrar and Hostgator for hosting. 6 years of bad experiences with both companies is my reason for asking you to avoid them.
If you would like extra help building your website, plus resources on how to make money from your website, then I recommend Wealthy Affiliate as your host and registrar.
- Wealthy Affiliate Domains: $15/year
- Wealthy Affiliate Hosting: $49/month, 25 websites
Why pay more than the Namecheap/Knownhost combination mentioned above? There are many reasons, which I'll get into later. The main thing to understand now is that it's 100x easier to build a website there and add new websites to your plan.
Using the other system you have to go through a complicated process bouncing between the two different services. WA has a very cool system I'll show you below.
Plus, as I mentioned briefly, they have step by step training on how to turn your website into a business. So your $49/month hosting cost also includes lessons on how to rank your website, make graphics, embed videos, insert links, and find companies to work with so you can make money.
Anyway, we'll get into more details later. For now, you gotta decide: are you building a business on your own, or with help from peers and mentors in the online entrepreneurship community?
Doing It On Your Own
1) Purchase Domain From Registrar
2) Point DNS to your Nameservers (may take 24-48 hours)
3) Log Into cPanel
4) Go to Addon domain and create domain*
5) Go to Site Software
6) Choose Blogs, WordPress
7) Create Username, Password, Email, Install URL, etc. info
8) Install at root domain (leave installation URL blank)
9) Do not change “table prefix”.
10) Select “Create New Database”
11) Log into WordPress and Proceed
*If this is your first domain, you will not need to “add” a domain. It will already be created so proceed to Step 5
** The process is similar for most hosts. The main idea is to get a domain, then log into cPanel and install WordPress on your domain
Buy a domain from your registrar
Change the DNS to point to your host (can take 24-72 hours)
Log into cPanel
This is cPanel navigation. You may or may not need to create the domain
Create your domain here
Choose a WordPress blog for your website builder
Fill in necessary information. Make sure “installation URL” is blank and don't change anything about the database
Save your password and login details. Go to mywebiste.com/wp-login.php for the login page to get started!
Doing It With Help (Inside Wealthy Affiliate)
Note: The lessons inside the community are step by step and much more clear than my instructions. There are video lessons to show you how to do this inside the community. I just wanted to post screenshots here to show the difference between doing it on your own versus doing it with this company.
1) Go to SiteDomains and purchase your domain
2) Go to SiteBuilder and select your domain
3) Build website and log into WordPress
Buy A Domain at SiteDomains
Build Your Website at SiteBuilder
Log In at SiteManager
Notice the difference between the two methods? 11 steps vs. 3 is a big difference!
Next Steps In Building Your Website
Once you're done building the site, what next? There are three main areas you want to learn in the beginning.
You can experiment with #1 and #2 to learn how they work. #3 is also very easy to learn, but publishing content is much more complicated than just writing about what you ate for breakfast or typing a few lines about which brand of tablet you should buy.
Publishing content is going to be the core of your business because it's what drives traffic to your website. Traffic (people) is how you make sales.
In the end, your website will basically look similar to mine. Here's the breakdown of what you're looking at on my website. Depending on the “theme” you choose, your menu/logo/sidebar locations/look/size will vary.
How To Make Money From Your Website
There are many ways to make money online. However, I've chosen to focus on affiliate marketing for my own business, and it's what encourage most people to do. Ecommerce and drop shipping sound sexy, but they involve a lot of complicated details like sourcing products, shipping stuff, and managing profit margins. Bleh.
I like the simplicity of affiliate marketing. As an affiliate marketer, the vast majority of your work as a webmaster is going to be writing articles for your website. That's my #1 daily workload. Even if I don't write articles myself, I still need to do things like find out topics to write about, then do research, assign topics to writers, then edit the content to my liking.
If you hate writing, you can definitely outsource all the work. However, I highly recommend you learn the basics of writing and search engine optimization so that you know if your writers are producing content that can actually rank. Don't assume they know what they're doing! In fact, some my be operating on bad advice from previous clients they worked with, so it's very important you give them proper direction for their articles.
Affiliate Blog $$$ Method #1: Affiliate Links
If a company has an affiliate program, you can sign up (for free), and they'll give you a special link with a unique code. For each sale you get, you can earn a commission. Percentages range from 1% up to 100%, and earnings per sale range from $.10 to $1,000. It's all over the map because there is such a huge range of products you can promote.
Affiliate links are great for newer blogs because you can make more money with less traffic. If your articles are good enough, a high conversion rate can get you earning really good income with just a few articles on your site.
For most people, it takes a while to become knowledgable in their chosen niche, or to learn how write a decent article, so results typically don't happen that fast, but they can!
Affiliate Blog $$$ Method #2: Display Ads
The trouble is that they pay just a few pennies per view, so you really need a lot of traffic to earn good money. There are billions of visits online and the growth of the internet will continue to be exponential in the coming years, so it's safe to say that if you stick with it, you can get those high traffic numbers.
Still, it takes a lot of patience to get on that daily grind of pumping out content (or paying for it). There are many hurdles that will be in your path to 10,000 visits a day.
Earning just $0.10 a week from your blog can be frustrating in the beginning, which is why I recommend starting with affiliate links. Once you have a few thousand visits a month though, slapping on some display ads can give you an instant revenue boost.
Affiliate Blog $$$ Method #3: Sponsored Posts
I haven't done this method myself, but after reading some income reports from other bloggers, I can see this this is a highly lucrative gig to get into. Basically, companies will pay you to feature their content on your website. If you have the traffic, they want the eyeballs.
This is another reason why it's good to have a branded website, even if your main gig is social media like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Owning a website gives you a platform YOU control, and where you can publish long form content.
I don't have advice on how to price your content, but obviously the rule would be the more traffic you have, the higher price you can charge!
Doing It With Help
The money making process is explained in detail in the lessons inside Wealthy Affiliate. How to find a topic for your website, how to find topics to write about for your articles, and how to find companies related to your website topic are talked about step by step.
You can join Wealthy Affiliate for free and see the first 10 lessons, plus build a FREE website so you can do the lessons along with the videos. If you decide to upgrade to a Premium membership, then you can move all your work to a dot com website and continue working from there.
The Premium membership is $49/month. Remember, that includes hosting.
So if you do it on your own, your business will cost you about $300 per year to run. If you do it with the extra training resources and help from experts, it'll cost you about $600 to run your business for a year.
The choice is yours. Of course, you'll see more success and faster success with the help of the Wealthy Affiliate community, so take that into consideration. Fumbling around for six months waiting for someone to respond to your email with a question will be a big waste of time. Instead, you could just pop into live chat and get your question answered instantly.
Other Services Included In Membership
- Anti-Spam Protection
- Anti-Hack Protection
- Email (unlimited addresses)
- 4 Weekly Webinars (52 per year)
- Ad-Free Zone Inside The Community
- Keyword Research Tool
If you'd like me to expand upon any of those topics let me know in the comments. For now, just know they are extras, and awesome. The main thing you should be looking at is that you get hosting, training, and help in one spot.