You know, I take a lot of things for granted. Like working on the internet. I know I can launch an entire new business in a weekend if I want to, and that’s normal for me. However, working with local small business owners is a constant reminder that not everyone knows how to do that.
So I finally wrote something to solve the problem. This is The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Getting Your Business On the Internet. Use it, distribute it, download it.
Eliminate your excuses, and start your business. Have fun!
What this is: A quick and dirty guide for the less technically inclined to getting your someday project up off the ground right now.
What this is not: A guide that tells you the legal stuff you should do
1. Get a web host.
Relax, this is easy.
Here’s what you do:
- Click here (Dreamhost affiliate link. They are who I use, and I’ve always had great experiences.)
- Click “Get Started”
- Fill out the info
Ta da! You have hosting! Excellent work. Now it’s time to…
2. Register a domain.
Your domain matters, but it’s really not something you need to sweat too much over. If you’ve been thinking about this project a long time, it probably has a name already. Ready to claim your name?
Here’s what you do:
- In the left hand bar, click Domains, then Registrations
- Enter your soon-to-be domain name. (When in doubt, use your name.)
- If last step failed, try another name. Repeat as needed.
3. Install WordPress
Dreamhost (your web host) makes this SO easy. Hurray for One-Click Installs!
Here’s what you do:
- In the upper left hand box, click One-Click Installs
- Click the WordPress option
- Click Custom Installation
- Choose your domain
- Click Install it for me now!
Done! You’ll need to wait a few minutes before your domain is setup, but then you can…
4. Set up your website!
Too many people get stuck here because of perfectionism, thinking they need a perfect design, or whatever. Don’t do that. It’s stupid to waste time on something that you are probably going to change later anyway.
- Log-in to WordPress by clicking through the email they sent you.
- Bookmark this page! Note that it’s simply your website name, plus “wp-admin.”
- Click Settings, click General, and change your password.
- Click on Appearance, click Themes.
- Choose a theme
Mini Lesson: How to choose a starter theme
- Set a timer for 5 minutes.
- Answer: What are the two or three things your site must do? (For selling something simple, a static home page is necessary.)
- Find a theme that does that.
- No, it does not matter if you hate the color. Just pick one, and don’t waste time.
- Yes, you are done when the timer goes off.
- Click Appearance, Click Theme Options and add your title, subtitle, etc.
Congratulations! You’ve made it halfway!
5. Set up your email list with Mailchimp
Your email list is everything. This is how you make money.
- Go to www.mailchimp.com
- Start an account.
- Once in the dashboard, click Lists
- In the right hand corner, click Create List.
- Give it a name.
- Click the name of the list, click Signup Forms
- Under General Forms, click Select
- Copy/Paste your Signup Form URL somewhere easily accessible.
6. Set up E-Junkie
It’s not pretty, but it’s cheap and effective. Plus, it easily integrates with Paypal (the only account I assume you already have).
- Register for E-Junkie account
- Log-in to your E-Junkie account
- Click Add Product
- Name your product, set a price, and uncheck the Single File download button (unless you already have your product built, in which case I salute you! Upload that bad boy!)
You now have the entire backend of your business setup. How does it feel? That was a lot of tech if it doesn’t come naturally, but you did it!
Now, let’s get your future product up.
7. Post your sales page
If you’re going to spend time anywhere, it should be here on your sales page. But to get started:
- Log-in to WordPress
- Click Pages, Click Home
- Delete the starter text, and write a short description of the product that describes your buyer’s problem and how the product solves it.
- After your description, leave a line of space and type something to the effect “Click here to get it first”
- Highlight your last sentence, and click the link icon.
- Paste your Signup Form URL from Mailchimp
All done! You now have everything you need to start building interest in your product.
Suggested follow-up steps:
- Get a book cover designed on Fiverr.com
- Hire me to help you nail your business plan and launch
- Set up email autoresponders for your launch
- Write the damn book
- Add an About Me page to your website
- Email 5 people you think would love the product