Making website is one of these things that feels really hard if you haven’t done it before you like, oh my God, I need to code. I need to do this and that HTML CSS JavaScript . It’s so easy these days.

Hi friends. Welcome back to the site. Today we’re talking about one of my favorite topics of all time, which is how to create a website. Now. I’ve been making websites since about the age of 12, but five years ago, when I started my own personal website, that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life and starting a cool website in 2016 ultimately led to a YouTube channel.

So I’m going to break down everything, You need to know to create your own website or start by talking about why you should have a personal website, while something I recommend for everyone secondly we will talk about how to actually create your own personal website and get a domain and which platforms to use both free and paid options and then we’ll talk about , Once you’ve got a personal website. What you actually do with it. Could you make it work for you in a nice way? So let’s dive into it.

 

Let’s start by talking about why you should have a personal website, you know, everyone has Twitter and Instagram and like why do we need a personal website? Well, overall, there are six benefits of having a personal website. And instead of using myself, as an example, because I’m fighting this for ahead of the journey. I’m going to use my housemate Sheen. She started her own personal website just a year ago and has had all of these benefits in one form or another benefit, one of having a personal website is that it really helps, you develop your own ideas. So with Sheen, for example, she cares a lot about women empowerment and enjoys documenting Life as a PhD student and through writing a weekly blog posts,  She’s just automatically become a better writer and a better communicator, and she’s better at developing her ideas overall. Now, this can seem quite a sort of soft kind of benefit, like the personal development side, if you’re not, if you’re not like naturally into that thing. So benefit number 2 of writing online is that it actually really helps you in terms of your professional life as well. And in Sheen’s example, she started her website in June of 2020 and been blogging more or less every week. And last year, when she was applying to lots of jobs. There were quite a few interviews that she had where the people on the interview panel had come across her website. They Googled her name and they’d found her blog and it in a way the website acted as a sort of online CV. And in some of her interviews, they would ask about things that she’d written on her blog and saying, oh, you wrote an article about this thing. I’m interested in that thing myself. Let’s talk about it and these days, whatever, professional field you’re in. You can pretty much guarantee that your prospective employer is going to be Googling you and if you have your own website, you have this, you know, you can put your best foot forward.

And you can start creating all these possibilities for someone to be like, oh my God, you’re interested in this thing as well. I’m interested in it, too. Let’s have a chat about it. Benefit three of having a website that you write on regularly or blog, is that it gives you lots of connections. So, again, You know me as an example. I’ve made friends from all around the world, through my website, through my YouTube channel, but I’m quite far ahead of the process with Sheen. Again, started less than A year ago. She had people from all around the world reach out to her because they read something interesting on her website and said, oh, you know you’re interested in Period poverty, I’m working on period poverty. Let’s get in touch. Let’s have a bit of a chat about it. Oh, you’re interested in improving access to women’s education. This is actually a charity that I’m working for that does  the same thing. Let’s talk about it and through that she made a lot of interesting connections from all around the world. Some of these connections have led to the benefit number four.

Which is that when you have a personal website, you expose yourself to lots of interesting opportunities. And because random people around the world have found Sheen’s blog posts through her website. She’s been invited to write articles for Publications. She’s been featured in lots of Publications. She’s been invited on podcast and interviews and she’s been invited as a speaker and all sorts of these global Health Event type things, which is exactly the sort of causes that she cares about. Which leads us onto benefit number five that when you have a personal website and you write on a regularly, you can have a lot more impact than you would if you’re not on the internet, having a presence on the Internet is the modern-day equivalent of just being very good at networking. And the analogy that I like is that it’s like, back in the day you imagine, like if you just lived in a single Village and you never interact with anyone, outside your village. The amount of impact you can have the amount of opportunities you can have is pretty small. It’s confined to your little village. But if you’re the sort of person back in the day, who would every weekend? You’d visit a different village neighboring Village. And you’ve been traveling around making friends and saying hello to people and having conversations that sort of person just automatically exposes themselves to a lot more interesting opportunities and can also have a far bigger impact on the world. And if you’re one of those people who insists on, not having an online presence in some capacity.

