Hey there Sea Changers and welcome to my post on how to start a website blog this year. As you may or may not be aware, I have focused this site mainly at the cultivation of a money making website that can allows us to fund our sea change in an ongoing manner. It has been around for a little while now and is starting to earn me some income via the provision of problem solving information for my readers (hopefully so anyway haha).

How to Start a Website Blog - header

 

How Do you Start a Website

Recently, I decided to start a second website based around my passion for travel. It will be a little work – especially as this site still takes a good chunk of my time, but to be honest, I just thought it was a good way for me to revisit the basics and ‘keep my eye in' so to speak.

So let's have a look at how I got it up and running:

The process I took

Again, for those of you familiar with this site will know that I have built my websites via an affiliate marketing training platform called Wealthy Affiliate. I have done so following their 4 step method which is the simplest process I have found in which to get an online business up and running. And best of all, the following methods can certainly be utilised to build a website blog using any site builder or hosting platform that you choose. So what are the four steps? Here they are:

four-steps-to-affiliate-marketing

Let's use these four steps to outline how I got my blog up and running.

Step 1 – Choose an interest

One of the biggest advantages of setting up an online blog or business and starting a new website is the fact that you can generally start it in just about ANY subject that you like. This means that you can build a website around a subject that you are:

  1. Passionate about.
  2. Knowledgeable about.
  3. Have an interest in.

To be honest, you will need at least one of these three otherwise you will struggle to keep your content updated however if you have an interest, but no knowledge, you can certainly learn along the way – or even use your blog posts as a ‘learn as you go' guide.

Niches

A common terminology for the subject of a website is called a niche. In simple terms, a niche is a marketing segment that becomes the focus of your site. There really is no limit to the types of niche that you can choose however to be effective it should:

  • Be evergreen – this means that it can never go out-of-date or style – for example you would probably not want to build an entire niche site around fads such as fidget spinners etc.
  • Be able to solve a problem – Most people undertake searches on the internet to solve a problem – whether it be what or how to buy, how to use a product or simply because they require information.
  • Have some, but not too much competition – As with any sales process, the more competition there is, the harder it can be to stand out of the crowd. However if no one else is selling a product, then it could mean that there is no market for it. If you want to sell a high competition item then there are obviously a few things you can do to bring yourself to the surface but it is a bit easier though if there are fewer people doing the same thing as yourself – as long as there is a market for it in the first place.

My Experience

When I started my new site, I knew I wanted to cover the topic of fishing. This was for two reasons:

  1. I love fishing and have some knowledge and experience.
  2. I wanted to learn more about the ins and outs of it as I went.

My issue was that I didn't really know how far to take the niche. Did I want to cover fishing in general or focus on a specific area such as beach, ice, bass or fly-fishing? I have decided to start with beach and kayak fishing as these are what I do mostly, but I will expand the site in time to cover the other disciplines as well.

So my tip here is to ensure that the site you build can expand as you go.

Site Name

Once you have an idea about the subject that you wish to cover, your next step is to decide that you want to call your site. This will incorporate the name of the site and the website domain name (a.k.a Uniform Resource Locator (URL)) that the site is known by. For example, my new site is called Beach And Fishing with a URL beachandfishing.com.

There are a number of thoughts on this subject but based on my research and knowledge of the way that this internet of things works, I would recommend considering the following as you determine your website name and URL:

  1. Make it a unique name – which is probably obvious as you will not get a URL if not.
  2. Ensure the name reflects (loosely at the very least) the niche or brand of your site.
  3. Ensure the name allows for expansion (as per the ‘my experience' section above).
  4. Keep it as short as possible.
  5. Make it easy to spell.
  6. Avoid symbols, letters, hyphens and double letters if at all possible.

And unless your site is for a local business, I would also recommend sticking to a simple ‘.com' URL rather than a country specific one as well.

Note: You may have to play around a bit and adjust your naming slightly based on the availability of the URL that you are after.

My Experience

The main problem I had was that a lot of the names I wanted for my site were not available as a URL. I knew I wanted to focus on fishing and added the beach as an afterthought as I didn't like the URL options that were available for just fishing – which allows me to expand in future to beach driving etc. as well I guess. So essentially I played around until I found a URL that was available that I liked and fit within what I was trying to achieve.

