16 Jan 2
You won’t find any unnecessary tech jargon in this guide because I don’t know how to code, but I can create some pretty awesome looking websites that are insanely profitable. One of the most frequently asked questions I receive goes along the lines of “How can I make a site like your website”?
If you have been banging your head against the wall wondering how to make a professional website then know you will learn how to do so in about 30 minutes and for only $20 bucks at the minimum. I’m even going to include my own personal basic plugin list I install, free!
Step #1: Choose A Subject For Your Website
This is where I tend to work backwards from a lot of “Internet Marketing Guys” out there who start with the model of trying to make a buck. Sure I love making money and my sites do – in the long run you will make more than enough money in most niches if you are passionate about your websites topic.
Even if you do not understand some of the tech terms in that guide, I promise you that most topics can be profitable if you bring personality to the table and market it.
Vitarank.com for example is a web property and brand I am proud to constantly be a part of and devote plenty of time and resources to it. Even though it makes money – it did not start out like that in the very beginning. Personally, I just enjoy business and “geeking out” at times.
Step #2: Register Your Own Domain Name (Web Address)
Your domain name is your websites address – for example my domain name for this blog is joemongan.com. The name is extremely important since all of your advertising will build that name and particular brand. Pick a name that best represents your product or a complete new name creation that you want to brand. (Hulu is an example)
A Registrar is a company that you can purchase your domain from and I normally go with Namecheap 100% of the time because they offer great prices and awesome support. The first thing you are going to do at Namecheap is search for a name like the image below.
As you see Our test search results show the domain name is available, but just in-case it’s not available you can look below at the suggested domain ideas and domain extensions Namecheap offers. Domain extensions are the part after the “.” Like .com , .net , and .org.
Personally I like .com as an extension because the branding power still exist no matter how many new extensions are created. Still you don’t have to fear not having success with other extensions.
Now all you have to do is complete the checkout and make sure you select Namecheaps free “Whois Guard” that comes complimentary on all new domain purchases. That’s one reason I love this registrar so much – since other companies tend to charge $10 bucks for Whois Privacy.
For those that don’t know – Whois Privacy is when the domain registrar hides your real information from the public so people can’t spam you or look you up, without it the public can get your real information including your house address and phone number, so you need it!
Step #3: Pick A Hosting Company For Your Website
This is one of the most important decisions you will make during the process of setting up your own web property. Think of hosting as a space where companies allow you to park your materials that make up the website itself. Hosting is where everything is stored.
My blog exclusively uses a company called WP Engine which I HIGHLY recommend because when my blog was hacked WP Engine was able to secure it and since going with them I have had no issues. Another great feature is that it comes with WordPress ready to go!
I am currently in the process of writing a detailed guide and review of WP Engine that you can take a look at to gain more information. The only other hosting company I can recommend is HostGator. While it doesn’t have nowhere near the features WP Engine has, it is very cheap!
Step #4: Connect Hosting And Domain Names
At this point you have your new domain purchased with Namecheap and a hosting plan with either WP Engine or HostGator. In order for your website to function – both services and platforms have to be connected to each other. Think of it like a TV cable.
Since WP Engine has an excellent article on setting up your site with Namecheap I am not going to be covering it within this one guide. Honestly, it’s more in-depth and not fair to cover it for the people who chose HostGator.
With HostGator all you have to do is sign into your C Panel and navigate to the “Addon New Domain” selection which looks something like this.
Next type in all of your information like I have shown in the image below and save it.
Find your name servers via the left sidebar or in the email HostGator sent you. Go to your Namecheap control panel and select the following options.
Copy and paste them into your Namecheap domain name control panel.
That’s it! Give the system a couple of minutes to notice the change and your HostGator hosting will now be in correspondence with the domain name you bought. This step ensures all of your websites stored information is displayed within the name you purchased.
Step #5: Install Your Content Management System
A content management system (CMS) would be the bones of your website. It manages all of your content and how it displays online. Without a CMS you do not have a website. The two main CMS platforms out there that I have used are WordPress and Joomla.
WordPress is the best because it has the most ready-made themes (appearance skins) and a ton of free plugins that can be used to modify your website with ease. For this guide we will be installing WordPress, so follow the instructions below.
Sign into your C Panel From HostGator and scroll until you see Softaculous. Click on the icon that says WordPress.
Now inside of that window select the button “install”.
Now you are ready to go! There’s harder ways of going about that and we can always tech it up, but this one click installer is going to create your database – the place where all of the information is stored within the server, and set it up.
Go to your domain and you will see a language selection and password input area. Choose a username, password, and site title (Can be changed later). It’s pretty much just like signing up for an email at this point. Simply sign into your back dashboard by using this link.
Now you will see this screen where you input your Username and Password.
That was easy! As promised you don’t need to know anything about coding to have your own nice website. At this point you have the bare bones of a web property. In the next steps I am going to take your new site to the level of awesomeness it so deserves.
Step #6: Select A Theme For Your New Website
Right now you have the basic theme installed within your WordPress site and to be honest I among many find it to be extremely basic and ugly. No fear! I am going to show you how to quickly change the look of your website for free.
In your WordPress Dashboard go to “Appearance > Themes > Add New (Top)
Now all you have to do is select the theme you like and install it by clicking Install > Activate
As soon as you click activate your website will look completely different. Again no tech knowledge was needed to change the look of your website. When free themes aren’t good enough – MyThemeShop has a huge selection of premium themes.
Step #7: Install My List Of Necessary Plugins
Like I told you earlier – WordPress has the largest database of the third party plugins that can essentially turn your little website it a space shuttle. In case you don’t know what plugins are – their little add on packs you can install, activate, and use to extend functionality.