Its like having your best foot forward. Not having a professional reputation that’s on the internet. That’s sort of the modern-day equivalent of find your little village where the only people that you’re really going to interact with. Our people that you meet at work or at school University and maybe if you go to a conference or networking event, maybe you’ll run into someone having that website ride phone regularly massively expands the potential impact of your work, you know, Sheen’s had articles that she’s written about women empowerment. It is shared like hundreds of times. It would be almost impossible to have that level of impact, at that early stage without using the internet in some capacity. Equally if you want to take things further and your blog becomes particularly popular or you graduate to maybe having a YouTube channel. Again, you know, this could potentially be seen by tens. If not hundreds of thousands of people or all around the world. That’s far more impact than I’ll ever have sitting in my Village and interacting with people one-on-one and finally benefit number 6 of having a personal life slide is that you can monetize it if you want. Probably shouldn’t be the main reason for having a personal website because generally, you know, it takes a solid few years of doing this sort of stuff regularly before you actually make money from it, but it’s definitely a possibility and I’ve got lots of blogger and YouTuber friends. Again, different places around the world who are making six to seven figures a year, you know, like a hundred thousand to a million dollars plus per year from their website, which is just insane. This is sort of thing that happens if you stick with this and overall, really the value of a personal website that you write on regularly is that it acts as a Serendipity vehicle as my friend David Pearl last call it. It’s like, you know, even while you’re sleeping you will work is out there on the internet and your thoughts and your blog posts or whatever. It is that you’re writing about is out there and being shared by people. If they think it’s good and it’s like having this little me of robotic workers whose like, working for you and like, spreading your message, far and wide and that has all these benefits that we’ve just talked about. So let’s say you’re sold on why you should start a website. I think, every single person watching this shit started personal website, straight off to you. Question number two is, well, how do you actually create a website? Now? This is actually a lot more straightforward than people make it out to be. There’s basically just two things that you need to create a website. Number one, you need A platform. And number two, you need a domain. Let’s start by talking about the platform and the platform is the thing that hosts your website. So, for example, you might have heard of Squarespace or WordPress, or you might have seen an ad for wix.com. We might have heard of thing that I use called ghost, is basically hundreds of website platforms out there. Some of them are free. Most of them are paid and they will let you create a website in some capacity and

Because I value a time. I’m going to give you a list of three options to choose from that. I would personally recommend. Number one is a totally free option and that is willgivelinklater is a great place to write a kind of email newsletter type thing. It’s not quite the same thing as a website. Like if I were to start a website on sub stack, I would create an account and then I would have my website being Ali Abdullah.substack.com. But it’s quite nice because it’s totally free. It’s very easy to get started. It also. It has the email newsletter built-in. And so even if you have, even if you’re starting from scratch and you just have your friends and family signing up to a newsletter, you could probably get like 10 subscribers to begin with. And then every week, when you write something, it automatically, sends it out to those 10 people. And you’ve got the little URL like Ali Abdullah.abstract.com forward, slash my blog post, which you can then share on Twitter or Instagram or LinkedIn, or Facebook or whatever. And then if they just kind of stuff that you’re writing and it’s just a very free very easily accessible way of starting a website. The problem with that though is that it’s not really a website. It’s more newsletter. You don’t really have your own domain. And if you want to take this website, things, seriously, I would highly highly recommend paying for a service now, broadly, when I speak to people about websites and there’s an issue about paying for something. There are two categories of people. One category is like, I was,  when I was 13. As i am a Pakistani boy, my mom controls my spending. I don’t have a credit card. I can’t spend any money online without my mom’s permission or I physically don’t have the money. Like, for me. It was all of the above when I was younger, you know, that’s the category of I literally cannot pay for anything. Therefore. I need a free option and I used to spend years searching for free options to start a website back and I was like 13, 14 years old, if you’re in that position don’t worry about it we’ll been there. I know how you feel. I know how Asian parents alike and therefore he should just make a website secretly and don’t tell your parents about it these days though. The second category of people are the people that I talked to most IE people who can quite easily afford to pay for web hosting but choose not to do it because of some absolutely ridiculous notion that everything will need internet should be free. These are the people who are like, you know, Spend, you know, for getting $30 20 quid on a night out, buying alcohol or like, you know, getting takeaways at least once a week, people with a reasonable amount of disposable income who still feel that. Oh my God. Paying 21 pennies per month for an app. On my iPhone, that I use every day. That’s like a bad investment. If you’re in that category of person, please take my word for it. Feel free to start And subscribe if you want to be, if you want it.

