Making money online is no different than making money anywhere else, you need one thing:
Think about it, every transaction ever made in the history of the world has been based on that one thing.
Someone has something that someone else wants.
It can be a physical product, or a service, or knowledge, but at the end of the day, it’s something that has “value” to someone else.
In the old days, it was hard to have “an asset” — it was based mostly on physicality, thus requiring lots of money to get started in the first place.
People had to create the product in order to build up an inventory, which costs money.
They needed the tools to build or create it, which costs money.
They needed a place to store it, or a store to sell it in, which costs money.
They needed to get that product in front of potential customers, which costs money.
They needed to ship it, which costs money.
NONE of that matters anymore.
You, for the most part, don’t need ANY of it… and the little pieces you do still need, well, are almost virtually free.
The cost of entry has plummeted, and the upside is almost limitless.
So hopefully by the time you’re reading this, you’ve already read my article on How to Make Money Online — if you haven’t, go read that first so that this one will make a lot more sense.
So, how do you create your very own valuable online asset?
That’s what we’re going to dive into next!
In my experience, it all starts with building a website. Think of a website as your personal real estate on the Internet. The great thing about websites and the Internet though, is that the number of websites (or “assets”) you can own is essentially limitless — and they’re cheap to start.
Did I mention that they’re pretty easy, too?
In the early days of the Internet, designing websites was a long and exhausting task. They needed hundreds to thousands of lines of manual coding. They were extremely time consuming.
That’s not the case anymore.
Thanks to the creation of platforms like WordPress, or what we in “the biz” know as Content Management Systems (or a CMS), a person can have a website up in as little as 10 minutes, without ever having to know any lick of coding whatsoever.
So, what do you need to start building your valuable assets?
It takes 3 simple things:
- A domain name
- A web hosting account
- The free CMS Platform files
Put them together, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful piece of real estate on the Internet based on almost anything you want, and can make money while you do it!
Now, I’m going to break each one down into exactly what it is, how it works, and where you can get it:
A domain name is simply your web address, also known as a “URL” — this is the address people type into the search bar to get to your website. Examples include:
These are all “domain names.” There are many different suffixes, for example:
.com, .net, .org, .us, .club, .ly, etc.
How and where do you get a domain name?
There are lots of places! Some are better than others, for different reasons such as privacy, convenience, or price.
I personally get all my domain names through Google Domains because of their privacy option.
The thing you need to be aware of when buying a domain name is that most registrars (that’s what domain hosts are called) don’t offer privacy protection by default. It’s often an extra expense. So while you may be able to get a new domain from Godaddy at $5.99 a year, what many people don’t realize is that price doesn’t include privacy; privacy is an additional expense of sometimes $8-$14 more per year.
So while you think you’re getting a good deal at first, you end up paying roughly $20 a year for the domain name, because trust me, you WANT privacy protection on ALL your domain names.
Well, when you register a domain name, you’re required by law to submit all your contact information, to include full name, email address, phone number, and physical address.
If you don’t get privacy protection, ANYONE can look that information up that’s attached to your domain name via websites like whois.com.
You don’t want that, for so many reasons.
This is why I buy all my domains through Google Domains.
All of their .com’s (with the exception of one’s being resold by current owners) are automatically a flat fee of $12.99 a year, and it automatically includes privacy protection in the price.
That being said, there is a slight catch. Google Domains does not offer hosting services. So by getting your domain name through a service like Google Domains or Namecheap, you will have to have your Domain hosted at one spot, while your website/web hosting company will be at another spot.
Now this isn’t a big deal, but it does create an extra step in the process of setting your website up, whereas if you buy your domain name and website hosting from the same place (like Hostgator) then it’s less of a hassle to “point” your domain name to your hosting account.
But don’t worry, it’s still pretty straight forward and we’ll go over that just in case you decide that’s what you want to do.
So now that you know what and where Domain Names are, that leads us to the next necessity: web hosting.
Getting a web hosting account will be your “most expensive” requirement to building an online asset. But when I say expensive, don’t be fooled. You can get web hosting for as little as $3.99 a month with some web hosting companies.
