Once you have chosen a niche that you’re willing to stand behind for the next five years, it’s time to establish your home on the Internet; this will be your foundation for long-term success.
Do You Need a Website?
As a new affiliate marketer, you may ask if it is necessary to own a website. While I think it is a good idea to have one, there are other options. For example, you could start out using Squidoo, Hubpages or Blogger.
However, when you use these options, you’re giving control of your business to someone else. You are subject to their rules, which could change at any time. Do you want to put your business at risk?
This means your blog could disappear without warning. In fact, you could lose your entire business in an instant. It’s just not smart business to hand that much control over to someone else.
The best way to ensure that you have control over your business is to have your own website. Purchase a domain name and acquire affordable hosting, so you’re in control of your business and not someone else.
Steps to Create Your Foundation
You’ll find it’s not nearly as expensive to have a blog as you originally thought. Registration for a domain name is around $11 a year. Monthly hosting starts between $5 and $8 per month, depending on the hosting provider you choose.
You can download the WordPress blogging software today and have an operational blog within minutes. Naturally, it will take some time to design it to your liking, but this is easy to accomplish.
Perform these three simple steps and you have a blog:
1. Register a domain name
This will be the home address of your blog – also known as your URL. When you choose a name for your affiliate marketing business, make certain it reflects the topic of your niche – or if you want to brand YOU, then make sure you pick your first and last name for the domain.
2. Register for a hosting account
You’ll need somewhere to point your domain name – also known as a hosting account. In the past, Hostgator and Bluehost were the best choices. Currently, this isn’t the case. There are many options to choose from, but if you want a great hosting provider with superb customer service, let me suggest A2 Hosting.
3. Download WordPress software
Once you have acquired a domain name and hosting account, it is time to install WordPress. Even if you’re technically challenged, you can still install WordPress with relative ease, You can complete this work in a matter of minutes, so don’t fret.
Please read “5 Important Things To Consider Before Installing WordPress,” which is a great post by Jan Kearney. Most hosting accounts provide a “simple install” for WordPress, but I’m going to ask that you install the software manually, per Jan’s advice.
While you cannot keep out hackers, determined to get into your blog, you can make it nearly impossible to get through – IF you install the software manually.
Other WordPress Steps to Consider
After installing WordPress, you will want to add a theme that fits with the topic of your chosen niche. There are free and paid options to choose from, but I would suggest you stick with an easy theme until you are comfortable working inside of your blog.
There are certain settings inside of your blog that need “tweaking,” such as the dashboard and plugin settings. You will add a title and description, along with giving access to the search engines to crawl your blog pages.
You will set the proper time zone for your location, adjust the user settings for your personal profile, and change how you want to display your RSS feed and blog posts.
In parting, I’d like to restate that you aren’t required to have your own website, but relying on a third party service can be risky business.
The best option is to establish a blog of your own on a self-hosted account. If you still want to work with third party services – use them as a way to drive traffic back to your own blog.
In Part 4, we’ll discuss how you can drive traffic to your new Internet home and why it’s important to start growing your audience before you promote any products. See you then!
Did you install a copy of WordPress manually or did you use the simple install method? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Thanks for reading,
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