Sunday, August 24, 2008

How To Build A Profit-Making Website

One of the things I love to do first thing every morning is to check the Internet, to find out how much money I made over the night. Like a fisherman checking on his trap, I am thrilled to see money accumulating in my account while I sleep. The beauty of earning an income from the Internet is that my websites continue make money for me from all parts of the world. I can actually know where the money come from, and how much, and test the pages to continue improving them. Wouldn't you want that too?

Before you get the wrong idea, let me clear the air about how I make money from the web. HappyJoblessGuy is NOT about earning money from some online pyramid schemes. It is not about Multi-Level Marketing (even though I have no issue about people earning through MLM). It is not about online forex trading. I am going to show you an honest way of generating income from the web but it's going to involve a degree of hard work from you. For sure, nothing comes easy, and that includes building a machine that makes money online.

Do not have your website hosted by PBase, Tripod, Blogger, even though it can be done an hour. If you intend to earn serious, long-time income, that is not the way to do it. You want something that is 100% your own. Once you have your own website (not an account with Blogger, PBase, etc.), you will realise the amount of freedom in your hands.

If you were to ask me, what are the tools you need to build a great website, I can count them with the fingers of one hand. You can hire a web programmer to build a whole website for you, bypassing the need to be acquainted with any tool. But to own a really great website, I would urge you to do it yourself. You can't be the captain of your own ship if you can't tell stern from starboard. I have received emails from people asking to give them personal coaching. I am sorry, but I do not have time to do that, even if you're willing to pay me money.

In the next five pages of this chapter, I will go through each essential tool one by one. At the end of this chapter I will recap what we have learned. You will realise, if you haven't yet, that earning a living without holding a job requires you to learn skills that you may not have learned before. On the other hand, you may have built many websites, and are wondering what's new that I want to share. Once again, I urge you to be patient as the topics are developed.

Now, without further ado, let’s look at the 5 Essential Tools:

The first tool you need to build a great website is a HTML Editor.

A HTML Editor is a software application to write web pages. There are several brands in the market, including Microsoft Frontpage, Adobe Dreamweaver and so on. Personally I would encourage you not to use Microsoft Frontpage, as it tends to add proprietary codes to your pages, making it difficult to be edited with a different HTML Editor. The one I use is called Homesite, also from Adobe. I learned to write webpages with Homesite.

With a HTML Editor, you write the content of your pages by keying in the HTML Codes, and then checking it with the Preview function. If you do not have a HTML Editor presently installed in your computer, I strongly suggest you get one immediately and start fiddling with it. Get used to all the functions. Learn what to click to make the text bold, italics, underlined, etc., how to hyperlink, how to insert picture, and so on. A good HTML Editor does a lot of work for you, so that you can concentrate on putting together a great website. It doesn't matter which one you use, as long as you get familiar with it.

The second Essential Tool you need is knowledge of HTML Codes.

As mentioned in the previous page, you need to learn coding. To be exact, HTML Codes. HTML Codes are instructions you tell the Internet how you want to format your webpages. The basic HTML codes you need to know are:
• Title
• Body
• Head
• Html
• Headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
• Bold
• Italic
• Underline
• Hyperlink
• Table

In addition to the above, it would do you good to learn how to format size and colour of your font, background, border. More advanced features such as CSS would be helpful too, but are still all together very easy, that even a dummy could learn it (so if you have to, find a book for dummies and learn all about it).

The third Essential Tool is a Domain Name.

The domain name, also called the hostname or sitename, is the basic name of your website. For example, As you probably have known, the domain name has an ending such as .com, .net, .org, etc. To use it to earn an income, I would suggest you go for .com. It is the most popular, hence, the most difficult to get. Nonetheless, you should try to get domain names with .com.

You probably will not get the first domain name of your choice, and will need to try a few times before landing on one that is still available. This is a very important exercise, so take all the time you need.

Registering and keeping a domain name will cost you approximately US$10 per year or even lower. That is peanuts if you can earn the amount back. For now, look for the domain name but don't register it yet. Instead go to Essential Tool #4 to read about Web hosting.

The fourth Essential Tool is Web hosting.

To get web hosting means you rent space on a server that will host your website. You do not need to purchase a server - you don't even need to know how a server works. All you need to know is that you need to host your website on it. The Webhost provides you the space and the interface for you to manage your website.

Think of web hosting as a safe deposit box, and the domain name as the safe deposit box number. When you register for web hosting, you are buying space in a safe deposit box. The amount you pay should determine the amount of space you need. For that reason, the web hosting fee is directly related to the amount of space you purchase. The safe deposit box number remains the same, regardless the amount of space you use. In a similar sense, the fee for domain name is fixed regardless the amount of content you have on the web.

When you start your website, the amount of space you need will most likely be pretty low, less than 1GB, so do not pay for a lot of space that you are not going to use. You can always buy more space as your needs grow. If you pay for 5GB per year, and throughout the course of that year, you never use more than 1GB, then the balance 4GB is money wasted.

The fifth and final Essential Tool you need to build a great website is an FTP Software.

An FTP Software is an application that enables you to transfer data from your computer to your website on the Internet, and vice versa. There are many other ways to do it, including using an online interface provided by your webhost, but usually, using an FTP Software is the swiftest way.

The FTP Software allows you to upload new pages to your website as well as update existing pages. The FTP Software that I use is called WS FTP, which stands for WinSock File Transfer Protocol. To download it, google "Free FTP Download" to see what comes up.

In the next chapter, we will look at Building a Profit-Making Website. As of now, I want you to be familiar with the five Essential Tools in this chapter. Please go ahead and register your web hosting and obtain your domain name, but once again, let me urge you to give the domain name a good thinking through before decided which. If you choose a wrong one at the beginning stage, fine, it only costs another US$10 or so to register another. But you need to make sure it is a domain name you want to own for years and years to come. Who knows, one day you may even sell that domain and the whole web business for $1 million? So, choose carefully.

For more topics on how to earn a living without holding a job, go to

by: Timothy Tye

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