As a fellow geek, you’re already familiar with websites but may not have delved into how to create one and set it up for success.
You hear about too many blogs that get launched, receive tiny search traffic a year later, and die a slow death thereafter. We’ll tell you how to avoid that outcome.
If you’re going to start a website for the purposes of email marketing, it should be in an uncompetitive industry (or, at least, one that’s not got a raging competition to fight against). This gives you a much better chance to rank your content and earn money through an email list.
When thinking about what website to start, it helps to begin by hunting for a particular industry or niche. If you want a site that you can grow for many years, then targeting an industry allows it to endlessly expand.
However, if you niche down to a small sub-section of the industry, the narrowing of the focus will limit how far the site can expand.
What Industry Should You Choose?
You’ll need to pick one that is uncompetitive. What does that mean? It means one that doesn’t have some huge Gorillas dominating the search results for every search you see. Find out about some product types for the industry and run some basic searches around the topic.
For instance, “best surfboard for beginners” is a good one for an outdoors themed site trying to catch commercially driven searches by beginners. Searchers are looking for product information (surfboards) and narrow it down a little by establishing themselves as a beginner.
Similarly, a query like, “surfing tips for beginners” is an informational type query that will bring up pages useful to people new to surfing. Those pages won’t actively promote selling a surfboard on that visit, but there will still be opportunities to get an email opt-in to a newsletter, or failing that, an ad click on a surf-related banner ad.
Getting Help from SEO Tools
A premium tool like ahrefs can bring up data on different websites. It includes information on the UR and DR ratings for the page and domain level (based on the number of backlinks pointing at them). It also provides their estimates on monthly traffic levels, the number of search keywords the site ranks for, and the most popular search terms too.
Other tools like Keywords Everywhere can add search information overlaying the Google search results providing traffic estimates for different searches. It’s then possible to look at the metrics like UR and DR to see how powerful a ranking website looks for a particular search term. It’s worth noting that as a paid ahrefs subscriber, there’s a toolbar available that similarly overlays the Google search results.
Using these tools, it’s possible to determine how competitive or uncompetitive an industry is based on the top 10 results for different searches. Once you’ve chosen an uncompetitive industry, you can use a spreadsheet to begin listing out the keywords to target with future articles along with their respective search volume.
Choosing a Brand and Registering a Domain
Choosing a brandable name for your online venture is important. It may eventually get mentioned in paid advertisements, so it needs to be understandable, catchy, easy to spell and make sense for the industry too.
To allow for some future expansion, ensure the domain is broad enough to avoid pigeon-holing what you can publish in a year or two.
Two-word domains are best at this point, but difficult to find. This is where domain name generators can help you. They will accept one or two-word entries and then locate suitable domains that are still available to register.
Add a word that relates to the industry and see what you can match it to. It can save you time and they don’t cost anything.
Here are some domain name generators to try:
Get Web Hosting
Hosting is needed to get your new site on the internet.
Shared hosting is the starting point for basic hobby sites and the like. However, if you’re serious about offering faster loading speeds and a better experience for visitors, then you should look into virtual private server (VPS) hosting plans.
Virtual Private Server Hosting
A VPS allocates a greater amount of the server resources to your site, so it loads quicker. It’s also a virtual solution that includes server control to customize it to your needs. Essentially, your server is compartmentalized from other VPS customers so each one can be configured individually.
There are different VPS plans from multiple providers in the market. It can get confusing, but if you research it, you can determine the right solution for you.
Once your hosting is set up, you can install WordPress at a click of a button (ask your host about how to do it) and you’ll be online in time at all.
With any new website, it’s essential to produce some excellent content to cover the searches for that industry. Refer back to the keywords that you saved in the spreadsheet when using the keyword tool(s) and write (or outsource) individual articles around each one.
Start with the least competitive searches – Look for lower monthly search volume and build up from there. New sites will rank within a few months for these smaller searches in an uncompetitive niche. These form the building blocks for larger searches and bigger traffic later.
Promote the articles heavily on social media such as Pinterest and Facebook to create followers, shares, and referral traffic from the social platforms to your site. This will be a good indicator to Google that your site is worth paying attention to.
Also, offer to produce guest posts to be published on industry websites. It will get the brand noticed and garner the all-important backlinks back to your site. This helps to rank the site sooner.
Lead magnets are offers to people who opt-in to your newsletter by subscribing to it. The link magnet might be something like an eBook or short PDF file that will appeal to someone working or interested in that industry. It’s usually only 10-20 pages in length, so it doesn’t require much time to produce.
You’ll need to begin collecting the emails onto a mailing list. Your web host doesn’t do this for you – it’s necessary to get a paid account with a mailing list provider. If you don’t know any, then these recommendations are a good place to start.
Beginning your first website isn’t difficult once you know the steps to take. Once you’re up and running, maintain a schedule for publishing new content to expand the site’s reach. Also, don’t forget about developing your email list and publishing regularly to it to keep the subscribers active and engaged in your emailed content and special offers too.