As an entrepreneur I’m always looking to create a business around a need that consumers are willing to pay for. I constantly study the behavior and preferences of my customer base so that I can develop a business concept that will be relevant to my target market. This is why I have chosen to strictly focus on creating online businesses that serve specific niches.
This is a no brainer as 89 % of consumers use a search engine to research information on products, services, or businesses prior to making a purchase decision. But, the only way I can convert these online shoppers into customers is by knowing how to create a website that sells the value of my products and services.
A website is mandatory in today’s marketplace. If you don’t have one your business cannot be found and vetted by customers. The problem is that most entrepreneurs make is creating a website just to have one, instead of creating a website that is a money generating asset. Their website lacks valuable content, has no call-to-actions to entice people to make a purchase, and its design looks outdated. They have a lackluster website that produces lackluster results.
I don’t want you to make this mistake. As a content writer and entrepreneur strategist, I like to lead people towards successful results. Therefore, I’m going to tell you how to create a website that makes money. If you’re ready to make money from your website, let’s get started.
1. Pick a domain name
Your domain name should immediately identify what you do when customers see it. This is why I choose my brand name as my domain name. My brand names are niche specific, which allows them to easily come up when people type in searches related to the niche I operate within.
For example, I have Entrepreneurial Ambitions, which is an entrepreneur development website. Obviously Entrepreneur would be the top domain name that appears when users search for entrepreneurship. But, with a little hard work I can give my website a fighting chance to appear on the first page search results when users search for entrepreneurship related topics.
I also have Content Engagement Conversion, which is a content writing website. When I search “content engagement”, Content Marketing Institute comes up because they have established authority. But, with quality content and some SEO tactics, I have a great chance of my website appearing on the first page when users search for content related topics.
Bottom line, your domain name should be a reflection of what your website is about. Choose the most effective domain name that represents your brand, and make sure it can be used by checking for its availability on a web hosting website. You don’t want to choose a domain name that makes people have to guess your website is about. This will stop people from clicking on your website, which means no opportunity to make money.
2. Choose a host for your website
In order for your website to exist, you’ll need to choose a web hosting platform where it will reside. A webhost is needed for your website to have an online destination point and so that all your information is on a secured server. There are many webhost you can choose from, but Godaddy is one of the most popular for entrepreneurs. They provide affordable web-hosting plans, with the option to upgrade as your website needs start to change. Since it’s mandatory for you to have a webhost for your website, you might as well pick the option that is affordable and works in your favor.
3. How to Create a Website By Using a Template
You need a website that is well designed to effectively present your content. I once made the mistake of trying to learn code to build a website from scratch. I’m not a coder and don’t get paid to code, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either. Therefore, you need an option that allows you to plug in your information on a website that is already built for you. Luckily you have options such as Wix, Envato Market, and Weebly that provide free website templates. These options allow for you to get your website up quickly so that you can start focusing on making money.
When choosing your website template, you want to be sure that you choose a template that enhances the product or services you sell. If you’re selling a variety of products on your website, you’ll want an ecommerce template. If you’re a photographer, you’ll want a template that showcases your photography. The template you choose will only provide you with a great display of your content. As always, your website needs to have effective content in order to sell your products or services.
4. Make your website live
Your website will need to be published so that people can find it. Check to be sure that your website is functional on both computers and mobile devices. Mobile optimization is important since 60% of search queries are done on mobile devices. These are customers you can’t exclude if you want your website to generate money.
You’ll also want to make sure that all your important information is on your website so that you can make money with ease. The information that needs to be included is: your contact information, the value you provide to your customers, links that work, a working checkout cart, and content that helps you sell your products or services. As always, I encourage you to focus on creating quality content. Great content is what sells your products and services in an educational way without you having to be overly aggressive.
5. Index your website with Google
Google is the ultimate search engine that everybody uses. If your website is not being pulled up in Google searches it basically doesn’t exist in the online world. In order for your website to appear on Google, you’ll need to index it on Google. Indexing is information gathered by Googlebots when they crawl your website. The information reported back to Google’s search index rates the relevance of the content on your website for user searches. As I keep mentioning, high quality content will be rated as more relevant for users when they conduct their searches. This is one of the most important things you will need to do as you learn how to start an online business.
