Ok, so you really know nothing about computers, or the Internet, or anything like that. But, you’ve heard that you can make money on-line, you’ve got some spare time, and you’d like to try your hand at it? Well, if that’s the case, then this article is for you. I’m going to guide you, step by step, in getting set up with your very own blog website that will generate an income for you — just how much of an income depends on you and how much you’re willing to put into it. But, it WILL generate income. And, you can be completely set up and rolling in as little as one hour from now!
First off, here’s what you’ll need: Getting set up won’t be free. There will be a small investment — but, believe me when I say this will be minimal. You’ll need, right out of the gate, an absolute maximum of $23.00 USD. You’ll need a maximum of a further $8.00 each and every month that you wish to keep your new website active, beginning 30 days after you initially set-up your new website. If you end up keeping your website active for a full year, then one year from the day you first set-up your new website, you’ll need to make an additional payment of $15.00. So, basically, what I’m telling you is that on the day you set up your new website, you’ll need to spend a total of $23.00 to get everything up and running. Then, every month thereafter that you wish for your website to remain active, you’ll need to make an $8.00 payment. And, every year thereafter, you’ll need to make one $15.00 payment. And, that’s it! A total operating cost of just $111.00 USD. And, if you do things right, it wont be long before your website is bringing in more money every month that what its costing you. A $111.00 operating cost broken down over the course of a year is just $9.25 per month. It’s really not far fetched to think that your website could produce more than $9.25 within the first week that it’s active. And, it could, by the end of the first year, be producing a hundred times that every month — even if you have absolutely no experience.
Now, I’m not guaranteeing those results by any means. I don’t know you. I don’t know what your mental acuity is. I don’t know how naturally you’ll take to the sort of efforts that are needed and there are a lot of variables involved. But, setting up a site like this and having it at least completely pay for itself at some time within the first month is certainly not anywhere near being unheard of. In fact, it’s fairly common! So, with all of that in mind, here we go:
STEP 1 – Get a domain name!
The first thing that you’re going to need is a domain name. A domain name is an Internet address that directs people and computers to your website. Just like your home address — If you tell me that you live at, say, “123 Main St.”, then I can look-up that address and find directions directly to your house. A domain name works kind of the same way. Let’s say your domain name is “mydomainname.com” , a computer that is hooked up to the internet can look-up that domain name and find directions directly to your website. So, the first thing you’ll have to do is to get yourself a domain name. To do this, you’ll need to visit what’s called a “registrar”. The one I use is called “Dotster.” I’ve been using them since about 2001 and they’re absolutely superb. So, click here to go to Dotster.Com. Once you’re on that page, click on “domains.” You should see a search box on the page that loads. Enter what you want your domain name to be — it could be practically anything. Let’s say your name is Bill, and you want to start a website blogging about Coffee. You might want your domain name to be billscoffeeblog.com. So, enter “billscoffeeblog” into the search box.
I’ve just entered “billscoffeeblog” into the search box on Dotster and it appears that it is available as a .com, a .co, a .net, a .org and everything else that Dotster offers! Since it’s available, I’m going to go with the most common domain name suffix “.com”. So, if I register it, my new domain name will be billscoffeeblog.com Now, if it turned out that billscoffeeblog.com was already taken, I’d have to choose a suffix which was available, or if it wasn’t available with any suffix, or if I was set on “.com”, then I’d have to choose a new name — or, change up the name a little. I could try “bills-coffee-blog” or “billscoolcoffeeblog” or “billscoffee-blog” etc., and see if any of those were available. However, billscoffeeblog.com was available and that’s the one I want, so I’m going to register it. I make sure the “.com” box is checked and I double-check to make sure that the name “billscoffeeblog” is spelled properly, and I click the “add to cart” button.
