Making Money

Published on June 19th, 2013 | by Daniel

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Making Money with your Own Website

In this post I will give an introduction how to create a website, setting it up, getting an audience and how to make money from it. This is basic knowledge which will be absolutely helpful if you are new to online marketing.

Why Create a Website?

The obvious short answer is: to make money. But that is not the whole story. You can also make money by buying advertising space on other websites and promoting products this way. The main point of creating your own website is that it is really yours. It is like online real estate, you are the owner of the medium and if you get a lot of traffic (i.e. people who visit your website) it will vastly increase in value over time. When you are successful others will want to buy advertising space on your website and that is the position you want to be in. You have created your own online publishing house and your own online magazines, so to speak.

Another reason that I recommend burgeoning online marketers to build a website is that 1. It has very low risk with almost no investment, and 2. It is a great way to learn how online marketing really works.

Building and maintaining websites is a valuable long term strategy. While it is not probable that you make a lot of money in the short term, in the long term it can be very successful financially (if you do it right).

How to Choose a Niche

A website should have a purpose, a niche. Why would anyone visit it otherwise? There should be a public for it. See it as a magazine. All magazines have a certain theme, and they are directed at a specific market segment. This should also be the case for your website.

When starting out it is best to choose a subject for your website that you are passionate about. This will make creating the website so much more fun, which will show in the end product. Also you will need to write texts/articles about your subject so you better be passionate about it if you do not want to die from boredom. Of course you can outsource text writing but that will cost you money when starting out while you are still learning the ropes. So it is better to write the first web content yourself.

Do not really worry about the monetization opportunities too much. It is more important that you learn how to build and how to get traffic. When you succeed in this there are always way to monetize it.

Setting up a Website

First select a domain name. Just take something that you like and which connects your website subject. These days it is not really important that your key subject is part of the name itself (if you think long term). Get a server to host your website and domain, you can often buy this at the same place as your domain name. One domain registrar I can recommend is Namecheap. They are good and reliable.

Now, how to build the website? These days that is made easy with the use of WordPress. With WordPress you can set up a website with a handy content management system, which ensures that you can maintain it in a very user friendly way. WordPress has a good user manual to set up their system step by step. And it is totally free.

For you website design you can use a free template provided by the WordPress database. These are good for starting out and learning the ropes. If you want something more flashy you should take a look at Themeforest, where many designers sell their themes.

When you have completed these steps you can start to fill your website and make it your own. You are going to build content about your subject. For instance, if you have a blog you can start to write articles about your favorite subject, put them in WordPress  and publish these on your website easily.

As a rule of thumb smaller niches are easier to be successful in as these are less saturated. Also they tend to be noticed by your potential readers quicker, which can be good for motivation.

Getting People to Visit your Website

Attracting people to visit your website can seem hard at first. Here I discuss two ways to get traffic. There are many more, but these two are most important when starting out:

Direct Link: Putting a link to your website on other websites, emails, social media networks and so on. People click on the link and visit your website. When your website becomes well known and has relevant content others will put links to your website on their websites, social profiles etc., thus increasing your amount of traffic immensely.

Search Engines: A potential visitor types in search terms connected to your website subject, you are among the search results and they get to visit your website.

The principles on which search engines (i.e. Google search) work is that they rank websites in the order of relevance to the potential visitor. This relevance is determined by (mainly): unique and good content, and the amount and quality of backlinks. Backlinks are links from other website to your website.

So to gain a high ranking in say, Google search, you need to have a lot of quality content, and a lot of quality links from other websites. This process of increasing your rank is called SEO (search engine optimization) in online marketing terms and is a whole field of study in itself.

Making Money with your Website

When you have substantial traffic, you can start to monetize it. If you have a blog, you can think about the following:

> Google Adsense
> Putting Affiliate Banners up
> Writing articles with affiliate links in it
> Doing reviews with affiliate links in it
> Selling an ebook about your subject

Of course when your website is growing you will see a lot more opportunities to make money. Start your website and build content first, and then the monetization options will come.

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