Building Your Site
You’ve done your research, chosen your host, and thought about a domain name. Now it’s time for the money-making adventure to really begin — you get to build your website.
You have a couple of options for building your site. You can choose to make a static site, which is a site built with HTML and CSS that you create and your visitor sees exactly as you create it. Or you can make a dynamic site using WordPress, which the blogging software create dynamically each time a visitor comes to your website. Click here to read more about static websites vs. WordPress blogs.
Using a Site Builder
You can code your entire webpage by hand (or using a software like Dreamweaver to help you), but you may not want to do that at first. I recommend that you learn the basics of HTML and CSS no matter what kind of site you decide to have because it will help you so much… but you don’t need to do all the coding on your own.
If you’ve chosen to use Bluehost, you’ll get a basic site builder, but a blog is probably a better option for you. If you’re using Site Build It!, however, you’ll get an extremely robust site builder package that will take you step-by-step through setting up a great website.
Your site should be organized in a logical way. Your research using the Site Build It! Action Guide will guide in setting up your site in a perfectly optimized way for your visitors (and to make you money). You’ll be guided how to organize your site following the principles of a content pyramid.
Then you pick an attractive template from the site builder and follow the step-by-step instructions to build each page in the Block Builder. Soon you’ll have your entire site up and looking great. Of course, if you want to you can upload your own HTML and CSS.
If you’re using Bluehost I recommend you set up a WordPress blog. But, if you’re creating a site for money you may not want a traditional, confusing blogging setup. Your visitors need to see the information in a logical way — so they can find what they need!! You may not want to have constantly refreshing content on top.
Though WordPress is easy to set up initially and easy to update, you still want to carefully set it up. Luckily there’s a great guide available to you — Lisa’s WordPress Guide takes you step-by-step through how to structure your WordPress blog so that it makes sense to your visitors and is optimized for the search engines so you get higher rankings.
You’ll also want to pick a clean, professional theme. It’s important to have your site look great. WordPress is nice because there are so many themes to choose from, but I recommend that you choose a premium theme. Investing in a premium theme gives you a polished, professional look. Plus, premium themes come with many advanced features to create an effective website — and usually have lots of developer support.
My favorite premium themes are from Elegant Themes. They have lots of features to personalize your site and make it search engine friendly, as well as active support forums to get answers to any questions you may have.
Build With a Plan
It’s important to start your site with a plan, regardless of whether you’re using SBI or WordPress. A plan lets you build your content page by page, but with an overall view of the big picture. SBI’s Action Guide will take you step-by-step through doing all of your research and planning to actually building your site.
WordPress requires you to figure out keyword research and structure yourself, but Lisa’s WordPress Guide will take you from the keyword research you’ve done to a clean, optimized site that works for you, your visitors, and the search engines.
Photo by Will Scullen