Cheapest form of advertising
Having an affordable website is the cheapest form of advertising there is. This post will teach how to create your own website starting with nothing but a blank computer screen.
We can create a website for you. Or, if you are quite computer literate, you may be able to do it yourself.
WordPress website & blog
Here you will learn how to :
- Set up a new WordPress website
- Set up WordPress blog
- Make website look professional
- Link to social media
Create an affordable website in 9 steps
Use these links to as you are going through the process of creating your affordable website.
- New domain name
- Web host
- Move domain name to web host
- Install WordPress
- WordPress plugins
- Create blog posts
- Pictures to enhance your website
- Social media
1. Find & buy your ideal domain name
You usually want to have your business name in the domain name of your affordable website.
You can use this to help find the ideal domain name — RAIL, the four main points to think about are Recall, Aesthetics, Impressions & Length.
* Recall: Will the domain name be easy to use/remember? Choose a name that’s easy to recall.
* Aesthetics: How does the name look written on paper? How will it appear alongside other lettering on business cards and company stationery?
* Impressions: First impressions can be crucial. So select a domain name that will give an immediate good impression.
* Length: Typing a short web-address is always preferable to typing a long one. Choose for length.
So, you might want to use only part of your business name. Also, someone else may already be using your ideal name.
After using different companies to find domain names since 1996, I’ve decided that WhoIs is my favourite one.
- Go to WhoIs
- Press login button in horizontal menu
- Enter an email address & password to get a new account
- Record password in safe place
- Start searching for possible domain names
- Register a domain name
Let’s say you want to promote BC fishing lodges. “Dot com” is the easiest extension for people to remember. So, you search for “bcfishinglodges.com”. If that’s unavailable, you could search for “fishinglodgesbc.com”.
Keep searching until you find the ideal domain name. Register it for your affordable website.
Note: WhoIs will try and sell you other services. Don’t bother.
2. Find an excellent web host
If you do not have the right web host, you’ll likely have problems down the road. I’ve been creating websites since 1996 and have had plenty of different web hosts. They all eventually gave me grief until I found LiquidNet Ltd Hosting. Now I’m planning on staying with LiquidNet.
They are not paying me to say this. I just like them because they:
- Are super reliable
- Have WordPress available
- Have best tech support I’ve seen
- Only $35 USD/year for one website
Go to the LiquidNet Compare Features page and get a one-month free trial of the Starter plan. After the free month, it will cost you $35 USD/yr.
3. Move domain name to web host
After you register you domain name, you must change the domain name servers (DNS) so that it points to your web host.
The DNS names for LiquidNet Ltd Hosting are dns1.supremedns.com and dns2.supremedns.com.
- Click Account > MyAccount
- Where it says Jump to Domain, enter domain name with which you are working
- Click arrow to jump there
- Click on Name Servers
- Enter dns1.supremedns.com and dns2.supremedns.com in appropriate boxes
4. Install WordPress
Go to the Install WordPress blog post for more information about setting up your affordable website.
5. WordPress plugins
Plugins are apps that are added to WordPress to increase its functionality. There are over 49,000 to choose from. Some are reasonably important ones to have. For example:
- Aksimet to help prevent spam
- Caldera Forms, possibly the best form-creation plugin available
- Google SML Sitemaps to search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing find you
- Yoast SEO to help you search engine optimize a page. (Go to Yoast SEO setup article to see how to set up this and therefore most other plugins.)
Other really special plugins under circumstances include:
- Ad Inserter — if you want to place an ad in your right-hand column
- WooCommerce — if you want to have an online retail store
- Appointment Calendar — if you have a business such as a massage parlour or beauty salon and wish to have a calendar for your appointments.
Perhpas you are looking for a particular application and have no idea what the plugin would be called. Enter search engine terms such as review WordPress plugin quiz maker. Replace “quiz maker” with whatever term describes the type of application you are looking for.
How to install a new plugin
- Go to one of your web pages in visual editing mode
- Click on Plugins > Add New
- In Search Plugins box search for “Yoast SEO” or whatever plugin you are looking for
- Install & activate the plugin.
6. Create some quality blog posts
Your very first page
Go to YourDomainName/wp-login.php. (“YourDomainName” is the domain you may have used in the previous post about How to Install WordPress.)
Make an attractive home page using the page/post quality criteria discussed below. Then make your first blog post on your affordable website using the same quality criteria.
Before you start your first blog post:
- Decide upon theme of your blog
- Each post relates to that theme
- To test popularity of theme:
- Search for it on Twitter
- If your theme is blog writing, search for that term using your Twitter search box
- If there are lots of posts about blog writing (there are), that’s a good theme
- Search for your theme on Google Trends.
- Look at the related queries
- You can find good long-tail keywords to help with SEO
- Find synonyms for your theme & search them.
