Question by Jessica C: Online Business?
I’ve been thinking about starting an online business, something along the lines of traveling and vacation homes for rent. I was thinking about all those websites that advertise vacation homes and hotels around the world. I’ve seen some that ask for a 10% commission if they get you a rental, and others have a sign up fee, but all your really doing is advertising your property on someone else’s website. I was wondering how hard it was to start one of those websites up and if there are any good websites on the net that show you how to get started. I’m pretty good with the computer, and infact already created a website on my own, i would like to put my skills to use and start making some money doing so. I would really love some input from you guys!! Thanks!
Answer by wabboc
Listen! I will tell you what is involved in creating your own Web site.
Don’t fall prey to those “Free” Web site builders that only give you a few pages. However, NVU, is a free Web site builder that allows you to build Web sites right, for free and as many pages as your want, thousands even.. More on that later.
Just creating a Web site will not attact targeted traffic. What is traffic?
Glad you asked because it’s the heart and soul of a Web site’s success.
Listen! Targeted traffic is the name of the game. Without traffic your Web site will be invisible to the search engines (Google, MSN, Yahoo, Ask). There are others, but they a insignificant compared to the majors.
Targeted traffic is visitors coming to your Web site for information. They are not looking for your Web site. Nope. They are looking for relevant information. If your Web site is just a few pages, the search engines will never find you.
Most new people to Web site building will fall prey to the many so-called “free” web sites and waste a lot of time on them and achieve little in the way of targeted traffic. The theme of your Web site should be something you are very interested in (http://passion.sitesell.com/waltera1.html). It just doesn’t make sense to create a Web site and then have it ignored by the search engines (SEs). The major SEs are Google, Yahoo!, MSC, and Ask. If they don’t know you are there, your Web site, for all practical purpose, is invisible. SEs find you when you have lots of content – many pages of information, relevant to the theme of your Web site.
You see, there are thousands of web sites that purport to create a free Web site. What they don’t tell you is how to attract targeted traffic via the search engines (Yahoo,Google,Msn, Ask). Web site creation is all you get. Amazon has a program to tell you how popular your Web site is here: (http://traffic-test.sitesell.com/waltera1.html). The program is called Alexa and it will compare a Web site to 65 million active Web sites and give you a rank as to how you stand in that 65 million Web site universe. 500,000 is good, but anything under 100,000 is terriffic. Google is under 10 the last time I looked. If your Web site is not recognized by the SEs, then your Alexa rank will be “no data”. A no date rank means the Web site is invisible to the SEs. Invisible means no visitors, no visitors means no targeted traffic, no traffic = no money. Creating your Web site was a waste of time.
And you might be able to create 5 or 10 pages at most, even less, before they begin to nickel and dime you to death with add-ons that cost money and before you know it the “free” web site costs over $ 300 and more, assuming you don’t drop out by this time because the Web site just doesn’t work and you may have wasted a year on this fruitless effort.
Many people new to Web site creation believe that you just create a Web site and they will come. Like the baseball movie, Field of Dreams (1989), where Kevin Costner creates a baseball field in the middle of nowhere and soon thousands are flocking to the field.
This only happens in the movies, not in real life.
You must attract the search engines(SEs). The most cost effective way to do that is by creating lots of Web pages with quality, relevant content (information) that matches user’s needs and requirements for information..
Potential visitors do not look for a web site per se. They do not enter your Web Address. They are looking for information. They do not enter your Web site URL into an SE. They enter keywords or phrases into the SE and the SE responds with millions of Web sites in many cases and then the surfer may make his keyword more relevant and try again. Most surfers only look at the first few pages even though there may be millions of hits on a particular keyword.
So the first thing you must do is to brainstorm you keywords – which keywords are relevant to the theme of your Web site.
But this is not enough. Remember the concept of supply and demand?
Let me explain. If there is a low supply of something, say a commodity like coffee, that means that there is not much available. What happens if many people all want a lot of coffee. That creates a big demand for coffee, but when they go to buy coffee the price has gone up. It went up because the demand exceeded the supply. This causes the coffee growers to grow more coffee. They grow too much and there is a big supply, so the price drops because the demand has dropped owing to the increase in the supplies of coffee.
