How to start a business from home. In this day and age, it is MUCH easier to fire up a website now than it was some 15-20 years ago. Learning HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and other programming technobabble is a thing of the past! Thank God!
Today, there are tons of free and easy options out there and they are easily available to you and me and everyone else who wants or needs to establish a presence on the information superhighway.
The following is a true story that quite possibly has some intersections with your story too. I know it definitely has some with mine!
Miles was flat broke. He sold both his car AND his wife’s car for cash and used all of the proceeds to purchase a program from one of those fast-talking, late-night infomercial guys. He already owed $50,000 in student loans. Miles was so broke, he almost couldn’t afford to even pay attention. He was financially upside-down in a major way. Then, he put up his first website with less than $100 bucks. A $100 bucks he had to borrow! Just a great domain, super-fast hosting and a quick and easy WordPress installation. and voila! He had a website that was up and running. He figured out how to start a business from home.
THEN, he hunkered down and got to work. He started creating a bunch of high-quality content that would truly help others. He wasn’t seeing any type of income but he knew what he was doing was making a difference. He kept plugging away at it. Then one day, all of that hard work began to pay off. And boy, has it paid off in a major way!
As of today, Miles has six websites going and has made tens of millions of dollars in profits with them. Don’t get too excited though. Miles will be the first one to tell you it didn’t happen overnight. He worked his ass off for many a day and night before he saw his first dollar. And, he worked his ass off for years before he began to see a real return on his investment.
Miles will be the first to tell you that affiliate marketing is an absolutely awesome way to make a living that most people only dream of. Miles will also be the first to tell you to plan on working your ass off for 3-5 years before you see any type of reward for your efforts whatsoever. Look at it like this: Where are you going to be in 3-5 years if you don’t build a website business? Does your current source of income have a shot at providing you with millions of dollars in a few years? If so, AWESOME! Congratulations! If not, you are in the right place. Keep reading.
Every time we turn around, we see an ad from GoDaddy, Wix, Weebly or SquareSpace or a multitude of others. I’m sure there are viable businesses built out on each of those platforms. But, did you know that according to Who Is Hosting This, 34% of all of today’s Internet is comprised of sites built on WordPress. Think about that for a second. That is absolutely huge. One-third of everything we know as the Internet is built on the WordPress system. Obviously, there is something to be said for the WordPress CMS (Content Management System).
If you use something like Wix or the GoDaddy Website Builder or something similar, that company has you by the balls. Don’t put yourself in that position. If you build out on WordPress, you can host it wherever you want. As I’ve said many times, I finally settled on WPX Hosting for my WordPress site and have been nothing less than ecstatic with their service.
Success Leaves Clues
There is no reason to try to reinvent the wheel. Because of this, I obviously recommend you begin to learn WordPress and build a business on its platform. Learning WordPress is imperative as you learn how to start a business from home.
When I first started this Internet marketing venture, I was super excited once my site had been published to the online community of the Interwebs. That is definitely a step in the right direction and is leaps and bounds better than most who are aspiring to be a website entrepreneur. But, building a site out on WordPress is only the very beginning of the game. You have to stay in the fight. Continue to learn. Continue to provide others with highly valuable valuable content your followers will greatly appreciate. Continue to build. Continue to expound upon the progresses you have built thus far.
Getting a site up and running is relatively easy. Turning it into a successful, income-generating website is going to take some hard work and serious commitment on your part. If you aren’t serious, save yourself some heartache and just keep doing what you have been doing. If deep in your heart, you have it in you to help others achieve their goals and you are truly ready to make it happen, then, JUST ROCK IT!
Page Load Speed
Website page load speed is one of the most important things to keep in mind as you are building your business. Not only do you get more Google love for a faster loading website, but you have more customers stick around and continue to consume the content on your website if it loads quickly. Ideally, a page load speed of less than 2 seconds is what you should shoot for.
GT Metrix is a fantastic and free tool to continue to monitor your progress as you do different website speed tweaks. There are many free websites out there that will enable you to measure the speed of your site. The Google speed tool is awesome. Pingdom is another great one. My favorite (and possibly the best) is GT Metrix. Google is your friend. You can easily find the GT Metrix site and the others and see how your site is doing any time you want, all for free. GT Metrix does between 250k and a half-million sites every 24 hour period. Wow, that’s a ton of site tests!
Many different things come into play with improving the site speed of your website. The webhost you choose is one of the most important choices you will make here. I relied on HostGator for my site hosting for quite some time. I just didn’t know any better. Come to find out, HostGator was bought out by EIG (Endurance International Group) in 2012. EIG has bought out many of the most commonly known hosting providers. If you go to the Wikipedia website, there are dozens of bought-out brand names there. Some of the bigger ones you may recognize are HostGator and BlueHost. Those hosting companies are the ones you need to steer clear of.
SiteGround is very popular and very fast. I moved from HostGator to SiteGround and a week later, I decided to move on over to WPX hosting. SiteGround was fast but their user interface and customer service were not up to par in my opinion. You need to do your homework here. As I write this, WPX has tons of absolutely awesome reviews. And, WPX is totally the hosting provider I went with. Today, I’m still super happy I ended up going with them.
But remember, Google is our friend! At some point after I write this, there will be another host who has worked their way into the number one position. Today, some of the other major players are Liquid Web, Kinsta and WP Engine. It is extremely important to understand, you don’t always get what you pay for here. Some of the others I just mentioned are extremely expensive in comparison to WPX.
BUT! That sure doesn’t mean they are better. You have to do your homework and figure out which one is going to best serve your needs. I hope you weren’t sitting there, waiting for everything to just be spoon-fed to you. If you were, you might be in the wrong place. Unless those types of people are able to change their mindset, they are more-than-likely to go nowhere fast.
As I said, I chose to move my site to WPX hosting. Funny thing is, one week before that, I had chosen to move my website to SiteGround. And, one week prior to that, I had been using Host Gator. I am definitely done with all of that moving around nonsense now though. I have been extremely impressed with WPX Hosting!
WPX tech support is second to none. And, the page-load speed upgrade for my site was unbelievable.
Last night, I sent them an email requesting them to install a free SSL security certificate on my site. Minutes later, I received an email from them stating that it had been installed and everything was good to go. I checked and sure enough, the SSL certificate had been installed and my site was running smoothly. Now, that is customer service!
It’s kind of funny how my hosting debacle all started. I had called HostGator tech support in an effort to resolve an issue I was having. Up until that point, I had been perfectly happy with the services of HostGator for a long time. And, that would have remained true except for one small thing. As I’ve said before, I’ve been in law enforcement for over 30 years. Because of that, my bullshit detector is tuned REALLY good!
As I was talking with the silver-tongued devil at HostGator tech support, the guy says something to the effect of, “Oh, before I let you go, I have one last thing. We have detected malware on your site. For an additional charge, our ‘business partner’ can rectify this security situation for you.” My bullshit detector immediately went off. I told him I would “do my research” and get back to him.
Always remember, Google is our friend. I quickly learned a couple of interesting things. 1) HostGator had been scooped up by EIG and there were many people who were less than impressed with the changes that had ensued afterwards. And 2), One of the major reasons so many people were unhappy was because one of the huge changes that was taking place with all of the EIG takeovers was they were telling you that malware had been found on your site and it was going to cost you a helluva chunk of cash (you probably didn’t have to begin with) to have their “partner’ remedy the problem for you.
That was all I needed to know. I don’t have time for that type of illegitimate, money-grubbing bullshit scam. I immediately began looking for a replacement hosting service. It didn’t take long for me to transfer everything over to SiteGround. They were pretty good but they are far from the best. I continued my research and a week later, I had moved everything over to WPX. I haven’t looked back since.
During the time I was with HostGator, their tech support had always been pretty good. They were fast. They were extremely efficient. And, they were honest (until that last phone call).
The week I was with SiteGround was okay but it sure wasn’t enriched with the tech support I had become accustomed to in the years before. There were language barrier issues that I had not experienced with HostGator. The time-lapse to address issues was much longer. The site load speed I had expected had not come to fruition according to the tests I was running on GT Metrix. And, the price of less than $10 per month I thought I was going to be paying ended up being considerably more.
A day after I transitioned my site from HostGator to SiteGround, I learned about a fellow Internet Marketer who had gone through this very same thing the week before me. He had found a host called WPX. I did a Google search for the search term “wpx hosting reviews.” I quickly learned I was going to need to go through the site-transition process again, just one week after the first one I had gone through.
After the site transfer, I had still not been able to transfer the emails from HostGator over to SiteGround. When I moved over to WPX, I mentioned that to them. They moved the emails from both HostGator and SiteGround over to WPX quickly and seemingly effortlessly. They also installed the W3 Total Cache plugin and set it up. I had tried to use it in the past but it had really screwed up my site so I uninstalled it. Did I mention I’m super happy with the WPX tech support department? 🙂
Find The Right WordPress Theme
Once you have set up an account with a hosting company and installed WordPress, you will need to find a WordPress theme. I use the Rocked Pro theme by Athemes. It’s light, fast and very user-intuitive. If money is tight, you can use the Athemes Rocked theme for free until you can afford to upgrade.
One of the cool extras that wpx offers that many other hosting companies do not offer is a product called “site staging.” This free product enables me to build out a second site identical to the one that is live and test new themes and plugins. Then, if I like what I have tested, I can easily implement it on the live site and nothing will have gotten messed up in the process.
Speed Up Photo Loading
ShortPixel is another tool that has played a significant role in my site-load time. There is a cost associated with this one but it is extremely reasonable. And, like WPX, the tech support at Short Pixel is second to none. There’s a link to short pixel on the sidebar to the right of your screen. Or, if you are reading this on your phone, just keep scrolling down and it is below this post.
Find An Awesome Domain
Next on the list is grabbing a great domain. I have used NameCheap for all of my domains for quite awhile. Finding the perfect domain can be daunting.
When it comes to finding the perfect domain, the fewer words, the better. Make sure they tell the story of what your website is about. Try not to use hyphens or underscores. Don’t misspell words and always use a dot-com. I know I violated these last two rules with AdvanceDynamix.win. However, I made up for that by purchasing a second domain that points to my site. When someone wants to know what my website is, I easily tell them to go to MyRocketLaunch.com. It automatically redirects them to AdvanceDynamix.win.
Your domain is nothing to take lightly. It’s an extremely important piece of your business puzzle. Do not take the domain creation phase lightly. Brainstorm your heart out on this. Write everything down that you come up with. Check them out on the NameCheap website to see if they are available.
It has been my experience that buying domains from a hosting company and vice-versa is never the least expensive route to take. That’s one of the reasons I use NameCheap.
It’s extremely easy to buy your domain at Namecheap and then just point the nameservers for your host. You just login to your NameCheap dashboard, click “domain list” from the left sidebar, click the “manage” button to the right of the domain, next to the nameservers section, click on “custom”, copy & paste the two nameservers your host emailed to you and click the little green checkmark to save your changes. It’s extremely easy to do. If for some reason, you still have questions after reading this, there are videos on YouTube and many other Internet posts to break it down very nicely as well.
Normally, it usually takes between 24 and 48 hours for your nameservers to propagate. The last one I did took about eighteen hours to completely propagate. You can check your propagation status by going to WhatsMyDNS.net. Make sure that every single one of those IP addresses is the same and points to your new host. To do so, you can simply copy and paste that IP address into your Google search bar and it will bring up which host that IP is associated with. Hold off on the urge to do anything with your site until it has fully propagated. If you don’t it will be all for naught.
Once it has completely propagated, the very first thing you want to do is contact your hosting company and have them install a free SSL security certificate. Not only will this make your site more secure, it will also add an “S” to the http for your domain name. This enables your customers to immediately see you have put forth the extra effort to add additional security measures. Because of this, they will be able to trust your website that much more.
Any hosting company worth their salt will offer a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt. All three hosting companies I have used offer this additional benefit. WPX support happily set it up for me in minutes and configured the W3 Total Cache plugin to work seamlessly with everything. It was somewhat of a struggle for me with the other two hosting providers. WPX online support is awesome! You can check the status of your SSL certificate at https://www.sslshopper.com/ssl-checker.html
You Will Need Pro Help At Some Point
WordPress is awesome. It’s super easy/intuitive to install and use. That being said, there will be times when it just doesn’t make sense to spend a bunch of time trying to figure out an issue with your site. When I get to those points, Jenn Yarnold over at Heartland Logic in Wichita, Kansas is my go-to-girl. She has forgotten more than I will ever know about website intricacies. Jenn is very attentive, good, fast and above all else, honest and sincere too. She isn’t cheap but you get what you pay for. I highly recommend her! Tell her Grant sent you.
How Will The World Find You?
Once you get your site built out, it’s time to tell the world! How are you going to help people to find you? Of course there are many, many different ways to make this happen. Getting yourself in front of new eyes is of utmost importance as you are learning how to start a business from home.
Facebook has a huge presence all around the globe. There are almost 2 ½ billion Monthly Active Users (MAU). 68% of the American population has a Facebook account. Facebook is absolutely awesome for drilling down to extremely specific characteristics and interests. That being said, there is a LOT to marketing on Facebook. Make sure to give yourself a very good education in Facebook marketing before you start spending a ton of money on their ads. If not, you will most likely be throwing that money away. You can find excellent Facebook marketing resources right here on the Advance Dynamix site.
