How we Started
When I was a student, I had plenty of time on my hand. I was an avid reader, constantly feeding my voracious brain with knowledge on business, economics and politics. But despite my enthusiasm and knowledge I contained within the confines of my skull, I couldn’t use it outside the university walls.
“I was often either broke or did shitty jobs to make ends meet. My bosses were ill-mannered oafs who couldn’t care less about their employees.”
The sad conclusion to this story is that I was not alone. Hundreds, maybe thousands of other young adults in their early twenties suffered the same fate. We had knowledge from top universities, energy and enthusiasm we could never use. But the labour market was not adjusted to such a high concentration of students. Therefore everyone worked what they could (usually manual labour.) It was often hard and more often humiliating.
During times like these I often contemplated what it could be like to look for alternative ways of making a sufficient living. Just a few hundred dollars worth, to get through the day and pay rent on time. I had a message I wanted to deliver. I felt like a keen writer, a messiah of words! Like many others, with books crammed onto my college tables, there was knowledge to be shared.
“If I had known that a decent job with a possibility of making a small salary was right under my nose, I would’ve laughed at myself for days.”
On top of all this, I had the potential to make a living out of this, if I had known how to use some online tools and utilise some digital marketing knowledge. But I didn’t. And evidently, only years later, I came to realise how much I had struggled searching for a job or busying my days with shitty work for a low pay.
Creating a Website and Domain
In this article we will run briefly through the first step of making money online. First and foremost, you will need a website. There are many platforms for creating a website, like Joomla, Wix or Drupal. But in our case we will be introducing you to WordPress.org, as it is the most widely used platform. And most importantly, because we are using WordPress.org ourselves. 🙂
So in order to create your website you need the following steps.
1, Get a web hosting company
Web hosting is a service that allows organisations and individuals to post a website or web page onto the Internet. If you want to learn more about hosting, simply click here. In order to store your images, content and website files, you are going to need a web hosting. Without web hosting, your website will not be visible on the Internet.
There are two the key difference WordPress types: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
- If you download WordPress from WordPress.org, you host yourself. You set it up with your chosen hosting provider and use it on your own website, which gives you a ton of flexibility. This is why WordPress.org is often also called self-hosted WordPress.
- WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a blog/website platform based on the WordPress.org software. Instead of needing to download the software and host it by yourself, you can just sign up for a WordPress.com account and have a working website right away.WordPress.com does allow you to set up a website entirely for free, but there are some downsides to this:
- You can only place your site under a subdomain
- You cannot remove WordPress.com’s own ads and branding from your site
- You get limited disk space of 3GB
- You can’t monetize your blog or website
- You can’t install plugins or any themes that aren’t available on the platform by default
If you do want to use your site for a commercial purpose, you will have to pay at least $8 / month on your WordPress.com plan + the cost of a custom domain name usually in the range of $15 / year. In total, this means at least $111 annually to run a site on WordPress.com.
2, Domain name
Owning your own domain name looks far more professional. Imagine you had our company name, Timesinternational.net on someone else’s domain (timesinternational.wordpress.com). It just looks better and it’s super affordable, too. Most hosting providers offer domains FREE for one year or usually ~$15/year. Depending on who you choose. If you want, here are some options.
In a nutshell – without a web hosting and a domain name, your website will NOT exist.
3, Set up your Website
The first thing you’ll need to do is install WordPress to your domain. Almost every reliable and well-established hosting company has integrated 1-click-installation for WordPress, which makes getting going a snap.
At Times International, we use Kinsta as our WordPress hosting platform. Having launched our website, approximately a month ago, we can clearly see on Kinsta’s dashboard our current number of visitors per week. As a young and dynamic website, we still have quite far to go, but the statistics show, we will reach more than 250 people every week, making more than a 1000 this month.
Although they are expensive, I would recommend a more student friendly hosting provider, unless you are certain your site will hit immediate traffic.
Here are the steps you should follow (should be similar/same on all the major web hosting companies):
1, Log in to your hosting account.
2, Go to your control panel.
3, Look for the “WordPress” or “Website” icon.
4, Choose the domain where you want to install your new website.
5, Click the “Install Now” button and you will get access to your new WordPress website.
3, Design your Website
Once you have successfully installed WordPress to your domain, you’ll see a very basic, boring page.
Here is where you need a theme, a design template that tells WordPress how your website should look. See an example of free WordPress theme that you can install:
All you have to do is go on your dashboard and find “Appearance” where you will have a large number of FREE theme. However in order to unlock the ones you will truly fancy, you might have to pay for those.
4, Add Content to your Site
The way you see it below, this is how we have made this very article through WordPress. You must select a heading and create whatever you wanted to share with the world or your target audience.
There are multiple customisation, but we will talk about them more in our future articles.
5, How to make an income
Two of the most common ways bloggers make money is through placing ads on their site or affiliate marketing. With advertising, there are two popular types of ads:
- CPC/PPC Ads: Cost per click (also called pay per click) ads are usually banners that you place in your content or sidebar. Each time a reader clicks on the ad, you are paid for that click.
- CPM Ads: CPM Ads, or “cost per 1,000 impressions,” are ads that pay you a fixed amount of money based on how many people view your ad.
Perhaps the most popular network for placing these types of ads is Google AdSense. With this program, you do not need to be in direct contact with advertisers; you simply place the banner on your site, Google chooses ads relevant to your content, and your viewers click on the ads.
With Affiliate marketing, you are basically becoming the vendor of another organisations’s product or service and get a commission on each sale. As an affiliate marketer you can sign up to a specific company’s affiliate program and blog, review or link them to your site from where people can gain valuable feedback and purchase whatever you’re affiliate for. A good example to look for affiliate marketers can be here:
We will continue updating our articles in the future, so stay tuned for more detailed steps, tips and headlines.