Becoming an online entrepreneur can be a little confusing. “How,” you wonder, “are all these people earning a living online?
The answer, in most cases, is they own a money-making website. You can too. And it’s easier than you might think.
Granted, you don’t need a website to make money online. But if you want complete control over your earnings and endless income opportunities, owning your own website is the way to go.
Benefits of Being an Online Entrepreneur
It can be a little slow going in the beginning as you set out to create a money-making website. After all, just because you build a website, doesn’t mean people will visit it. But with a little patience and a lot of hard work, you can launch a site from scratch and use it to earn a full-time income.
And the benefits of building your own site (and not working for someone else) are seemingly endless:
- Be your own boss
- Freedom to work wherever
- Unlimited earning potential
- Passive income possibilities (earn money while you sleep!)
And then there’s the whole feeling of self accomplishment — a pretty good thing to have. In fact, entrepreneurs are said to be some of the happiest people around. And who couldn’t use a little extra dose of happiness?
Who Would Make a Good Online Entrepreneur
It’s not easy to start a website on your own. It’s harder still to turn that website into an income generator. Because of these challenges, would-be online entrepreneurs need to have traits like:
Of course, this is just a short list of traits of successful entrepreneurs. But if you have the drive to get something up and running and the follow through to make it happen, you can find success — no experience required.
What You Don’t Need to Be a Successful Online Entrepreneur
It’s easy to talk about traits of successful online entrepreneurs. But what about the things you don’t need?
For starters, you do not need years of experience or any experience at all. In fact, thanks to user-friendly WordPress, you can get a variety of money-making websites up without:
- Touching a line of code
- Knowledge of web design
- Previous domain ownership
- Graphic design know-how
Sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not. You really can take the DIY approach to creating a beautiful website thanks to WordPress.
A Quick Lesson in WordPress
If you’re new to the world of online entrepreneurship, it’s easy to get overwhelmed — hosting, plugins, and themes — oh my!
But, fear not! It’s easier than you think, and something you really can DIY. First things first, let’s understand what WordPress is and why it’s an easy-peasy platform to use for beginners (and experts) alike.
What is WordPress?
In a nutshell, WordPress is an easy-to-use website creation tool, also known as a content management system (CMS).
Many bloggers (myself included) use this powerful platform to create a money-making blog. But WordPress isn’t just for bloggers!
Some big-name brands that use WordPress include:
- MTV News
- The New Yorker
- BBC America
- Star Wars Official Blog
- NY Times Blog
Really, the list could go on and on.
So, why does everyone from one-woman bloggers to big-name brands love WordPress?
Here’s what some high-profile users had to say about WordPress:
“…We are able to get the same editing tools and easy-to-use interface into the hands of all our editors.” – BBC
“…Everyone we spoke to said that WordPress was the better choice for ease of use, intuitiveness, and simpler workflow.” – Kaiser Family Foundation
“It enables non-technical personnel to contribute to our team’s blog, and they can actually figure it out in WordPress.” – NASA
“We have developed a responsive theme that we can use to easily launch a new section of our website and quickly start creating content.” – TIME.com
Still not convinced? Here’s some other benefits of using this popular platform to launch your own online business.
Benefits of Using WordPress
Did someone say free? Yep. That’s right. This powerful website builder is free. Forever. You’ll never, ever have to spend a dime to install WordPress on your site.
It’s Easy to Use
You don’t need a developer background to launch a site on WordPress. I started this blog without knowing a single thing and was able to get it up and running in a matter of minutes — yes, minutes. You can too. WordPress really is that easy to use.
When you use WordPress you can start small and grow organically — and the sky’s the limit! You’ll never outgrow WordPress — remember, everyone from bloggers to big-name businesses use WordPress because it suits the needs of both small operations and large-scale projects.
It’s Mobile Friendly
Most of us browse the internet on mobile devices. And when a website isn’t mobile friendly, visitors will leave it before it even loads. Thankfully, WordPress looks great on mobile devices (known as being ‘responsive.’)
How long would it take you to open a brick-and-mortar business? Months? Years? Well, with WordPress, you can literally have your own money-making website up and running in a weekend. Seriously. It’s so easy to use and the install is super quick — you spend less time constructing your site so you can get straight to the money-making part.
