Lesson #4 | Domain Names, Hosting & Website Building
In this lesson I'm going to show you exactly how to start building your very first website. We've talked about some of the important concepts and the different approaches you can take, now it's time to start taking action!
There are 3 essential elements you need to get a website off the ground...
#1 Domain Names
A domain name is just the unique address for your website. For example, the domain name for this website is "www.affiliateunguru.com" and if you type that into your browser bar at the top of your screen, it'll take you to the front page of my website. It's a bit like your home address, every house has one and it's impossible for people to find you without it.
Well, your website is your 'digital house' so you need to give it an address! Makes sense right?
How To Choose a Domain Name
There are two main approaches to choosing a domain name:
This option is all about choosing a 'brandable' domain name that relates to your chosen niche. It can be absolutely anything as long as it makes sense and is something that separates you from the pack.
For example: If my niche was interior decorating I might choose the domain name "www.trendyinteriorswithtim.com" or "www.myinsiderdesigntips.com".
The point is, choose something that works for you, that is unique and is something that you can build your brand around is key. You don't need to have your entire marketing and branding plan mapped out! Just choose something you like and go with it. This is your first website so don't try to get everything perfect. Practice is going to be key to your success moving forward so never procrastinate because it's just wasting valuable time you could be taking action and making money as you learn.
This is for people wanting to build a smaller niche website, like the ones I explained in lesson #2. Before I get into this I want to be abundantly clear that this is an advanced concept to understand at this point in the training. It involves the concept of keyword research which is yet to be discussed. If you get confused and have no idea what I'm going on about, that's totally normal! You are new to this so don't stress. I've just put this in here to give you some additional insight and ideas.
This kind of domain is called an 'Exact Match Domain' or EMD for short. It's essentially a domain name that perfectly matches the chosen keyword for your niche.
For example: If I chose a highly targeted niche like "Best Hardwood Outdoor Deck Chairs" (and I knew that phrase was a good keyword getting tons of searches with relatively low competition) I could choose a domain name that matched that exact keyword. In other words, my EMD would be "www.BestHardwoodOutdoorDeckChairs.com".
Why would I do that?
Because a website with a focus on such a specific niche and a matching domain name can rank very well and quite quickly for a narrow and fairly low competition niche. You absolutely MUST still be giving people valuable content and this is not a shortcut to success! This is just one approach that works with those wanting to follow the 'super targeted niche' approach I discussed in lesson #2.
There are endless ideas for these kinds of websites and if you build enough of them you can make a full-time income. This approach does not guarantee you will rank but when coupled with the other concepts of giving people valuable content and a correct keyword strategy, it can definitely work and I have used this method myself. I don't recommend jumping on this strategy until you have at least read through this entire tutorial first so you understand keyword research. In lesson #6 I will explain more about this concept and how to implement it.
Which Option Is Better?
Personally, I think choosing ONE niche you are interested in and a brandable domain name is always best to start out. The traffic you can drive and the money you can make with that kind of domain/ approach is as big as you want it to be whereas the more narrow you go the more websites you are going to need to build to make a full-time income. Generally speaking anyways.
About Domain Extensions
An extension is just the part at the end of your domain name. There are tons of different varieties but I only recommend going for these three in this order of preference.
Don't bother with anything else unless you have a very specific reason for doing so.
Where To Buy a Domain Name
There are many companies you could go with but some really are better than others. I'll go through my top 3 selection here starting from my least favourite to what I personally recommend. Ultimately, a domain is a domain but the customer service you receive, the price you pay and what's included are what makes the difference.
Note: The following prices are accurate at the time of writing this and may be different when you read this due to many unforeseen and time related reasons. The estimate is based on purchasing a ".com" domain and renewing each year rather than buying a 3 year domain package upfront.
This is where I purchased my first domain name and the reason was because they were the cheapest, or so I thought. This company offers super cheap entry prices for your first domain name but by the 2nd and 3rd year into things hit you with double/ triple the price to renew. The other downside is they hit you with a ton of upsells throughout the checkout process which is how they make a lot of their money. This does not include privacy protection.