To do this free, but ideally don’t be a cheapskate. If you can’t afford it. If you have the disposable income to start a website. This, this is genuinely the sort of investment that can change your life. And the good news is the kind of options that you have. These are not that expensive. So there are two options that I would recommend on the paid groups. Number one, if you’re a total computer Noob and you don’t really know much about computers and you’re not very comfortable with navigating computers and stuff like my housemates Sheen. You should just use Rackco. No, they’re not sponsoring this video. They sponsored a video of mine like 2 years ago. You should just use Rackco. Rackco is easy. It starts at under 10$ a month. And for that price, you get all of the things that you need. And if you pay for a year up front, which kind of good because it forces you to take the website thing seriously, you’ll still get a free.com domain name, which you can just use, but if you know a little bit about computers the option that I would personally recommend is called Rackco cloud hosting .

Its a Really good web hosting solution. It’s what I’ve been using for my own website, sends 2016, for the last five years. I absolutely love it. My website today is still hosted on Rackco and I’m like mates with the founder of Rackco. He’s a cool guy. Rackco is a really great company. They’re entirely remote.  and if you pay for Rackco Pro, which is the hosting service that’s just very very outclass and easy to get, I have a cheeky affiliate Link. (  .https://my.rackco.com/?affid=91) . I get a bit of a kickback, if you sign up for that. Feel free to not use my affiliate link. I could really care less. I don’t need the extra Pennies from that affiliate link. If we’re being honest. I just think you should use Rackco because it’s absolutely amazing and I just love it overall. Whichever platform you use and I’ve given you three options, Rackco basic Rackco Ecommerce and Rackco Cloud based hosting. They’re all pretty good. Whatever option you choose, don’t overthink it one of the mistakes you can make when it comes to creating website. It’s thinking that the platform matters. Oh my God WordPress or web flow Pathways or any other or like a hundred different solutions spending ages to like researching. It really does not matter like no one cares. What platform your website is hosted on. The important thing is that you have a website in the first place and be that you write decent content for it every week. That gives you 99.9 percent of the vote. Even the website, the final 0.1 percent comes from choosing the right platform and SEO optimization. All these other fancy features that really no one actually cares about. So overall don’t overthink the platform. I’d recommend Rackco personally, but feel free to use any for which are slightly more expensive. But slightly different plans to use or feel free to use Rackco . What you might want is a domain. Now the domain is like, Ali.com or like Google.com or like facebook.com and that links to your website platform. So initially when you make an account on Rackco, you might start with Ali.rackco.com , that would be your url. That’s not very pretty. It’s not very nice to say to someone. Hey, check out my website www.ali.rackco.com . It’s just it’s just a bit amateur.

Well you can do is you can buy a domain like Ali.com and that costs around about ten dollars per year. This is very cheap. This is less than a dollar, a month. It is less than the price of coffee. It’s like buying a coffee every four months from like Starbucks. That’s how much it costs to get a domain name? Like ten dollars a year and then you link up that domain to Rackco servers. After linking up that domain to Rackco and now, you can say, check out my website ali.com and that just sounds kind of cool . It’s easy to use and feels very nice. If you want a domain for free, then you’re out of luck because you can’t get a free domain, unless you’re a student. And if you’re a student, you can use names and again, to use the example of my housemate, you know, this time last year when she decided she was going to start a website like me. Ali, what platforms to use. How do I do it? I sent her to Rackco .I said go to Rackco and, figure it out.

And she said that she really hated me for doing that because she felt like I was throwing her in the deep end, but it’s like, you know, the whole point of these website Solutions is that it’s very easy to get started. You can literally go on Rackco, click and it’s just really, really obvious how to make a website. Making a website is one of those things that feels really hard. If you haven’t done it before, you’re like, oh my God, I need to code, I need to do this and that HTML CSS. It’s so easy ways to do a website, you could use that.

That’s why you could use WordPress. I’m all of that to the staff. If you know what I’m talking about there, then you know that they’re suitable for beginners. If you’re the sort of person that gets hung up on whether you are in that.

Being computer nerd. More focused on how can I maximize my ability to create a website for free? Those are the people who are focusing on the wrong things, focus on creating content information and Publishing.

Finally let’s talk about now that you have a website because you’ve seen how easy it is to make website. What the hell do you do with your website? And How do you actually make your website? Good. Again. This is a A lot more straightforward than people make it out to be firstly your website only needs three pages. It needs an About page. contact page and any of the following page literally that is all you need. Your homepage can literally just be your about page. It doesn’t matter. And then once you’ve got those setup, which again, only takes about 20 minutes, you don’t need to overthink your about page or your contact page. The real objective at this point now is to write a blog post and

Do it every week once a week is I think a good challenge. It gets you into the habit of writing and getting into the habit of publishing. It gets you into the habit of showing your work on the internet. At this point, people usually ask. Well, What do I write about? And the answer to that is you can basically write about whatever you want. The only bar I have for like what I’m going to write about is could this potentially be useful to at least one other person in the world. If I’m writing about my bowel habits.

It’s, that’s Not post about my bowel habits, but let’s say, I’ve read a book and I’m like, huh. This was a pretty good book. I learned a few things from it. I would write a blog post about the insights I learned from this book. I listen to a podcast and was like, you know, and it’s to this episode of the Tim Ferriss show that I should really good. So good in there were these three things that stuck in my mind, write it up as a blog post. That’s the sort of thing that would be useful to at least one other person. Let’s say I’m going through University and I’m out. Hello, first year medical student. It would be very reasonable for me to write what the experience of a first-year medical students. Like. Would that be useful to anyone else? Yeah, probably. It would be useful to people who are thinking of going into med school. That’s a you like she know you’re doing a PhD. Would it be useful for you to write about your experiences of doing a PhD? Yes, it would because potentially other people who might want to do that. There interested in, what is the day-to-day experience doing a PhD actually?

And there’s a nice quote from Gary vaynerchuk that I often come back to which is , don’t create like creating content that the concept of that action really hard. It feels like a big deal. But if you just think about documenting the stuff that you’re doing anyway, it becomes very easy to find ideas things to write about. Like, if I was starting a blog from scratch and I had zero audience, nothing at all. I would just document the way that I’m living my life to be like, you know, this is my morning routine, this is my morning routine. Here is an article that I read about X and this is what made what it made me think about here is a book that I read about why. And here’s a quick summary of the book and link to the book with an Amazon link. That’s the sort of stuff I’d be writing about and I’d be exploring any other kind of topics that I first need to. Sheen For example, is super into women empowerment, and eradicating period poverty, and improving access to girls education.She writes articles about that. I’m more into like ,Like content creation and like personal development and like, you know, how can we improve our Charisma and social skills? And so, I’d be writing about those sorts of topics that I care about. But the main thing is that once you set a goal of right, publishing something once a week, especially if you haven’t like an email newsletter associated with it, you just end up finding things to write about. Like, there are zillions of ideas out there. You just need to pick one of them, right? Do this every week for the next two years and I can pretty much guarantee that your life change in an interesting way. And after the question of what do I write about? The next question? People always ask is well, How will my stuff be seen? Let’s say, I had no audience. Let’s say, I wrote a blog post about, I don’t know why I have a fake plant on my desk. I can talk about how I read a book by Richard Wiseman called 59 seconds, and he talked about how having Greenery on your desk in.

