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How to Start a New Website for $587.32 [AIB]

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Starting a new website might seem easy.

In theory, you only need to purchase web hosting and download a free WordPress theme.

Unfortunately the process is more challenging than you might think.  If you want to succeed with this new website, then you need a professional look.  This is especially true if you’re using it to launch an Authority Internet Business.

Most websites have a few “hidden costs” that might not be initially obvious.  Typically it takes at least a few hundred dollars to get one off the ground.

In this post, I’ll detail the costs I incurred while building my authority site, DevelopGoodHabits.com.  Specifically I’ll show how an investment of $587.32 will position my site for future success.

Build a Website 101 (or “How I Spent $587.32 on a New Website”)

{Important: Some of the resources in this post contain my affiliate link.  That means I’ll earn a monetary compensation if you make a purchase.  With that said, I’ve personally tested each product and I only mention the ones that are good for building an authority presence.}

It’s not that hard to build the framework for a new blog.  Usually it takes less than an hour to complete.  I have a free step-by-step PDF that walks through you the process.

To elaborate on that tutorial, here is what I spent on DevelopGoodHabits.com:

Add this up and you get a total of $587.32.

I’ll admit this is a lot of money to spend on a brand new site.  Sure you could go to sites like Fiverr.com and find cheaper service providers.  But the reason I invested this amount is I prefer quality over cost.  My time is valuable – so I’d rather hire the right person immediately and not waste time weeding through low-quality freelancers.

Extra Tools to Enhance Your New Website

The $587.32 is for mandatory tools for starting a new website.  But I also added a few extra features to maximize the long-term potential of this business.  Specifically, I wanted to start building an email list from day #1.

So here is what I added:

  • $19 (per month) for Aweber, my list building tool of choice
  • $37 for the Welcome Splash plugin which creates a slick-looking opt-in page that’s overlaid on top of your blog
  • $67 for the Opt-In Skin plugin which creates a stylish opt-in form that can be placed anywhere on your site

Add these extras up and you’ll spend $125, plus $19 per month.

I was fortunate enough to already have all these tools, so I didn’t incur any additional costs while building DGH.  But I do recommend them if list-building is one of your MWRs.

Save Money While Building an Authority Site

When compared to a “bricks-and-mortar” business, $587.32 is a drop in the bucket.  But there are a few ways you can cut this amount down while building your authority business.

For instance, I spent a significant amount of money on graphics.  What you could do instead is buy a few different gigs from Fiverr for each task and then pick the best one.  So if you buy four “eCover gigs” for a total of $20, you can easily find an image that stands out.

If cost is consideration, then focus on the important things – like picking a good domain name, finding reliable web hosting and purchasing a great WordPress theme.  And then you can use low-cost resources (like Fiverr) to save a little bit of money.

Hopefully this post shows a realistic look at what it takes to start a brand new website.    Stay tuned to future updates of the Authority Internet Business case study to see what I’m doing to generate income from this website.

Take Action. Get Results.




P.S. Struggling with your Kindle books? Don't know how to get started on Amazon? Looking to generate an additional stream of income?

If so, click here to grab "Kindle Publishing Checklist: The 46-Step Plan for Turning an Idea into a Best-Selling Book"


{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie

I am curious why you chose the splash page over the lightbox option that you can get with aweber? I was skeptical about using that option but it has worked really well.

If I came to a splash page like that, I would just X out or hit the back button. I may be more skeptical than the average person though! :-) Have you split tested or anything like that?

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Steve Scott

I did try the Aweber option with my website — I didn’t like how it converted. Once I installed “Welcome Splash,” it pretty much beat the pants off of every list building device I’ve ever installed on this site. So it was an easy decision to keep it.

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Mk Akan

This is expensive but still okay…because you are building an asset.

The website will pay for itself….but i think you can get some of these items at cheaper rates if you outsource using Odesk and other third party websites.

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Steve Scott

Maybe or maybe not. The few expensive options definitely could have been done cheaper, but I would have lost a lot of time looking for reliable service providers. Frankly, I’d rather assign projects to people that I absolutely trust will do a good job and will do it in a timely manner. I’ve had way too many projects take forever to complete when I made the decision to “go cheaper.”

