So You Want To Create A Website?
Many people would instantly dismiss the idea of creating a website because they would have absolutely no idea where to start. For many, the thought of creating a website brings about images of complex coding, expensive bills and long hours of hard work. In our modern times, this just simply doesn’t have to be the case. Of course, many websites do indeed require complex coding and expensive pay checks, but these tend to be commercial or large- scale multi functional websites. There are hundreds of programs out there that allow people with no computer skills whatsoever to create fully functional websites at a very low cost.
Take, For Example, The website you are reading now. I created this website from scratch for just £50, and have absolutely no knowledge of website development. Admittedly, this may not be the most high tech website you have ever visited, but if like me your aim is to provide people with valuable, interesting information then what more do you need. As for the view that creating a website takes years, its just not the case. From scratch, this website took me around a month to get to launch quality. In fact the majority of the work lies in your experience, and creating the website only involves transferring your knowledge into a readable format. Obviously It has taken me far longer than a month to gain the knowledge needed to create this website, but the actual creation process takes a fraction of the time.
However, having said this, it still does require commitment to create a website. Whilst it may not take as long as you previously thought, it still takes time and requires dedication to produce the content. If you are expecting to knock up a good website in five minutes and actually gain any loyal viewers, then this may not be for you.
If however you are committed, and feel you have interesting content to offer that people will want to view, then this could be a very exiting opportunity.
What Should My Website Be About?
Not only is this your first step to creating your website, but it is the most important. Deciding what your website should be about can be very difficult, But what you need to remember is there is a market for just about anything.
The best way to decide upon an idea is to write about something that interests you. If you do not, then you will lack the motivation needed to create a successful site. If you are interested in your chosen topic, then you are much more likely to provide valuable content.
Here are some examples of possible ideas:
•Website providing advice on how to improve your tennis game.
•Website explaining how to fix a range of common computer problems.
•Website providing information on how to live a healthy lifestyle (Exercise Plans, Recipes e.t.c).
•Website discussing how to invest in property.
•Website providing advice on a variety of parental issues.
•Website providing youths with advice on how to get into different career fields.
Despite this list being very limited, I hope it acts as a good set of examples to show you the sort of topics you could write about.
1)Step One of your market research is to determine the popularity of your chosen subject/topic/hobby e.t.c. To do this you will need to use a tool called Google Keywords. This tool allows you to type in a keyword, and see how many times related Google searches are made each month. This will help you determine your potential traffic, and hence whether you will be able to make a profit from advertising. If your topic was, for example, Austrian Bluebird, and this only received 500 searches a month, then the potential for traffic and earning is very low. On the other hand if your keyword has high traffic (>10,000), then you should continue to step two.
2) Step 2 involves checking out your competition. You can do this by making related searches in Google. For example if your site is about ‘Making Money Online’, then you would type this into Google. You would then check out how many links there are to sites that offer similar content to you. If there are hundreds of well made websites, then maybe you should find a more unique idea. If however there are only a few relevant websites that are good, then there is space for you in the market. At this point you should explore these competitors sites and see how they have structured there site, and if there is anything you can do similarly or even better.
3)Step three involves asking people whether they would visit your site. Sign up to forums, message your facebook friends e.t.c Simply give them an explanation of what your site will offer and ask them if they like the sound of it, and what they would like to see. Once this is completed, and positive feedback is gained, you are ready to create your website.
How To Make Money From Your Website
There are many different methods you can use to monetize your website. In this section we will look over some of the most popular of these methods.
Advertising is the main source of income for the majority of websites. Advertising is huge business, and advertisers are willing to pay you big money if you can create leads for them, whether it be getting there message across to lots of people, getting people to visit there website or getting people to buy there product.
The way advertisers can do this is to use your website as a platform to get access to people. If you website receives 50,000 visits a month, then advertisers will pay to gain access to those people.
There are three main methods for you to advertise your new website.
Google Adsense is the simplest and often the most effective form of advertisement for a small website. When you sign up for Google Adsense, you simply submit your domain address, and then Google places advertisements on your website that are content related. For example, if your website is about relationships, then Google will place advertisements for dating sites, days out, gift sites e.t.c
The way you earn money is that every time somebody clicks on one of these advertisements, you get paid anywhere from 5p to £5. The average click through rate for Google Adsense is around 3%. So for every 1000 visitors you get, you will most likely receive around 30 clicks, which could be worth anywhere from £1 to £20.
The second advertising route you could go down is direct contracts. Direct advertising contracts involve selling your own web space directly to an advertiser, and hosting there advertisement on
your webpage. Direct advertisers may charge either cost per click, cost per mile or cost per month. It is up to you to negotiate the payment structure with the advertiser
To gain advertising contracts you can either contact businesses directly or ask if they would like to advertise, or put the advertisements costs on your webpage and wait for advertisers to come to you.
