1 At minimum you need to own your name
Once someone has a domain name they can have it forever. If someone decides to buy your name and start a website with it, this is what will show up first on Google search. If someone buys your name as a domain and puts something ridiculous or malicious on the site you will be in a world of pain. I highly recommend you buy YourName.com in addition to the other domain(s) you buy. You can your domains over at Namecheap.com.
2. Building a website takes time
Despite what many gurus tell you, it takes a fair amount of time to make a decent website. If you are a total beginner this is a great exercise in delaying gratification, and learning new skills. There are no shortcuts you can take, and there are no secret ways to drive traffic or make money. That being said, if you plan better and outwork the competition you will succeed over the long-term.
3. Older domains get more traffic
Domain age matters a lot for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Search engines like Google and Bing will take at least few months to start sending any decent traffic to your site, and then the real magic happens when your domain is a year old. Driving traffic to your site is the name of the game when you own a website, and older domains are more trustworthy to search engines.
4. Good domains become rarer and rarer every year
Domains are the real estate of the online world. Just like 100 years ago you could buy property or land in New York City for much cheaper, the best domains are either taken or extremely expensive. In the next year even more good domains will be taken, in the next 5 years good domains will become even rare, etc. There are still some absolute gems of domain names available, they are simple rarer than they were in the past.
5. Start a location independent business
Travelling is amazing, and everyone should take advantage of the opportunity to start a business they can run from anywhere in the world. You will not be able to run an online business drinking strawberry daiquiris while you sit on the beach, but there are reasonable options. If you are disciplined with your efforts mix your fun traveling with long working sessions out of coffee shops in any corner of the globe.
6. Stop trading your time for money
Building a website will teach you that your time does not equal your profit. Some activities you do will have a massive ROI, other activities such as basic administration work will have a low ROI. One thing is definite, you will no longer be getting paid for showing up, and your raises will come from hard work and focus rather than a once-per-year raise structure.
7. The best time to plant a tree was ten years ago, the second best time is today
Everyone who starts a website wishes they had stated years earlier. The earlier you start the more successful you will be and the more money and satisfaction you will have. If I had started building websites when I first started surfing the internet I have no doubts I would be substantially richer and more entrepreneurial than I am now.
8. Spread your message
I believe everyone has a message and ideas they should be sharing with the world. If you don’t think you have a brilliant idea for a website I think you just need to think more deeply about it. You have passions, hobbies, and unique ideas that no one else in the world has. You can spread your ideas and help change the world AND make some money while you do it.
9. Make Money
You really can start a website and make enough money to quit your 9-5 job. The only catch is that it takes more planning, time and effort than the gurus like Tim Ferris want you to believe. If you want to make money online you will need to work longer than a 4 hour work week. Odds are you will need to start an online business while you keep your full-time job but this will make it even sweeter when you succeed.
10. Take Advantage of The Free Guide
When I made my first website I couldn’t find a resource to explain the technical side of starting a website. It is not a complicated process but it’s helpful for beginners to have a complete step by step walk-through on how to setup their domain and hosting. I went back and explained this entire process with the free guide on how to start your own website.
Instead of posting on social media where you own nothing you should make a website where you own all the content you create. People build massive social media followings only to be banned because of one controversial post or a minor breach of the terms and conditions. I always scratch my head at this and wonder why these people didn’t build a website and an email list – two things they have complete control over.
To make a good website it will take months, and even years of consistent effort. If you have the ability to plan and execute over this time horizon you can translate this to learning any other skill. You will also be competing against people that are hungrier than you and more experienced than you. If you create success competing in an incredibly competitive online marketing landscape you create it anywhere.
Online Business Recommendations
With any online business, my recommended domain registrar is Namecheap and our recommended hosting is Siteground. These are both the premier resources in their respective areas. I have done the research on many websites and forums and these are the best, and I use them both for this website. As always, if you need guidance starting a website, there is a full step by step guide to start a website, this will help you with the technical side and give you the best resources.