Creating an income generating website is an ideal project for personal development, change, and freedom! It’s also the perfect match for many singles. An online business gives you the freedom to live anywhere, work anywhere, and travel anywhere you want!
You can create an income generating website with your knowledge, product, or service. But to be successful you must get educated about e-commerce, have the tenacity to stick with it, and select a niche that you’re passionate about.
There is no such thing as overnight success in any business, online or offline. So don’t get catch up in those services that purposely give the impression that setting up an online business and drawing traffic is as easy as 1,2,3. It’s not. But the rewards for your hard work are immense!
The satisfaction you get from creating your own business is much greater than having a high paying job with a prestigious corporation. I know this is true because I’ve done both.
If you don’t have any e-business experience or you’ve tried and failed in the past, I’ve got a great game-changing tip that I’ll share with you later.
I took my first Internet and website design classes at a university in 1997. In 2000, I registered my first website domain name and started building my first online business. I’ve tried many domain name registrars, hosting companies, e-commerce techniques, and search engine optimization (SEO) methods. And I’ve had many website, product, and service failures, especially during the first few years.
I don’t look at failure as a negative though. I look at it as a positive because it takes courage to go for it with everything you have. I look at not trying and giving up as a negative. Cowards and quitters either don’t start or they begin with an “I’ll try” mentally. They also give up at the first major obstacle and they don’t give it their all. They keep their escape vehicle close by rather than burning it and therefore removing the option to quit and run. With the escape vehicle gone, they must win!
This is the mindset of successful entrepreneurs. This is particularly true of Internet entrepreneurs because of the complexities of online business. Don’t let that scare you away though. The intricacies are standardized and uniform throughout the Internet. This means you only have to learn them once and then stay up with the updates, which is pretty easy once you know the lingo. The challenge is in identifying the best and most reputable sources to acquire this information. Although they represent a small percentage of all users, there are a lot of unscrupulous people on the Internet. It takes quite a bit of e-business knowledge and experience to be able to easily identify them.
Based my e-business experience that began in 2000, here’s what I recommend. I’ve divided up my recommendations based on the type of service and/or level of experience. I also put them in the same order as you’d approach building an online business and the progression of my experience. I am currently using these products and services or I used them in the past.
Website Domain Name Registrar
I’ve been with several different domain registrars over the years, including one of the most famous. I have learned that there are five important criteria in selecting a registrar.
- Free Privacy Included – If privacy is not included registrars will charge you an extra fee to get it. And this fee can be significant at some companies. Privacy is important because if don’t have it your personal domain registration information (name, address, email, phone) will be visible and easily found on the Internet.
- Aggressive Low Pricing – It’s a good idea to find a registrar that is known for aggressive low pricing. Those who are aggressive with their pricing typically match or beat the market when ICANN raises its fees. All of this is important because it is likely you’ll register many more domain names in the future if you become an Internet entrepreneur.
- Frequent Special Offers – This is important for the same reason I mentioned above. If you decide to be an Internet entrepreneur, it’s very probable that you register more domain names as you test new ideas. These are typically for the first year, with no requirement to renew, so this gives you plenty of time to try your new website/blog idea at a lower cost. Much lower in some cases.
- Automatic Renewal – This means that on or before your domain(s) is set to expire, the registrar’s computer system with automatically renew it for you and charge the credit card you provided. This is important for two reasons. (a) If a domain expires you run the chance of losing it and the process of reinstating it is cumbersome. There is typically a grace period after expiration, but why take a chance on losing a website domain name that you’ve invested so much time on. (b) Since you’ll be registering domains on different dates, automatic renewal eliminates the task of keeping track of all this. This becomes particularly important if you have more than five domains.
- Telephone Support – Normally there isn’t much need to contact customer support when it comes to domain registrations. But since this is a legal process that involves taking ownership of a website domain name that’s important to you, it’s nice to know that help is just a phone call away if you run into a problem.
I found a domain name registrar that fulfills all the above criteria. I’ve been with them since May 2010 and have been very happy with their service. This company offers outstanding hosting services as well. The company I am talking about is 1&1.
Update – Another service I started using is GD. They offer low-cost registration with privacy protection included. They do not offer deals for new customers or telephone support like 1&1 does.
Note: Many hosting companies, including the ones I recommend below, offer one free domain registration when you sign up for new service. I prefer to register my domains elsewhere so that I maintain indisputable ownership and control.
All-in-One Hosting Service (Game Changer)
There isn’t any other company that offers an all-inclusive hosting package like this one. The training tutorials alone are so comprehensive that this service is used as a formal e-business course at over 30 colleges and universities. These tutorials can shorten your learning curve down to weeks instead of the years it took me to learn about what “works” in e-business.
The focus of this training in on teaching you how to select a business niche, pick a domain name, generate traffic for free, monetize your site, and develop a relationship with your customers. The three golden rules of this company are 1) keep it real, 2) keep it simple, and 3) keep moving forward at a steady pace.
Their support mechanisms are unparalleled. Their email support, for example, is the best of any Internet company I’ve ever done business with. They also have an active customer support forum and weekly newsletters packed with tips and inspiration.