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Al-Amin Kabir

Hi Steve Scot, I’m curious why you chhose Canvas theme? I see it’s similar to WordPress’s default theme, it has not extra features anyway!

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Steve Scott

It actually has a TON of features – it’s very clean and intuitive. Most importantly, it’s responsive for mobile applications, which is important because I plan on getting a lot of traffic from this source. (btw, the Canvas links is not an affiliate link – I just really like this theme).

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Al-Amin Kabir

I noticed it’s not an affiliate link, that’s why I asked. :-)

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Kashif

So whats your monetization model for this site? Whats the ROI?

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Steve Scott

I haven’t started making money yet. This is a lengthy process, which starts with a website. This week, I’m rolling out my first Kindle book. From there, a lot of things will be happening over the next few months. Here is a more detailed explanation of what I’m planning: http://www.stevescottsite.com/authority-monetization

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Damon

Hello Steve,

I just started following you and have purchased one of your e-books. This past weekend I found my first affiliate product to promote and started the process of building my first site. I will be modeling all your advice and noted experiences for my journey. I am really excited to see this process through and begin to experience some positive results.

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Steve Scott

Great to hear Damon. I’m designing this case study to be a massive repository of information on starting a niche-specific business. So hope it will help you achieve your long-term goals.

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Justice Wordlaw IV

What you’ve spent here Scott is very very cheap. With those things you’ve done to your website you will gain a better community and make more money down the long run of things because other authority websites in that niche won’t compare. Spending quality money on graphics is the best thing that you could do.

Another thing that I’ve done with my authority websites is focus on upload speed if you have graphics with pictures or adding video. I use Max CDN for mine which if you thought of adding any of that to your blog would be a good idea.

Overall you will be very successful with your authority website.

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Steve Scott

Thanks for stopping by Justice. Great to see you here!

I agree that “spending a little more” can have a positive long-term value. It does hurt to see the exact figures, but I’m hoping it will be a drop in the bucket for what the site will eventually make.

Great suggestion for the upload speed. I’ll have to check out that tool.

How’s the Kindle stuff working for you?

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Justice Wordlaw IV

The kindle is working out amazing honestly. Maybe one of the best decisions I’ve made in awhile. Working on my next authority blog right now and trying to piece that entire thing together.

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Steve Scott

Me too — one of the best decisions I’ve made. Good luck with the authority site! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

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Anthony

Hi Scott,
What are your reasons for getting new hosting as opposed to just using an add on domain? Easier to sell? I’m about to start a authority site and I am toying with this question.
cheers

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Steve Scott

Anthony — The “selling” factor is part of it. Plus, I want this site to stand alone as far as IP address in the eyes of Google. I wanted to start with a fresh domain and build quality, white-hat backlinks. So having everything on a unique domain is the best to make sure I get long-term love from the Big G.

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Anthony

Aha, so google sought of looks at the domains/sites attached to the hosting and doesn’t like it so much? Hmm, okay, well I probably need a new hosting account then I guess.
On hosting – do you use different hosting Companies so the IP addresses are more different i.e. Bluehost versus hostgator etc

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Steve Scott

I used to do that when I was more into gray/black hat seo. Now I know I’m following all of the rules that Google wants, so I don’t stress out about using different hosting companies. For the most part, I just go with Host Gator because that’s what I know and like.

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Kamal

Hi Steve,

That’s quite a bit of money to invest but as you mentioned, it’s still a drop in the bucket when compared to a brink and mortar business.

It’s nice to see the costs and details all broken down. This will be really helpful to people just starting out.

Wish you absolute success with your new website!

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Steve Scott

Great to hear that it’s helpful Kamal. I find it useful to keep track of all my finances – that way I’m not over-spending.

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Jim Anderson

I have enjoyed and learned from your books and I look forward to following you on this project.

I am curious why do you prefer Aweber over Mailchimp? Is it just that you have used Aweber in past?

