Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Start an online business with £10 – or less

Google’s legendary Matt Cutts recently explained how he would start an online business with just £10.

Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team, gave the advice to future entrepreneurs on a Google Webmaster help video published on YouTube.

In answer to a question on how £10 could be used to start a business Matt Cutts said he would use the money to buy a domain name and as much hosting as possible – probably about one month, he estimated.

The SEO guru then said he would create a website, aiming to make money through Google Adwords or affiliate schemes.

He would then add content to attract visitors making sure, of course, any content on the site was non-spammy, relevant and useful.

In response to the video I thought I’d add another few extra tips for starting an online business for a tenner.

1. Get a free website
To start your online business off you don’t even need £10. Why not use a free blogging site such as Blogger or Wordpress.com?
Blogger is incredibly easy to set up and Adwords and Amazon Associates can be automatically incorporated into it – earning you money straight away.

2. Use a free CMS
Eventually you’re going to need a more comprehensive website and nowadays you don’t need to be an expert web-designer to produce a professional-looking site.
There are plenty of free content management systems (CMS) out there which allow you to create fully functional websites without knowing any special code or design skills.
You simply need to download one of these CMS onto your server and you can start building your website - don’t worry if this doesn’t make sense though tip 4 explains a simple way to do this.
In my opinion the best CMS is Wordpress, it’s incredibly powerful and the huge number of plugins (most of them free) will ensure your website has whatever features your online business needs.

3. Get a good Wordpress template
If you use Wordpress as your sites’ CMS you’ll want to make sure it looks good, so you’ll need a template or theme for your site.
You can download plenty of free Wordpress templates or themes to use for your site which is ideal if you only have £10 to start your online business – but if you have a bit more money to spend I recommend paying for a really good looking, user and SEO friendly theme.
I always use the StudioPress Wordpress themes as I’ve found them to be both the simplest to use and also the most flexible.
Whatever I’m working on, from a news-based website to brochure site, there’s always a StudioPress theme I can use.
They also offer fantastic help on their user and support forums which allow you to tweak and alter the templates as much as you like.

4. Get cheap hosting
You’re going to need to get somewhere to host your new website and to start with you really don’t need to pay for your expensive servers or anything like that.
Many web hosting companies offer cheap hosting deals and even include a free domain name in the package.
I personally recommend Web Hosting UK as they’ve always given me great customer service.
You can contact them 24/7 on the phone or even better, I find, on their live web chat – one time I spent nearly three hours chatting to them on this getting a number of problems sorted out, and it didn’t cost me a penny.
Whichever hosting company you use I’d make sure it offers cPanel hosting, this lets you upload a CMS like Wordpress very easily and means you don’t have to work out how to upload files to your server to get started.

5. Learn some basic SEO
Knowing a bit about Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is essential if you’re going to attract visitors to your website.
Basically SEO refers to how to make sure the content on your website is picked up by search engines such as Google.
It’s a pretty huge topic but don’t let this scare you – just get stuck in and you’ll be amazed how quickly you pick things up.
To get started I recommend reading Google’s very own SEO starter guide, visiting Google Webmaster’s YouTube channel and try and grab a copy of a good old dead-tree book called Get to the Top on Google by David Viney
Plus, make sure you keep visiting this blog where I’ll be posting plenty of useful, practical SEO tips.


jbrighams said...
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George B. said...

That's what I am doing now, hehehe. Make Money Blogging

Anonymous said...
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