You index your website on Google by doing the following:
- Creating a sitemap: A sitemap is an XML document on your website’s server basically lists each page on your website.
- Submit your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools: Add the link of your website’s sitemap to Webmaster Tools to notify Google about it and the pages you have already published.
- Install Google Analytics: This gives Google a notification that your new website is up and running.
- Submit your website URL to Google: Submit your website URL to Google’s Webmaster Tools.
If the thought of this whole site map thing is overwhelming, you can literally go onto Upwork.com and pay an experienced freelancer $25 to do it for you.
6. Optimize your website with best keywords
In order to drive traffic to your website, you’ll need to target keywords that are widely used by your target audience. This helps you create content that is relevant to your customers, since keyword focused content will appear in their search engine results. You can use Moz keyword explorer to find the best keywords to use on your website. This takes away the frustration of guessing what keywords will work, so that you can instead focus on creating content around keywords that have been verified as the best options.
Make sure that you are targeting keywords that drives qualified traffic to your website. It’ll be frustrating to have a lot of traffic coming to your website but no sales are being made. This happens because you content isn’t relevant to the customer. You just stuffed your content with the right keywords. If this becomes an ongoing issue, it will negatively affect your website’s relevance to Google. Therefore, pick the right keywords that truly represent your website’s offer.
7. Incorporate the target keywords into your website
Once you have chosen your keywords to be used, you’ll need to strategically place them in your website content. I suggest you use your keywords in your about page, product/ services page, and of course your blog.
The intended objective for placing your target keywords on these pages is to lead people towards making a purchase. Therefore, you want to have call-to-actions on these pages that encourage customers to take that step. Once again, make sure your content is so valuable that customers can’t ignore taking the next step. Even if they don’t make a purchase the first time, you should push them towards signing up for your email list. This allows for you to nurture the prospect with more valuable content that works towards converting them into customers.
You have been provided with a complete guide on how to create a website that makes money. As you can see it is a process. Money doesn’t automatically get made just because you have a website. There are millions of websites on the internet. Which is why you need to follow the steps provided to ensure that your website is one within the millions that is actually making money.
8. Create a Blog
Blogs are not simply for writers and hobbyists – they are actually a great way to improve your SEO ranking and position yourself as an expert in your field. By writing informative, sharable articles that are relevant to your area of work, you can begin to generate an online following of people who are likely to buy your products and /or refer friends.
Never try to sell your own product in the article. Instead, offer the customer useful information that pertains to your work. For example, if you sell tires, maybe a blog post would be “10 Ways to Spot a Low-Quality Tire.” By giving your audience this valuable information – whether or not they buy from you – you will generate a good feeling around your brand.
Remember to never go off topic. Yes, we are multi-faceted people with varying interests, but when we’re blogging for work, you need to stick to the theme. For example, if you are running the tire company, you wouldn’t turn around and write about basketball just because you like it. But you can use a basketball analogy to talk about tires. Big difference.
9. Add Extra Revenue Streams
The above points show you how to build a website so that you will attract the right visitors, who are most likely to buy your product or service. But if you even want to take it a step further and monetize your content, there are some key ways to do that:
- Affiliate Marketing. If you have a blog, it may be appropriate to use it for affiliate marketing, which means that you would promote products relevant to your niche and get paid a percentage whenever someone buys that product. Some popular programs for this are CJ Affiliates, ClickBank, and LinkShare.
- Google Adsense. Displaying ads through Google Adsense is another great way to monetize your website, while it’s just sitting there. By signing up for Adsense, you allow Google to post relevant ads on your site; you are paid a commission when your visitors click on these ads.
- Sponsored Blog Posts. If your website is really generating some good traffic, you might consider creating sponsored blog posts. Sites like Buzzfeed do this beautifully. Basically, a company pays you to write about a certain product or service and you do so in a fun, entertaining way. It looks pretty much like a regular article, but you do link to the products you’re talking about and also have to put a disclaimer on there that this is a paid ad.
I hope this article has given you some good food for thought as you grow your business online. Remember to never get complacent with your website – it’s a living, breathing thing that constantly needs to be updated and optimized to its full potential.