Click plugins in your WordPress Dashboard and select “Add New”
After you are on the page I want you to use the search bar and install the follow plugin list below by just typing in the name and clicking search. Once you find the plugin select “Install” and then “activate” it like I did below.
With every new website I have a small list of plugins I like to add which really extends the out of box functionality of WordPress. I included my own personal list of kick-ass plugins below that are 100% Free of charge.
All In One SEO Pack: This plugin will help you with search engine optimization and other on-page optimization tactics of running a blog. I made a optimization tutorial just for this purpose.
TinyMCE Advanced: Another must have plugin that I use often times to enhance the writing editor within WordPress’ new post/page function.
Word Stats: This plugin is perfect to keep track of how difficult your articles are to read and how many words, post, and pages you have in total within your blog.
Contact Form 7: A must have easy form you can place in your contact page so your visitors can get in-touch with you. Legally required if you run ads.
That’s a small personal list of plugins that will get you started in the right direction. Always remember to keep your plugins updated for security reasons. See with plugins you can get back to focusing on your blog and less time worrying about coding!
Step #8: Set Your Link Structure And Settings Correctly
This is going to be super easy and completely necessary to have an awesome website. The first thing you should do is change your permalink structure to the custom /%category%/%postname%/ settings below. Just look in your dashboard for settings and move on to permalinks.
Now your websites page URLs look pretty for visitors and while you might new to this – just know this matters for SEO purposes too. Now that your permalinks are done I want to explain the difference between post and pages.
You can choose to create pages which are static. That means they never move up or down within your website and always stay in the same position. A good time to utilize the page feature would be within your contact me, terms of service, and other pages you want.
Post on the other hand are exclusively for your blog. When you create a post it’s a small segment of your site that isn’t static and will change position depending on how new or old it is. As you can see my blog post go back when a new one is published.
If you want a true blog style website like mine – leave the settings alone, however if you want a website with a homepage other than just post, go to settings > Reading > and change the static page to the page you want your homepage to be.
You can see I did that above to show you how. Under blog you can make a page called “blog” and select it for the blog field under settings so all blog post go to that page.
Step #9: Learning To Use WordPress Menus
I could go on and on about different features of WordPress, but I wanted the most tech illiterate guide possible that still covers important settings. The next thing you need to learn is Menus. A menu is where people can click to go to pages like at my own blog.
Different WordPress themes have less or more menu features, but most of it is the same. Go to Appearance > Menus > Create A New Menu in your WordPress dashboard and then click Save. Now you can drag and drop your newly created pages to your menu.
To create sub menus with drop down arrows just slide them under the parent pages like so.
Once you are finished arranging the menu the way you want it – save it and click “Manage Locations” within your menu options panel.
From the above image you can see I am going to select or newly created menu as the primary menu. That is going to allow that menu to be on the website. That’s all of the need to know features of setting up nice menus for your new website. Not too hard at all even for people knew to setting up a web property!
Step #10: Publishing Your First Blog Post
Consider yourself ready to place words on your website for visitors to read! WordPress as a content management system makes it extremely easy to publish and manage new content to your blog or static website. I’m going to walk you through it step by step.
First find the post option and then select “add new post” which will take you to the WordPress content editor. Below I included a little map where I outline the main features of the WP editor.
If you want to add a picture or video select “add media” and always make sure you press publish when you are finished to your work goes live. It will take you a little time to get used to the WordPress formatting features, but you will get the hang of it quickly!
The only thing left to know about the basic post setting is you need to write your articles in “Visual” mode and not “Text” since the ladder is for code or other tech elements. Once you click publish go to your homepage and you will be able to see your new article!
Step #11: Let The World Know You Actually Exist!
One reason 95% of bloggers do not make much money is because they have the mentality “build it and they will come” which just isn’t true. You need to broadcast yourself and I am going to show you a couple of easy ways to do it for FREE!
Brand Yourself: Head over to KnowEm.com and spend a few hours claiming your brands page across dozens of the world’s most prominent social platforms.
Get Social: Create a page for your website on Facebook, Twitter, and possibly LinkedIn. Make sure all your post transfer over to your social platforms and really engage with people.
Connect To Other Bloggers: Seek out other bloggers that have the same interest as you. Offer to post on their blogs and vice versa which will help you build an audience.
With those three things you can start gaining visitors for free. The only thing you are investing is your time writing content.
Step #12: Make Money From Your Website
Most people would love the idea of making money online, and what’s really going to make it happen is treating your blog like a real business and not just a thing you do on a Sunday afternoon. Once you get some traffic and have a good 20 post under your belt, try this.
Sign up to JvZoo and find products you can promote on your website. The reason I like JvZoo is generally you can find items that will sell well across any niche and the payouts are decent. Another great place to look for products is Clickbank.
The above networks let you advertise products and each time someone buys one you get paid commission – pretty simple system if you think about it and it can be highly profitable. Another option is to get paid per click every time someone clicks a Google AdSense ad.
Depending on your niche that can pay well and it’s extremely easy to set it up. Last but surely not least you can purchase a premium plugin called OIO Publisher and easily set up a system for people to automatically pay you for designated ad space on your blog. I’ve been able to secure a special discount code of $10 OFF your purchase with the promo code below.
Usually renting your own ad space is much more profitable than allowing Google AdSense to middle man all of your hard earned cash away. The reason I use OIO Publisher is because its completely automatic – even the buyers ads go live by themselves!
There you go! Now you have a website completely set up, know how to post, and even grow your traffic online. With the right traffic and monetization methods I included in the guide you are on your way to happy blogging. A lot of successful bloggers started out as hobby bloggers with a passion for what they were rambling about. It truly is a great way to get started.
If you have any questions or need help feel free to connect with us, or comment below in the comments section and I will reply to your questions or comments. Remember to stay consistent in your blog post and enjoy the subject more so than the potential earnings.