• Step 3: How To Build Your First Website


Step 3: Building A Basic Website

My friend had approached internet marketing the standard way: he heard there was money to be made, got excited, bought a product, learned that work was involved, and quit. Two years later, he needed money, and he picked up internet marketing again (which, of course, was met with purchasing another product).

This is the usual approach to this business… sad and true. My friend picked it up again and started learning about, and he did what most people do again: He started looking for ways to make fast money that required the least amount of work. Recently, he approached me wide-eyed and said, “Ryan, you don’t even have to have a website!”

That phrase revealed that he had a long road ahead of him. Of course, he was sort of right… if you find a market that is hungry, and you find products that are relevant to what the market wants, then you can give it to them in a hundred different ways – with or without a website.

Heck, I saw one guy get to know a market really well and make a few posts on a forum, followed by his PayPal address so that he could collect payment, and he raked in $20k in a few days just from understanding the market and giving it what it wanted. Bum marketing is another way to make some money without a website.

But that guy who made the $20k on the forum disappeared immediately after his launch, and he’s now deep in the porn industry. Bum marketing is great, but you have little control over what the article directories do, and you never fully capitalize on the leads that you generate.

It is my opinion that, in order to make a significant splash in internet marketing, you absolutely need to have a website. Sometimes, a blog or small site on Weebly or Blogger will do the trick, but I’m a firm believer in having your own site on your own host and your own domain. There is no substitution.

This step is a real barrier for a lot of people, often because it requires learning to deal with domain names and hosting programs.  To help with this, I’ve listed the exact programs that I use for each step:

Design: WordPress or XSitePro
Hosting: HostGator
Domain Names: Namecheap.com

For more, see Best Website Building Software.

When I find a hot niche, I always snatch up a domain over at Namecheap (I try to avoid GoDaddy – don’t like their commercials, and they have a tendency to cause a lot of problems). Then, I simply transfer it over to my hosting company, which allows me to put files online (that is, your website). Then, I either build the site in WordPress, or I make a template in XSitePro. The latter is the easiest option for beginners.

When adding content to a web page, I usually follow a model of what I simply call a “hub.” It works like this:

On the main page, I introduce the topic and attempt to collect an opt-in for a newsletter or some sort of bonus. If the niche is bowling, for example, I’ll introduce myself and explain why I’m worthy of giving you advice, and how you can find some advice in the newsletter on the page.

From the main page, I link to my central “hubs,” which are more specific to a sub niche. For example, one hub might talk about how to choose the right bowling ball, while another describes how to throw the ball straighter.

From there, I link to specific product reviews. From the hub about choosing the right bowling ball, I link to the bowling balls that I think are the best and provide reviews for each of them.

Of course, this is my own simple formula and can be tweaked however you’d like, but I do this because this structure allows me to touch on a lot of subniches, review products, and build a list from the same site.

One big mistake that people make is to create a very broad site. For example, a blog on bowling isn’t going to get you very far; the idea is too broad and fails to target a specific market. Instead, you’d be better off offering an opt-in subscription on the main page, linking to more niche specific topics in your hubs, and then providing reviews for products that would help other avid bowlers.

Questions often arise about driving traffic, promotion, and relationship building once you have a website, and I’ll address those in the coming steps, but all of these are immaterial unless your site is up. And again, if you’ve picked a hungry niche with good products to promote, then you can do a lot of things wrong and still see success.

Building a web site is nothing to fear – the first time through, it can be a pain, but it gets easier every time. While it’s possible to make money without a website, I would dare to say that it’s IMpossible to sustain a profitable business without one.

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38 Responses to “Step 3: How To Build Your First Website

  1. Marian says:

    useful article, and yes you’re right, one needs his/her website but not free hosted! and wp blogs are powerful!



  2. Oliver says:

    Thanks this is a great article.

    One question through… by “transferring domains over”, are you actually transferring them or are you doing this “addon domain” thing? Which do you do or not do and why/why not? :) Thanks!

  3. Joseph Ting says:

    You have been the awesome one, Ryan!

