Morning (or afternoon, or evening) hub-lovvies
I think my new project for 2011 will be my own website.
I think I know what to do on HubPages to generate a satisfactory income, so with the time I have left over, I think I'd like to start my own site, rather than just spending even more time on HubPages. I feel like I have a little Marissa Wright sitting on my shoulder permanently telling me to diversify, and now I finally have time to take her advice.
So to those who have done it, or thought about it - what do you think? Are you glad you did it? Is it worth your time or do you wish you had concentrated on HP? Where do I find out about legal considerations?
I know what my site will be about,how it will generate money, how to generate traffic and what it wil look like - its definitely the legal stuff and motivation I falter on.
You have got most of the ground covered, already!
What about disability access - do you know where I can find out what I need to consider for the visually impaired? And are there any legal implications of testing products then leaving your honest opinion about them on the site?
Plus I am based in the UK but the site will be for US so is there anything to worry about there?
I have never came across an affiliate site that has disability access help/tools. That said, this does not mean that you cannot equip your site with the same. I am honestly not aware how this can be done on a website.
You will still need the FTC disclosure - it basically informs (among other things)the visitor that you may earn commissions if a visitor clicks a link and then buys a product.
You can head over to the W3C site and check out the specs for assistive technologies. I know that my web site can be completely usable to blind, colour-blind, and hands-free users, because I tested the whole site personally thanks to the information and resources I found there. If you are in the U.S., you should have disability access.
I am also very interested in any tips and advice as I am in the throes of getting my site online as we speak. I am particularly interested in tracking customers and the affiliates they come through at the moment.
Hi Spacey - I have just started my first WordPress site - they say you can install WP in 15 minutes, but by the time I had downloaded, unzipped, sorted out a SQL database etc it took me much longer!!!!! No doubt the techie whiz kids can do it in the 15 minutes - but as a first timer I think it pays to allocate more time.
Like all first time projects there is so much to learn, but it keeps the grey cells working!
Now its just a case of adding content and planning what content I want to add in the future to keep it going
I'd love to see it when you are ready.
Wordpress makes me feel a bit giddy.
I have used Moonfruit.com to build three websites before for other people - although these were just a few informational pages, and was thinking of doing the same again.
But I also have no clue about continuity - say I build a site, then whoever is hosting it goes belly up - what happens then.
Honestly I am so clueless - think I should change my HubPages name to 'Winging It' - although Spacey does still seem quite apt.
A bunch of webhosts offer Wordpress as a one click install. That may be what they're talking about.
OK - next question - how do i work out how much storage space and bandwidth I will need?
Er, you won't need much for now. Any regular package is likely to do. But I suggest going to a host that is scaleable like hostgator, so when you go beyond hobby website/small business you have more power.
One benefit is that with a decent paid for host, you have the ability to implement word press blogs, forums and so on with the click of a few buttons.
Spacey, WP is pretty good actually. You can host your own site and not worry about the host going belly up (hope not anyway as it would be you going belly up!) and use WP. I was advised to use this plug in Atahualpa but I couldn't make sense of it and decided to browse different themes. I found one that did what I wanted, including having the share this button already there with an easy click here past this from there back here and bam! I had my share this button for every page. Most affiliate programs work fine with WP sites so you can post your affiliate ads easily. You can use the same affiliates as you use here or out can diversify and try out other affiliates
For storage space you don't need much. People always think they need a lot of MB but in reality you don't need much if you're going to host a blog. If you're smart, you'll host videos on sites like YouTube which saves you a lot of bandwidth. You do want a hosting package that allows your traffic to grow and that you can easily upgrade to a larger hosting package.
I think that answers my next question - the plan was to upload videos onto Youtube anyway - so if I do that, then display the videos on a webpage that doesn't eat into storage space or bandwidth?
You're embedding the videos from YouTube so the data will come from their website, not yours. That means you're saving on bandwidth because the viewer is not getting the video from your website. It will also save you storage space because the video is stored on YouTube.
There is a question or two from that then - if the video is on your own pages will it load faster than uploading from Youtube - also if it a good video that meople might recommend to their friends (so propogating your site) won't they just copy the Youtube link instead and bypass your site ?
Hi Spacey! You know you can always shoot me an email if you want my advice. I will just give you some basics here and answer a few questions you have asked here.
1. Get your own domain, a .com one.
2. Get a good, established host. As long as you get a good one you don't have to worry about them going under. If a host ever did go out of biz, you just move your site to another one.
Which is why you should always back up your site so you always have your own copy of it.
3. You will need very little storage space or bandwidth to start. A standard basic web host package will be fine. Just be sure you can upgrade in later.
4. I myself also buy my own individual IP address. Many don't know that on a virtual server, which you will be, you share an IP address. Get your own.
5. Use wordpress for your site. It can be made into a normal website or blog or both. It's easy to use and very SE friendly.
6. You mentioned youtube videos, I make those too. Adding a youtube video to your site is just an extra thing for your readers.
You should put your URL in the bottom of your video and hope many embed it in their own sites and share.
Youtube eats the bandwidth, not you. Embedding it in your site does not slow down your site, not much anyways.
For all the other hundreds of questions your going to have, feel free to shoot me an email. Good luck!
