Updated: January 14th 2017 Are you looking to create an (affiliate) blog or website? Perhaps you want to make a large site, or maybe you would rather focus on a particular niche market. Whichever you prefer, it is possible to monetize both and bring in a substantial income. This guide will show you how to build a website from scratch; this is one of the ways to monetize your niche and build an online presence, but you will be able to find other options as well on this website.
First, you find an step-by-step Action Plan to get your website or blog up and running.
After that, there’s a Detailed Description of all the recommended steps to create your own website / blog. Finally you can read about the costs to create a website.
Action Plan: Step-by-Step Guide to Building a WordPress Website
Step 1: Purchase a Domain Name and Hosting
I usually buy my domain names at Namecheap.com.
I prefer a .com, .org, .net, .edu for free traffic purposes (Search Engine Optimization, SEO), but I also use other options (for paid traffic, or redirects). Don’t… overthink this too much.
Keep it Simple and just choose a domain name that makes sense for the niche market you picked, that sounds good, and is pretty easy to memorize:
- Enter the Domain Name you would like to register, Search and Make sure your Domain is available.
You can create a Namecheap account here…
Next you need a host for your website / blog.
I use Hostgator.
Choose a Hosting plan that fits your needs. Yes, you can start off with a simple plan (Hostgator Hatchling Plan for a single domain) and upgrade later to the Baby Plan (‘unlimited’ domains) to expand your internet based business.
- Choose the Option that Fits your situation Best: Hatchling Plan (single domain), Baby Plan (‘unlimited’ domains), or Business Plan.
Step 2: Transfer domain name
This step is only needed when you bought your Domain name and Hosting service at different companies, otherwise you can go on to step 3.
Because I buy my domain names most of the time at Namecheap and I use Hostgator for web hosting, I need to transfer a new domain name from Namecheap to Hostgator. No worries, this is pretty easy…
- Namecheap domain transfer: When you registered a domain name at Namecheap, you have to change the nameservers in the section called “Domain” (Account dashboard / Manage Domain / Domain details). You can find the Hostgator name servers in (1) your Welcome Email or (2) your cPanel (for Shared Web Hosting Only).
- Log into your Hostgator cPanel, add your new (Namecheap) domain as an Addon domain on your hosting account.
Super easy and you are ready to go to step 3.
Step 3: Install WordPress
Let’s install the WordPress blogging software:
- Again You log into cPanel (Hostgator) and install WordPress with 1-click and you’re all set. Remember, you can also ask your host to install it for you.
Step 4: Design and Start your WordPress Site or Blog
Be aware that any theme can make money. The theme you choose is less important than most people think.
- Install a Free or a Premium theme, using the WordPress dashboard (Appearance / Themes / Add new (featured, popular, latest, favorites) / Search Themes…).
Next, you can add plugins. These are made to deliver additional functionality (for example security, spam control, and / or search engine optimization) to your WordPress site.
When you are done, you can move on to the next phase: Managing Content And Monetizing Your Site.
As you can see, the process of setting up a WordPress blog is quick and simple, but it’s worth explaining them in more depth because you have a variety of options to consider.
Detailed Description: Step-by-Step Guide to Building a WordPress Website
Step 1: Purchasing a Domain Name and Hosting
Before doing anything else you have to decide on a suitable Domain Name (website address, URL). If you’re starting an online business, you want to choose something catchy and simple for potential customers to remember.
You can buy domain names on sites such as GoDaddy, Namecheap, Bluehosting, Hostgator, etc. There are lots of domain name registrars.
I use Namecheap for most of my domains, because:
- They offer domain names for very low prices (cheap, just as their name promises);
- Their reliable service and 24/7 support: Available to guide you and answer your questions;
- You also get free “WhoisGuard” (= privacy protection option to stay worry-free) with every domain you register; most registrars charge a (yearly) fee for that.
Here you can find out whether the site name you want is available, pick an extension (TLD’s such as .com, .org, .net, .edu, etc.) and just buy it.
Picking a suitable domain name depends on what you want your (niche, affiliate) site / blog to be. If you are looking to serve a big and broad market, then use your own name or brand in the domain name, and attempt to become an authority on the (niche) topic. You don’t have to worry whether it has specific keywords in it.
However, if you have a very specific niche, you will have more success in choosing a domain name which mentions the niche. Here I show you several different ways to Get Niche Ideas.
Find your new domain name:
Next you need a Host for your website / blog.
It is possible to host a website yourself, but this would require that you permanently keep your servers online. Therefore, to reduce the hassle, most decide to purchase a hosting plan. There are many different hosting sites around, but HostGator, Bluehost, Dreamhost, and GoDaddy tend to be very popular.
