How I started making money online – Part II

So you’ve followed me this far… Or, you just started with this posting, who knows. So far, I’ve discussed a web hosting service that is required for getting online (see Part I). The next item to detail would be the actual building of a site. As I previously indicated, I am very comfortable with computer software and troubleshoot the various issues that computers can throw your direction, but when I started building web pages I didn’t really know that much about HTML. I did NOT just open a word document and start designing a web page. I knew enough about web pages to know that one needs some web design software to help build and manage a web site. Listen, I know that Part I and Part II have been about purchasing products and services, and you are probably more interested in actually making money online, but slow down a bit we’ll get there. To be fair, you do need to pay some money in order to get online, I just want you to pay for valid services and/or software that is legitimate and will help you. I want you to avoid paying for a “system” that promises to make you tons of money online. As I said, it starts out slow, and then with work it grows. Once again I had a friend who recommended the following web design software: Adobe Dreamweaver CS5. Let me tell you this has been a true life saver. As previously mentioned when I started over 5 years ago I knew only a little HTML. Well, Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 was very helpful. It comes with built in lessons for the beginner, and even better it let’s you visually design the page while it converts it to HTML in the background. Or you can jump over to the HTML side in order to add a little code snippet, if you are comfortable with that. and refresh the page to view how the code worked. Also, Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 allows you to view the page in any browser prior to publishing it on the web, so you can see you work ahead of time.

However, here is real reason that Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 is truly helpful, TEMPLATES. A template allow you to create any number of child web pages off the base design of you parent web page. For example your web page might contain background colors, a page title (like “JJ’s Web Works” above), a menu bar, a body section, and a footer section with your business email or phone number. Let’s say you have 6 pages on your site and you want to update your email address. If you used a template, you would only need to update the email address on your template page and save it, Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 will prompt you if you would like to update all the child pages. Then it will automatically update all 6 pages for you! This feature has saved me many hours of redoing the same update to multiple pages over and over and over again.

Just like HostRocket in Part I, I have been using Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 for over 5 years now and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. If you are ready to improve your online adventure I would recommend that you follow any of the Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 referral links from this site, rather than going directly to the website, this is one of the ways that I make my money online and can continue to offer a quality and informative site like this one.

How I started making money online – Part I

The First thing to know is, this is NOT my only source of income, nor is it my main source of income. That’s NOT how it works. Also, I didn’t decide to make money online because I recently lost a job, or couldn’t find full time work elsewhere. That’s NOT how it works either. In the beginning it takes A LOT of time and effort and the payout is slow and small. It takes time to make a profitable website, especially if you do not have a product.  Another thing to know is, that I am very comfortable with computers and troubleshooting software, however when I started this venture I was not very good at web design or creating web pages. I mention these things, not to discourage anyone, but to be honest about where I was, and what my strengths were when I started this venture. I have encountered a lot of systems that “promise” to make you money online without you having any knowledge of computer software other than Email and web browsing (discussed in more detail in a future post). I personally have never met anyone who runs a web business who didn’t already have a pretty good understanding of computers, software and website creation.

But back to my experience with this site. I started in 2005 by creating a website for a family member’s small business. They had a tow-truck and a logo, and I knew a very tiny bit of HTML (for those that don’t know HTML is the base code used to create a web page). They also knew a professional web designer who indicated that he could create a website and offered them the “friend discount” for $900/yr. As they were just starting out in the towing business and had just spent a whole lot on the truck and equipment, they felt that $900/yr. was a little to high. I told them to give me 2 days to look into it. I spoke to a colleague at my full time job who also had a website where he sold karate equipment, he recommended a host provider by the name HostRocket.  He gave me a referral and I signed up that night. Using HTML, I created a very limited website for my family member’s towing company (Anything Tows; site retired in 2008). It only needed about 3 page: A “Home”, “About Us”, and “Pricing” page. It gave me a good start in understanding the Web Design software (discussed in Part II posting) and how to interact with a hosting company.

Now, as I indicated early, to begin a website with the hopes of making money online there is always some startup cost involved. At this point there is no “making money” yet only startup costs, and there are not any free hosting sites that I would recommend. So you have to begin with some small investment. You will need to buy a service that will host your site for you. Sometimes this service can be through another individual who is reselling the hosting space, they are then your point of contact for support. This model works fine, they get paid, and they provide you a service. Typically, they also provide other features with that service (more on that in a future post). The other way is to go directly to the web hosting company, as I did. This allows you to expand your websites into whatever you can think of later. You are not stuck in one “mold” for a site. Also, you can expect A LOT better customer support from the hosting company rather than the reseller. I do resell for some of my clients, if they prefer that I do the ongoing design and service of their web pages. I do not resell “make money online” schemes as you will come to know from future posts. I was brave enough to commit to a 3-year hosting contract with HostRocket, therefore they gave me a larger discount. For the record, a web hosting service like this should cost you LESS THAN $200 A YEAR, not $900-$3000. My startup expenses were $250 for 3 years of hosting with unlimited storage. There are even less expensive alternatives out there (usually including less space and less customer service options).

For over 5 years now I have been using HostRocket to services all my websites. I cannot say enough about HostRocket, they have GREAT customer service, super fast, both via Email tickets and phone support. If you are ready to begin your online adventure I would recommend that you follow any of the HostRocket
referral links from this site, rather than going directly to the website, this is one of the ways that I make my money online and can offer a quality and informative site like this one.