Do you like my website, and wish you could have one of your own, with your own personal ideas? Or are you wondering if you can make money with a website like this? The answer is yes to both. The answer is also with a loooot of work, some investment and a certain risk – just like any business.
Still, if you’re curious, I will explain how I have been building HerbAlcochete, what platforms and tools I have been using, and how I monetize my website with affiliate marketing. Bear in mind I am no website or affiliate marketing expert. I am just like you about this subject, with one difference: I have walked this path already and will tell you about some shortcuts you can take, knowing pros and cons, which might make your own experience easier, in case you wish to embark in such adventure.
Starting Your Own Blog Site
There is a lot of talk about starting your own blog website and making it a business at home. A lot of sites explaining how. A lot of people stating how great it is.
Well, I can tell you it’s no walk in the park. You are basically alone to take all the decisions. You have to be willing to learn a great deal. You need to plan just like in any business. You have to have loads of persistence and hardworking. You can blame only yourself for failure. And probably the most difficult obstacle to overcome is procrastination. You have to have a lot of discipline to not fall into laziness since you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself.
Of course, like everything in life, it has its plus sides: you can work from home, or pretty much anywhere you want, as long as you have electrical power and net. You don’t need to commute, leaving more time for yourself and family. You can steer your own business the way you envision it. Yes, you can only blame yourself for failure, and you are the sole responsible for success!! You are your own boss (hope you both get along well!
Anyway, I am not here to convince you if it fits you or not, it’s totally a matter of personal choice. I am here only to show you the path I walked myself to start a website, and make a business out of it, or just a side hustle. Or just start a website to do whatever you want with it.
Where to Start
Well, to start a website you need two things:
- service hosting: the physical place where your website will be;
- website platform/software: to build your website, write posts, add images and videos, etc., etc.
Assuming you’re not a programmer, you will want to stick with a platform with intuitive tools to start building a website, such as:
- WordPress: the most famous and used platform for non-programmers to build websites. It requires a little bit of technical knowledge, but a mechanical engineer like me can pretty much build a good-looking website with no help at all 🙂
- Wix: fairly new, best known for a free plan (but beware you will be filled with ads)
As for service hosting, you can buy a monthly or a yearly signature in a hosting company, such as:
I have started with my website at SiteGround. I didn’t have a real issue with the service itself, but I’ve felt rather on my own: if I didn’t have the knowledge, things wouldn’t happen. Also I’ve spent a lot of time doing technical maintenance and trying plug-in after plug-in about SEO, site speed, site protection, etc.
You Want To Get Serious With Your Website?
Building a website nowadays still costs money. Yes, you can use a very cheap hosting plan along with WordPress, but you will have very few resources to use, like disk space, bandwidth, and tricky-or-never-available site support, or endless up-sells. It’s ok if you just want to post some stuff and show your friends – probably more than enough. If you just want to “wet your toes” in blogging, you will probably want to start with these platforms, using the cheapest plan available:
Usually, your website will include the name of the hosting company in your website address, like mywebsite.wordpress.com, but that’s the price of having cheap.
Ok, So, You DO Want To Get Serious With Your Website
So, you’re tried Wix and WordPress.com but you do want to make money online, you’re tired of so much ads or you want to get serious with traffic. Then, you will want:
- some bandwidth, so you can have traffic without your website crashing all the time
- site security, i.e., an SSL certificate, so your website is not seen as insecure (Google warns about or even blocks access to insecure websites)
- site protection from spammers and hackers
- website backup for a regular backup of your own work
- a custom domain name you will have to purchase but it’s usually 12$ – 15$
- at least an email account with your domain name (and NOT @gmail.com)
The last two points are a matter of credibility you pass to your readers, and also provide an easier way to be found. If you’re unconvinced read this post.
Being a rookie as I am assuming you are, you will be better served with Wealthy Affiliate. Why? Wealthy Affiliate is a learning platform about affiliate marketing that includes website hosting. So, you will have immediately 3 things in one go: WordPress website framework available, service hosting with impeccable site support; a learning course on how to build a website AND how to make money with the same website, mainly through affiliate marketing.
You have much more than that, if you wish to continue and make your website as an online business: you have access to a whole community of entrepreneurs and successful businessmen, many experts in affiliate marketing, and your most difficult questions answered in either one of the hundreds of written material available in the platform, or by one of these experts in less than a day (usually within one hour!!).
I myself use Wealthy Affiliate since June 2020, and they are providing me exactly what I needed: good service hosting – I don’t need to worry about protection or hacking, or any complex website operation, as it is covered for me -; great teaching material and guidance in how to increase traffic to my website and monetize it.
I’d recommend you to start your 7-day free trial in Wealthy Affiliate, run the 10 lessons course to build a website and see how it goes.
Next Up in Creating Your Own Blog Site: Useful WordPress Plugins
Please, find here the whole series: