A year ago, I decided I wanted to have another website. I’d had one a few years ago and enjoyed building and adding to it as I could. I liked researching and coming up with things to write about and I enjoy helping others. I let that website go when I started working a full-time job, not really feeling like I could keep up with it. I had researched affiliate marketing then but never followed through with it. Fast forward a few years and I was still interested. Last year I started researching the different website hosts and their plans, looked at other websites, and found Wealthy Affiliate. I learned that I could build a website and start for free. I decided to sign up for the free membership and check it out. I quickly fell in love with WordPress and all the plugins and tools. Shortly after signing up for the free membership, I decided I wanted to keep learning and doing the training. I opted for the premium membership so that I had the option of building more than two websites and I really liked the training. If you’d like to learn more about building a website, see my article on How to Start a New Blog.
With Wealthy Affiliate, I entered the world of affiliate marketing. It was a new adventure, full of excitement for me. Now almost a year later I still find it exciting, but I have learned a few things along the way. Here are a few things I’ve learned:
There is a Learning Curve
It Takes Commitment
It Can Get Expensive
It is Easy to Get Discouraged
It is “Not” a Get-Rich-Quick Hobby or Business
It is Challenging and Fun
THERE IS A LEARNING CURVE
If you’ve never built a website before or know anything about HTML or coding you really don’t have to worry. There is WordPress. WordPress is pretty easy to learn such as picking a theme, adding pages or posts, choosing plugins to help you make placements of images or affiliate links, but there are other things that are a little tougher to get done without a step-by-step guide. That’s where Wealthy Affiliate came in with the premium membership. There are hundreds of training on the site and when there’s not a specific training you can ask your neighbors in the community.
I’m not a coder and know very little about HTML but I’ve built my own websites from scratch, with exception of two of them that I purchased because I was impatient. But I followed the training one lesson at a time, and there were some things I knew from before, but I have websites up and running. Have there been times when I felt frustrated? Sure, but I enjoy creating, and putting together a website from scratch is very satisfying. Be ready for the learning curve.
IT TAKES COMMITMENT
Building a website is not a hard thing to do but it doesn’t happen overnight and, in some cases, it may take several days to get the site up and running and looking like you want it to. It takes time and commitment to start a project and finish it, a website is no different. If you are like me and work a full-time job, you may only get a few hours in the evening or weekends to work on your website. That’s what I do, but I love it. I spend a lot of time working on my website and looking for new things to add or write about.
It also takes hard work. You need to come up with good content. You need to post on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest) to drive traffic to your site. See How to Drive Traffic to a Blog for Beginners. You need to update and check your links frequently. There are a lot of moving parts to a website – photos, content, links, engagement. It may seem like a lot but when you make it fun and enjoy it like I do it doesn’t feel like hard work at all. I’ve learned a lot of shortcuts to help with organizing, writing, and posting. That will have to be another post!
IT CAN GET EXPENSIVE
Building a website or blog is not very expensive. You need to find a website host and register a domain. Make sure to look at the hosting plan costs and add-ons. Choosing the right plan is crucial. Watch out for the hosting plans that say they are free but then you find out it was only free for 30 days. Before I chose Wealthy Affiliate as my website host, I researched a lot. What I found was that you might start out free or at $2.99 a month but then you want to protect your privacy -$9.99, oh and you want a secure website – $9.99 and there are other addons. With one company it was going to be approximately $25.00 annually by the time I added on security and other things I wanted or needed. This is where it can get expensive. Check to see what is offered in the plan. If you’d like to read more about getting started, see my article How to Start a New Blog.
It gets more expensive if you decide you want to build more than one website like me. I have so many interests that I kept building new websites. At some point, I may let one or two of them go, but for now, I’m enjoying the variety and the challenge of getting them done.
It can get expensive, but it doesn’t have to. You just set a budget and stick to it.
IT IS EASY TO GET DISCOURAGED
It can be easy to get discouraged when you are just starting out, but you must stay focused and question why you are doing what you are doing. It is that way with everything in life. Why are you building a website? Is it something you enjoy? Are you trying to make money? Do you just like helping people find their answers or feel good? There are many reasons why people decide to build a website. For me, it’s all the above. So, when I feel myself getting discouraged because I haven’t seen the traffic to my site or any sales, I just try to remember I’m doing this because I love creating something, moving things around, learning new things, and enjoy the challenges. I have to give myself a little checkup and ask myself those same questions. I try to stay focused on what I’m doing – because I enjoy it. I enjoy writing. I enjoy helping people and if I make a few dollars to help pay for my websites then that will be a blessing too.
IT IS NOT A GET-RICH QUICK HOBBY OR BUSINESS
If you are starting a website because you think you are going to put links up and start making money right away, you may be disappointed. It takes time to build, develop, mature, and gain traffic and trust. There are not many people who have popped up a website and made money quickly. Sure, there may be a few. I love reading those success stories because they are out there and one day maybe you and I will be one of them. Sometimes when people make a fast buck or two it only lasts a short period of time and then that movement is gone. If you are going to build a website, you should make a commitment to stick to it even when there are slow times. You know what they say, “slow and steady wins the race.”
Even the giant Amazon started off as a small bookstore before it grew to the giant it is today. Who knows what you will grow if you stick to your plan and build?
IT IS CHALLENGING AND FUN
When I decided to signup for a premium account with Wealthy Affiliate, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I was hoping I would learn to build my website and be successful in affiliate marketing. I looked at this hobby or business as being my “plan B” for retirement. I’m not there yet but I believe I can be, so I just keep plugging along. I was excited and intrigued by what I saw in the training. I felt a sense of accomplishment as I started building my first site and got it up and running. I found that I liked working with the themes, the colors, the fonts, the links, and coming up with content. Sure, there has been some frustration when I couldn’t figure something out but then excitement followed when I did get it finished and hit “Publish” or “Update.” Are my articles grand? Probably not. Am I making a lot of money? Not yet, but I’ve only been doing this a few months. Am I enjoying helping people – definitely! Most importantly, do I find it challenging and am I having fun? Oh yes!
None of the things I have learned above has deterred me from continuing to build my websites. These things I have learned have made me even more convinced that I’m doing something I love to do. And, I hope that something in this article made you say “hey, I want to try it.” If so, click here to get started.
And incidentally, this very website was my first website from scratch. I have a couple of others that I purchased, and I have changed or tweaked them, but this was my first baby and I’m pretty proud of it.
If you don’t see me posting here every day, it’s because I’m roaming around in cyberspace and likely posting or working on my other websites. See below if you’d like to visit my other websites. If I can do this, so can you!