    Extremely useful…
    Just found out that you’re registering your domains under namecheap.
    Gotta transfer some from GoDaddy to NameCheap. =D

    Will definitely use HostGator when I have the budget.

  4. Luke says:

    yea wordpress is great for making this simple sites. I tried xsitepro for a while, but I couldn’t manage well with it.

    Thanks for the post, I’ll be sure to use these tips,

  5. hEY Ryan,
    you must have been reading my mind. how did you know i needed that exact info to help me build my first website. u r truly one of my best mentors and thks so much for the article. It will help me alot. Have a great summer. Oh by the way, i just made my first sales with Clickbank and i am elated!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Been at it for 6mths and now it is finally paying off slowly but surely, thanks to u RYAN MORGAN, you r the best.

    your # 1 fan

  6. wai kei says:

    I am a novice at website building, so whilst I can grasp the theory of what you propose, I get lost in the details. Can you possibly show me a mind map of the process from main page to subniche, etc.?


  7. Building websites can be very easy with weebly, just drag and drop.Anyone can do it.With hosting and domain can be little bit more complicated if you need SEO onpage. You can always invest couple $100 and buy ready made site on the sitepoint, and start from there. Options are limitless. Great article Ryan, as always.

  8. Sally says:

    You’re so right about needing a real website. I just want to add that there’s a reasonably priced alternative to Xsite Pro. Back when I was on a very tight budget I spent a long time researching this issue and hit pay dirt. Nowadays I’m not on a tight budget but I still use the same software because I love it.

    Here it is: http://www.wysiwygwebbuilder.com/

    It costs $40.00

    Tons of add-ons and templates. Great support. Check out the forum. No, that isn’t an affiliate link. Their affiliate program is a joke…LOL.

  9. Don Driscoll says:

    How about showing us one of your sites, so we can see exactly what you have done to make it profitable>

  10. Ryan,

    I like what you say about not making your site so broad. It’s good to be specific, easier to market. But, it cuts down on your potential share of the market. I guess the thing is to learn how to market a single product at a time then add on as you learn.

  11. David Cox says:

    do search engines prefer broad sites to specialised ones?
    For example would sites devoted to specific dance forms perform better overall than to a reference work on many forms of dance?

    In my defence my site is ‘learning the ropes’. The company I am working for is International, and very successful despite being very poorly served by its websites.

  12. wai kei says:

    “Options are limitless” and theories abound from all manner of teachers.
    I am reading this to learn from Ryan and I hope that there is more to this than just another “article” to motivate the newcomers to the business of marketing on the internet.


  13. I just got my site up and running using the exact recommendations that you stated. namecheap, hostgator, and wordpress. Glad to see that I am following your advice….I love learning from someone that knows what they are doing. Keep writing Ryan…and go Cavs, great to see they added Shaq.

  14. vlh says:

    Wai Kei: I was finally able to build my first web site using Chris Farrell’s “Success Grenade” videos (free) & his free ebook, and Kevin Riley’s newbie toolkits. I’m not a “techie” person, but I was able to get it done in about a day with just Chris’ videos, and a little technical help from my web hosting company (I use 1&1). I also tried using Weebly, but sooner or later, you just have to learn how to use an FTP client, and it’s not that hard to learn. Google “success grenade” and “create your first web site by 3:45 this afternoon” and you can find those free resources pretty easily.

  15. Ismay says:

    Hi Ryan
    I have learned so much from the information that you post. Best of all you present your information on a format that everyone can understand. Thanks again

  16. Rope Halters says:

    Thank you for the information Ryan. You are right, Their is nothing like building yourself a website or two to really understand what internet marketing is about.

  17. Liz says:

    Awesome and so simply put, Ryan! Thanks so much for the breath of fresh air.

  18. James says:

    Ryan, you say, “On the main page, I introduce the topic and attempt to collect an opt-in for a newsletter or some sort of bonus.”

    Where do come up with the things to give away? Are they of your own design or are they things anyone can somewhat readily appropriate to give to others? If they are made by you, can you give a specific example of one and let us know the time it took to develop it?