Affiliate programs act as a middleman between merchants and affiliates. When you fill out the online application and successfully sign up with an affiliate network, you will be given access to a large network of merchants who are looking to advertise.. Each merchant will provide html code which can be put pasted into your webpage in order to show an advertisement. You will then be paid in one of three ways.
1) Cost per click – You could charge your client a fee for each click there advertisement receives. This means you can set a uniform advertising rate across the entire site, however the downside is that it can be very time consuming to manage.
2) Cost Per Month – This is the most simple method and involves charging a set fee per month, depending on how much traffic your website receives, how large the advertisement is and what position it is placed on your website.
3) Cost Per Mile (Thousand Impressions) – This refers to the cost per 1000 impressions the advertisement gets. An impression means every time someone visits the webpage that contains the advertisement. The CPM rate depends on the traffic the webpage receives, aswell as the size and positioning of the advert. Rates can range anywhere from £1 to £70.
Depending on which payment structure the affiliate network uses, the network will keep track of all your statistics and ensure the merchants pay you any money you are owed.
Using affiliate networks can be a great way to find advertisements for your site as you are given such a wide variety of choice over the kind of advertisement you want on your site.
To find the best network for you, it is best to Google affiliate networks, and then just have a look at a few different ones and find one you like the sound of.
Some popular networks include: Affiliate Window, Affiliate Future, Fast Click. Alternatively you can view an affiliate directory such as webaffiliate.com
How to Market Your Website
Marketing your website effectively is very important; after all with no visitors to your site you will be making no money!
There are hundreds of different ways to market your website, but you will most likely only get to grips with a few. In this section I will outline some of the more simple and popular ways to market your website.
Word of mouth – Simply tell people about it. This can be one of the most effective methods of marketing, because it is so simple. Tell all your friends and family about it, and tell them to tell their friends and family about it.
Social networking – Again, this can be a very simple and effective method of marketing. Im sure the majority of you have a facebook, twitter or MySpace account. Send all your friends a message telling them about the site. Create a group about your website and invite all your friends to the group. Get them to invite all there friends. The average facebook user has around 150 friends. If you invite all 150 friends, and they each invite 150 friends, then your group will have 22500 members. That is a lot of visitors to your website.
Forums – I will assume your all aware of what a forum is, it is essentially a discussion board for all sorts of topics. Join as many as you can and use them to market your website. Be sure to read the forum rules before joining, as many forums do not allow you to post links to your website as they consider it spam. However, what
many forums do allow you to do is have a signature link. Meaning any post you make, whatever the topic, at the end of the post it will say your name and your website. This can be extremely effective because it allows you to be active in forums and discuss topics that have no relevance to your website, but people will still be clicking on your signature link and visiting your website.
Email Marketing – If you type into Google ‘Safe list advertising’ you will be presented with hundreds of safe list programs. A safe list is and email list you can join for free, and in returning for joining you are allowed to email out to the entire list of members that join. In return for being able to send an email out to thousands of members, you must receive some emails too from other members. Don’t worry, you wont receive too many, and you don’t even have to take any notice of them. Usually most safe lists have different levels of memberships you can join at, and each different level will allow you to email more members more often
Pay Per Click Advertising – The most prominent pay per click advertising program is Google Adwords, and it really has revolutionised web marketing. In my opinion, it is the single most effective advertising tool on the web. Have you ever noticed every time you make a search in Google you see little advertisements down the right hand side of the page. These are Google Adwords advertisements I will now explain how it works. When you sign up to Google Adwords, you are immediately ready to begin your first campaign. The first step is to create a text advertisement. The type of advertisement you create is a simple header to catch peoples attention, and then around 20 words of promotion. When you have created your advertisement, you are ready to make it go live. To do this, you must set up your account preferences. This will include the maximum amount you are willing to pay each time someone clicks on the your advert, and the maximum total amount you are willing to spend each day on advertising. You will not necessarily pay the maximum amount every time someone clicks you ad, in reality you usually pay a lot less per click, it all depends on how many competitors there are for advertising space. The real beauty of Adwords is that you only pay when someone clicks your advert, and you can be sure that the only people who will click your advert are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
Creating your Website
There are thousands of web creation softwares on the internet. I have tested many of these, and believe there is one that is superior to the rest. My program of choice is called Moonfruit.
Moonfruit is an online web creation software that is extremely simple to use. There are various account options ranging from free web creation to more expensive packages. I recommend paying for a package as the benefits you get are worth far more than the cost.
Moonfruit is very simple to use and has various tutorials on the site. To sign up for your account: