A Domain Name is nothing but a name. A Domain Name does nothing unless it is associated with a website design, or a better way of describing a website design is a container in which the content of your website lives. The free website design is thrown together in minutes by an experienced web developer who already has several hundred templates in his back pocket that require only several minutes of customization to make it unique for your needs.
The website design needs to be installed somewhere, either on your own “server” or on a managed host. So, minutes after you signed up, you are hit with the first upsell. First, for the free domain name, you wan apache corporation employeest privacy so that anybody with a browser cannot find out your home address, telephone number, and breed and color of your dog. That privacy will cost you $10 per month.
The next upsell is for Domain Hosting. Your website needs a computer connected to the internet on which to run. One option, only for the brave and not-so-bright techies that believe they can do this themselves, is to:
- Take an old computer,
- Throw a network card in it,
- Load it up with every disk drive from every old computer you own,
- Download a free image of some flavor of Linux,
- Fire up a free Apache web server and
- Download a free copy of WordPress.
- Connect that puppy to your router,
- Get the dedicated IP address assigned to you by your internet carrier, and
BOOM! You have a working website.
NOT!!! The reality of this scenario is that you will have a HUGE learning curve to do simple things in LINUX. Every time you install a new software package or change an option, there is a great likelihood that you will spend your weekend either trying to fix what it broke, or reloading LINUX to start from scratch. You should also be prepared to dedicate a great deal of all this spare time you have after quitting your job because this new website will make you rich, learning about system administration tasks such as backup, restore, firewalls, security… You get my drift.
WordPress is a very cool web framework that has LOTS of free templates and plug-ins. But WordPress also has a learning curve associated with it. So at this point in your DIY strategy, you are several months into this and still don’t have a working website, still trying to find good content to put on your website, and haven’t made a dime from this thing they call Affiliate Marketing, yep, the thing that was going to make you rich in the first place.
Strategy Two: Punt
You now decide to suck it up, and pay the piper for that hosted domain. Well, it is not good enough to pay month to month for this service, because they warn you that the “Search Engines”, around which everything on the internet is driven, do not look kindly on short timers: they want a website that promises to be around for at least the next several years, so the hosted domain marketing team has now sold you at least a two year hosting package, with add-ons that include backup and restore services, additional security, a package to get you free links, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) package, and free something or other that may as well be a partridge in a pear tree, which is only $1500 to renew after the first year.
The guy that charged you $37 for your free website, once you tell him the details of your new hosted domain, three days later is telling you that your website is now ready on your hosted domain using your domain name, “AnotherSucker.com”. When you bring up your website for the first time, there are three articles, or “posts” that look really good. The deeper you dig, you see that you bought a website loaded with posts that start out “Ipson Lorum… “. So where is this content you were promised? Well, that is another $97 for the magic tool that generates this wonderful free content from now into oblivion. Pretty good deal: $97 for the tool that generates free content.
So you sign up for the package, but before your mouse pointer trails even disappear from the screen, they are begging you to become a “Gold” Executive Member that gives you BETTER free content for only $495. And all the free content you paid $600 for so far needs to be noticed by the illusive Search Engines so that you get more Traffic, because as we all know, this is a NUMBERS GAME: of the total traffic, 5% will click on an affiliate ad; 2% of those that click on the ad will buy something; your commission on that something they buy is initially 3% of the purchase price, but the more you sell, they increase your commission.