This is where your first payment for that $15.00 comes in. Well… not quite $15.00… Dotster will charge you $14.99 to secure ownership of the domain name you chose for one full year. You can opt for two years if you wish, and Dotster will usually give you a discount. As in: $14.99 for one year, or $24.99 for two years, etc. But that’s up to you. Also, be aware that Dotster and many registrars may try to sell you on certain things and add stuff like web hosting and other services into your shopping cart. Don’t get it. There’s always better deals elsewhere, and I’m going to show you how to get them. So, if any of that stuff appears in your order form, remove it. All you need is the domain name for $14.99.
Ok, so you should just have the registration for your domain name in the shopping cart and your total shouldn’t be any more than $14.99 for a “.com” domain — although, it may be less if you went with something other than a “.com” Dot-com domains are usually the most expensive. But, that’s because they’re the most common, so they’re worth it. If someone is trying to remember your website’s domain name, they’ll almost always try putting .com on the end first before they try anything else. Ok, so you’ll now continue to the check-out where you’ll fill out your payment options and finalize the purchase of your domain. Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a domain name! Remember, though, if you purchased the domain for one year, you’ll need to renew it at the end of the year. You will need to make the same payment every 365 days. Dotster will send you notices when your name is coming up for renewal so you wont forget and lose the name to someone else. If you wish, you can also set-up automatic billing with Dotster so that they will automatically charge your credit card and renew your domain every year. If for some reason, you neglect to pay the renewal after one year, your domain will stop pointing to your website and the registrar will put it back up for sale where it will be sold to someone else and you’ll lose it.
STEP 2 – Getting web hosting!
Ok, now that you have a domain name, you’re going to need some hosting for your new website. Hosting is simply just some space on a computer called a “web server” that is accessible to the internet 24/7. A hosting company will give you some space on one of their servers and they’ll set up the machine to tell all the other computers in the world where to go when someone types in or clicks on your domain name. In order to get hosting, you’re going to go here, to a company named JaguarPC. It’s a hosting company that I’ve been using for almost fifteen years and they’re absolutely spectacular! Once you’ve clicked on that link and the web page has loaded, you’re going to want to click on the link that says “web hosting.” At the time of this writing, they have a hosting plan for $7.95 per month. That’s the one you want. You can choose to pre-pay for a year, or two, or three, and receive discounts on that price, but just making the monthly $7.95 payment is fine. They’ll bill your credit card every month until you cancel (which, should you wish to, can be done easily inside your account panel once you join up.)
So, go ahead and find the $7.95 per month plan from JaguarPC and click on the “order now” button. Put in all of the information they ask for, and make sure the “I have a domain name…” option is checked.
STEP 3 – Setting up your nameservers.
Once that is done, you’ll receive an e-mail from JaguarPC with all of the necessary info. In this e-mail, they will give you the names of two “nameservers.” They will likely look somehting like: ns1.nocdirect.com & ns2.nocdirect.com You’ll need to go back to Dotster and point your domain at these two name servers. So, go back Dotster.com And log-in to your account with them. You should be taken to a “Control Panel” And, in that control panel, you should see an option to click on called “Domain Central.” Click on that. Then, click on your domain name and choose “Name Servers.” Make sure “Use different name servers” is selected and, in the spaces provided, enter the two nameservers that JaguarPC gave to you, and click “modify selected domains.” Once that’s done, your new domain name will now be pointing at your web site. Be warned though – depending on where you are and how exactly your computer is connected to the internet, it can sometimes take up to 48 hours for it to start working. However, in almost all cases it will begin to work within about an hour or two. Type your domain name into your internet browser and see where it takes you. If you’re taken to a Dotster page, then it’s not working yet. Wait about a half hour and try again. If it takes you back to Dotster again, click the refresh button on your web browser. If you’re still taken to a Dotster page, wait another half-hour and repeat. Keep doing this until you’re no longer taken to the Dotster page after refreshing your browser. Like I said, this can sometimes take up to 48 hours – but in almost all cases it doesn’t take more than an hour or so.
STEP 4 – Setting up your blog.
Ok, so now that your domain name is taking you to your web-site (which either just looks like a blank page, or may possibly contain a note from JaguarPC welcoming you to your new web-space) you’re ready to set-up your website. What you’re going to do is type your domain name in to your browser followed by a /cpanel. So, using the example domain from before, you would type this: http://billscoffeeblog.com/cpanel Just replace the “billscoffeeblog.com” part with your domain name.
