As an online entrepreneur with multiple websites people often ask me how I got started and how they can make their own .com company.  Creating a website online is actually the easy part – choosing the right idea is more difficult. Any successful online business starts with an idea that is profitable.

Choosing your Niche

Before you

1. choose a name,

2. sign up for webhosting and

3. start building your website

it is a good idea to do some background research. There are many great ideas out there, not all of them are profitable.

The first step to figuring out if you can make any money is to do a web search for your idea. For example if you are a runner and have developed your own method of training that you want to sell you should search for the phrase marathon training. Once you have done that you should look at the page to see if there are any advertisements. If there are ads it means someone has paid money to appear first for that web search.  People won't do that if there isn't profit to be made.  The more ads the more profit in that industry.  Some industries such as pets, health and making money almost always have ads, however some of these topics are very competitive.

Once you have verified that your idea has advertising then it is time to figure out how much competition is already trying to sell in that market. A simple online tool called Google Keyword Tool will help you with that. Again type in your search term and the tool will tell you if there is high, medium or low competition for that phrase. The tool also gives you other phrases that are close to yours. For beginners it is a good idea to find keywords that have low competition and at least 10,000 local hits per month. Local means within the same country you live in such as the United States. After you have figured out your industry it is time to choose a webhost and a name for your site.


Choosing Your Webhost and Name

There are two ways to have a website or blog, free and paid.  Free sites can be done on Wordpress or Blogger and are perfect to just try something out. If you have a hobby or are not really serious about making money online you can use either of these platforms. If you are serious about making money with your .com you need to pay for webhosting. Fees are usually less than $20 and some are even below $10 per month. It is well worth the expense in both customer service and flexibility to make changes. Before you choose your site, be sure to do some comparison shopping. I personally use HostGator at this time, but I have used Ipage in the past. Both are good services.

Once you have chosen your webhost it is time to choose a name. In the past it was often suggested to create a name that says what your website is about. For example I started a website in 2011 for parents looking for stuff to do with their kids.  I named it  because I live in Minnesota and everything on the site is specific to Minnesota. I was doing really well for awhile and then Google changed their algorithm. (Oct 2012)  I went from number 5 to page 50 overnight. As a result I am not going to recommend this style of name. Google frequently changes their algorithm to help improve their search results so picking a name that is not too long and is easily remembered is more important than one that tells about your site.

If your preferred name is already taken you can play with the spelling or add numbers or locations. In my example thingstodowithkids was already taken so I added the MN.  I could have changed the spelling of kids to Kidz, but I chose not to do that. Really it is personal preference.


Why a .com

The .com at the end of your site name simply indicates it is a commercial site. If you have a name you really want you could check to see if it is available with a .net or .org at the end. You will not be able to create a .gov or .edu as these are specific to government and educational organizations. You can use .org and .net to make money just as easily.

Now that you have the name you can follow the directions from your specific webhost to create your site. Some allow a drag and drop method to create a website while others are more involved. You should include at least 1 or 2 ads at first to start making some money. Depending on the subject of your site you could charge for membership, sell items specific to your group or just make money with advertising. Once you have created your website it is time to let the world know about it and start making money.