(I just read this in 2022 and must say that the world has changed somewhat, so I’ll create a more updated version soon….)
First, my fellow gypsies, we have to learn how to get some tools on the fly.
Now I am not going to espouse the theft of software in any way, but each to his own. I tend to think that if you try something out and you like it buy it, so it’s up to you if the trying comes before the buying, or you opt to put your hand in your pocket up front.
A great tool for searching for any kind of resource is called a bit torrent. I won’t go into it here, but let’s say if you get a tool called Azureus, you can open tiny little files that you find by going here www.torrents.to, and then you can download whatever saucy bit of software you care to mention. Just do it, you’ll get the idea.
Be careful what you download, so try a free anti virus like AVG from here and check what you get.
If you want to get a website up these days you will need some hosting to start.
Now If you are serious about getting going on the web I’d opt for some serious server space. When you get a little up the ladder you might need to do all sorts of things that require you to have control of the nuts and bolts of your server. It is also good that you you can add domains as and when you please because you will get some whacky ideas. I find that I get more than 10 ideas out there before one of them starts working, and hundreds before I get one that actually pays the bills.
It is too costly to get your own server in the beginning, so try a dedicated virtual server...it is the budget way to get a professional start, and you can trade up when you need to.
Get yourself your first domain and learn how to point it towards your web space name servers. You only need to change a few bits of info to do this. It’s simple. READ THE MANUAL if you don’t know how.
It is getting too easy to do so many things on the web so that people are expecting it all to just happen, you need to learn how to get info from either the help files or from Google. If you can’t do that then backtrack and get the hang of LEARNING.
You will also have to set up a new space on your server. Again it is a simply a process. On my web space I go first to my account and tell it I want it to add another domain, then I have to go to my actual hosting and set up some space. First time it took me half an hour, now it takes a minute.
So. You have web space and a domain name pointing to it.
What you need now is a website to suit your purposes.
More important than any idea you have is learning how to make sure that your website is above all other websites in Googles search pages for the search terms applicable to you.
A great e book to read about optimising websites so that Google takes notices is by Aaron wall, but you can find out yourselves by hanging out on forums and by asking questions. In this field you will be up against people who have been doing it for a long while, so to get to the top of the search engines you will need to immerse yourselves in the language of the web.
I am experimenting with getting to the top with the search term ‘Ethical SEO‘, so if anyone likes this article and wants show appreciation by linking to me using THAT EXACT PHRASE, I’d be most grateful. And that’s how you do it.
What you will learn is that it is best to have a well built website that has certain parameters fulfilled, some easy (construction) some difficult (getting other people to link to you with relevant anchor text).
Luckily these days you can get great website templates that fulfil the criteria for next to nothing.
You will need something like Adobe Dreamweaver to edit these. You will learn the basics of using this program by editing your template. Learn to so this because asking other people for help every time you have a great idea will get to be more of a pain the arse as you get more ideas.
If you need to do anything more complex than simply present information, then you will most probably need something like a Joomla store. They are simple to set up on your hosting, so do not get put off by scary things like creating a database, that’s just a matter of pressing a button.
At this point there are a lot of different solutions around, so take a look. If you pride yourself on your fly nature then get the hang of hpw to use a couple of them, it’ll pay off. A free Joomla CMS can act as anything from a blog to an e-commerce store all for nothing but your time.
If it is a blog you want then WordPress has to be yer man. They are gorgeous bits of kit that can act as websites if you so need. It is best to get the version you host yourself by downloading the software from www.wordpress.org – you can get a hosted version but Google likes it when you make an effort and again, it gives you options.
WordPress has PlugIns that can make page titles Search engine friendly, and last thing I heard there was even an e-commerce plug-in. But I digress..
To monitor your website and how it is doing try the miriad of free SEO tools out there. Digitalpoint.com has a few, and there are some good SEO plugins for firefox. Search for ‘SEO’ when you go to the firefox add ons page.
Now all you need is an idea.
Then figure out what combination of tools best serves your idea.
For most ideas there is nothing better than a well built website using HTML and CSS where every page is optimised (great tool for checking text at www.ranks.nl).
I can almost guarantee you that you will mess up for a while, have your nose stuck to your computer screen waiting for Google to massage your ego and wonder why nobody is taking notice.
Whatever idea you have will be successful in a direct correlation to the effort you put in. Sadly for some this will put them off, the others take stock here and get stronger.
If you plug at it, don’t get disheartened when one idea doesn’t come to fruition and just get another started up, you will succeed, usually in a way that you wouldn’t expect.
The important thing is that you keep moving, that you carry on learning.
If you have an idea to get rich quick then try selling your arse. The internet is as competitive as any other field, and requires you full attention to get you above the billion other people who want to make a fast buck.
But when you succeed you can sit wherever you want on this big blue shiny beach ball of a world of ours and make yourselves a living.