You’ll need to enter a username and password that JaguarPC provided for your account. Once you enter that, you should find yourself on a page that says “Cpanel Accelerated”, or something similar, near the top of the page. Scroll down that page until you see something called “Softalicious Apps Installer” (it should be near the bottom of the page – but it could be in a different place in your cpanel) In the Softalicious box, under “scripts” you’re going to look for something called “WordPress” (It will likely be the first script) and click on it. Near the top of the page you’re taken to, click on “install”
Now, you’ll see a page where you’ll need to enter a bunch of information. Enter it as such:
- For “Choose Protocol” choose “http://” (which should be the default option.)
- For “Choose Domain” You should have only one option – your domain name. Choose that.
- For “In Directory” make sure that field is blank (it might default to “wp” if it does, delete it. You want that field to be blank)
- For “Database Name” the default option is fine. Just leave it as it is.
- For “table prefix” the default is also fine. Leave it as it is.
- For “Site name” Enter what ever you want the name of your website to be. In my example, I might enter “Bill’s Coffee Blog” (without the quotation marks) But, you can enter whatever you wish.
- For “Site description” same as above. In my example, I might enter “Bill blogs about coffee!” or, “A blog by Bill discussing coffee and how great it is!” (again, without quotation marks) This is just a short description of your site – enter whatever you want. Both this and the site name are not set in stone, and can easily be changed later.
- Under “admin account” choose a username and password that you will use to enter the secure area from which you can adminstrate your website. Once you choose a username and password DON’T FORGET THEM!!! WRITE THEM DOWN!!
- For “Admin E-mail” this is the E-mail that your website will use to send you notices about the site. Enter any e-mail address that you want such notices sent to.
Now, hit the “install” button and wait. It should take about two minutes or so for the site to install WordPress.
Once it’s finished, follow any other instructions it might give you. And, in your web browser, enter your domain again, go back to your new website and look at it now!
Your new blog is there, ready and waiting to be customized and for you to begin writing articles to publish on it!
STEP 5 – Customizing your blog.
To Customize your blog, enter your domain name into your browser, followed by “/wp-admin/” without the quotations. So, using my example, I would enter “http://billscoffeeblog.com/wp-admin/” (without the quotations) You’ll be taken to a page where you’ll need to enter a username and password. This is the username and password that you entered in the previous step when you were setting up your blog in the Softalicious section of your Cpanel page. So, enter that username and password and click the login button. You should be taken to a page that says “Dashboard” near the top. This is the control panel for your website. From here you can control all the aspects of your website, how it looks, how it operates, and you can enter your articles to publish them to the front page.
The first thing you’re likely to want to do is to change the way it looks. On the left side of your screen, hover over “appearence” and click on “themes.” Then, click on the “Install themes” tab near the top of the page. From there, click on the “Find Themes” button, and scroll through all the themes until you find one that you like. The thumbnail picture you see is how your website will look if you choose that theme. When you find one you like, click the “install now” link under its picture. When it’s done installing, go back to the Appearence–> Themes page, the same way you did before, and you should see a picture of the theme you just installed. Click “Activate” under that theme. Now, if you wish, you can go back to your main web-page and have a look. The entire web-site should look different now — having updated itself with the appearance of that theme!
Now, what you’ll want to do is start getting articles to publish on your blog. If you’ve written some, or you’re going to write some, you’ll want to hover your mouse cursor over “posts” on the left side of your screen and click on “add new.” You’ll be taken to a page where you can type in your article. When you’re done, just click the “publish” button and your article (blog post) will be live on your website!