Think of web hosting like your house. It’s where you put all of your “belongings” — a.k.a. your web files. This is where all the required files and webpages are hosted and live, so that people can visit them by going to your domain name.
I love Hostgator because in my opinion, their services are a little more reliable, have less problems, and their customer support is phenomenal. They’re great for inexperienced web people.
But, they are also *slightly* higher priced on average. Now, don’t let that scare you… when I say slightly, I mean slightly… we’re talking maybe by a dollar or two per month, nothing crazy.
In my opinion, the extra few dollars a month is worth the quality of service.
That being said, I also use Godaddy.
I like Godaddy because, let’s be honest, they’re cheap. Really cheap. But, you know the old saying “you get what you pay for.”
I have had a handful of issues using Godaddy’s services, but I am also a nerd.
All of the problems I’ve ever had with Godaddy, I’ve been able to resolve myself through the combination of my own web design and internet knowledge. But, if I had been a complete newbie, it would have been very painful, especially because of their customer support.
In my experience, their customer support is not very good, which doesn’t help. So I always tell people that if they are not very web design savvy, it may be worth the extra few dollars to go with Hostgator instead, because they’re much more “newbie” friendly — whereas Godaddy is a cheaper option, but you may want to have some previous web skills to be able to troubleshoot your own problems.
There are other web hosting options as well, such as Bluehost — I just personally haven’t used any others.
Regardless of who you decide to go with for web hosting, the dashboard you’ll have access to, called the “cPanel,” will look almost identical across the board. So for installation purposes, it doesn’t matter which one you choose; the installation process of your WordPress website will be the same.
That leads us to the third section, the content management system.
The last piece of the puzzle you need in order to establish an online asset is a content management system, or CMS. The one that I use, and that roughly 40% of the ENTIRE Internet uses, is called WordPress.
WordPress, like many other content management systems, is a powerful and expansive, yet easy to use platform to essentially create drag and drop websites, with almost unlimited capabilities and customization.
This will be the area where, once your website has been “created,” you will log into in order to make your web pages, create your posts (like the one you’re reading on this website right now), and add your content.
Now that you have a better understanding of the three things you need in order to establish your own personal asset online, the next thing we’re going to cover is literally the step by step instructions of how to set them up.
By the end of this post, you will have all of the steps you need to build your own valuable asset online.
Step 1 – Get Your Domain Name
Okay, so before you decide to purchase a domain name, there are some things you should think about and consider.
The first is this: if you’re going to be purchasing web hosting for the first time, most web hosts will actually give you a FREE domain for the first year, when you purchase some kind of bundle pack.
For example, most web hosting providers offer either month to month hosting packages, or they offer bulk packages (so 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, etc).
If you choose to buy a hosting package for an entire 12 months up front, they’ll most likely offer you to get a free domain with that 12 month package.
The catch is you have to pay for the full 12 months upfront. On the plus side, typically the longer time period you purchase, the bigger discount you get. So if you decide to buy 36 months worth of hosting, it’ll be discounted way more than if you only purchased 12 months, or decide on a month to month.
I typically buy mine for 12 months at a time.
The next thing you’re going to want to consider when getting your domain name, is literally what it’s going to be.
You want to make sure your domain name actually has something to do with whatever niche you’re going to be making content around.
For example, my husband loves gardening. He discovered the love of this hobby while being stuck on quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. He’s also bald, and if you know a bald man, they usually take pride in their baldness lol.
So when we discussed him creating an asset and making money around this new found hobby, we decided on buying the domain name “thebaldgardener.com” because that was the spin he decided to go with.
Now keep in mind, depending on how common a word or phrase is that you want to use, the domain name may already be taken. So try to come up with a few different options, that way if the first one you try is already taken, you’ll have some backup options.
So how do you get your domain name?
Simple: go to a domain host website, search for the one you want, and if it’s available, purchase it!
Just remember, before you purchase your domain name, go through the next section for Web Hosting. Depending on who you decide to use for web hosting, and what hosting package you buy, you may be able to get a free domain name instead of paying for one.
