Making Cash On The Web is a serious attempt to compile useful information about making money on the internet. It is a combination of things that I have learned myself, as well as information culled from other sources. It is NOT about get rich quick schemes, or wierd marketing programs. I am not going to sell you anything.
To get started making money on the web, you need three basic pieces of software:
1) A program to create web pages;
2) A basic text editor; and
2) A program to upload those pages to your web host.
You could spend hundreds of dollars buying professional grade software. And lots of people will try to convince you that’s what you need to do. But the honest truth is that there are free programs out there that will do the job as well as—or even better—than the commercial ones.
Here’s what I recommend:
To create your web pages, I suggest you use a piece of free software called WordPress. That’s the program that I have used to create this site. Neat, huh? You can find more about WordPress here. If you feel confident about installing programs on your web hosting service, you can download for self-installation here However, if you just want to get started and have someone else do the technical work, HostRocket.Com offers a hosting plan where they will automatically install the software. This is by far the easiest solution for getting started making cash on the web.
The basic text editor that you need came with your computer. It’s called WordPad or NotePad. You can’t use a word processor like MS Word, or Works, though. Those programs insert extra characters into the code that will mess things up. I use WordPad.
To upload your programs and pages, you will need what’s known as FTP software. A good, free FTP program is Ace FTP It’s just a download away. There’s a futher explanation of FTP programs here.
Continue to Creating Content.
In your quest to make cash on the internet, content is king! Content is what brings readers to your site. Content is what keeps them there. Content is what makes them return. Content is what generates money.
In this post for beginners, I’m going to assume that you’ve followed my advice and installed the WordPress software. If not, just adapt it to whatever software you are using. I’m also going to assume that you’ve given the software the “look” that you want by choosing one of the available free templates.
Your first post to your new website should be a welcome post, in which you state the purpose of the site, and tell your readers what kind of material they can expect to find there.
Then, start on your second post. And your third. Write a couple of dozen in your first couple of days. The first few are easy. If you’re truly passionate about your topic, you will find that you have lots to say.
Your goal is to get a decent sized site up quickly. That way, when people find you, they won’t be disappointed by a site with only a couple of pages. I’d suggest that two dozen posts is a good start.
You do not have to write a book on every post. In fact, you shouldn’t. Your model should be USA Today, not the New York Times. Articles should be short and snappy. They should focus on a single, narrow topic. If it’s going to run more than five or six paragraphs, see if it shouldn’t be broken into two topics.
For many posts, you don’t have to write anything at all. Some of the most effective posts are those that offer your readers a link to another site. For example, if your site is about glass mushrooms, you might have a post like this:
Carol Wojeda has a site with several interesting photos of green glass mushrooms. LINK.
There are many examples of this sort of post on this site.
FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol” and is the method by which you upload files to a host computer. It also can be used to download files from host computers.
I find that I really like the Ace FTP freeware program. You can download it here.
Once installed, it will ask you for a couple of bits of information before you can get to work. You’ll need to know the ftp address of your site, your username and your password. If you don’t understand this, contact the technical support department of your web hosting service.
After getting connected to your site, using Ace FTP is no more difficult than using the file management system on your PC. You just find the file on your computer that you want to upload, drag it to the window representing the server connection and there it goes.
Designed to facilitate “blogging,” WordPress is an outstanding piece of software. It’s relatively easy to install; easy to use; flexible; and powerful. There is an active community that offers support. And best of all: its free.
This site was created using WordPress.
WordPress is a publishing system. It’s designed to offer an easy way to regularly add new pages to a website. The pages actually are stored in a MySql database and are delivered to your readers upon request.
WordPress offers tremendous advantages over the traditional way of creating web pages. The old way requires you to create a page on your own computer and then upload it to your host’s servers. With WordPress, you go online to your site, and log in. Then, you use a word-processor-like interface to type in the content of your new page. Once you’re finished, you click the publish button, and viola! A new page is created.
Even better: the program allows others to contribute to your site by adding comments to your posts. In this way, others will help you add content to your site.
WordPress allows you to organize your site by creating “categories.” If your site is on collecting glass mushrooms, you could create a different category for each mushroom type. A list of the different categories is posted on the front page of the site, and people can click on the category link to read all of the things you have written that fit into that category.
It’s also very easy to customize the look of WordPress. Alex King has a website where you can download any of dozens of different WordPress templates. With most of them, you can use the “Templates” function of WordPress to replace the contents of the wp-layout.css file with the contents of the css file in the downloaded file.
Search engines such as Google and Yahoo have no trouble finding and indexing pages of sites created with WordPress. You will find that your site created using this software will show up in search engines as readily as sites created by any other method.
If you’re just starting out, and you don’t feel confident installing your own software, you can get a hosting account with HostRocket.Com and they will install it for you on your hosting account.
To install it yourself, you can get WordPress here.
Disk Space and Bandwidth are the two most basic issues in web hosting. But there are also some other features that you’re going to need.
Here again, is where the bargain basement web hosts often fail to meet expectations. They often don’t have many of the features that you’ll need.
This is another lesson I learned the hard way. My first web host did not offer a lot of extras. And when I got adventuresome and decided to add some new features, I discovered that I couldn’t.
So here’s what I think you will need:
Linux Hosting running Apache web server: There are two basic types of hosting: Linux and Windows. Go with Linux. You’ll find that it plays much nicer with a lot of the free website add-on programs.
ftp access: This is how you upload your files. Believe it or not, some hosts don’t offer this feature.
MySql databases: Your plan needs to offer one or more MySql databases for your site. Many—if not most—of the more sophisticated web programs use MySql databases. Again, you don’t have to know how to actually do anything with them, but the need to be available for your programs.
CGI-Bin support: just trust me on this one.
CPanel (best), Plesk or Ensim (not nearly as good) for web-based management of your account
And finally, make sure that they run php as a server module and not as a cgi process.
There are a couple of more issues that you need to consider before choosing. Read on about the importance of technical support