Thanks Bill - I was really hoping you'd stop by. My head is a total mess at the moment as I have been a bit blown away with how things have gone on HubPages and I am trying to use my time during holidays (while kids are home, and its hard to work) to decide on a strategy for the new year. I'm gonna make a coffee and send you can email if that's ok with you.
I would recommend learning how to use datafeed programs such as Golden Can (which is basically free), Popshops (which is pricey) or Webmerge (which is also pricey) to include lots of products quickly in your site. I use all 3 because I really do believe in diversification. If one company stops, I don't lose all my sites at once.
You should decide how you want your site to make money before you do anything else, AND THEN decide what format to use. For example will it be a small niche or larger diversfied site.
Will you focus on products and exclude adsense, vice versa - or do both.
BTW, I think this is a very good decision. As I read about HP being the subject of M&A interst and their link to VCs, I decided to lessen by exposure and spend a great deal more time on my own sites. I think I want to limit HP to about 10% of my onlne activity.
Having your own website is great. I own many of my own websites... and I am glad that I do! Bill seems to have said everything that i would add so I wont say anything but it sounds like you have it all planned out and I think that starting your own site is a great goal for 2011 Spacey.. good luck!
Thanks - I had a kick in the last 24 hours as have had 3 hubs unpublished so it is making me realize I do need to diversify more.
Nelle - got any links for the rumour - I couldn't find anything online. Would be interested to read about it.
Hi Spacey Gracey,
I use a hosting company called Blue Voda under the Vodahost brand because of the following.
1.They have a free website builder which you can use to design your site before you sign up for hosting and pay your first month.
2. You can use any domain company to point your domain at the hosting company. I use a domain company near my home so that on renewals, i can speak to someone in person.
3. I only pay for the hosting at $79 per year and my domain cost $12 per year.
4. The website builder allows all sorts of plugins including a shopping site application, free email for your site ,a webmaster tool which includes your own access to the control section of your website which means you can update, delete and add pages when you want, forum and wordpress plugins for community pages etc.
5. They have webbuilding tutorials to follow and free templates to use for different industries.
6. The main thing that swung me was that you don't pay any extra for your websurfers to download data or for you to upload data. bandwidth is unlimited.
Most hosting in our country charges for bandwidth and even though I host my site in the USA, i still have a local domain.
Hope this is useful.
Good luck on your site.
Hi Dale - that is useful thanks. I took a quick glance at it and it looks similar to Moonfruit.
I am getting frustrated by my lack of technical knowledge on this. My inner marketeer is ready to soar with my plans - I think I have a really good business model but I still have so much learning to do.
I spent a couple of weeks playing with Dreamweaver, coldfusion and doing the excercises - then decided that it would take me a couple of months at least to get the hang of it enough to put up a moderately useful site - and so got our local web comany to build me the site and get it online for about $150. I still have to design itmyself but all the technical stuff is done by them. I expect I will learn enough through making my own adjustments etc along the way to be able to do it myself one day.
This is why so many recommend wordpress, myself included. Any program will take a bit to learn.
Wordpress is the easiest and has the most basics that you need. You don't want to learn cells, tables, html, flash and all that stuff. It's not necessary anymore to know that.
With webpage building programs, you often need to learn that stuff to do it right. But not with wordpress. With just a little basic html learning you can do anything with it.
Plus it's very SE friendly right out of the box. As time goes on and you learn more you can add an unlimited amount to it.
I own Dreamweaver and know how to use it. I never touch it anymore, wordpress has everything I need.
I can see that Wordpress would be a good way to go to get a site up and running - but - don't you share revenue with Wordpress some similar way as Hubpages ? If so - and your sites are not just advertising bases for others then is that not a problem ?
Huh? Wordpress is a software you download and install on your own webhost. It's completely yours, you don't share it with anyone.
You must be talking about wordpress.org. That is different, it's like blogger. Even then you don't share anything with them, it's still software you use all yourself.
Once you get your OWN domain name, your OWN hosting, you then download your OWN wordpress software and it's all yours, owned by you.
thanks for that - I'll go back and check again then
No it isn't! Wordpress is a huge blogging site, too. It's not just software!
That's what I said above, wordpress.org is a blogging site like blogger, like I said.
However they do not let you put hardly anything in those that are affiliate in nature. Wordpress.org that is, not blogger.
However what I'm talking about is the wordpress software you download and install on your own hosted website. Those are completely yours and it's free.
Edit: sorry, I mean wordpress.com, not .org as simeonvisser below has corrected me.
To be clear: WordPress.com = online blogging website, WordPress.org = website where you can download the WordPress software.
Gracey, you're getting a lot of information here. It can be real confusing trying to set things up when you have so many different ones sharing what you should do. I have to say, however, that installing a wordpress blog onto your own domain will be (in my opinion) the best and easiest way for you to go. There are lots of sites around that will give you step by step instructions on what plugins to download for SEO and what not. Youtube can be your best friend in situations like these. There are thousands of free themes that you can choose from. Or if you're like me, too lazy to thumb through them all, you'll just purchase one. :-) Anyway, Bill seems to know a lot about having your own website and using Wordpress, I'd say get with him and maybe he can personally walk you through step by step.
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