So today, I’m going to show you how to build an awesome WordPress website that makes money.
Owning your own website is the first step in building a sustainable, evergreen online business.
If you have ever attempted to build a website before and failed, DON’T WORRY, I’m going to show you step-by-step how to build your new website the right way.
In this tutorial you’re going to learn one of the most important foundational skills you need to make money online, web design.
When it comes to making money online, there are many ways to do it, but I prefer affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing is basically, selling and promoting other people’s products online for a commission.
The cool thing about affiliate marketing is you don’t have to have your own products or even create one. You don’t have to deal with customer service issues or shipping.
Affiliate Marketing is one of the core methods for making money on auto-pilot aka while you sleep.
The top portion of this article is dedicated to building a website, the later half will show you how to make money with your website.
So if you are ready to learn how to build an awesome website that makes money, let’s begin.
Introduction to Web Design
There are 3 basic things every website needs:
- Domain Name
- Website Platform
I’ll explain these 3 elements briefly:
Domain Name – Your domain name is the name that people type into the address bar of their favorite Internet browser in order to reach your website (or “site” for short). Domain names commonly end in (.com, .org, .net, .biz, .us, etc.). My domain name is CosmicBlogger.com. No one else in the world has that exact domain name. That is why when you type CosmicBlogger.com into your address bar, you are able to reach my website and not someone else. You purchase your domain name from a Domain Name Registrar such as GoDaddy or Namecheap.
Hosting – A hosting server is a computer that is connected to the internet and allows other computers connected to the internet, access to it’s files and folders. Your website is actually a folder full of files, text, images and code sitting on a hosting server. Hosting providers let you rent space for your website on their hosting servers.
Website Platform – When building a website, there are a bunch different website platform options available to you. In this tutorial, we are going to be using WordPress, the most popular and easy to use website platform.
Making Your First Decisions
Now that you understand what domain names, hosting and website platforms are, it’s time to make a decision. We already know we are building on the WordPress platform so that part is decided.
You must now decide:
- What your domain name will be
- Where you will purchase it from
- Who is going to be your hosting provider
Feel free to do your own research however, these are my recommendations:
Choose a Registrar
I like Namecheap because they are way cheaper than GoDaddy. For $10.69 per year you can buy your domain name and get privacy protection for the first year for free.
Choose a Hosting Company
I like InmotionHosting (been using them for years). The one thing I don’t like is they don’t give you Free SSL Certificates for your sites unless you get the VPS (Virtual Private Server) package. The VPS package is awesome and super fast but, it does cost more than basic shared hosting.
A Warning About Cheap Hosting
There are pros and cons to hosting companies and their plans just like anything else. You can find really cheap “shared hosting” plans online but, you should avoid them if you can (especially GoDaddy). With hosting plans you get what you pay for.
Cheap shared hosting plans are more trouble than they are worth. The way shared hosting works is, you are sharing server space and resources with 100’s of other sites at the same time. This makes shared hosting the slowest server speed option available and that’s why it is cheap.
I can vouch for InmotionHosting’s Shared Business Hosting PRO Plan ($15.99 per month) as being ok but, if you can afford the VPS it’s a great investment. I’ve been using InmotionHosting for about 7 years so, I feel comfortable recommending them.
Remember, slow websites hurt your Google rankings and are a turn-off to website visitors.
How to Build a WordPress Website Tutorial
If you have read my story you know that I’ve been building websites for quite some time.
WordPress is by far the easiest platform to build on and understand. In this section of the tutorial, I’m going to show you how to get a basic WordPress site up and running quickly.
Here’s an outline of the steps you’re going to be following:
- Purchase Domain From Registrar
- Point DNS to your Nameservers (may take 24-48 hours)
- Purchase Hosting
- Login to cPanel
- Create Addon Domain
- Use WordPress Install Script
- Choose Blogs > WordPress > Install Now
- Configure WordPress Details & Complete Install
- Login to Your WordPress Dashboard and Select a Theme
- Setup Your Pages, Posts, Menu and Logo
1. Purchase Domain Name From Registrar
My favorite registrar for domain name is NameCheap. With Namecheap you get the lowest prices online plus, free privacy protection and renewal coupons (something GoDaddy never does).
Here’s what you do when you go to Namecheap:
Find a unique domain name you want to buy, add it to your cart and pay for it.
