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How To Make Money Online (Part 4 of 10)

Jun 23, 2008
Building your own website to sell other people's products

Whether you are selling your own products or you are an affiliate marketer promoting other people's products (or acquiring leads), building your own website is a great way to promote.

There are many things you need to take into consideration before building your website. The first is to find a reliable hosting company. I use one hosting company exclusively, and that company is Hostgator.

Most of my online marketing friends use Hostgator but there are many hosting companies that are equally reliable, such as BlueHost. I suggest you take a look around online and compare pricing and features. Whatever hosting company you finally decide to use, just make sure it's not a reseller (they will charge you more and provide substantially less features).

When you're building your first website, you most likely won't need dedicated hosting. A shared hosting account will be more than enough hosting to keep your website live and online. Dedicated hosting is only needed when you start to receive substantial web traffic or you have pages with longer load times. It's really up to you and your budget, but for a first website, I recommend you stick with shared hosting in order to keep costs down.

Your hosting account should allow unlimited add on domains (this means you can host many websites under one account and one monthly fee). I currently host 35 websites under one Hostagator account. My account also includes unlimited email, bandwidth, and a substantial amount of drive space. Tip: resellers cannot offer accounts that have these features. If you encounter a hosting company trying to offer you hosting with very limited features, you are most likely talking to a reseller.

After you have found your hosting company and purchased a monthly program, you need to build a website. You should try to make it look as professional as possible. If you are a decent designer then you can build your own website. But if you are terrible at design (like me!), then you can either hire someone or use one of many free CSS templates available on the internet.

If you choose to go with a free template, first check with your hosting company. Most hosting companies offer thousands of free templates for their customers. These templates are usually designed by professionals and can be downloaded straight from your user panel. I use free templates for most of my websites. They are professional and the price is always right - free!

If you choose to hire a freelance designer, make sure you take a look at his or her portfolio and speak with several previous clients. Freelance designers can be great at creating exactly the site you're looking for but they do not come cheap, so choose carefully.

There are several design features that must be adhered to when you build your website. For starters, you always need these pages: main page, contact page, product review page, testimonial page, and order page. Those pages are standard and you should always include them with every website you build.

Another feature that must be a part of your website is what is termed as "a call to action". In normal sales talk, this is called "asking for the sale". You must specifically tell your visitor to "purchase" or "sign-up" - you must have this on your page! Although it sounds obvious, it is very important that you always ask for the sale. Internet surfers are a flighty bunch, and they are quick to get distracted and navigate away from a site.

The last feature that I recommend is to have a mailing list. Offer free advice or a free weekly course if your visitors submit their email address. To setup an email list, you will need what is called an auto responder. A popular auto responder service used by many marketers is Aweber. Most hosting companies offer a free auto responder as part of your monthly service plan. Speak with your hosting representative for more information.
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Other ways to make money online: paid surveys, free paid surveys, paid online surveys.
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