It encourages creativity. I could write a blog post about that, and I publish it on my blog, but literally, no one would ever find that thing. But the solution these days is very simple. When you write a blog post, share it on Twitter or Instagram, or LinkedIn, or Facebook, or wherever you have social media. Everyone has social medias in some capacity and if you don’t, you’re doing it wrong, you should have an account on Twitter because Twitter is amazing for professional networking, all that kind of stuff. You sure. So probably do LinkedIn if you’re into the whole professional side of things because LinkedIn is great. But once you write a blog post, you can literally just post a link to it on Facebook post link to it on Twitter post, a link on Instagram post LinkedIn, LinkedIn post a screenshot on Instagram. That’s a shame without an audience at the start. She got to the point where her blog was starting to get readers. She just posted about it on Instagram. She had a few hundred followers on Instagram at the time, just friends and family and through that people found the blog and then every time she would write a new blog post. She would post about it on Instagram and on LinkedIn. And then on LinkedIn, you’ve got the sort of professional audience that cares about this sort of stuff. Instagram is more like her people caring about her life because they have family and friends and then through those those like, you know, 10 or 20 people here and they’re reading an article one of those people within share it with someone else and say, hey, this is interesting. Why don’t you Read this present article. So really the way that people find your blog find on your website is not really through search engine optimization these days. May be used to be in like 2005, but it’s now 2021. Usually for most personal websites. The way people find your stuff is because you’ve shared it on social media on your own to your own friends and family. And then someone there who’s resonated with your thing, has shared it a little bit wider. And yeah, at the start no one’s going to read your stuff because it’s probably not very good if you haven’t had an experience of writing, your probably writing some pretty crap stuff, but that’s okay. Like this is the sort of thing that improves over time and certainly at the start, when I started my YouTube channel and my blog, no one was reading. No one was watching. I would get like 23 video views on the YouTube video and at the time it’s because my YouTube videos weren’t very good. But over time as I made more of them, I got better at making YouTube videos. I got better at writing blog posts and I therefore built this audience.

Over time. So if you’re worried about no one’s going to read my stuff, don’t worry about it because it takes time but also make sure you’re sharing it on social media because that’s just a very easy way for people to find whatever you’re writing on your website. And there’s a few other frequently asked questions that I often get when it comes to the website thing. Number one, people always ask. How do I make my website look pretty and I would say, don’t worry about it. The design does not matter. If you use Rackco and WordPress It’s going to be pretty by default. And these days, when it comes to a personal website, the Aesthetics of the website is absolutely not the thing. People care about, the content, they care about the ideas . Care about the writing. It’s really all about the writing. And as long as your design, does not get in the way of the writing. You don’t need to worry about the design. You can just pick a default theme .

I was just using a free WordPress theme, the default one and it looked pretty good. I’d get messages from people being like, Oh my God, your website is so pretty. How did you design it? I just feel like look. It’s just the default free theme. That just comes with Rackco when you use Rackco. I use a custom design themed, but I’ve been doing the website thing in the content thing for five years at this point. So do not worry about design at all focus on the content. Secondly, people often ask about SEO, which Stands for search engine optimization again, completely, ignore it. Do not worry about search engine optimization. It is very unlikely, that your personal website will be getting any reasonable traffic from search engine optimization instead focus on writing, good stuff and sharing it on Twitter or whatever social media you have. And if it resonates with people, the kind of organic sharing goodness of your articles is what will lead to more website traffic.

Paired to you worrying about SEO. Don’t worry about SEO. It’s the sort of thing. You can worry about 3 years further down the line, people sometimes ask. How do I monetize my website? Again don’t worry about it for the first two years. My theory in this is that unless you’ve been writing weekly for at least one to two years. You don’t need to worry about monetization in the slightest and finally, people often ask but like, what if I’m scared to put myself out there and then, you know, I don’t want to use my real name online or like it feels Is really scary to like put myself out there and have a personal website. Trust me. I’ve been there in 2016. I had all of these fears myself. I’ve been wanting to set up a website for like years at that point and I never did it because I was just too scared, but I had, I found the solution and which i talked about how writing online made me a millionaire. And in that . I share how I got over the fear of putting myself out there on the internet and how ultimately, my little website ended up completely changing my life. So check that out. Thank you so much. I hope you found this useful, and I’ll see you in the next one. Bye.

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