Instead of writing your own article, if you’d rather, you can, for just a few bucks, purchase reprint rights to a whole library of ready made articles that you can publish on your new website! Simply go to the following website: http://master-resale-rights.com Once there, click on the “Private Label rights” link near the top of the page, then click on the “Articles PLR” link, and look for a subject that closely matches what your blog is about and click on that. If you are, for instance, starting a health & fitness blog, you’d click on the “Health & fitness” subject link. Then you’ll see packages of articles that you can purchase along with the rights to reprint them on your website. When I chose the “Health & Fitness” category just now, the first package that came up was a pack of 20 articles about stress and health for just $1.99. So, for about two bucks, I could fill my blog with an article a day for 20 straight days! Or, an article a week even for 20 straight weeks!
Well, that’s it! Now your WordPress blog is set-up, and hopefully you have at least one blog-post published on it. WordPress is a VERY, VERY powerful piece of software, and there’s MANY, MANY things you can do with it. And, MANY, MANY options for controlling your posts and your site. I highly suggest you spend some time looking through the help section in your WordPress control panel, and searching the internet for tutorials on how to operate it, and how to fully take advantage of all of its features. There are many fine resources freely available.
STEP 6 – Monetizing your website.
Ok, so, now you’ve got a website and some content. You need a way to have it earn money for you. The easiest way is with PPC, or “Pay-Per-Click” advertising. With PPC advertising, you sign-up with a PPC company and they give you some code to put on your website. When someone visits your site, this code will display a small advertisement on your website. Every time one of your visitors clicks on one of these ads, you’ll earn a comission. There are a number of companies that offer this service. Here’s a few of them:
Google Adsense – http://www.google.com/adsense
Bidvertiser – Http://www.bidvertiser.com
Clicksor – Http://www.clicksor.com
And, quite a few others. Pick one, go to the site and sign-up for their program. They will guide you through the process of generating their ad-code. Once you’ve set-up an ad with one of those services to post on your site, copy and paste the code that they give you. Then, go back to your WordPress control panel at your domain /wp-admin/ (example: Http://billscoffeeblog.com/wp-admin/ )
When you’re inside — back at the “Dashboard” most likely — hover your mouse cursor over “Appearance” and click on “Widgets.” When the page loads, you should see a large box labeled “Available widgets” and one of them should be “Text” Click on the “Text” widget, keep your mouse button held down, drag the widget over to the right side of your screen, where you should see a box labeled “sidebar” and drop it (let go of your mouse button) in that sidebar box. If, once dropped, the widget doesn’t open automatically, click the little down arrow next to the word “text” to open it, and paste your ad-code into the large, middle box inside the text-widget. Leave the title blank. Don’t click the “Automatically add paragraphs” option, and then click the “save” button. And, that’s it! The ad-code is now live on your website and you’ll begin earning commissions every time someone clicks on one of your ads! Go to your website again, wait about 10 minutes (it takes a little while from the first time someone loads your website for the ad-code company to index your page and figure out what the best ads are to show on your site) and refresh the page and you should see an advertisement on your site. Just remember to NEVER click on the ads that appear on your site yourself. If the ad company detects that a click came from the same computer as the person who owns the website they appear on, they’ll think you’re cheating and they’ll close your account and you’ll lose whatever commissions you may have earned.
But, That’s it! If you’ve followed the instructions, you now have a fully operational web-site that has the potential to make you money! Don’t think your job is done, though! It’s just starting! I’ve just given you the basics to get your site up and running. Now you’ve got to read up on how to drive targeted visitors to your site. How to make the most out of WordPress. How to best place those ads on your site to maximize commissions. How to take advantage of other income streams available for your website, etc. etc.,
But, now you should have a functional website with which to do it.
Here’s to the best of luck and success with your new website!
And, if you you’d like to take it much further now that you’ve got your new website and really work toward turning it into a massive income generating machine, please click here, and review the information presented on that page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dustin Ward has almost twenty years of marketing and product development experience, with more than fifteen years of Internet marketing experience. He has authored a number of print books, e-books and has published hundreds of articles. He is currently a featured contributor at: Http://Blog.EarningInternetIncome.Com which features daily insider marketing and money-making tips and a host of valuable resources for anyone who’s interested in earning income from the internet or running a home business.