In the previous review of Wealthy Affiliate (HERE), I went over what it offers to the affiliate marketer, and some of my experience with it. In order to keep it a readable length, I left out the “how to” information. This is the first of several “how to” articles that walk you through some of the tools you have at your disposal once a member.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the basics of building a website within Wealthy Affiliate, using their website builder tool. And yes, it really does show you how to build a FREE business website. All you need to do is set up a free Wealthy Affiliate account and follow along. It’s quick to do, does not require a credit card. And yes, it includes free website hosting, so you can have a website presence at no cost whatsoever.
(Keep in mind that some of the screen shots I’ll be showing are from a Premium account, so there could be slight variations in what you see in a free account vs. the one I’m using. However, the directions, below, will still work.)
Let’s Start Building Your Free Business Website
Once inside Wealthy Affiliate, under your profile, you’ll see menus which should look something like this:
If it doesn’t appear exactly like this in your free account, don’t worry. What you’ll want to do next is click on “Websites” menu, which will give you this sub-menu:
Select “Site Builder”, and it takes you to the four step site building process.
Step 1 is to select either “Free Domain”, which will give you a “.siterubix.com”, and it completely free. Or, if you have an existing domain, you can use that by selecting “Domain I Own”. For this tutorial, I’m going to select “Free Domain”. This opens up steps 2-4. Steps 2 and 3 are shown in the image, below. Note that the step numbers turn to green check marks, after you fill out the boxes with the names you choose. I went with ‘crazyaffiliate’, with a similar title for the website.
After this, step 4 is deciding upon a design for your website. The free account is limited in the number of choices for themes you have to choose from, so what you see in the screen scrape is going to be a bit different than what you’ll see with the free account. Note that the Premium account offers 3964 different themes. I’m going to select the first one, below.
Once you select your theme, the last step is to build your website. You have the option to change themes before you build, if you decide at this point you want a different theme. Once you select “Build my website”, it does just that. But don’t think you’ll be permanently stuck with this theme. There is the ability to change it once your website is build – even after you put up content.
Let the building commence! It doesn’t take long (less than a minute). It tell you when it’s ready.
From here, you’re ready to log into the back end of your website. Just click on the blue “Login Now” button, and you’ll be taken to this page. Pristine and new, and ready for customizing and content!
This is where you can add posts, pages, plugins (more on that in future articles), and customization. You’ll spend a good bit of time here as you build out your website, so let’s continue on and I’ll show you a few of the basics that will get things going.
Make Basic Customization to Your Website
First things first. You’ll want to click on the big blue “Customize Your Site” button. On this next menu, click on the “pencil icon next to the site title or the tagline. I created the new tagline, “Make money online with affiliate marketing.” Note that as you type in the new tagline, it populates in real time under the site title. If you wish, you can also change the site title, though once your site is starting to rank in the search engines, you’ll want to avoid doing so. You also have the ability to hide either (or both), by checking the appropriate box underneath each menu item.
To see what the change looks like, I’ll click on the blue “Publish” button, click on the “X” to exit out of this menu, then will click on the site name in the top left to view the site (what it looks like on the web).
Note that the entire black strip at the top containing the site name, customize, etc is not visible to a visitor. You can see it because you are logged in as admin for your site.
If you go back into the same menu used to edit the tagline, you’ll see more options beneath the tagline editing box. One of these is the Logo section. Click in the ‘Select logo’ box, and you’ll get a screen where you can add a picture or graphic. I’m just going to add the one that’s currently uploaded to show you what it does. Note that you can upload any photo or graphic you like from here.
I’m going to skip the cropping section that pops up next, and just insert it. You also have the option to adjust the logo width, or place the logo next to the title, rather than underneath it, as I did. This is a really cool way to customize your site.
Select ‘Publish’ in middle-upper left, then follow the same process as above to view the website, and it shows the new logo.
There is more to this page that isn’t in the screen scrape, but you have to scroll down to get there, and it isn’t relevant for this example. What you can see is where the logo goes and what it looks like. You can play with this, putting wider, larger, smaller, whatever photos or graphics you like, to see what you like best. The take-a-way is that your options are endless. Pick what looks best and is most relevant to the content of your website.
Click on the site name in the black strip at the top and it will take you back to the website editor.
One more trip back to the customization menu (same process as above). This time we’re going to select the graphic used for the logo to be the site icon. What this does is change the icon on the browser tab to whatever you wish it to be. In this case, it’s a tiny version of the logo. Note that even before you publish it, the tab has been changed. You will want to publish to save the change.
Working With Widgets
Next up, we’ll add something to the right sidebar, so you can see how that would look. I’m going to use the widget to create a calendar for this side of the page. To do this, click on “Manage Widgets” from the Dashboard. You’ll see that you currently have a populated Right Sidebar containing “Search” (a widget pre-installed), “Recent Posts”, and “Recent Comments”. There are also options for the left sidebar, header, footers, and a few other things. This assumes you have the same theme as I’m using. If you don’t, yours may look different, but they all work the same. These are all ways to customize your site.
To add the calendar, all I have to do is click on the “Calendar” widget on the left side, and drag it into the “Right Sidebar” box on the right. It’s really that simple. Now you have a calendar. You can place it on the top of the menu, middle or bottom by dragging and dropping it to that location.