I use HostGator (as well as Bluehost) for the hosting of my websites. Why? Well, because of their:
- 99.9% Uptime: The availability of your website is a top priority;
- 24/7/365 support: Available for any hosting-related issue (Telephone, LiveChat, or Email);
- Affordable plans and a 45 Day money back guarantee.
There are also a variety of hosting plans which you can buy; the cheaper ones can be quite limited in their functions, whereas the more expensive plans give you more flexibility, storage and increased bandwidth.
If you’re just starting out, buying a simple plan is advisable, as you can always upgrade if needed later on. Choose a plan here:
Step 2: Transfer Domain Name
If you have purchased your domain through WordPress, it will automatically point it to your WordPress blog.
When you decide to use another hosting service, you will also need to change your nameservers. To do this, you must go to the section titled “My Domains” (WordPress.com), where you can make edits. Then, click the “Name Servers” tab and choose to use custom name servers. There you will be able to enter the new nameservers which have been provided by your new host.
You can make the process easier on yourself by buying your domain and hosting from the same company. If you do this, you won’t have to transfer your domain name.
As stated before I oftentimes use Namecheap for buying my new domain name (website name or URL) and Hostgator is the hosting service I have chosen.
It’s possible to have Addon domains with your hosting package. This allows you to register new domain names, and have them run off the same package.
For example, if you were to register a domain name at Namecheap, you must change the nameservers in the section called “Domain” (Account dashboard / Manage Domain / Domain details) on your Namecheap account.
Then, you can add the domain as an Addon domain on your hosting account (HostGator):
Changes can sometimes take around 24 hours to show, so your site may be unavailable for a short time. In my experience it takes less than a couple of hours at most, oftentimes it even takes just a few minutes…
Step 3: Install WordPress
How easy it is to install WordPress on your blog is determined by where you have purchased your hosting. Several hosting services (like HostGator, BlueHosting, GoDaddy, iPage, etc.) allow you to directly install the blogging system from their Control Panel, as if you were installing any program:
However, for those that do Not offer this functionality, you must go to WordPress.org, where you will be invited to download the latest version. From there, you need to unzip the download, make some adjustments to the files and then upload them through your FTP client.
This sounds complicated, but the wordpress.org website has a thorough installation guide to make it easy for everyone, and solve any problems you may encounter.
Step 4: Design and Start Your WordPress Site or Blog
Once you have completed the technicalities, it is time to design your blog. Depending on how much you want to invest in the site, you can choose either a free theme or a premium theme.
There are many sites on the internet which show you the pros and cons of each theme. Some premium themes allow you to buy exclusive rights to the theme, which is good if you are keen on making your site totally unique, although it isn’t a necessity.
You must also decide which widgets you want on the sidebars of your blog or other added functionality. There are a variety of plugins available (free, paid). They are offered by lots of other companies, and you can find them by searching for them on the WordPress panel.
The plugins are designed to make your blog more functional, by adding features which WordPress doesn’t provide (by default), such as search engine optimization, banner rotators, opt in boxes, extra security and / or contact forms.
Core pages to add
Before writing any content, you should delete the sample page and post first. You want to make your blog look professional, and you won’t do that by leaving these in. It’s easy to delete them; all you have to do is click on the Pages and Posts tabs on the sidebar of your WordPress panel, and put them in the trash.
After that, you should create the core pages which will give your website validity. You want to let people know a bit about you and allow them to contact you, as this could help you to make some sales in the long-term.
Costs to create a website or blog
Now you know how to build a website or blog through WordPress, your next question is most likely, “How much does it cost to build a website?” .
The answer is that it varies. It is possible to start up very inexpensive if you are new to making (affiliate) blogs / sites. You can generally purchase domain names for around $10 or less depending on the extension, and basic hosting packages are available from around $4 per month.
Additional costs then come in if you want a more powerful plan, but savings can be made if you buy into long-term contracts. Also you must consider whether you want to buy a Premium theme. A standard premium theme costs between $50 to $100. But…, don’t hesitate to use a free theme, when you are starting out.
Quite simply, if you’re just looking to build a(n) (affiliate) blog, you can do so for less than $100 per year, and achieve successful results.
However, if you want something more substantial, such as increased bandwidth to cope with higher traffic, or more storage space to host multiple domains, be prepared to spend more.
Different people will have different advice about how to build a (niche) site / blog, but it’s all about finding a package which suits you; there is no “one right way” to achieve success.
When you are done with the explained steps, you can move on to the next:
Step 5: Create and Publish Content To Your Website / Blog.
Step 6: Monetize Your (niche) Website / Blog.
There are a lot of ways to perform the above steps and you will learn them all in time. This is not an easy process, but it can definitely be simplified.
Learn how to get targeted web traffic…