    Thanks for all your info.

  19. Aaron says:

    i bought xsitepro (from ryans affiliate link :) and i have been really happy with it.

    i’m no techie and so far it’s been super easy i’m sure there are a ton of things you can do with it that i haven’t learned yet.

    i have published 2 sites so far with it and am building the 3rd.

    so not to sound to cheesy or kiss ass but thanks ryan for the xsitepro recommendation so far it’s been everything i needed.

  20. Mike says:

    Nice article here. I agree that WordPress and XSitePro are great tools for building websites (although XSP is obviously more expensive). I love using Hostgator for hosting too…easy to use, lots of features, and they answer any questions I have too.

    For domains, I agree that Namecheap is the best. 1&1 is decent, but the user interface isn’t as nice. And kudos for you…I don’t like GoDaddy either because of the filthy commercials.

  21. Anne says:

    Thanks again Ryan for this information. As usual, your information is always good and well written.

  22. Godaddy may not be perfect. There are less expensive ways to go. But what are the problems you are talking about? I have about 30 domains over there on a designated server. You have to use Plesk and I guess that could be confusing. But Godaddy has great technical support so even this senile old man can get things done. One thing, my sites are never down.

    Now for WordPress. That is the Great Mystery to me. I see you are still in the dorm. Are you thinking about grad school.

    Anyway, I like this topic and I’m looking for more.

    John (WA tjbooks)

  23. By the way. I had a forwarded cloaked link at GoDaddy and did not disable Masking. I lost some commissions at WAU. Marcus caught the problem for me.

    No wonder I didn’t make Vegas!

    You might cover this in the future.


  24. Great information! I am about to embark on a niche website and I am looking for all the information that I can get.

  25. Sam says:

    Dude you always give good content. Keep it coming, thanks a lot Ryan.

  26. Halina says:

    Great advice Ryan,
    I initially signed up under GoDaddy, and while I found their hosting program easier to navigate (and I do like their commercials, actually), these pernicious problems kept rising up when I chose WordPress as my web program. After calling them repeatedly to troubleshoot, I chucked it all and went to HostGator. This hosting program is not as user-friendly, but it seems to have fewer bugs. Anyway, thanks again for the helpful advice! I’ll be reading your other pages too…
    Your Money and Debt

  27. Rebecca says:

    Great Article Ryan!

  28. Rhonda Page says:

    Ryan, I enjoyed the simplicity. I remember you wrote a post a long time ago about where you put certain keywords that will be picked up. Can you refer me and folks to that because it was great. Also, do you have a good description of how to creat links and back links? Also I had a mentor company call using your name as a referral. Is this for real? I am a little concerned and thought that you should know. Take care

  29. ashlee says:

    Ryan thanks for this, it’s really helping me improve my business strategies. But I still can’t access the TAG forums and they’re so useful! Its extremely bumming me out!


  30. mpho says:

    quite an insightful read Ryan.

    Thanks man!

  31. nina says:

    Great post, Thanks Ryan.
    I just built my first site using wordpress.
    Little details were a pain (changing MX records), but getting it done finally was very rewarding.
    Do you have any advice on where to get nice themes?
    Im going blind looking at all the options.
    Any suggestions would be great


  32. Diana says:

    I buy my domains at godaddy. I have never had any problems. I host my sites with VodaHost. Cost is $9.95 for unlimited space and domains. Plus, their editor BlueVoda is free and the best editor I have found anywhere. Hostgator has 2 editors. Their best one you can only use on one site. The other is mediochre at best. My 2 cents:)

  33. [...] Step 3: How To Build Your First Website « Ryan Moran – Step 3: How To Build Your First Website. Step 3: Building A Basic Website. My friend had approached internet marketing the standard way: he heard there was money to be made, got excited, bought a product, learned that work was involved, … [...]

  34. [...] Step 3: How To Build Your First Website « Ryan Moran – Step 3: How To Build Your First Website. Step 3: Building A Basic Website. My friend had approached internet marketing the standard way: he heard there was money to be made, got excited, bought a product, learned that work was involved, … [...]

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