Start A Website For Free
With the internet growing ever increasingly it's rapidly becoming a necessity for all businesses to have an online presence. Not only that but people are also turning to the internet in order to turn their hobbies into their careers by starting websites and/or blogs on the subjects that they love and know about. It's true that anyone can start their own online business and all offline businesses should have an online presence also. However, many people are deterred by the fact that they wrongly believe that starting up a website requires advanced technological knowledge and that it can be expensive when in reality it's possible to run a website with your own domain name for less than 4GBP ($8) per year. The first step in getting set up online is to determine whether your website is going to be an information only site, an interactive site or an e-commerce site. If you're starting an information only website that focuses on your personal interests then it may be easiest to start a blog which can be done for free at Blogger.which is owned and operated by Google. You can then sign up with Google Adsense and place adverts on your blog posts. Each time someone clicks on an advert placed on your blog you earn a small amount of money generated by that advert. In addition, you can post affiliate links in your blog posts or direct your visitors to your website or online store or even advertise your own products or services within your blog.
Free Web Hosting
By far the best free web hosting service available is 000webhost which offers a massive 1.5GB of space, 100GB of data usage per month, up to 5 MySQL databases for each website and up to 5 email addresses for each website. 000webhost also offer free domain names although it's always better to have your own '.,co.uk' or '.com' domain which are more professional and rank higher in search engines. 000webhost also claim that they offer an affiliate scheme. However, many people who have signed up to this scheme claim that they have never been paid so I wouldn't recommend it.
Cheap & Free Domain Names
My favourite source for buying cheap domain names is UK-Cheapest who offer '.co.uk' domain names for as little as 2.97GBP ($6) per year although they only give you the option to buy for a minimum of 2 years. They also offer '.org', '.biz' and '.info' domain names for 8.97GBP ($18) per year. As mentioned above 000webhost can provide free domain names though these will most likely be subdomains (eg yoursitename.freeiz.com). If you're going down the freebie route then '.co.nz' domains are also available free of charge online.
Your Content & Income
Once you've got your website set up there a few factors to consider that will ultimately help determine the likelihood of your site becoming a success. All the pages on your website should be original high quality content unique to your site and written with good grammar, spelling and punctuation. In addition, any graphical images should be small sized files and placed strategically so that your pages load quickly in a browser. All HTML code on your pages should also be free of errors which can be checked using the W3C HTML Validator. However, these are all issues that can be mastered after you've actually uploaded your website. You will also need to look into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and keyword analysis to increase your sites ranking. As suggested above this can all be done after your site has been set up.
If you need to accept payments online for products or services that you are offering then Google Checkout and Paypal both offer online payment solutions and are easy to integrate with your website. Alternatively if you are selling eBooks or published content then you can use a third party service such as Lulu. If you need a login system or a forum for your website these can also be found online for free in the form of third party services or even ready-made PHP scripts that you simply upload to your website.
Generating Extra Income
Once you've established your online presence there are things you can do to increase your streams of revenue and boost your potential income such as signing up with Google Adsense as suggested above. You can also sign up with affiliate schemes related to the content of your website and get paid when your visitors click through and sign up or make a purchase via your affiliates. These schemes come in all shapes and sizes for all sorts of niches so it's good to have a search around for the most appropriate to suit you. Amazon Associates is a particularly good affiliate schemes that allows you to sell Amazon products on your site and earn up to 15% commission. Amazon Associates is customizable to your website and you can even have your own customized store hosted on your own web page.