The same concept can be applied to keywords or phrases. Really scarce keywords with hardly any supply related to your Web site theme.
How do you find those keywords that have a huge demand and very little supply?
Aye, that’s the rub.
One of the ways to do this without spending any money is to use Google’s AdWord tool: (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal).
This tool is actually intended to help advertisers decide which keywords to buy. It provides Demand (they call it “Search Volume”) and “Advertiser Competition” (another kind of Demand for your keywords!). This tool even provides the “monetary value” (optional) of your keywords (i.e., what advertisers can expect to pay).
So what do you (a publisher (a Web site builder), not an advertiser) look for? Remember this for now…
* the more relevant keywords that are generated by this tool,
* the greater the Demand (“Search Volume”) for the keywords,
* the greater the “Advertiser Competition”, and
* the more the keywords cost advertisers…
… the better for you!
Just go through the tutorials that Google has to offer.
The other tool for keywords is Worktracker – it is not free, but is the best on the Web for analyzing keyword demand and supply: (http://www.wordtracker.com/index.html). Try their free trial. I entered “free keyword analysis” into Google and got 11 million hits so you know it’s a hot topic.
Once you know what your keywords are, they form the basis of creating Web pages for your Web site. You sprinkle relevant keywords throughout your Web page. These will attract the SEs and if you have enough pages, you will rise up through the ranks and hopefully achieve a listing on the first page of the SEs.
The SEs use software called “spiders”. The spiders job is to crawl the entire universe of Web sites and index them by keyword. The database index is why they can return an answer so fast because there are now a billion Web sites or so and still growing fast.
You keep adding pages to your Web site – the more pages the better. That’s why the phrase, “Content is King!” came about. The SEs love lots of high quality content.
That’s also why most 5 – 10 page Web sites attract no targeted traffic. The SEs just ignore them.
However, all is not lost because once you get to about 30 pages, the SEs begin to take notice. When you reach 50 pages, you may see a page ranked number one in an SE, but don’t stop there. Keep adding pages – just one a day would mount up to 365 in one year.
Now, where do you find software that can build your Web site. Here is one that is free and it’s a lot like Microsoft’s Front Page. These are sometimes called WYSIWYG editors, pronounced “wizeewhig” and means “What You See Is What You Get”. Another more expensive editor is Macromedia’s Dreamweaver, but this costs several hundred dollars.
The Web site for the free WYSIWYG is: (http://www.nvu.com/index.php). NVU; pronounced “New View”. There are free tutorial there. More tutorials can be found by entering “free nvu tutorials” in Google.
You may want to try GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program). This is a free graphics editor that rivals best of breed Adobe Photoshop. There are free tutorials for GIMP, too here: (http://www.designyourownweb.com/gimp-tutorial.htm).
Once you have your Web site constructed on your PC or Mac, then you need to get a domain name and a server host.. This will cost money, $ 10 to $ 300 per year depending on options. About the cheapest with the most options is GoDaddy. Go here: (http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/default.asp).
There are free hosting sites, but you have to put up with their advertising all over your pages. There is really no “free lunch”; there’s always a catch.
Once you have your domain name and host, you upload your Web site to your hosting supplier or server and you are published on the web. As you create more pages, you continue to upload those pages to your host server.
That’s what it takes to get published, but we are not done yet. We now have to get recognized by the SEs. If you have enough high quality content and are patient, eventually the SEs will discover you. Impatient people use something called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Internet Marketing. Here is a new book that does just that: “Search Engine Optimization – An Hour A Day” by Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin.
Then, there is Brad Tabke’s “26 steps to 15K a day”. It boils down to solid content thoughtfully put together can make more impact than a decade’s worth of tweaks that may or may not work such as fiddling with META tags. Find his 26 steps here: (http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-2797.html). Brad also created and runs one of the best forums for Web site building information at: (http://www.webmasterworld.com/).
Kindest Personal Regards,
Site Build It Certified Webmaster
P.S. Don’t forget to check out (http://www.webmasterworld.com/) for lots of free and useful Web building information.
P.P.S. Here are 101 ways to attract more traffic to your Web site: (http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=246573)
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