I hope everyone is ready to set their goals for 2010. I'm working on building my monthly passive income through websites and affiliate programs. For those who may not know, passive income is money that is received over and over again from work that you did once. For example, I build my websites, then almost every day I receive money from the ads on my websites. I love checking my Google account when I wake up in the morning. It shows that my websites are working for me even while I was sleeping. That's passive income.
I recently added affiliate programs to my passive income sources. I will explain that further in a post in the near future. First, I want to make sure everyone understands how to get started with free or low-cost websites of their own.
I'll explain how to get started by explaining the step-by-step that I took to start PTSDcentral.com which is the website of mine that brings in the most income at this time.
Step 1: I signed up with HostGator.com. There's a link to sign up for Host Gator right on this page. I discovered Host Gator by asking my freelance client what hosting service he uses for his websites since he has so many websites. I thought he must be spending a small fortune in hosting fees! He gave me the link for Host Gator and quickly explained why he are the best. With Host Gator, you can have an UNLIMITED number of websites for roughly $10/month! (more or less than $10 depending on which service you sign up for) An additional reason that I like Host Gator is their live chat tech support. I have learned a great deal from these technicians.
Step 2: I bought my domain name through Host Gator. I don't always use Host Gator for domain name purchases, but that is who I used for PTSDcentral.com.
Step 3: The welcome email from Host Gator includes the DNS settings. On the page (or other website) where you bought the domain name, click to manage the domain name and change the DNS settings to the settings that were in the Host Gator email. After the DNS is set, it may take up to 24 hours for the domain name to be active.
Step 4: Sign into Host Gator. In your control panel, you will see Fantastico towards the bottom of the page. Click Fantastico, then click Wordpress. When you download Wordpress to your domain, you enter the domain name as the folder where Wordpress will be installed. After Wordpress is downloaded, it gives you the link that you will use to sign into Wordpress and manage your new website.
Step 5: Sign into Wordpress. Choose a theme for your website under the category called Appearance. The theme is the look of the website. You want to select something that looks professional, has 2 sidebars, and has black type on a white background. I made the mistake of using a light gray text on a black background for PTSDcentral.com at first. I changed it when I figured out that many people were leaving my website very quickly. Many people just hate black backgrounds. Once you found the theme that you like, apply the theme.
Step 6: In Worpress, click Permalinks under the Settings menu. Type /%postname%/ at custom links. Type a short word like on or at in the field labeled category base. Click Save Changes. This is what makes your article URL's say the title of the article instead of a number. Having the article title in the URL can help boost the position of the article in the search engine search resullts if the article title includes keywords.
Step 7: Under Appearance in Wordpress, click Widgets. This is how you add your Adsense code to your website and the categories of your articles so people can browse your website. Sign into your Google Adsense account. Click Adsense Setup, then click Adsense for Content. Then, you click either Ad Unit or Link Unit. I usually put one of each on my websites. When making the links, you want to choose sizes that will fit in the sidebar of your website. I think the Skyscraper ad unit size usually works well. Change the colors to match the theme of your website. For example, if your theme has a white background, make your ads have both a white background and white border so that it blends in. After you're finished, copy the code. Go back to the Wordpress widgets page and add a Text or HTML box to the sidebar where you want the ads. Paste the Google Adsense code into the box and click Save. On the other sidebar, you may want to add a Google Adsense text unit and the categories widget to show your website's content.
Step 8: Go to Wordtracker and get a list of keywords. Search for multiple terms related to the topic of your website. For example, if I was doing a website about dogs, I might search "dogs," "dog health," "dog diet," "dog training," etc. I save the search results to an Excel spreadsheet, but you could save it to a Word document. I save it to Excel, because it's easier for me to put them in the order that I want and to color the field after I've written an article about that keyword so I know which ones are finished.
Step 9: Set up you article categories on Wordpress. The link for categories is in the Posts menu. The category names will relate to the keywords that you plan on using. These will often match the search terms that you used on Wordtracker, but they can be anything that makes sense for your website. Looking at your list of keywords, imagine grouping them together under main topics. Those main topics are your categories. Add categories to your categories settings in Wordpress. You can always go back and add or change categories.
Step 10: Write some articles and add them to your website as Wordpress posts. Under Posts, click Add New. I always type my articles in Word first, and then copy and paste the article in a Wordpress post. Type in the title and paste your article in the main field. Make sure you click the category that you want your article to be in before you click Publish.
Step 11: Continue to add articles and promote your website. If you made a website by following these instructions, please leave a comment on this post with your website address so I can check it out. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section as well. If you have any problems at all with Host Gator, I suggest using the 24-hour live chat tech support. They are awesome!
And there you have it. I'll talk a little more about promoting websites for free in a future post. For now, there are two basic ways of promotion that you need to know:
1. Submit to Search Engines for free. I use Submit Plus.
2. Announce your website to your friends, family, Twitter followers, on Facebook, etc. Where ever you think people might see your link, share it. I would not promote my websites until I have at least 10 articles on it. Then when I share the website, I might mention that more articles are on the way. You don't want to share an empty website with people who will then visit once, consider it pointless, and never visit again...
Wow, so those are the basic steps to creating a website like PTSDcentral.com. The cost is about $10/month to Host Gator (which includes all my websites) and roughly $15/year for the domain name. That's it.
Passive income. That's what it's about. One website is not likely to provide all the income you need. If you plan on making a good income from websites, you need many websites. Multiple streams of income is necessary. If you haven't read the book Multiple Streams of Income: How to Generate a Lifetime of Unlimited Wealth! Second Edition
by Robert Allen, I strongly suggest it.