Step 2 – Get Your Web Hosting
Like I mentioned above, think of your Web Hosting as your “house” — this is where all of the web files sit, so that people can access them via your domain name.
This post that you’re reading right now is coming from a web file that is sitting somewhere on my hosting account. You’re able to read it because it was created on my hosting account, that I have pointed my domain name to.
It may sound complicated, but I promise you really don’t need to think that much into it. For the most part, it’s all automated. I just point it out to help paint a picture.
Getting web hosting for the most part is going to be the same across any platform, regardless of who you decide to go with. For this example, I am going to use Hostgator.
First, you’ll want to go to their Hosting section. Here you will find several different types of hosting: Shared Hosting, Website Builder, and WordPress Hosting. Under each of these, you will find different size plans.
Shared Hosting: this is what I use for all of my websites. First, it’s the cheapest option. When you’re starting out, I don’t see the point in investing lots of money when you can invest small amounts of money for essentially the same thing.
The other two types are Website Builder and WordPress Hosting. While you may THINK that you’d want WordPress since it’s what we talked about earlier, you do NOT.
Why? Because you can manually install WordPress into the regular Shared Hosting.
It’s cheaper to get the Shared Hosting plan and manually install WordPress, than to pay for their WordPress specific hosting plan.
That being said, if you want to purchase WordPress specifically, you can… but it’s a waste of money in my opinion, as their WordPress specific hosting plans are more expensive.
Under Shared Hosting, they offer 3 plans: Hatchling, Baby, and Business.
When you’re first getting started, you only need one website, and you can always upgrade later if you decide you want to build more websites. So I suggest starting with the Hatchling plan.
Remember, if you decide you want to go with a different hosting company (like Godaddy) then the names of the plans may be different, but the style and setup is essentially the same. You want Shared Hosting with Linux and cPanel, and probably their cheapest option to start with.
So, now that we’ve come to Hostgator, selected Shared Hosting, and decided on the Hatchling Plan, the next steps are pretty straight forward. You just need to follow the prompts, fill out the required information, select how you want to pay (monthly vs. annually), and complete the transaction.
Section 1 – Choose a Domain: If you’re going to take advantage of their free domain, select “Register a New Domain” and type in the domain you’d like to get — or, if you already purchased a domain from somewhere else, select “I Already Own This Domain” and enter the domain you already purchased elsewhere.
Section 2 – Choose a Hosting Plan: Since we selected hatchling earlier, it should already be selected. Pay attention to the Billing Cycle. Remember that the more you buy upfront, the cheaper it is in the long run. Most hosting sites also require at minimum a 12 month purchase in order for you to take advantage of the Free Domain (but remember, don’t forget to purchase privacy!!! Privacy does not come as part of the Free domain).
Section 5 – Additional Services: This is where some of the hosting companies like to get you. Most of these you don’t need, and any of them that you do need, chances are there are other places to get them for free. For example, you can get a free SSL certificate from Cloudflare, and there are free security plugins you can install for your website, so there’s no need to pay for security features. But, the choice is up to you. (If you have any questions about what additional services you think you may need, please feel free to reach out and I’ll try to help!)
After you checkout, give it a few minutes while they set up your account, and before you know it we’re ready to rock and roll onto the next and final step of getting your asset up and running.
Hostgator will send you an email with instructions and your cpanel account login information.
Your “cpanel” is what is considered the dashboard of your hosting account. This is where we will go in order to install WordPress onto your hosting account.
Please keep in mind that there is ALSO a WordPress Dashboard, and the two are not the same.
Cpanel = Hosting Dashboard, also called the “back end” of your website
WordPress Dashboard = Where you’ll login to make website changes.
Step 3 – Install Your WordPress Files
Last, but not least, it’s time to install WordPress onto your hosting account. This will be done through your hosting account’s “cpanel” (the cpanel will look the same across most hosting accounts, so regardless of whether you use Hostgator, Godaddy, Bluehost, or some other hosting site, the cpanel will be the same.)
Once this is done, very rarely will you ever need to come to your cpanel or hosting account, as most of your website updates will be done from the WordPress dashboard.
Now it’s time to download and install the free WordPress files onto your hosting account.
