Make extra money from home - part 2
In the second part of this blog post on making money from the comfort of your sofa, we take it to the advanced level!
Following on from my last blog post about making extra money from home, here are my tips for those of you wanting to take it to the advanced stage.
Advanced - Run a website
If you have tried blogging on blogger.com and have decided that it is something you would like to do more seriously then it is probably time to build your own website.
Building websites may sound very complicated but it is actually relatively straightforward. Eight years ago I had no idea how to build a website. However, after reading about it and teaching myself I got the hang of it very quickly and can now have a website up and running in about half an hour! So if I can do it, anyone can!
Having your own website opens up so many doors that a blog on blogger.com limits you from doing. You have complete control over how you market it, in addition to the content and structure of it.
Getting started - The basics
1. Buy a domain - I used uk2.net to buy my domains. However, there are lots of good quality domain buying companies in the UK. Depending on what domain extension you want (.co.uk, .com, .org.uk etc), the price will vary, but you are generally looking at less than £10 to own a .co.uk for two years.
2. Hosting - You can pay for hosting and the prices depend on your requirements. I tend not to recommend hosting companies because I have had different experiences with each of them, some good and some bad. But generally you are looking at around £25 - £50 to host a basic website for a year.
However, I have found a number of free hosting companies over the years. My personal recommendation is 000webhost.com. They offer completely free hosting for a basic website and I have actually found the service from them better than the service from some paid hosting providers I use.
3. A CMS - You could hand code your website using HTML but that would take far too long. Instead use a free content management system such as Wordpress.org. I use this for all my websites and I cannot recommend it enough.
You need to be able to have a basic understanding of html, php and mysql, in addition to having some knowledge about FTP to get it up and running. But again I learnt all of this from scratch on my own, so if I can do it anyone can. Having a CMS then means it's extremely easy to add new content and update your website.
4. An idea for a website topic - The best advice I can give you is build a website about something you know lots about and something that is niche. That way you will have lots of useful content to write about. Some examples of niche sites I have built are - freegymmembership.org.uk and puertopollensa.org.uk.
5. Marketing - This is potentially one of the hardest parts. You have a great website but no visitors - you need visitors to make money. There are literally thousands of ways to get visitors to your website and unfortunately it is down to you to get them there. Some basic ideas are:
- SEO - Search engine optimisation. This is about making your website search engine friendly so it appears in the search engines for relevant keywords.
- Social Media - Create a Facebook page, Twitter profile or participate in relevant forums in order to drive traffic to your website.
- Use Adwords - This is Google's pay per click advertising programme. It is definitely more for advanced users because you are paying for traffic, but the theory behind it is if you pay Adwords 20p for someone to visit your website and then get them to buy something on your website, that gives you a higher commission and you are in profit. I should add that it is easy to get your hands burnt doing this, so only try it once you are really experienced.
So in a nutshell, yes, you can make money from the comfort of your own home in your pyjamas. In fact, many people are very successful at it and don't even need a 'proper' job. But the downside is that it is not a get rich quick scheme. You need to put in a lot of time, patience and learning, but if you are dedicated and committed then you will succeed.
If you have been inspired to learn more about any of this or would like more advice you can get hold of me at my forum.