The owner is very active in the forum, which is indicative of his sincere interest in seeing people succeed. His passion for making sure that this service remains cutting edge is very evident. And this is constantly being demonstrated with their continual upgrades, some of which cost millions! My take on him is that he’s a man of high integrity.
The best part of this service in that most of the technical aspects, including search engine optimization (SEO), happens behind the scenes. This is a huge advantage. Especially for those with limited technical experience or no aptitude or desire to learn it. This feature frees you from this crucial component so that you can devote your time to building your online business.
So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran who tried and failed this service could be what you’ve been looking for.
I was shocked to learn that 99% of new Internet businesses fail or have very limited success. Why? Because their websites get little or no traffic. I had to admit that I was a part of that group to some extent at one point. At least I was until I purchased a subscription for this company’s service. Their tutorials, forums, and article analysis tool showed me what I had been doing wrong and how to do it right. I saw more traffic coming to my website in the first eight months than I had in the prior five years!
I got an additional subscription for a second website about 10 months after I started. It generated a respectable amount of traffic as well.
Since I had been working on these websites long before I purchased this company’s service, I was ready for a new project once they began to succeed. Needing a change and not knowing at the time what new website theme I’d start next I decided not to renew my subscriptions. I did take the domain names and site content with me, which this service allows. Had I not already had 12 years of experience in e-business, I would have most certainly maintained my subscriptions and started my new project with them. At that point, however, with the education I got at this company and my own extensive background, I felt comfortable in going it alone. I miss many aspects of it though like having all the e-business tools in one package and access to their helpful and inspiring customer service and forums.
One of the top advantages of SBI is that you do not need to know or do any coding. 🙂
This service comes with a 90-day guarantee. That way you can try it out for three months and ask for a refund if you don’t like it. I don’t know if you’ve done much research on hosting companies and other e-business services, but 90 days is a very generous guarantee.
WordPress + Premium Framework & Theme
This website uses WordPress with a premium framework and theme. The framework works alongside WordPress and it powers the theme. The theme contains the design elements and controls.
I found the premium framework and theme after weeks of exhaustive research. Before I started, I didn’t know anything about WordPress, frameworks, or themes.
I love this setup. The technical learning curve is much more challenging than SBI. So I wouldn’t recommend WordPress for someone who has limited or no website design knowledge or e-business experience. For these people, Site Sell’s “SBI” product would be a better fit. I think a newbie could get discouraged, especially if they paid for a premium framework and theme.
During my research, I learned about the importance of having a premium framework and theme if you’re starting a serious enterprise. There are thousands of free themes at WordPress, but there are several disadvantages if you’re using them for a business. Here are the most important.
- It may not provide regular and ongoing updates so that it stays up with the updates made by WordPress, Google, and the Internet in general.
- The developer, often an individual, may not be around to do updates in three years from now?
- The framework/theme may not meet all current Internet and SEO standards.
- The framework/theme may not be coded in the best way possible for optimal website performance and search engine friendliness?
Because of all the above and my desire to have the best, I opted to go with a premium framework and theme. If you can’t afford a premium theme, the best free one by far is Weaver II.
I picked the premium framework and theme company I did because it offered these advantages over its closest competitors.
- State of the Art Code – Having advanced and clean code is important for site performance and search engine optimization.
- Unlimited Updates – This is huge because it means you will always have a cutting edge site.
- Automatic Updates – With this feature you never have to be concerned about whether your site is up-to-date.
- Unlimited Websites – This means you can use this software on as many websites as you want. Most competitors do not offer this.
- Unlimited Support – Having access to quick response support gives you the peace of mind in knowing there’s help if you need it.
- Value Pricing – If you consider all the above, this company offers the best value I could find by far.
All my research indicates that this company offers a rock-solid framework and themes. These are being created by brilliant, well-respected developers. I’ve also found out first hand that their support forum is very responsive. I’ve usually gotten a reply to my question within a few minutes or hours, not days like some. And they have been right on target in solving my problem. I also appreciate how well-organized their support forum is.
This company also has a fairly extensive library of tutorials on their framework and tutorials for each theme. I found these to be very helpful in getting a jump-start on building my new site.
Unlimited Hosting Service
An unlimited hosting service is one that offers unlimited domains (websites), unlimited space (website files), and unlimited transfer (traffic) on one hosting account.
So there’s no limit on the number of e-businesses you can start. You can just keep testing and trying different website ideas and it won’t cost you any more money. This is an ideal arrangement for an Internet entrepreneur, especially one that is just getting started.
Here’s why I picked this company.
- Low cost.
- Outstanding customer support.
- Continually improving and adding new features.
- One-click automatic WordPress installation.
- Regularly ranked at the top of best hosting.
The company I’ve been talking about is DH.
Update: Learned that DH is one of a few hosting companies recommended by WordPress. It’s better than BlueHost, my former host.
If you feel inspired right now to start your own e-business, don’t let it pass. Go for it!
Question? Ask it here.