Step 2 – Build a Website

Ok, so this next step is probably obvious but if we are going to build ourselves a website blog, then we will need a website. So, what is an affiliate marketing website? Well I could go on for a while about this but basically it is the place where you write all your posts and add all of your affiliate links. 

And what makes a good website? –  I will elaborate on this below – but to be honest, my experience has led me to believe that rather than worry too much about that at the beginning,  if you have a basic idea of what you want, then you can just jump in and get started. This is because:

  1. You have time – once you start your website and get it published, the chance of someone finding it immediately is remote as search engine optimisation (SEO) takes time (this sounds scary but I think is a good thing). This means that you have plenty of time to tweak and update your site as you start to build it up to a point where it attracts visitors.
  2. You can change everything – The website building tools in use these days make it so simple to change the entire look of your site in about 30 seconds flat. Building a website is fun – It took me a bit to realise this but as soon as I did, it felt like a weight had lifted from my shoulders.
  3. You get constant confirmation that you are on the right track – this one might sound foreign at the moment but trust me – the first time you see your site on a Google search results page you will know what I mean.

Let's check out the basic steps below:

Plan your website

Again, I don't expect you to spend hours and hours on this point, but as per anything we want to build, there are some things that you need to keep in the back of your mind as you get started. These include:

Remember your niche – This will determine the look and feel of your new site as you start to choose your base theme.

Are you selling? – Most themes are built for a particular type of website. For a blog site for example, the theme will be set up to show your posts. However if you are looking to sell products via your blog them an e-commerce based theme may work better.

What problems are you trying to solve? This is a follow on from the previous question. If you are looking to provide information and interaction, then again, you will looking for a blog based theme. If you are looking to provide lots of graphics for your ideas (such as photography or fashion etc.), then choose a theme that allows for graphical display as its main function.

Note: Most theme names will outline their main purpose in the title.

What is your brand?Branding is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot in the marketing, sales and online worlds. If you have a logo, then again, make sure your site fits in with the brand that you are looking to build.

How to Start a Website Blog - planning

 

My Experience

I spent a little time thinking about this so I could ramble on here for hours… But here was my thinking behind my site (which you should note has changed a bit since it was first built):

  • Niche: expansive fishing and beach – broken down into fishing sub niches and beach activities (I might even start adding sea food related recipes in the future as well)
  • What am I selling?: This is an affiliate marketing site that provides information with links to products that match the advice that I am giving.
  • What problems am I solving?: I am trying to assist people who need help to catch more fish
  • What is my brand?: I have a ‘beachy' logo and am attempting to build a brand around sand, sun and good times when fishing.

As I was working on an information based site where I am linking product sales within my blog posts, then I chose a blog based theme that allows for plenty of graphics and colour changes to match my ‘beachy' theme.

Building your website

Ok, so now that you have your plan in place you can build your website. This is the fun part and luckily for us, there are a number of good platforms that allow you to create, edit and host your website all in the one place. There are quite a few out there so do some searching and see what you think is best for you. I however will start this section with a quick outline of three that I think are the best options for beginners and experienced creators alike:

Wealthy Affiliate Wealthy Affiliate is my number 1 recommendation and the reason behind my learned abilities and success in affiliate marketing. As a website building platform it contains:

WordPress – WordPress is a website development and hosting platform with the following:

  • WordPress website builder with over 1000 free WordPress themes
  • Domain purchasing platforms and website hosting
  • WordPress editor including access to plugins
  • Complete set of tutorials to run you through the website development process

Wix – Similar to WordPress, Wix also provides a full website building, hosting and editing platform including:

  • Wix website builder with 100s of targeted themes
  • Domain purchasing platforms and website hosting
  • Wix editor including access to plugins
  • Complete set of setup wizards and tutorials to guide you through the website development process

Regardless of the platform you choose to create your website, there are obviously a number of choices and variations that can be made as you run through the process. Further assistance can be located within the internal tuition materials of each platform that can guide you through each step.

How to Start a Website Blog - web design

Domain purchase and hosting

We have mentioned earlier the need to determine the name and URL for your website. Domain purchase and hosting are the final steps required to get your website on the world wide web and to have it visible to your readers. In the section above, we discussed the fact that most website builders provide URL/Domain purchase and hosting options as part of their product range. However, if you already have a website or are looking for a more cost effective option, then you could also look into the following:

Step 3 – Attract Visitors

It is probably an obvious statement but attracting visitors to your website is the most important aspect of it all. After all, if they cannot find your website, or do not know it exists, then how can they click on a link and find you. Sadly however, new websites just don't show up on search engines overnight.

