Build a Website: It’s Easier Than you Think

How to Build a Website or Blog

When I turned my hobby into a business, one of the first things I did was to build a website. This is what I learned along the way.

No Website Building Experience? No Worries.

The best way for an inexperienced person to build a website or blog is to find (hire) someone else’s website that is specifically designed to build websites.  Kind of like a website for dummies approach. These sites offer simple, straightforward advice and instructions that even the most computer-illiterate people can follow. 

Keep in mind that Blogs are websites, so any reference here to a website will apply to building a blog too.

Find a Website Builder

Find website builders or advisors online. They are great because they do most of the work. All that is required from you is the unique and specific information or items you wish to promote. And money, as these website-building services are rarely free. Some sites do offer free advice and basic blog templates, often a great way to get your feet wet so to speak.

There are many such website builders designed and committed to building websites for others. Do your research to find one that suits your needs. Most have experienced employees that can offer valuable online support to advise and guide even the most inexperienced and novice person through the steps of building a website, regardless of what the website is to be used for.

Other things covered in the price of a website builder are spam filters, analytic tools, tutorials, templates, and troubleshooting. The support staff will also provide ongoing advice to help to keep the website running smoothly. These features make the process even simpler for you. Keep in mind that these extra services are the ones not usually included in the “free” offers.  

This blog is run by WordPress (WP).

Choosing a Domain

Finding an available domain name is crucial in the process of building a website. Your domain name will be the URL or address for your new website. When you register a domain name, no one else can use it for their website.  A unique, catchy URL is important. It will draw people to your website and help them remember the name to visit again or recommend it to others.

Some companies (the one you hired to build your website) provide a free domain name. If not they will show you how to find one that is available for use.  As mentioned under website builders, WP does provide a domain to use.

I started with a free site and domain, then purchased a domain to lose the tag to my URL.

Cost Involved to Build a Website

Prices may vary depending on ongoing discounts and promotions offered as well as the length of the contract period selected.  When a contract is signed, rates are usually charged on a monthly basis. The good news here is that these charges can be claimed as expenses on your income tax if you claim your business income.

Monetizing Your Website

Add an Online Store

An online store is also usually available permitting your clients to purchase products you sell.  A free shopping cart for clients and the use of PayPal is usually also available to enhance the shopping experience on the website.

Advertising on Your Website

Free credit can be obtained through the services of Google, Yahoo, and Facebook if advertising is desired. If your website is to be used to make money, be sure the website company you choose offers that service.

You can also solicit your own advertising, using widgets on your website’s sidebar or footer. Check out my sidebar to see my choices. Supported here are businesses created by friends and family members.

Conclusions on How to Build a Website

The biggest tip I can offer is to research your options on all the offers available online. Some will boast they are free, but often just the basic start-up process is actually free. Most offer “packages” based on the services provided, starting at free and increasing in price. Keep in mind the adage “you get what you pay for.” Make a list of features you need on your website or blog and find someone to help you.

Regardless of whether you choose the free options or pay for help, your new website should be up and running in no time providing worldwide exposure.  Remember too that money paid to run your website is tax-deductible under business expenses.

It is so easy, even I managed to build a website for Gardens4u, (although I have sinced shut down the site) my landscaping business, and this blog. When I started out (2012) I considered myself a website beginner. Since then I have learned so much that I have promoted myself to someone with a moderate knowledge of websites. There is still lots to learn though, especially as technology and available options change constantly.

Yola ran my business website and WordPress runs my blog. Listed in the top website builders for 2021, I am happy with both.

photo credit

Turn your Hobby into a Business

what a difference

I am proud to report that I was recently featured in an article in First for Women magazine about turning a hobby into a lucrative business opportunity. I was approached in January to submit a story for inspiration on how to turn your hobby into a business. A few weeks later I was notified that my story was accepted to be published. The magazine is on newsstands from March 11th through to March 31st. This, of course, is a much-edited, sugar-coated version of my story. I have learned tons over the years, including how to create a website, blog, and invoicing or accounting system. I’ve also learned what not to do.

Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

Hobbies can be Lucrative

While many people have been inspired to find unique ways to earn income during the pandemic, my gardening hobby-to-business adventure began in the spring of 2012. In fact, last summer my business took a hit, due to the fact that many of my clients were working from home and able to manage their own gardens. Others gave up their gardener to tighten their budget as the pandemic stretched from weeks to months. I was excited, however, to be able to design a few new gardens, something I have been doing less of in recent years. It was a hot and dry summer too, so the cottage season was an exceptional one.

What hobby do you have that people would pay you to do for them? You would be surprised what services are in demand these days. Another advantage of the pandemic is that people are willing to help and support small businesses even more than before.

Create a Website

To turn your hobby into a business, you will need to create a website. The good news is it’s not as difficult as you may think. There are lots of options out there and help is easy to find. This is what I have learned along the way.

Accounting or Invoicing

You will also have to figure out a way to keep track of the money coming in and going out. Again, there are lots of ways to do this, some more complicated than others. I started out paying a company to do the accounting and invoicing for me. As my business is quite simple, I switched to an Excel spreadsheet for accounting (I learned how to create these back in my hospital days) and PayPal for invoicing. Both of these methods are easy, not at all complicated, and suit me (and my business) perfectly

Conclusions on How to Turn Your Hobby into a Business

I was thrilled to see the magazine article in a publication, especially as the weather appears to be warming up to what could soon be gardening weather. I do still have quite a bit of snow covering my gardens, but it is melting. My south-facing front yard is always the first on the street to reveal the grass under the snow…

If anyone needs further motivation or details on how to turn your hobby into a business, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

In the meantime, I am still repotting, dividing, and increasing my collection of houseplants. I think I need a larger house!

Thanks for the Dent in my Bumper!

While I was shopping at Costco yesterday, someone ran into my van, leaving a large dent in my back bumper. I have not heard from the person responsible.  Maybe it was too cold out to stop and take responsibility with a note or a phone call.  The advertising for my business is clearly visible on the side of the van too; NO EXCUSES!!