While I do use a Facebook “page” for marketing purposes, I don’t spend a whole lot on Facebook marketing anymore. If you have studied marketing, you are familiar with the concept of multiple “touches.” That is the only reason I use my Facebook page. It has been my experience Facebook marketing does not produce a good return on my investment on things that are more involved such as teaching people how to start and build an online business.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) gives us the ability to “attract” the right people to our sites. There is a lot to it. There are many tools out there to help you with your SEO. That being said, I’m not 100% sold that any of them have solid numbers. I believe there is a lot of “guesstimation” going on with all of them.
Content is king! It’s a numbers game. The more high-quality content you have out there floating around on the Interwebs, the more opportunities you have for keywords in your highly helpful content to get picked up and rise to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Rising up in the SERP’s is an extremely important and ongoing goal as you are learning how to start a business from home.
If you are doing a blog, you are just getting started when you have 30 blog posts. And not 300 word blog posts either. You need 1,500 words at a very minimum and optimally, somewhere between 2,500 and 3,500 words that are full of extremely helpful information. The same holds true if you are doing YouTube vlogging. 30 high-quality videos of at least 15-20 minutes each is just getting started.
The boys over at Income School regularly do 60,000 word per month challenges in their Project 24 program. That’s a total of 20 separate 3,000 word blog posts in a single month. Whoa! That’s quite a bit! It’s definitely doable though. Like anything else, what you do becomes easier, the more you do it.
When I was in college, I had a professor that had a thing for 11-page papers for some reason. Do not ask me why 11 pages was the magic number. I have absolutely no freaking idea what was so damn magical about the number 11! I DO know that first 11-page paper took like what seemed to be forever to get written. By the time, I was coming to the end of that program, I could spit out a quality, 11-page paper in two to three hours. It’s amazing what a little practice and focus can do for you.
A couple of things I have found that make writing blog posts faster and easier are:
1) Set out your topics outline.
2) Dictate your content.
You may be wondering what I mean when I say, “dictate your content,” I use Google Docs to flesh out new blog posts. I can access it from my computer and my phone and can go back and forth between the two. I type in my topics outline and then use my phone to dictate the meat of the paragraphs. From there, I go back and clean it all up with the keyboard.You will be amazed at how fast you can amass a 2,500 word post when you are just speaking from the heart and using the magic of dictation to build your posts.
Google Docs gives you a word count tool so you can always easily know exactly where your blog post is at in length. Once I have it perfected, I just copy and paste it into a WordPress blog post and add a relevant, free and appealing photo from Pixabay or Pexels. Voila! Creating an awesome blog post was just that easy!
Google holds a 75% market share of the search engine market. Almost ⅓ of that is YouTube searches. So, this tells us we need to focus on Google, yes? Yes, yes it does. When you begin typing in the Google Search Bar, it will begin to spit out suggestions. This is Google trying to tell you what people are already searching for. Why would you not pay attention to this and use this obviously valuable information? When you get to the bottom of the page, you will see eight more “related searches.” More clues. Use them to your advantage!
Neil Patel offers an awesome one for free on his website. It is called UberSuggest. It’s excellent and is especially nice for those who don’t have a large budget and are just getting started. There’s always the possibility it won’t be free forever though. The “Keywords Everywhere” plugin for Google Chrome browsers used to be free too. Apparently, they decided they were missing out on a capitalization opportunity. Today, you are going to have to pay for it if you want to use it.
Once you have an SEO budget to work with, there are a couple of other tools I like. Long Tail Pro was built by Spencer Hawes. It’s not too expensive and can really help you to organically get in front of a lot more pairs of eyes. If you use my link here, Spencer will give you 30% off.
SEMRush is another awesome tool. It’s a little more pricey but it is the crown jewel of search engine optimization tools. The cool thing is, they give you a free 7 day look to check it out if you use my link here.
I hope you have found some useful information in this post. I know it ended up being a little longer than most of my posts but I just didn’t want to leave anything out. I know how daunting this can all be when you are first getting started. I want to make sure I help you get your best leg up as fast as possible. I hate to see people get discouraged and quit.
This business model is such an awesome opportunity and is available to everyone. The more I can help with getting the ball rolling, the more people I will help succeed. And, at the end of the day, helping others is the true measure of our success. Of course, generating additional income is always good but knowing that you have truly helped others accomplish their goals is what life is really all about!