With that statement I guess this is the time to insert a little reality here. Once your website is up and running, the entire future of the website revolves around this step. The higher you rank, the higher the chance that someone will find your site online. That said in many cases, the simple fact that you are working on your blog – which is the reason you created the site in the first place – means you will be actively increasing the ability for readers to be finding your site.

You will need to rank your site by:

Writing quality content – Again, this is why you are here. Writing a good blog post with quality content is the most effective way to get your website noticed.

Using keywords – Keywords are the terms that readers use to find the information they are after when they are online. The process here is that you will include these keywords in your posts as you write them. Let's use an example: Say I am writing a post on tuna recipes (in line with my fishing site). Using a keyword search tool, I can see what people are searching for:

How to start a website blog - jaaxy search

There are a number of good options here, I would probably choose “tuna fish recipe ideas” as it gets a decent number of searched per month (64) with limited competition (19). There are some good canned tuna options there as well but as my site is about catching fish, they would probably not be a fit.

 

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation – This is a whole new kettle of fish and maybe the only complicated part of the entire process. There are so many facets to this that if I am being honest, I would suggest you concentrate on getting some content out there first. If you are after more information however, check out my post on how to do SEO for a website.

Solve problems – Think about your own search behaviours when you are online – I would hazard a guess that most searches you do are in order to solve a problem. Now think of these in a manner in which someone might have problems within your chosen niche. Again, using my fishing example, some common problems may include

  1. You know that you want to buy a fishing combo for bass fishing but don't know which ones are ‘best'.
  2. You have a problem and need a solution – I.e. “My reel keeps tangling when I cast – what can I do?”.

Your goal here is to determine just what problem/s you are trying to solve for your readers and include the solutions to them in your blog posts.

My Experience

At time of writing, my site is only a few months old and I have only really been adding 3 or 4 posts per month. After three months, the site attracts 50 readers per month (and actually managed one sale). How can I increase these numbers? Add more content – watch this space.

Step 4 – Earn Revenue

Once you have chosen your subject, built your website and attracted traffic, then the last thing to do is monetise it – if that is what you want to do of course. There are a number ways that this can be done as follows:

  • Affiliate MarketingAffiliate marketing is the process of earning commissions based on the promotion of materials and equipment that are sold directly via the vendor. In this case, you utilise your website to provide information and solve the problems experienced by your readers. Sales are then made via providing links to the products outlined in your posts where you earn commission based on the purchases they make.
  • DropshippingDropshipping is another method that you may use to sell products via your website if you are looking to play with pricing. This process is similar to affiliate marketing in that you are generally promoting the products of others without the need to actually hold any inventory. With affiliate marketing, you are paid a commission on whatever price the vendor sets but do not manage any customer service, sales processes or post sales requirements. The main difference with dropshipping, is that you can manage the sales and customer service and set pricing as you see fit.
  • Sell your own products – Alternatively, if you are a little talented on the handy side of things then you can make and sell your own products via your site. This is potentially a huge market as it provides the opportunity for those special and/or individualized items that can really appeal to your readers.
How to Start a Website Blog - website
  • Advertising – Should you not wish to actually sell products on your site, placing advertising on your pages and posts can be a good way of making some passive income if your website has some decent traffic. The trick here obviously is to have enough advertising on your site to make some income, but not so much that your site just becomes annoying or worse, unreadable.
  • Offering coaching/assistance – Online coaching is a booming industry and one that you can certainly use to monetise your website. It should be noted however that online coaching is all about credibility. Unless you are already an expert within your niche/field then it is probably not feasible to set up an online coaching course if you are just starting out in your online business. You need to have good quality content, high levels of knowledge and the runs on the board. However if you do have that expert knowledge at your disposal then this could be what sets you apart from the rest.

My Experience

My fishing site has been setup as an affiliate marketing business. This means that I write about fishing equipment and accessories in terms of solving problems such as:

Problem: Fishing in a kayak but drifting past fishing ground with the current – then having to paddle back constantly.

Solution: Kayak anchor.

Post: 3 best kayak anchor systems fishing (“kayak anchor systems” are the keywords).

The plan here is that those with this problem undertake a search online, find my posts, read about the anchors I have researched and then purchase the one that suits them based on their own needs. I then earn a commission based on the sale that is made.

Conclusion

So there you have it. Some fairly solid methods that you can utilise to start a website blog this year. Again, keep in mind that website establishment and making money online is a long term process. As always, patience is the key.

Have you tried any of the above methods? What worked well for you? What didn't work so well?

Please share below.

Do you need some extra assistance with creating your very own website blog?

If you are looking for a comprehensive training platform that can give you step by step tuition with the tools to develop and host your very own website, help to identify a good niche, content or keywords, 24/7 support and access to some of the best online marketing minds on the planet, then click on the following link to read more about Wealthy Affiliate.

Until next time

Have fun

Paul

Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price. This includes links to Wealthy Affiliate, Bluehost and AccuWeb.

Introducing Wealthy Affiliate, My #1 Recommendation for Setting Up Your Own Online Business

wealthy affiliate new home page

When I started, I knew I wanted to work online, but had absolutely no idea where to begin! You see I had watched friends of mine run a sales party to sell essential oils and someone asked if they could just sell them online?

Then, as I sat on the bus heading into my office job, I started to wonder if I could do just that, sell essential oils online.

Anything to stop having to catch this bus to and from work every day right!

The trouble was, as I mentioned above, I had no idea how to even start.

So of course I started to look around online and found all these courses! They all promised me riches then took my money but left me with no riches!

Then I stumbled across the program that didn’t promise me riches, but told me it could help me get started even with no experience!

So I did that, joined Wealthy Affiliate that was it, and the rest as they say, is history!

But it doesn’t come without work!

That is the key here! I began on their starter membership and did the training! I then joined as a member and did some more training!

Each night after work, I would do a little more, then a little more.

And to cut a long story short, after 10 months I realized I didn’t really like writing about essential oils, so I sold the site for about $2000. But I had learned so much that I started another – about fishing and camping!

Then, after 18 months (by which time it had earned me close to $10k), I was offered $17k for the site, so I sold it too.

Now, through my travel blog, I’ve been able to fund my passion for travel and explore different places around the world.

In the past few months, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some amazing destinations, including Bali, Los Angeles, Dallas, Vancouver and Las Vegas.

The success of my travel blog has allowed me to fully fund my travels and explore new destinations with my family.

Steps to Creating a Successful Travel Blog - Me at Whistler

Try the Wealthy Affiliate as a Starter Member and Build your First Hub!

As you start your journey, Wealthy Affiliate is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And as I have mentioned, I have used a few in my professional career trust me.

To get you started, Wealthy Affiliate has recently introduced the Hub.

The Hub

The hub is an AI based niche and website creation tool that will get you up and running with the foundation of your OWN business in just a few minutes. This includes:

  • Your website – hosted and inclusive of a WordPress editor
  • Your brand
  • Your ‘done-for-you’ research
  • Your blueprint
  • A task list that is going to help you drive the creation and growth of your business moving forward.
Wealthy Affiliate Review 24 - Hub screen

The hub makes the website creation process simple which allows you to get started on the training with a solid base and understanding of the processes.

All you need to do is choose your subject – which is known as your ‘niche’ – and follow the steps on the screen.

Oh, and as you run through the training below you may realize that what you created above is not exactly what you want. That’s ok, you can just create a new hub!

Wealthy Affiliate Training

Then as you continue your journey, the Wealthy Affiliate Hub is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And I have used a few in my professional career trust me.

Above we discussed the use of the Hub to set up a website. Once you have done this, you will be able to access the “Step-by-Step Core Training”.

This is available to all members including starter members and will give you everything you need to know to continue to create your online business.

Wealthy Affiliate Review 24 - step by step core training

Member Training

There are also Live weekly classes taught by REAL industry experts on a range of topics like artificial intelligence (AI), SEO, YouTube, WordPress, PPC marketing and more.

wealthy affiliate master training

Great, What Else Does Wealthy Affiliate Have To Help You?