1 Year Total= $0.99
3 Year Total= $40.97
I haven't personally used these guys but in my opinion they're a better option than GoDaddy. The prices are more upfront and affordable. The bonus with this is that they give you a free 1 year subscription to WhoisGuard, which means your name, address, phone number and email are not listed on the public database in the first year.
1 Year Total= $14.29
3 Year Total= $42.87
This is my first choice for a few reasons. Firstly, it automatically includes privacy protection in the price for the entire registration period as standard which is huge plus. Second, the pricing is completely upfront. Third, it's very affordable, especially for what you are getting.
1 Year Total= $13.99
3 Year Total= $41.97
Learn more about the importance of privacy protection here if you're unsure if it's worth it for your site. The bottom line is that if you can get it included for less than a domain without it (like I've just shown) it's totally worth doing. I think so anyway.
#2 Website Hosting
Hosting is essentially what makes your website go live. Without this your website would not be accessible to anyone except you so it's kind of a big deal! There are many options and I'm not going to go through each one for obvious reasons, I will say that each company above offers hosting and I would choose in that order again for hosting. The hosting solution you choose depends on your needs and how many visitors you are getting to your website but it pays to go with something reliable from the get go without paying a fortune.
Take a breath... this tutorial is not about getting into all the tedious, time consuming and annoying details on hosting and website building!
Why? Because getting bogged down with the technical nitty gritty is not going to help you build a business! It's going to confuse you and make you wonder what the heck you need to do to get started. We don't want that right? Trust me when I say that you do NOT need to know the ins and outs of website hosting at this point.
Keep reading because I am going to share with you the simplest and most effective approach to getting everything you need without paying a single cent. All you need to understand right now is that you need hosting and I'm going to show you where to get the best of the best without breaking the bank. Sound good?
#3 Website Builder
This is the part where you make something out of nothing. The actual building process!
There are a few different website builders and platforms out there but there's only one I truly recommend. It's a platform called SiteRubix and it's what I personally use to build my websites. It's simple yet highly customisable and is perfect for the purpose of affiliate marketing. It allows complete newbies to build professional websites that make money. That's what we want!
I could write an entire 'how to' training on website building alone but again, that's not the purpose of this tutorial. My goal is to explain what you need to know to make money and point you in the direction of the best step-by-step resources to get started.
How To Get Your Domain, Hosting & Website For Free
The best way to start moving forward is to build a free website through Wealthy Affiliate below. This is my #1 recommended resource because you are getting everything you need to get rolling without paying a single cent. I personally love bootstrapping a business! With a free starter account you get 2 free websites, a siterubix domain name and hosting all included. Best of all, you don't even need a credit card to get all of this.
To learn more about why I use and recommend this platform, read my full Wealthy Affiliate review.
Essentially, where I've brushed over the 'how to' details in this tutorial (in terms of website building) Wealthy Affiliate gives you step-by-step video training and leaves nothing to chance. I could write up a 20 page ebook to explain website building but everything you need is there and you'll get a ton of support from me personally and other members. It's also WAY easier with WA because you build as you learn instead of just reading about it.
Making money online isn't magic and you don't need some 'super secret' strategy to succeed either. Not at all. It's getting the right tools, training and support to build your business and the link below will take you to a video I made showing you how to build your website in under 60 seconds. Over the shoulder.
In this lesson you've learned about domain names and seen some of the different domain companies along with what they include in their pricing. I've also touched on web hosting and my recommended website builder to give you a better understand of what they are and how the fit into the process of building your website business.
You now have everything you need to get started building your very first website and have a good understanding of how everything fits together as a whole.
What you've accomplished so far:
- Learned the main concepts about affiliate marketing with a website
- Understand the difference between broad and narrow niche selection
- Chosen a niche that interests you
Click on the link above to start building your free website. The process of building your website is explained in 10 step-by-step lessons with videos inside the members area. I'll personally reach out to you on the inside to help you get started so you'll never be stuck about what to do next or how to build your site.
Once you've done that, continue on with the training here to learn how to create the best content for your new website! Content creation is the absolute life blood of your new business and what is going to allow you to attract tons of targeted buyers to your website each and every day for free through Google, yahoo and Bing.