- For instance, I looked at related queries for “blog writing”. I found that “content writing” (results in red here) was a more popular search term
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New
- Search for Yoast SEO
- Install & activate it
- Learn more about Yoast SEO
Finding enough content
- If you are looking for content to match your theme, consider content creation
- This is where you copy a few sentences from someone else’s related page or post and paste them into your blog
- It’s perfectly legal if you attribute the source
- Write an article that includes curated content from 3 – 5 different sources
- Make sure:
- All of the curated content flows smoothly with the content of your article
- It gives information that your readers will value
- This is where you copy a few sentences from someone else’s related page or post and paste them into your blog
Select a theme for your blog & start writing some posts (that’s posts & not pages) related to that theme. When judging the quality of a post, you look at 3 criteria:
The information you give must be:
- Valuable to your readers
- Original sounding
- Current. So, keep researching what is current information.
Think about these points:
- Layout — How well is your web page laid out?
- Ease of reading — Is it easy to read?
- Pictures — Do the pictures assist with the reading experience?
Always keep in mind that people usually don’t read web pages. They skim them.
Expect them to just skim over a page in the shape of a capital letter F. They will read the first few lines completely. Then they will read the beginning of a few lines. Then they will skim right down the page.
Try to have lots of bullet points to help with the skimming right down.
- Human brain processes pictures 60,000 times faster than text
- So, use pictures that help explain concepts you want to get across
- Here are 10 sources of free photos
- Pay $3 each for photos with a “wow” factor from Adobe Stock . (See “wow factor note” at bottom.)
- I try to make sure the first picture on a post is an amazing one. That will help draw them into the article. Several social media will link to the blog. They will link from the amazing picture.
- You might pay $3 for your first photo and get the rest free. It’s all part of having an affordable website.
- I try to have one image for every 75 – 100 words.
People prefer to read shorter lines. If you have a picture in the first paragraph, the lines will be shorter. They they are more apt to read the rest of the article.
- Test all of your links to make sure they work. (It helps with SEO to have links to external sources.)
- Have social media icons so that visitors can share your excellent content with their friends and colleagues.
Help pages load quickly
40% of people will abandon a site if it takes greater than 3 seconds to load.
- Photo size — Don’t have photos larger then they have to be. For example, I had an image with a “wow” factor that was 741 pixels wide. It was 1.3MB in size. When I selected a corner and made it smaller, it still was 1.3 MB in size. However, when I opened it up in GIMP and used Image > Scale Image to reduce it to 400 pixels wide, it was 407 kB in size.
- Block 3rd party cookies — Reduces ad garbage
- Search for load time reducing ideas. Try reading How to Make Your Site Insanely Fast.
Website visitors are impatient. You need visuals to encourage them to read more. If they are not really interested in the first 3 seconds, they will probably leave your page. So, use images with a “wow” factor to grab their attention. The special picture should be above the fold if possible.
A picture is worth 1000 words
The brain processes a picture much faster than text — 60,000 times faster. So, a picture is probably worth much more than 1000 words.
What makes visuals different from text?
- Visuals are stored directly in the long-term memory
- Text is stored in the short-term memory
- Images increase comprehension, recollection and retention to a greater extent than text does
- So, people are more likely to remember things on your web page if text is accompanied by a picture
- Also, notice how the picture in this image made text lines shorter so that people are more likely to start reading
- Pictures enhance emotions more strongly than text.
- Pictures engage the imagination to a greater extent than text
- Pictures heighten creative thinking to a greater extent than text
- The brain processes everything about a picture simultaneously
- With text, the brain processes the information one word at a time
Souces of visuals
When you are explaining things, it often helps if you use a program such as Skitch to grab part of an image to explain a point. Visuals help us decode text.
Sometimes, or probably usually, visitors will leave your page if you do not grab their attention within 2 or 3 seconds. I often go to Adobe Stock and pay $3 for a photo that will “wow” people long enough to get them to read the page.
Note that to use Adobe Stock you must pay $30 USD per month for 10 photos. If that is too much, try the nocostimages alternative.
To help you have a truly affordable website, try going to 10 sources of free stock images.
8. Make your horizontal menu
Go to the article about creating a horizontal menu.
9. Begin adding social media
Learning about social media can be overwhelming. So, start by learning one, getting good at it and then going on to the next one.
I highly recommend starting with Twitter. For every blog post, write a tweet that has exactly two hashtags.
Your tweets should:
- Link to your blog post
- Link to other people’s blog posts with theme’s like yours. So, for each blog post, make multiple tweets.
- Gives you more credibility
- Not just promoting your own products or ideas.
The second one should probably be a Facebook page. (Study that post thoroughly.)
At the beginning of each blog, each Facebook page post and the beginning of most social media posts, you should grab their attention with an amazing image.
Read the blog post about how to get amazing stock photos for your social media posts. Make sure you scroll down to the section about 20 steps for downloading Adobe photos.
After you have a few Twitter & Facebook posts that link to a blog post, start learning your next social medium. Below are the next 6 social media I suggest you learn. They are listed in what I consider the order of importance for my situation.
Note that virtually every blog I create will have a link to it from Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook as a minimum. If it is an especially good blog post, I will add more social media.
* * * * * * * * *
Bookmark this page. It will help you make a truly affordable website.
“Wow” factor note
I promote each blog post using at least 3 different social media (Twitter, Facebook & Google Plus). Here’s an example of how to promote a post using 7 different social media.
Pictures are much more effective than words for getting points across. So, I’ve started using an amazing picture at the top of each blog post. Each social media post linking to that post will have the same picture.