Changing Default Menu
Another thing that should be changed is the default menu above the posts. The default for these is not what you want.
From the Dashboard, click on ‘Appearance’, then ‘Menus’. If ‘Menu 1’ is not the default, you can click on the “Manage Locations” tab at the top and select ‘Menu 1’ in the drop down box, then click the ‘Save Changes’ button. It’s now the selected menu. Clear out everything but the “Home” menu item (should have the base website address in it, in my case, it’s https://crazyaffiliate.siterubix.com/ ). You can also rename it, if you like. This will be the link to the page you want people to come to as the default for your website. You can select any post or page on your site to be Home.
Now, it’s time to edit “Home” so you have a landing page that isn’t “Hello World” or “Sample Page”. That wouldn’t look very professional, would it. 😉 These are pages WordPress puts in many of its themes, as a placeholder for you. They aren’t intended to remain as is. Feel free to delete them and put up whatever you like.
Creating Your First Post
Now it’s time to create your first post. Nothing could be easier! All you need do (from the Dashboard) is select “Posts” in the left menu bar, and then “Add New”. From here, give it a title, and write our whatever it is you wish to talk about.
All posts need a title (in this case, Crazy Affiliate Guide to Making Money Online), as well as a properly formatted headline to start the post. I normally use H3 for the headline (Affiliate Marketing 101, in the example, below).
The above header is formatted to H3. To do this, I selected the entire text of the header, then clicked the box to the left of the menu items (normally defaults to ‘Paragraph’), and selected Heading 3 from the list. Feel free to experiment.
There is a save button at the top, which will save whatever you’ve typed in. It’s great when you need to take a break and come back to it later. Also, there is a publish button. When your post is complete, hit that, and it will public it to your website, making it visible on the Internet. And yes, you can edit a post after publishing it, so don’t worry too much if you discover a typo or other error later. Just log in and fix it, then publish your edits. It’s that simple.
At this point, since we’re talking about making posts, I’d like to mention in passing a very nice tool within Wealthy Affiliate that assists in this effort. The writing tool helps you to write posts for any of your websites without logging in manually to each. It also has spell and grammar checking built in, which is really useful. It also give you access to stock photos right from the platform, that you can use for your website. All you do is create your post, then select the website you wish to post it to. It tracks the number of words you’ve written, and it a place you can set up writing goals that you want it to track, as well. Very cool.
Adding Links to Your Website is Easy
Back to the current website, you’ll notice that I’ve added a new post, and highlighted some text that I want to used for a link. You can select whatever text you like for your link – a single letter, a word, a paragraph, whatever. For this example, I selected the entire phrase, highlighted below. In the screen scrape, you can see two of the icons outlined in the menu area – the numerical list icon and the link icon. This list icon shows that the highlighted section is a part of the list. The link icon is what you click on to turn the highlighted text into a link. Note that when you click on the link icon, a text box appears below the highlighted text.
You can type in any website address here. You can even link to another article on your own website. Once you type in the address you wish to link to, click on the blue arrow box and your link is complete.
It’s as simple as this. As an aside, if you are an affiliate marketer, and are creating a link to a business you are an affiliate for, that link is usually a long and ugly looking one. If a person hovers over it and sees a long, convoluted link, they are less likely to click on it. It is advised to use a shorter address that doesn’t look questionable to the reader. I recommend Pretty Links to do this. It’s easy to use, works great, and is a free plug-in for your WordPress website.
At this point, you have a functional website. You’ve seen how quick and easy it is to create it. You will now want to create content for whatever niche you have decided to go with as an affiliate marketer. Hopefully, you have chosen something you really like, or know a lot about. The key is being able to share your knowledge with others, to help them. You want to build trust. If your website is helpful to others, you’ll be a success… IF you get traffic.
A good place to begin to get some free traffic is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You do this by finding low competition keywords to use for your content (usually a phrase). You can target different keywords for each post in your website. They key is finding the right keywords to target. This is where Jaaxy comes in.
If you have a free Wealthy Affiliate account, you also have access to the free version of Jaaxy. You’ll have limited searches, but enough available to get your off to a great start. Use it. It’s free. Find your keywords (usually a phrase), then use it for your post title, and at least one other time in your post. You’ll also want to use permutations of that keyword phrase a few times, as well. Mix it up, make sure it’s grammatically correct, and create good content around it.
This is only the very basics of how to build a free business website. If you opened a free Wealthy Affiliate account to follow along, you might be beginning to understand why I like this platform so much. Poke around, check out the training you get for free, and let me know what you think. The training within will teach you more about building your website, writing tips, as well as how to get it ranked in the search engines. You have nothing to lose.
There are endless ways to customize your website. The WordPress website has options to modify the html on each post, so if you are technically savvy in this area, the sky is the limit. I’m not a programmer, but I do use this option for making minor changes that are not available on the text editing side of things.
Hope you enjoyed this basic walk-through. Be sure to come back, as I’ll be going more in-depth into website building in upcoming articles, maybe even diving into the html side of things to show a few ways you can edit things that can only be done from there.