So, let’s keep this short, Wealthy Affiliate is a one-stop-shop platform that provides:

  • The Hub – this is the starting point and uses AI processes to assist you in determining your niche and creating your brand.
  • Complete training programs to assist with the development of your own affiliate marketing website in your own niche.
  • Website creation and publishing tools including access to WordPress editors and themes.
  • AI Content article design and content creation
  • Domain name purchasing (you get a free domain when you upgrade to the Premium membership).
  • Website hosting, security and backup.
  • Online help and chat forums.
  • Weekly live training events.
  • 24/7 support.
  • Keyword access tools.
  • SEO assistance.

The platform has been active for over 15 years with the original developers and owners, Kyle and Carson, still extremely active in its day to day operations – especially as they rollout their AI capabilities.

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You Can Try it Yourself For Free

Now of course I can tell you all about how Wealthy Affiliate works (because it does) until I am blue in the face. But every other program out there – including the shams and scams – will tell you the same thing!

So how about you just try it for free yourself. The Wealthy Affiliate Starter membership is free to join and gives you access to everything you need to get started – all without the need to spend a cent!

With the starter membership, you get:

  • 1 Limited Business Hub
  • 1,500 AI Word Credits
  • Try the AI Author Platform (BETA)
  • 1 Practice Website
  • Jaaxy Starter
  • Limited Help & Support
  • Core Niche Training (8 Classes)

And of course I will be there to help you every step of the way as well!

Look, in the interest of transparency, whilst Wealthy Affiliate does offer a free starter membership, this is designed to give you a look around, have a practice and see if it is worthwhile for you – which is a really great option.

However, as with all new businesses, you will need to make some investment so if you are serious about making money online , you will need to upgrade to a premium membership as this will give you access to all the tools you need in the one spot to succeed!

Afterall, every business needs tools to grow!

So How Much Does This Really Cost?

Wealthy Affiliate does not use upsells once you join – but as I mentioned in the video, to succeed here you will need to invest in a membership. There are a couple of options that provide access to all the tools, training and assistance that you could need – and a free domain as well.

Wealthy Affiliate offers a trio of membership tiers, as detailed on their pricing page.

You can opt for the Starter membership at no cost, the Premium membership for $49 per month or the Premium Plus+ membership for $99 per month. That’s the full extent of it – and you can absolutely build your website without having to spend another cent.

You won’t encounter any unexpected additional charges or covert fees and as a Premium member, you’re equipped with all the essentials to initiate, develop and expand a thriving online enterprise.

Those who opt for the Premium membership are provided with

  • Hosting for their websites
  • A complimentary domain name
  • Access to hundreds of hours of current expert tutorials
  • Various marketing and research tools
  • Personal guidance from seasoned professionals in the field
  • And much much more

And for those of you who want to make a serious investment into your future, there are some yearly options as well below to give you peace of mind that you have a whole year ahead of you to get stuff done!

And Don’t Forget the Personal Coaching

Once you join, not only do you get plenty of assistance from me, but you also have access to expert coaching, support and mentorship from real industry experts.

I mean, you can have access to all of the top-tier affiliate marketing training in the world, but inevitably, questions arise, particularly during the initial stages.

With an exceptionally dynamic and engaged community that boasts over 2.7 million members, Wealthy Affiliate offers an environment where you, as a member, can fully immerse and leverage this network.

You’re never alone; you have the collective wisdom of an entire community at your fingertips, ready to assist at any moment.

Plus, there’s always-on, rapid-response website support to handle any technical queries you may encounter.

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Wealthy Affiliate Works: Real Results From Real People

As I have mentioned a number of times, Wealthy Affiliate has helped me make real money online though its training and tools.

I have made money each month as well as a sale for $17,000.

But again, those promoting other programs will tell you the same thing!

So let’s get away from me and see what others are saying:

To start with, Wealthy Affiliate has a 4.9 out of 5 Star TrustPilot rating, which is a remarkable accomplishment in any industry, let alone the online business industry.

WA trust pilot image

And here are some of those reviews:

wealthy affiliate trust pilot

And this is what people are saying within Wealthy Affiliate as well:

home page - success at WA

So, Let’s Make a Decision!

Let’s be frank, you have read this far so why not go all in, click on the button below to get started on the way to your very online business.

And once you are in and have had a play around with the hub, look for the little envelope on the top right and there will be a message from me. It is of course automated so respond to let me know you are there and we can start this journey together.

(oh, and the profile is mine so you can find me that way as well)

wealthy affiliate envelope

See you there

Paul

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