On today’s podcast I walk you through the 5 steps it takes to launch your own website. These are the steps I take to launch every successful website I’ve ever owned. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
Step 1: Buy A Domain
You don’t necessarily have to buy a domain, but even when I was dead broke I could afford one. I buy all my domains at GoDaddy. Before I purchase my domain, I click through eBates – which gives me 9% – 20% off my purchase every time.
I prefer 2-word domain names. However, 3 word domain names are fine too (Power Selling Radio is one example of how 3 words is just fine). While I do think SEO is dead, exact match domains can be an effective way to rank in search engines. Either way, your domain name should give some indication of what the site is about in the most concise amount of words possible.
Step 2: Hosting
The files of your website need to reside somewhere. In the website business – you ‘host’ your files on a server, point your domain to that server, and that’s what allows people to visit your website. If all this sounds like a foreign language, don’t worry – I will explain further.
I host all of my early stage websites at Hostgator. I use the Baby Croc plan, which is $9.99/mo. However, they have plans starting under $5/month. I host my popular websites on more secure/reliable hosting environments that can cost upwards of $100/month – but wait until you have lots of traffic & a need to jump up to that level.
The good thing about starting your first website with a hosting provider is most will install WordPress for free. While I do recommend learning how to install WordPress on your own – there’s a learning curve to uploading the files, setting up the Database permissions, changing the name-servers, etc. However once you know what all that is – you can start a WordPress website in less than 5 minuets.
If you don’t want to learn how to upload the files needed to get started to your hosting account – first contact your hosting provider to see if they can do it for free. Second option is use a site like Fiverr or Upwork – and hire a freelance provider. For a basic install of WordPress – it shouldn’t cost more than $10 because it really is easy to do once you know the steps involved.
Once WordPress is installed on your server, you should be able to learn how everything works by trial & error. Watch some YouTube videos – and just experiment with the backend. If you can use Facebook – you can become an expert user of WordPress. Don’t worry about making your website look perfect – as very few people will visit it in the beginning. The most important thing is get going with a basic website and move onto step #3.
Step 3: Put Up Content
Content for a website can come in many forms. You can have just text (kind of like this article). Depending on your topic, text might be all you need. However, adding pictures, video, and audio (podcasting) is a great way to engage users even more.
When you bought your domain, you should have had some idea what type of content you are going to put up. My suggestion is simply put up the kind of content you think your (potential) visitors will want to read. Write the content directly toward your users and try to make it as personal as possible.
- Use Bullet Points
- They help draw the attention of the reader
Link back to other articles you’ve written. For example, on podcast #2 I discussed specific website ideas you can write on, and the type of content I think could work on those websites.
Test Test Test! Some of my best website content came from writing an article, and finding out I could go deeper in a series of other articles.
Step 4: Promote
20 years ago when I started setting up websites for the 1st time, your major traffic sources was strictly through organic searches through search engines. Times have changed – and now I focus primarily driving traffic through Facebook, Twitter, e-mail lists, and paid ads using Google Adwords. In fact, I don’t even worry about organic traffic any longer.
Twitter: I like using Twitter because it’s somewhat easy to start a conversation with just about anyone. That allows you to gain followers & a reputation. Some niches don’t translate over to a Twitter audience, however if your website does – I suggest following as many people related to your niche as possible. Try to reply/respond to their tweets – hoping they will respond back to you. Their responses should give you exposure, and eventually build up your reputation & followers. Eventually you’ll be able to tweet links to your own website and drive traffic via Twitter. Additionally, you can use Twitter ads once you have content that is worth advertising.
Facebook: Is a bit different than Twitter because it’s more closed off to people you have an existing connection with – however there are so many more users on Facebook. Your website should have a Facebook Page, however even more effective is start a Facebook Group related to your website. In both cases you’re looking to build the community around a topic and eventually start promoting your website to the group. You can then leverage Facebook ads to give your content an even larger audience.
Contests: In order to build up an audience, one of the best ways to do this is by a contest. If your website is centered around products – giving them away is a good way to build up a following. Just make sure you are getting your money’s worth when you do a giveaway. Don’t just think giving away stuff will make your website popular. You need to collect users e-mails, ask them to join your Facebook Page/Group, follow you on Twitter, etc.
Step 5: Repeat & Advanced
As you are testing content ideas and promotion tactics – you should develop a system of what works for you. Simply replicate these ideas into more content & traffic should keep coming in.
Once you have some regular traffic coming into your site (and/or the ability to drive it to your site) now is a good time to test some advertisers/affiliate programs. Make sure the program doesn’t have some minimum traffic requirements – because the last thing you want to do is get booted from an affiliate program because you signed up too early.
Don’t load your site up with ads to start, try to have the ads drive value to the reader – or give them an option to view relevant ads. If your site is about cooking – make all the ads targeted to this niche.
Finally, once you get a gauge on how well your site converts into money – test buying ads on platforms like Google & Facebook which can supercharge the traffic you are getting. You obviously want a clear view on what value users have coming to your site + the cost associated with acquiring that user. But just like content, test some ads on Google/FB and you can generate lots of traffic at a profitable rate. My suggestions on buying ads are lengthy (and I’ll do a podcast on buying ads soon) but make sure you are targeting very narrow users that will love your content. This isn’t too hard once you have enough content and existing traffic to judge that against.
Good luck! This is just a brief overview. Please leave me any questions/comments below and I’ll be sure to answer them.