4. HOST YOUR WEBSITE WITH SITE5
Even before our Web sites get to the top of the search engines, a good Web host is a must. ‘Hosting’ refers to a computer (server) that runs for twenty-four hours a day. The customer physically uploads a Web site to this server and when a user requests a page from the site, the server transfers it to the user’s computer. A free Web host might sound like a great solution to save some money, while the Web site is still under development. Unfortunately, after a more or less great start. these services always slow down enormously, and the frequent downtimes may badly affect your search-engine rankings. Cheap shared hosting in the range $0-$15 per month can be a valid alternative. As our aim is to build a site for commercial purposes, a host that offers a good affiliate program is also needed. Recommending web hosting to your users can greatly increase your earnings. Some web hosting companies have the best affiliate programs on the market paying commissions as high as $125 per sale. Even if your site isn’t focused on Web sites or making money on line, you can still recommend hosting. For example, if your niche is private cab drivers, you can make a tutorial describing how to create a small WordPress Web site, which they can use for clients to book their rides. A Web site makes any business or hobby look more professional. My hosting recommendation is to use Site5. Their affiliate program is poor when compared to other hosts such as Bluehost. Hosting-performance, however, is far superior to that of any other cheap hosting provider. Bluehost is a company owned by EIG (Endurance International Group), and they are well known among web-hosting enthusiasts to overload their servers. This results in poor loading times and frequent downtimes. EIG also owns companies such as Justhost or Hostgator. All these companies owe their good reputation to the extremely high commission fees that they pay to their affiliates, and not to the quality of the service which they provide. For example, Hostgator pays $100 per sign-up; Site5 pays only $25 per sign-up. When I started this project I was recommending EIG companies to my readers, but I stopped once I realized that their service level is too poor to actually help ranking a money-earning site. This does not mean that by hosting a site on Site5 you can attain page one of Google automatically, but a fast loading, reliable hosting service can make it easier than a poor-performing host would. Obviously, Google aside, any human visitors to your site will run away immediately, if your site takes a long time to load. Check out this tutorial on how you can set up a new Worpress site in less than sixty seconds on Site5. This is not to imply, in any way, that Bluehost, other EIG companies or those recommending their services are not legitimate. The companies offer great incentives and are equipped with state of the art software such as fully featured cpanels. Speed and uptime are among the worst in the industry, however. Personally, I would never use them for my sites; that is my own choice, not a dictum. If you want more information on Web hosting, including topics such as overselling, affiliate marketing, comparing hosts speed, uptime and Web site optimization, check out my Ultimate Web Hosting Guide, which will show you exactly how to set up a site for best performance.
5. CREATE YOUR WEBSITE AND CONTENT
While not the only choice to use as a content creator, Worpress is certainly the most popular. Content Creator refers to an application that allows you to create a dynamic Web site, which is a site where new content, such as newly written articles, can be added on a regular basis. Many plugins and skins are available for free. These allow the user to customize the functionality and appearance of a Web site. Thanks to the free plugins that you can install with the click of a button on WordPress, you can transform a Web site into anything you wish, starting from a traditional blog, to a social network to an on-line-money-earning store. Most hosts including Site5 allow you to install WordPress with the click of a button thanks to the “Fantastico Autoinstaller” which they come with.
Joomla is another content creator that might be worth considering. I built my first site, The Great Rebellion, using Joomla. Due to the limited amount of free plugins available for Joomla, I would recommend sticking with WordPress, especially if you like to customize your sites, which you should to make them look cool and unique.
Once your site is up, it is time to prepare a lot of content. Write lots of articles, create videos, podcasts, slideshows and galleries! You don’t need to do all of them at a go but make sure you have enough that you can use to do effective SEO (search engine optimization) and also make sure that the content is good enough quality that will keep any visitors, both human or search engine crawlers, interested in what they see. It is important to optimize the content for your primary keyword, e.g. ‘money earning sites’ and your secondary keywords, e.g. the title of an article such as ‘creating a Web site on WordPress’. The primary keyword will always be the same, and that will be the main topic of your Web site. The secondary keywords will be the subject of your article, video, gallery, podcast or whatever content you are adding. This is called onsite search engine optimization. It involves having your primary and secondary keywords, as well as synonyms, in the title and description of your site as well as in the content of the articles themselves. Use Market Samurai to find the right keywords for your content. Providing great content is the key to ensuring that your sites will earn you the money that you wish for. Hint: do not keyword stuff your articles. Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of repeating the same keywords again and again to grab a search engine’s attention. Experience has taught me that repeating my keywords four or five times throughout an article is more than enough to have it rank. Using synonyms and derivatives for your keywords also seems to have a very positive effect.
Now that you have your website ready you need to figure out how to monetize it. My strategy for The Money Earning Sites Central is Google AdSense and affiliate links to hosting and SEO tools. You will need to apply for Google AdSense if you don’t have an account. This is not a trivial step. Make sure that your site is functional and has a decent amount of content before you apply, or your application will be rejected. When I first applied for Google AdSense with my Great Rebellion Web site, I only had the portal and the forum in a functional state. They declined my application until I fixed the whole of the Web site. If your application gets rejected, do not get discouraged. Try to improve your site and apply again. Use your best site to apply for AdSense. Once approved you can use your AdSense account for any number of Web sites, which you own. Also never click on your own links. Never ask anyone to click on them even with a good proxy. Google have tools to detect that, and, if they do, you will be gone for good.
Do you live outside the US? If you do, in order to apply for affiliate programs with US-based companies you will need an employer identification number (EIN). Use this little trick to get one fast. Once you obtain your EIN, you can start applying to become an affiliate with any companies you feel appropriate for your niche. Some companies will approve your application automatically; others will review it manually. If you are having trouble getting approved, check this out. I assure you it works wonders!
You will need a Paypal account, if you do not already have one. Other great resources for monetizing virtually any Web site with affiliate marketing are: Amazon, Clickbank, Commission Junction and Paydotcom. You can sign up for all these services for free. A word of warning, for those who are in the “make-money” niche. You will find several products on Clickbank and Commission Junction that you can advertise on your sites. Most of these are scams. Many have a high conversion rate, however, I strongly discourage you from promoting them. You will lose your users’ respect by promoting garbage. Internet marketers need to stop thinking that people are stupid monkeys. They are not. If you try to sell them garbage, they will figure out what you are up to in a millisecond. You will lose their trust and with it, your traffic, your web-fans and ultimately your much beloved cash. Treat others like you would like to be treated and promote only valuable products.