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Steve Scott

That’s a long and involved answer. The quick version is I’ve used Aweber since 2006, and I’ve always been impressed with their service. Specifically they have a lot of filtering and segmenting tools that MailChimp doesn’t have. So if I want to email a certain “type” of person, than Aweber helps me do this with a few clicks of the mouse.

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Eddie Gear

Thanks Steve for sharing your awesome resource list. That is a lot of money to invest in a new blog. But I guess for a six figure blogger like yourself, that should be okay and worth the investments. I will check out some of the options you have listed, depending on the funds available, I will be making a few good investments. Looking forward to your niche updates on the new blog.

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Steve Scott

I guess that was the major point to the post – I can afford to make these investments. But I tried to break everything down into specifics, so readers know what’s worth investing in and what can be bought for cheaper using smart outsourcing and a site like Fiverr.

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diego

wow.. Sticky Profit Builder plugin is superpowerful ..gonna buy this one!
thx steve!

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Steve Scott

I love SPB, but their 3 “One Time Offers” can be a bit annoying. Overall though, it’s a great tool for $27 bucks.

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Arwin Adriano

Nice advice Steve, in addition to that you do also have to allot budget for the marketing part or the advertising part so you could easily receive your returns from the investments you made from building your website.

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Steve Scott

Definitely. Marketing is a huge part of my expenditures. And I’ll definitely get into more detail about that with future posts.

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Tom

Hi Steve,
I just ran an analysis with Zoompf.com (not affiliated) which gives a ton of advice how to fine tune a site for fast loading. The report for your site can be seen below and it shows a lot of low-cost possibilities to make your site load faster. The easiest is switching on http compression which compresses all text elements (html, css, js) to reduce filesize which is an important factor in having a responsive Website. The URL for the test results:
http://scans.zoompf.com/s/750c356b14096e68129a7a393f1724af/report.html

Good luck with the site. I already visited a few times since you revealed it and like it,
All the best
Tom

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Steve Scott

Tom,

Appreciate you taking the time to check the site speed — that gives me a lot of feedback there. I’m going to have my freelance programmer take a look at this and see what can do to make it a little quicker. Thanks again!

Steve

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Ashley

Can I ask you as a total newb to email marketing, is the value of a subscriber who subscribes via the splash page or whatever it’s called before they even reach your site the same as the value of someone who follows your blog for a while and then decides to subscribe without being promoted? Do you get a lot of unsubscribes from these subscribers?

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Steve Scott

I tend to treat all subscribers the same — I don’t place a specific dollar value on them. The key really, is to have some decent content on the other end that doesn’t ask for money right away. Instead work on building a relationship and it doesn’t really matter “where” you got the subscriber.

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Jame

That’s a amount that’s suitable for a busy IMer like you; you need to spend time wisely. Therefore, it’s a nice spending. As a student, I need to save some money on the thing that I could do it myself, so I spending mostly on the Content Outsource + Hosting Environment. I hate slow loading speed sites that’s why I carefully choose a hosting that boost my site performance. Beside that I could do nearly everything myself including building custom Wordpress themes and graphic design. I have listed my spending as follow, too.

1- $17 for 2 Year Domain Registration + Free Privacy
2- $213.60 for 3 Year Hosting Plan + SSD (Very Fast Loading Speed) + CloudFlare Railgun Optimized (Very Fasy Html Loading Speed)
3- $0 for the theme (Thanks God I Could Create It Myself!)
4- $0 Graphics such as Logo, Cover, and Others (I’m a Designer, Too!)

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Steve Scott

That’s awesome that you can do the WP and graphic stuff — that saves a ton of money in the long-term. I especially like you how you determined what’s important (site speed) and were willing to invest in this result. Thanks for stopping by!

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Bilal

This is nicely setup! But I have heard that Host Gator is not good! When your traffic goes upto 5k it starts hanging! Is it true or not ? I’m using hosterpk and it has a same problem. By the way a nice article to make a website in good manners.

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Steve Scott

Bilal, I haven’t found any sort of traffic glitch when it gets the 5K number. In the past, this site hit that number on a few days and it worked fine.

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