Whether you want your own boutique, blog, or business WordPress has got you covered. The countless plugins and themes allow you to create a perfectly tailored site that fits your needs, no matter what they may be.
Speaking of plugins and themes — you can create a truly beautiful site with WordPress. I can talk and talk about how pretty WordPress sites are, or I could show you what I’m talking about (I think the latter is way more effective).
Want to start your own subscription service? WordPress can do that. Take a look at Fair Ivy for inspiration:
Want to launch the brand of you? You can do that, too. Just ask Brandice Daniel who tells her unique story using WordPress:
Or if you want to start a blog, you know you can do that with WordPress. I’m a sucker for food blogs and love how WordPress makes recipes and images that much more appetizing. Check out Sugar & Cloth to see what I’m talking about:
What You Need to Launch
You’re convinced how powerful (and pretty) WordPress can be. Now you’re ready to DIY your own money-making website. Woohoo! So, what exactly do you need?
First things first, you’ve got to pick a host.
Hosting Your WordPress Website: .Com or .Org?
There are two kinds of WordPress out there: WordPress.org and WordPress.com
- WordPress.com sites are hosted for free
- WordPress.org sites cost money to host each month
Now, at this point you may be saying, “It’s a no-brainer — I’m choosing the freebie option.” And while this is totally okay if you want to blog for fun or hobby, it’s not the way to go if you want to make money blogging.
On WordPress.com, your web address will look something like this:
Not exactly the most professional look when you’re trying to monetize. And speaking of monetizing, when you go the freebie route, there are limitations on how you can make money with your site. From WordPress.com:
We understand monetization is important for many site owners, and we welcome and support many methods of monetizing the hard work you put into your blogs and sites.
There are a few restrictions, however, because we’re dedicated to keeping the WordPress.com community uncluttered by scams and unwanted commercial messages or “spam”.
This limits your earning potential in a big way since there are restrictions on ads, affiliate links, and sponsored content via WordPress.com — 3 major sources of potential revenue!
When you decide to self-host your site via WordPress.org, you get to choose whichever domain name you want without having to include WordPress. For example:
You get the point. And there’s no restrictions on how you monetize. This means you can sign up for whichever ad networks and affiliate programs that make sense for your site. And when it comes to sponsored content, you have total control over what does and does not make its way to your blog.
If you want to make money with a website, self-hosting is the way to go. Period. Not only does it give off a professional vibe, it puts you completely in control of your site and your revenue streams.
What’s in a Host?
When you decide to self-host, you need to pay for hosting services each month. A host is the service that gives your site visibility. You can buy a domain name but without a host, your site won’t be seen online.
Think of it like this: In mobile home communities, residents own their individuals houses but they have to pay lot rent each month to park their homes on the property. Think of your hosting provider as your site’s landlord — you own your site, but you’re paying the host to ‘park’ your website online.
And finding a good host can make your life as a newbie online entrepreneur that much easier. I recommend BlueHost for:
- 24/7 support
- Free domain name ($14.99 value)
- One-click WordPress install
It really doesn’t get much easier than hosting your WordPress site with BlueHost. With their one-click install, you can literally have WordPress up and running in a matter of minutes.
And, to make it even easier, I’ve created a no-fail guide to help you set up hosting with BlueHost and how to install WordPress — quickly.
Money-Making Websites You Can DIY with WordPress
What kind of money-making website will you launch? With WordPress, the sky’s the limit. You can start a niche site for the purpose of making affiliate sales. You can create a boutique that sells handmade goods. You could even launch a local directory that shares events and places in your town. You could start a membership site or sell information products.
Really, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to online entrepreneurship — you do what you love or what appeals to you.
Need a little inspiration? I’ve launched three different money-making websites with WordPress (and show you how you can do it too):
Keep in mind, I’ve started these sites without prior experience and was able to make them successful. But I also know that it’s one thing to dream about being an online entrepreneur and another thing to actually get started. If that sounds like you, you need to read The Four-Hour Work Week to learn how you too can escape the 9 to 5 and build your own online career that lets you work anywhere you want!
Questions? Have an online business idea but don’t know where to start? Leave it in the comments below. I’m here to help!
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure statement for more information.