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In the modern era of internet business and blogs, it can seem like every person on the block has a blog or website that they run to share their ideas or interests. However, it's likely for a reason.
With so many potential revenue streams through advertising and content on the web, there are plenty of ways to turn passion projects or hobbies into passive revenue streams. Whether that means writing short stories, sharing your photographs, or even selling t-shirts or other products, creating your own website can be the perfect outlet.
All that said, creating a website is a fairly daunting task if you've never done it before. There's the domain name, the site design, the backend code, the content, and if you're running an e-commerce site, there are a whole plethora of other problems.
As creating your own website has grown in popularity, however, so too have the tools that make the process fairly easy.
How to get started
The best way to get started with creating your won website is deciding on the domain name and the hosting platform. Finding a website name is as much creativity as it is just getting lucky with a domain name that's available and makes sense for your site. Sites like Bluehost are some of the easiest places to start this search.
Rather than having to search around for a web hosting site and a content publishing tool and a storage solution, Bluehost allows you to streamline the entire process and get everything all in one place.
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Running and launching your own website is hard enough as it is. That means you'll want to find ways to remove as much hassle from the actual setup and running of the site as possible so that you can spend all of your time creating and curating content or products. After all, the goal is to generate passive or minorly active revenue sources. That doesn't happen with ease if you're spending all of your free time worrying about whether to host the site on the cloud or purchase your own server, among other things.
A good place to start for hosting content is WordPress, as it provides an easy streamlined backend that can work for the beginner and even be used all the way up to expert as it's appearance is completely customizable through themes.
Growing the site with SEO and social
After you launch a website, you're going to have to concern yourself with getting traffic to it. There are two ways you can do this, actively or passively.
The active route involves generating traffic through social posts like on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit. All of these sites can be great ways to get viewers to your blog. However, they require some level of insight into the algorithms of what makes posts popular, and they also require time and active persistence. If you have the time and want to put in the effort, developing communities on social channels for your website is a great way to build awareness and traffic.
The other way of generating traffic for your site is to take a more passive approach. That falls into the lap of search engine optimization, or SEO. This is essentially the practice of optimizing your site content for being found organically in searches across the web, like on Google or Bing.
SEO does take some initial work and setup, but for the most part, after the initial effort (if done correctly) it's just a waiting game of letting the search algorithms pick up your site content. One thing you will want to pay attention to on this front are bounce rates, traffic, and optimizing your landing pages. Doing all of this and improving the metrics therein can improve your search rank and get you otherwise free traffic over time from organic searches.
Another thing you might want to consider to grow your site is paid ads. If you have some cash to spend at the get-go, running paid google ads can help get more traffic to your site from people that are already looking for similar content. These platforms don't have a huge learning curve and there are plenty of free learning resources, so why not pick up another skill along the way?
The final step in the process for all of this is finding a way to generate revenue for your site. First, you'll want to implement ads on your site, the easiest way being integrating Google Adsense. By implementing a few lines of code, ads can start appearing on your site. The cool thing about WordPress or tools like Bluehost is that there are often plugins to make this as easy as possible, even if you have no technical knowledge.
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Another way to generate revenue is through product sales. This is going to be a little more complex since you'll actually have to deal with the exchange of money between the consumer and yourself, but again, there are plenty of modern tools to make this as easy as possible. Tools like Shopify or Teespring take the pain out of integrating e-commerce into your site. Teespring specifically allows you to sell t-shirts and merchandise without ever having anything to do with the production process.
Rather, you simply upload and customize the product, tell the site how much you want to sell it for, and Teespring will take care of selling, creating, and shipping the product. They'll also send you checks on the regular if you sell enough things.
With so many tools available, creating, launching, managing, and monetizing a website now no longer takes a team of people. Rather it can be done over the course of a well planned out weekend with a little bit of creativity and drive.
If you're looking to launch a website or are just starting to consider it, take a look at the video below for some more helpful tips and tricks along the way.