2. Point DNS to your Nameservers (may take 24-48 hours)
After you have bought your domain name, click on the “Manage” button next your new domain name.
Next, select “Custom DNS” under Nameservers and type in your Hosting company’s nameservers (you get this info once you sign up for a hosting account, discussed later in this article).
3. Purchase Hosting
Now you need to buy your hosting plan.
If you decide to not go with InmotionHosting, make sure the company you choose offers cPanel and a WordPress installation script.
4. Login to cPanel
5. Create Addon Domain
On the homepage of your cPanel account, click on the “Addon Domains” icon.
Next, type in your new domain name you purchased and create a password for your new domain.
6. Use WordPress Install Script
Most hosting companies use different scripts to install WordPress. Some will have the WordPress script listed under “Software” or “Scripts” within cPanel. Others will use a script called “Fantastico”.
Either way, locate the WordPress install script within your cPanel and click it to initiate your installation of WordPress.
Some hosting companies don’t have install scripts, so before you buy hosting, make sure the host you choose has a script so you can easily install WordPress.
InmotionHosting uses cPanel and has a WordPress script included in all of their plans.
7. Choose Blogs > WordPress > Install Now
You will now be sent to the WordPress installation screen. Once there, click on “Blogs” and then “WordPress”. You will now see the WordPress “Install Now” button, click it and your WordPress installation is officially underway!
8. Configure WordPress Details
After you’ve clicked the Install Now button, you now need to add in your site details. First, choose a protocol which will be http:// or http://www, and select your Addon domain you just created. Next, type in your Site Name and Site Description. Finally, create your admin username, password and assign an email address for your site. All of your new site details will be sent to this email address.
9. Login to Your WordPress Dashboard and Select a Theme
The first thing you want to do when you login to your new website is change the Theme. I am building on the TwentySixteen Theme for this tutorial. To access Themes go to Appearance > Themes.
On the next screen select the TwentySixteen Theme.
Now you can visit your homepage by hovering your mouse over the icon in top left corner of your dashboard and click on “Visit Site”. You will see a website similar to the image below.
10. Setup Your Pages, Posts, Menu and Logo
Excellent, the core of your new WordPress site is up and running!
Now we just need to add pages, posts, a menu and a logo.
This section here is very straightforward. I encourage you to play around with each of these features, because that is the only way you will get comfortable using WordPress.
Feel free to create and delete these elements as you wish, you won’t break anything so have at it!
I am now going to show you where to create your pages and posts and how they relate to your menu and homepage.
Adding a logo is optional but, I’m going to show you where it goes when you are ready to add one.
In your dashboard on the left hand side, you’ll see Pages and Posts.
When you hover your mouse over either one of these elements, you’ll see the option to create a new page or create a new post.
I’m going to create a new page called “My New Page Title”. Be sure to click “Publish” when you are done editing.
Posts are created the exact same way.
In the default setup for WordPress, all new posts created will show on the homepage in the order they were created.
On our homepage you will see the default “Hello World” post that is created during the installation. Feel free to delete that post and create your own.
Again all new post created will show on the homepage as seen below.
Next we’re going to create and add a menu to the website.
Different themes allow for multiple menus.
The Twenty Sixteen theme allows for one main menu in the header section of the site.
Navigate to the menu creation section of your WordPress dashboard by hovering your mouse over Appearance > Menus. Click on Menus.
Once you get to the menu screen do the following 5 steps as pictured below:
- Click on “Create Menu”
- Give the Menu a Name
- Select the new page you created above and click “Add to Menu”
- Select “Primary Menu”
- Click “Save Menu”
Congratulations, you’ve just setup your first menu and it links to a page you created!
Now when you visit your homepage you will see your new menu in the upper right hand portion of the site, as seen below:
How To Make Money With Your WordPress Website
The real benefit of having your own website is, you have a place to call your own.
Your website is your home, a place to build your online business, it’s your storefront to the world.
One of the first things you need to figure out when you decide to build a website is this:
- Who am I trying to reach online?
- How can I best help these people?
In the making-money-online world, that is called a “niche”.
A niche is an audience of people. Your job as a website owner / blogger is to figure out how you can best serve and help that community online.
Serving a niche and making money from it involves research, writing, social interaction and most importantly…consistency.
If you want to quit your job, become an entrepreneur blogging and affiliate marketing is a great place to start.
With over 3 billion people online everyday, the opportunity to be a successful online entrepreneur has never been greater.