Getting started: How to build the website and add pages

by Melissa

What is the first step in actually creating a website and adding pages? I do not know anything about the steps or procedures to create this on the internet. I am basically lacking the technical skills. Do you have any free resources?

Melissa, the first thing I need to ask you is what do you want from your site?
  • Just for fun?

  • A place for existing customers to find you?

  • A website you want to be found by oodles of strangers?

You could go to Blogger and have a website up in the form of a weblog. No tech know-how required, just an online diary that you can add to simply by typing.

I'm guessing that's not what you want. In fact, I'm guessing that since you asked me, you're looking for something somewhat like this website, which (as I write this in October, 2009) is visited by about 1500 strangers a day and receives about 100,000 page views per month, and has about 800 pages.

Do I have that right?

Well, it isn't free, but I never get tired of recommending the company I use. Their interface works for people who do anddon't have technical skills. I started this site just by writing The interface made it possible. It didn't result in the most sophisticated-looking site in the world...

But 100,000 page views. Per month. And my writing, front and center.

Because, frankly, Google couldn't care less what your site looks like.

The steps/procedure work like this:

1) You buy their service for a year, which includes everything you need. (If you're not happy with it, you can get a full refund for the first month.)

2) You use their tools to research your chosen niche. Translation, you find out what keywords searchers use to find what it is you want to provide, e.g.

discount children's books
writing for the web

3) You start writing pages meant to rank highly for your chosen keywords.

(The alternative to this approach? Start writing and pray for traffic. And expect to keep praying, because it won't come.)

Now, when I said "start writing," that's what I meant. This approach is all about the writing. Need to create a link? You just copy and paste the url into a box. The interface translates everything into computer code for you, without you having to know a thing. That said...

Down the road, you may find yourself wanting to do more sophisticated things on your site, and you'll probably - like me - end up learning html bit by bit. Which is WAY preferable to wanting to start writing and having to learn a new language first!

Take a look at this: All the tools to build a website.

Here's what's ahead of you if you want to build a real, well-trafficked site and you don't use these guys.

1) Learn html. Watch your enthusiasm flag.

2) Start writing. Learn how much you hate writing when you're trying to "translate" it into html at the same time.

3) Shop webhosts. Feel 10x more vulnerable than you do when you walk into a car repair joint. Try to learn another new language so you can figure out what the heck the webhosts are talking about.

4) Start posting - finally! - your pages to the web. Experience the joy of realizing that's a whole skill in and of itself. Oh, and by the way...your webhost assumes you know how to do this.

5) Wait.

6) Realize you don't know if you're getting visitors.

7) Figure out how to add the code to your site to get your traffic figures. Find out you don't have any.

8) Realize you never "pinged" the search engines. They don't know you exist, since they weren't "pinged" and no other sites link to yours.

9) Figure out how to ping the engines.

10) Wait.

11) Find out the engines have finally started to index you but that your site isn't ranking for the searches you'd hoped to be found for. So now the engines know your site exists, but they don't care! You know how search results say, "Pages 1-10 of 4,637,000"? Well, congratulations, you're #700. You're in the top percentile! Now all you need is someone to click to page 70 of their search results and you'll have your first visitor!

12) Try to get the year of your life that you just poured into your site back.

That's why for each of my three sites, I use SBI, the outfit I've been mentioning. All for one price, they:
  • give you the keyword research tools.

  • give you an interface that lets you write in plain English.

  • "ping" for you.

  • "host" you.

  • tell you if a page is unlikely to please the search engines and what to do to fix it.

  • provide you with traffic figures.

  • inform you if you have a broken link.

  • give you a community of fellow non-techies with whom to interact with, brainstorm with, and get answers from.

In other words, this outfit lets you live the writer's dream of just writing.

Ahh. I'm glad I found them. (And that I only wasted 3 months of my life on a website before I found them. I got lucky.)

Check out the links above. Let me know if this is what you were looking for. (And hey: I'd be curious to know what you want your site to be about. Respond by commenting.)

Good luck!


Comments for Getting started: How to build the website and add pages

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Re: Getting Started
by: Melissa

Hi Steve,

Your response was very helpful and appreciate all the details. I am going to read more about the SBI link. You got started with and still use SBI, correct? How long have you had your website business? What are you referring to when you mention The Interface? Although I am a graduate student, with work experience in my feild, I cannot seem to get a job in education due to many budget cuts and a loss of senority as a result of moving, as we are a military family. I want to create a website and add pages for several reasons. First to create traffic and have google adds and be able to make money so I can stay home with my son and so that eventually my hubby can work without having to leave the country for long periods of time. Also, a website that provides meaningful information to people that may encourage personal or spiritual development. I would also like to sell books, and other products that people may find of value. The possibilities are endless:) Thanks for your help as I move forward in my research.


answering your SBI questions
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

Hi, Melissa.

Yes, I started with and continue to use SBI. I now have three SBI sites. I wouldn't dream of using anything else. It would just be silly!

I started this site in March of 2006. It grows like a weed, both in terms of the number of pages I've posted and the number of visitors I get. It sometimes seems like the growth potential is endless...and it kind of is. Hundreds of thousands of people google children's books every month, and tens of millions more google specific children's books. I could review and post on all of them!

Here's the "interface" I'm talking about:

It's what allows you to just write without coding.

Your reasons for wanting to start a website are good ones. (By the way, here are a bunch of successful SBI websites you might find inspirational.) I suspect you know what I'm about to say, but I'm going to say it anyway, because I don't want you to feel misled or overpromised:

You will not be earning big money right away! It's the adding of all those pages that builds the big snowball and gets it rolling down the hill. Google revenue will be non-existent at the outset, and visitors will arrive in numbers you can count on your hands. The internet business is a volume business. To do this correctly, you need vision and commitment. You need to be able to look down the road and see what your site is going to be.

Here's the neat thing: My site isn't just a form of income, it's a form of wealth. Every one of these pages I post is money in the bank for the rest of my lifetime! I could stop now and the checks would keep rolling in.

I continue building, though, because I want bigger checks.

I think you get it. People look for lots of information on personal and spiritual development, and SBI will not only show you the keywords they use to find that information, it'll also give you tools for "monetizing" their interest in what you have to say on the subject.

To sum up, I think it's for you. If I had trouble reading your writing, if I thought you were desperate for instant income, if I doubted your diligence, I would think not. But I have a sneaking suspicion that SBI is made for you, in the same way it's made for me!

Work it and it'll work for you! More questions are welcome, and do let me know if you decide to go forward. I'll show you how you can get your first link from this site!


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