In this installment of the Make Extra Money series, I’m going to show you how to pick a domain and a host.
If you remember from the last installment, I’ve decided to promote The Master Wedding Planning Guide. ¬† Since then, I have bought the product and read enough to decide that’s it worth promoting. ¬† ¬†That is the secret to ethical internet product. ¬†Never promote a crap product. ¬†Now, when I bought the Guide, I used my own affiliate link, so the $37 product will have cost me about $13,¬†¬†once the commission check comes through. ¬†You can’t do that just to get a discount because Clickbank has measures in place to ensure that you are actually selling products.
The first thing we need is a domain name.
You can skip this if you want to host on blogger, but I wouldn’t do that, unless $10 is a major financial hardship. ¬†I dislike the idea of leaving everything in Google’s hands. ¬†Even if you use blogger for hosting(discussed later), pop for the domain name. ¬† That way, if you change your mind about hosting, you can move without losing everything.
Where should you go for your domain name? ¬† I use NameCheap and GoDaddy. ¬†I try to divide my domain names across each of the providers so all of my sites don’t look identical to Google. ¬† I may be paranoid, but it works for me.
Before you order, hit Google for a coupon code. ¬† Search for “namecheap coupon” or “godaddy coupon” and save some money. ¬† ¬†¬†GoDaddy is offering $7.49 domains.
How do you pick a domain name?
I try to pick something that matches the product name, or the product’s site. ¬† In this case, the product’s site is¬†http://www.masterweddingplanning.com¬†and¬†http://www.masterweddingplanning.net was available, so I grabbed it. ¬† ¬†I would have been happy with .com, .net, or .org. ¬† I won’t touch a .info domain. ¬†They are generally cheap, but they cost more to renew and people assume they are spam sites.
If the exact match domain isn’t available, I look for exact matches for the product. ¬† If that’s not available, I stick other words at the end that would be attractive to people looking to buy a product.
Acceptable domains would include:
Or nearly anything along those lines. ¬† Other good words to attach would be “revealed”, “exposed”, or something similar. ¬†Just put yourself in the shoes of a buyer. ¬† Would the domain name look like something that could help you decide whether or not to buy a product?
Your host is where your website lives. ¬† Without a host, you can’t have a website.
When it comes to picking a host, you have some choices to make.
First, do you want to go free or paid? ¬†Free sounds great, and if money is tight, it’s not a bad choice, but it does limit your options.
If you’re going free, you’re going with Google’s Blogger. ¬† WordPress.com’s hosting eliminates your advertising options, as does almost every other free host. ¬†I do know of a couple of free WordPress hosts that will let you run ads and advertising campaigns, but the performance is horrible.
Another problem with using Google is that they can decide your site violates their Terms of Service and shut it down. ¬† It shouldn’t happen, but it’s not unheard of with affiliate marketing sites. ¬† If you go this route, plan to move to paid hosting when you start making money.
That leaves us with paid hosting.
There are a ton of hosts out there, but only three I have personal experience with.
I won’t use GoDaddy for hosting. ¬†I’ve never been happy with their technical support.
I have most of my domains on HostGator (c0upon code: HOSTINGBUDDY). ¬†I’m happy with them. ¬†Performance is good and the customer service is excellent. ¬†Their hosting packages start at $3.96 per month.
I also have a hosting account at HostTheName. ¬†I got that because, using coupon code “STARTUPWARRIOR”, hosting prices get down to $1 per month. ¬† At $36 for 3 years, I couldn’t turn it down. ¬† Initially performance was rocky, but they’ve upgraded and it’s good, now.
Once you’ve created your hosting account, you’ll need to go back to your domain name registrar and set the name servers. ¬† ¬†At NameCheap, after you log in, you’ll go to Domains > Manage Domains and click on the domain name. ¬† From there, click on “Domain Name Server Setup” on the left of the screen and enter the custom name server information listed on your hosting account.
When that’s done, go to your hosting account and add the domain. ¬†If you’re creating a new hosting account, this will be your main domain and the hosting company will ask you for the information during setup. ¬† If you’re adding this to an existing hosting account, log in, look for “Addon Domains” and follow the prompts.
At this point, you’ve chosen a product to promote and keywords/search terms to go with it. ¬†You’ve chosen and registered a domain name and you’ve set up a hosting account to hold your website. ¬† ¬†Next time, I’ll walk through setting up a WordPress site to make some money.