1. Download the Free WordPress Files
Make sure you remember where you save them to on your computer. You’ll need to access them shortly.
2. Download the Free Filezilla App
Filezilla is the program we will use to upload the WordPress files to your hosting account. Be sure to download the correct version for your computer (Windows/MAC/etc).
3. Create an FTP account
A) Log into your hosting account that you recently purchased, and navigate to your cPanel. If you purchased hosting with Hostgator, you should have received an email with your cPanel link and login information.
B) Under the Files section click “FTP Accounts“
C) Create a new FTP account to the “public_html” folder (depending on who you are using for hosting, it may be labeled as “www” instead) by filling out the required fields.
Your login can be whatever you want, you will only be using this once. Make sure you write down your username and password. You’ll need this shortly. This is your FTP Account Login Information.
D) Keep your quota to Unlimited and click Create FTP Account button.
4. Upload the WordPress Files to Your Hosting
Find the WordPress file you saved to your computer.
Move the WordPress file to it’s own folder.
Right click the WordPress file and select “Extract Here” from the menu. It will create a WordPress folder with a bunch of files in it. Make sure you know where this folder is.
Open the FileZilla program you downloaded earlier
Use the Following Information to Login via FTP
- Host = Your Domain (example: skillofsurvival.com)
- Username = Your FTP Username You Created @YOURDOMAINNAME.com (example: [email protected])
- Password = Your FTP Account Login Password
- Port = Leave Empty
- Click the Quickconnect button.
You may be presented with a screen/question asking if you want to trust the certificate. If this pops up, click “Yes.”
If you were successful, you should now see a connection in the right hand, and perhaps a folder or two in your right side directory. These are the files currently on your hosting account and where we are going to upload the WordPress files.
On the left hand side, this is your local computer’s directory. Browse to the folder where all of your WordPress files are located.
Highlight all of the WordPress files and folders, and Drag and Drop them from the left side directory to the right side directory.
The files will begin to upload. This can take a few minutes depending on your internet speed. If a pop up asks about overwriting files, select Overwrite and check the “always use this action” box, then click OK
Once complete, make sure all of the files have transferred successfully. If there were any fails, select the “Failed Uploads” tab at the bottom, select the files, right click, and re-upload.
You can close the FileZilla program.
5. Create a Database
Log into your hosting account’s cPanel
Go to MySQL Databases
Under Create New Database, enter a database name for your website (I usually just use the website name) and click “Create Database“
Return to the MySQL Databases page
Scroll down to MySQL Users and fill out the Username and Password fields, then click “Create User” — copy this information to a notepad file, you’ll need it shortly.
Return to the MySQL Databases Page and scroll back down to Add User to Database
Select the user you created and the database you created, then click the “Add” button.
Select the “All Privileges” checkbox and click the “Make Changes” button.
You’re almost done! It’s the final step! We’re done with your hosting account.
6. Begin WordPress Install
Go to your website by visiting your Domain Name with your browser (example: www.skillofsurvival.com)
You should see the WordPress Language Screen. Select your preferred language and click Continue.
Next you should see the WordPress Let’s Go screen where it tell you all the information you will need to continue. Make sure you have it readily available. Once you do, hit the “Let’s Go” button.
Use the information from your Database setup to input into the designated fields. Database Host and Prefix should be left as they are. Then click the “Submit” button.
WordPress will now ask you to Run the Installation — click the Run The Installation button
At this point if your install was successful, you will now be asked to create your administrator account for your website. This will be the login information you will use to access your site regularly to add content.
Once you’ve filled in your desired admin account information, click the “Install WordPress” button.
You should now be able to log into your website by visiting the default login link yourdomainname.com/wp-login.php (example: skillofsurvival.com/wp-login.php)
That’s it, your website is officially live. Congratulations!
You now have an asset that you can create content on, and then monetize. Now you simply need to start creating and uploading your content, then sharing that content across your multiple social media platforms to get free traffic to your asset.
This is the end of this How To Guide — but be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow my other social media for updates on more content like this!
In-depth guides on how to fully customize your new WordPress website coming soon!
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Continue Empowering Yourself!