Essentials: You Need A Website

The central pillar to Affiliate Marketing is having a web presence. It may sound intimidating, especially for those who don’t consider themselves tech savvy but you can set up your own internet real estate quite easily.

You don’t need programming skills. You don’t need to be able to write any html.

I can’t program or write HTML and I now have several websites up and running. All you need is the time and willingness to tinker with some online software. There are three options available to you if you are considering a home business:

Option A – Casual Users

Option B – Professional Ownership.

Option C – Wealthy Affiliate

There is a learning curve for all three but I wouldn’t call it substantial. Anyone can do this!

Option A – Casual Users

I’m putting this option here for those that just want to test the waters. If you have decided Affiliate Marketing is going to be your thing then Option A isn’t a serious option for you. This is because you aren’t going to be a casual user.

Casual users don’t necessarily demand the amount of control that professional users do. Option A if for those willing to forgo this control. Companies like Wix, WordPress, Tumblr,and Blogger all offer users the opportunity to have their own ‘website’ but it runs from their company website. This is great for students, or family websites, or for those writing about their hobby. It doesn’t really suit affiliate marketers. But it can still be done if you are cash starved or know better than I.

Advantages

Choosing a free website provider has its advantages;

1. Free! – No fees and no money changes hands. All you need is an internet connection to access your website.

2. User Friendly – Setting up your website is a breeze and is all ‘point and click’.

3. No Risk – If you made a mistake or want to get rid of your website just delete it.

4. Quick – You can have a website up and running in minutes – literally!

Drawbacks

The drawbacks are minor for a casual user.

1. Reduced domain name control. The domain name will have the hosts name embedded in it. For example www.yourdomain.com would actually be www.yourdomain.com. A business wouldn’t be happy with that. A casual user wouldn’t necessarily mind. Ideally an affiliate website would have its own domain so you should be choosing Option B or C.

2. Reduced storage space. After a while the pictures and files you store on your website begin to take up a lot of space. With purchased hosting this probably won’t be a problem but when hosted by a free webhost storage will be limited.

3. Control. The ability to hack your template, back up your work and treat your website as your own will be compromised by the control measures put in place by the website provider.

Option B – Professional Ownership

If you are serious about Affiliate Marketing, this is one of the two options you want to take. The learning curve will be steeper but the payoff in the end is greater.

Domain and a Host

First of all all you need a web domain and a host. A web domain is your online address. The web domain for this website is www.wealthofwritting.com . Domains can be rented yearly for $15 AUD or even less.

A webhost provides the online hard drive space for your website files. You can run your website from your home computer but then you need to ensure it is on 24 hrs a day, every day of the year. It is more reliable to pay for hosting. This way your website is backed up and always online. Your website files kept on your hosting account include the website software and any pictures and articles you will put online.

I recommend initially renting your domain from the same company that will provide your hosting. This can help with administering your account. Website hosting and web domains can only be rented by the year – and not purchased outright for a one time fee. Try to use a webhost in your own country. This will save you money and convenience should you ever have to contact them by phone.

I recommend choosing Option B if you only need one website. The costs are really quite affordable in this scenario.

Cpanel

Now the trick, if you want to do this the ‘easy’ way, is to get a host that supports Cpanel. Cpanel is an administrative software package that comes with your hosting account that takes all the hard work out of installing software and managing your email. Cpanel allows you to install a CMS which is great for users who don’t want to get their hands dirty writing or hacking code.

CMS

Let me explain what CMS is. CMS stands for Content Management System. A CMS allows someone who doesn’t know programming and things like that to run their own website via a simple ‘point and click’ interface. This is great for someone like me that isn’t very technologically literate.

This means that CMS software like WordPress and Joomla, among many others, offer you a system for managing your content. It doesn’t matter whether the website is articles, pictures, files or a mixture of all three. A CMS is versatile and can be used for a blog, an online store, a file repository and much more. You can tailor a CMS to suit your needs. Most CMS are ‘modular’ which means your installation starts out as a basic or ‘core’ package and then you add extensions to get further functionality.

I recommend beginners consult the forums that support users of whichever software you choose to install. Jumba, Joomla and WordPress all have very active forums. Google too is a great help.

Advantages

1. Control – Whatever you want, you can get. If you want 20 subdomains, go for it. Whatever menu, or colour scheme or logo size you desire, it’s yours.

2. Storage Space – User pays so if you need extra space or speed, you can have it.

3. Prestige – Owning your own domain and the custom email address that comes with it speak volumes, even to the non savvy web user. That’s your name *UP IN LIGHTS*. Enjoy.

Drawbacks

1. Time – Customising your website to the nth degree takes knowledge and that takes time. Don’t worry, it’s an investment and it comes with dividends.

2. Money – Yep, you have to pay for your own domain. A speedy website can cost extra too.

Recap.

  1. Rent a domain (Try to use the same company for the domain and hosting)
  2. Rent domain hosting (Make sure the host has Cpanel)
  3. Install your choice of CMS – Use the support network that comes with your free software. Each application will have its own forum where you can ask questions and find answers to your queries.

Option C – Wealthy Affiliate

Wealthy Affiliate is an online affiliate community. You can buy domains through them or get a free subdomain with them. They provide you with hosting for both. They only provide WordPress as a CMS option but it is widely recognised as a common affiliate option anyway.

There is both free and paid membership available at Wealth Affiliate and signing up offers value far beyond just allowing you to setup a website. But that information is for another article.

If you are serious about Affiliate Marketing and plan on having multiple websites, Wealthy Affiliate membership should be on your radar.

Conclusion

Now, remember that learning curve I told you about? Learning a CMS like WordPress or Joomla can take a while to master. It is dead easy to publish articles but it does take some time to work out how to manipulate the look of your website. To become an advanced user of a CMS will take an investment of your time. Hopefully Wealth of Writing can help you with that.

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