In my previous posts I have done much talking about how to sell merchandise or services either on a trading online platform such as Amazon or eBay, or as an affiliate marketer. All these methods however veer away from the good old ways of setting up your little stall at the local boot car sale on the Sunday morning, but rather work in the assumption that you may have access to the internet or, even better, that you may have your own website. Today I would like to outline the advantages of having your own website and the basic steps in creating a website.
Your websites as an expression of your true self
If you have never had a website before, you may wonder what the point is of having one. As you google through the net, you will come across big giant corporate websites offering services, or advice on fashion, furniture, gardening, you name it. And that’s what website are for, to represent such big companies, or in replacement or the old retail catalogue, right??
Everyone with a little bit of time to spare can and should have a website, as with your website you can express your own self.
If you are a novice, you do not have to build a website with the aim to commercially gain from it, but you can set up a blog where you share your passion – or niche – with the rest of the world. This will automatically gain attraction by visitors to your website, which share the same interest as you, and will automatically create a forum of exchange of opinions and views when visitors are encouraged to leave a message to your comments.
Your website to earn a living
Your niche can be absolutely anything at all. It can be to do for your love of dogs (like in my case with my first website), it can be to do with your passion for movies, or your pride as a diligent house maker, to name but a few random interests. Rest assured that however weird your passion may sound to yourself, there will always be others in the big world out there that will share that same interest.
And that’s where you can then make a living on your website. Once you establish what you will want to talk about on your site, you can promote services and merchandise on your site.
- Selling platform – You can decide to use your website as a selling platform of your own stock – in other words you can promote your eBay or Amazon shop there.
- Affiliate marketing – Or you can use your website as an affiliate marketing platform, by promoting others’ products and earn a commission for every sale made through your website.
- Pay per click – Finally, you can register with ‘pay per click’ online companies, such as Google Adsense, where you are given the tools to install banners or advertisements on your website, and earn a commission for every time that a visitor clicks on that banner. These companies serve the purpose of promoting other companies, but I shall introduce them more in details at another time.
My first niche
Let me outline my experience so far, so as to aid you visualise the concept.
I love dogs, and I deeply love my border terrier Indy. I have been toying with the idea of having my own blog where I could share my experience as dog owner of a Border Terrier for a while. The idea sprung from my obsession with browsing through the internet for information on Border Terriers, and to peruse for the breed features and characteristics. I loooove to go though pics of Borders!!!
The next step was for me to find somewhere on the internet where I could be taught how to create my website. The aim was for me to post regular blogs to share with others what my Indy had been up to, how we solve a medical issue with him, his likes and dislikes, his temperament, which toys he prefers, and more. So, what I wanted was a blogging platform. However, I wanted to do all this at no cost at all.
All you have to do is search the internet for ‘build your own website for free’ to come up with tons of companies that can meet your requirements.
One of them is SimpleSite.com, and that is who I went for some 5 years ago. The site is true to his word as it does not charge you a penny for you developing your own website. Like, I suspect, many other websites of the kind, it has many templates you can choose from. You register, you decide on which template most takes your fancy or you think may suit your needs better, you choose your website’s name, or domain, and then you can carry on populating it by writing blogs, inserting pictures and, why not, even ‘pay per click’ promotional banners.
And that’s what I went on doing for a year or so. But I stumbled when my knowledge failed me. I did not know how to move my website forward, how to promote it and how to attract visitors. I did not know how to take my website to the next level so I could turn it into an earning tool.
And there came the realisation that free of charge websites such as SimpleSite could not help me any further.
No matter where I turned, there was nowhere that I could find instructions on how to insert banners, or how to promote my website on social media. I wanted lessons and could not find anywhere to go!!
I ended up closing my account and taking down my website with SimpleSite.com a couple of years ago. My dream of an income from home had once again shuttered.
Wealthy Affiliate University
Roll forward to this time last year when I came across Wealthy Affiliate. That is exactly what I was looking for, the platform that would teach me how to do things the right way, the one platform that would walk me step by step through the process of building a website in a conscious way, and not by simply choosing pretty pictures and colour schemes!!
Wealthy Affiliate is an online platform founded by the lovely, and most approachable, Canadian Kyle and Carson, which introduces you for free to a wealth of lessons, tutorials and training to teach you how to build your website. In other words, and unlike other sites, Wealthy Affiliate offers you the same free of charge facilities as other sites, but also teach you how to develop your business.
Have a look at the below chart I made to give a better idea of how much more Wealthy Affiliate has to offer:
And that is exactly the reason why Wealthy Affiliate has been relabelled as university. You will not find an established building with degree holders in the official manner. But what you will find, which matches the real bachelor’s degree courses, is the infinite amount of learning material, and the high quality of teaching. This teaching is imparted by both the founders (who, in passing, are real people, approachable and whom you can meet every year depending on how successful you make your business), but also by the community of experts, who like you and me started at some point in their life by joining Wealthy Affiliate and years, or even months down the line, they are in a position to share their knowledge with you.
And yes, if you ask whether you can get all this for free, well yes you can. Yes, Wealthy Affiliate does offer a Premium Membership which is at a cost of $49 per month, but that is only if you want to upgrade. All that I mentioned above you can get for free with the more basic Starter Membership.
So, to go back to the original question: is it worth having your own website? Oh yes, absolutely yes!!!
I firmly believe, as I have experienced this first hand myself, having your own website is vital to the success of your own business, and is the ideal settlement to your aim to earn a living whilst working from home.
As much as the good old ways have been successful in the past, they may still be, but with much more effort. Working on your website and promoting your business (which should spring from an interest you should feel passionate about) through your website is a way, in this time and age, to make your business and you more credible.
Having your own website presents you and your business with more stability and offers you the opportunity to keep in touch with your customer base more regularly and easily.
A website will reach out to a range of viewers that will go beyond your wildest imagination, by spreading to all corners of this planet. This will open possibilities for development of your business to wider limits than your expectations could ever build up to.
And of course, if initially setting up an online business is going to be hard work, in the long run it will lead to passive income. In other words, your website will generate for you earning thanks to the number of visitors it will attract every day more and more, whilst you are going to be required to work on it less and less.
So, what are you waiting for? Start sketching down the premises to your success, build your own website!!