Make Money Online Step #1: Launch Your Online Presence
So you’ve decided to join the thousands attempting to make money online, but you’re not sure exactly how to make it happen. Well, good news! We are here to help you make it a reality. Depending on your goals, there are a series of specific steps to take to launch your online presence. The best part of making money online is that the startup costs are extremely minimal. Unfortunately, the lack of barriers to entry also floods the internet with people trying to accomplish the same thing. With this series aimed at helping you make your dream of earning income online a reality, we will show you how to distance yourself from the herd. First things first, however, let’s focus on the launch phase of your endeavor.
The internet has matured to a point where the question isn’t really whether or not your web presence will be a blog or not. I believe every quality web presence should be in the blog format whether you are selling a product, offering free information, or trying to create a marketing presence for a Fortune 500 company. With that said, my recommendation for your online presence is a blogging platform, no matter if you plan to write ten blog posts a day or one a month.
Why You Should Use A Blogging Platform
Having a blogging platform allows you to communicate in an easy way with your customers or visitors. It also allows you to provide new content for the website in an easy manner. If you are hesitant to have a “blog-like” website, don’t worry, it won’t force you to become a full-time freelance writer. It will, however, provide a level of flexibility that will be extremely beneficial. Furthermore, the blogging format allows you to communicate to your audience in a very effective way. Your communication can be as formal or informal or as personal or impersonal as you want. Do you want your audience to get to know you or simply read information on the site? You can accomplish either or both.
Blogging is so big that there are incredible, free, software implementations of blogging platforms at your disposal. WordPress is probably the biggest and most widely used. 20s Money is built on the WordPress platform and so are many blogs that get huge amounts of traffic. The best thing about using a platform like WordPress is that it requires minimal coding knowledge. Also, there are thousands of available plug-ins or additional features you can implement for your site with ease. Some plugin examples: traffic statistics, spam guards, advertisement management and many, many more. Basically everything you will need your site to do is already built for you. Plus, when it comes to the “look and feel” of your site, tons of themes are already built for you. You can browse themes on the web and find the look and feel you want for your site.
Setting Up Your Site
The rest of this article assumes you are using the WordPress platform as the backbone of your site. The next step is to get a domain name and a host. Use any domain name registration service such as Go Daddy to get your domain name. Then, find a host that is already setup with the WordPress platform, so you can avoid doing any manual installation yourself. I used Dreamhost for 20s Money. Once I was signed up with them, they have an admin console you can login to and then do a one-click install of WordPress (very easy).
Once you’re setup with WordPress, you can go ahead and login to your blog as admin and begin customizing your blog. You will want to choose a theme first. You can select a theme from the standard ones available or browse the web for other free or non-free themes available from developers. If you want to customize the look and feel more than simply choosing a theme, it will require some basic php and html coding. A book such as WordPress For Dummies can help you accomplish this.
Create Your Content
Depending on your goals for your website, now you want to focus your efforts on the content for your audience. If you are simply trying to create a highly-trafficked blog, then you need to start pumping out strong articles to entice readers and gain subscribers. If you are trying to sell a product or service online, then you will want to create your product/service pages along with a mix of blog-like articles to communicate your message to your readers.
Be sure to add necessary information like an About page describing who you are or about your company. Perhaps, consider taking a look at similar sites or your competitors to get a feel for what information or content works. Hopefully, your competitors are stuck in the 90’s and haven’t created a blog for enhanced customer/client communication, and your new site will position you with a top notch online presence.
Consider creating content related to your field/industry that is helpful to your audience that doesn’t necessarily help you sell a product but it will help you create a resource for your audience. You want your audience to continue to check for new content on your site. Furthermore, the more content on your site, the more pages you will have listed in search engines like Google making it easier for people to find your site.
Create lots of content but do not create poor content, otherwise, you’ll end up with one-time visitors. Quality content will eventually get noticed and will eventually result in traffic.
Next step in your quest for making money online is driving traffic to your newly created website. The next article in this series will help you in the traffic department.