Update: JustFree.com seems to be not accepting new registrations at the moment…use this tutorial as a guide to the concepts, but register instead with Free Web Host Now! instead of JustFree.com. The screenshots will not match, but you should be able to figure out what’s different until I can write new tutorials. The one extra step you must do once you’re into your control panel is create a subdomain for your blog.
While not every way of making money online requires you to have your own website, most of them either do, or your chances are improved by having your own website. So let’s talk about how to set one up. My focus here will be on setting up a website for free but giving you the tools you need to customize it. I’ll avoid the free blog hosts, because most of those don’t give you the customization options you’ll eventually want.
The first step is to sign up at a web host. Most web hosts charge for this service, and if you’re serious about running a website that can handle large amounts of traffic, you’d be better off paying for web hosting. But since our focus is on free, go to JustFree.com.
Once you’re there, click Register (circled in the image above). That’ll get you to where you can put in your information:
You’ll need a valid email address. If you don’t want to use your main email address for this type of thing, I suggest you get a free Google Mail address at gmail.com. This allows you to separate your normal email from your website emails. Under “How did you find us?”, choose Other and put in “Online Opportunity” (no, I don’t get anything for this).
Also, keep in mind that your webpage address will be username.justfree.com, so pick a username that you don’t mind being in your web address. Something that matches the purpose of your website would be good, and if you’ve done keyword research ahead of time use a good keyword as your username.
After you register with JustFree.com, you’ll get a confirmation email. Click on the link in that email, and you’ll get to this screen:
Of course, your email and user name will be different. You can safely ignore phone if you’re not comfortable giving it out. Extra domain means that you could have a web address different from username.justfree.com, but registering a domain costs money. Since the focus of this post is free, we’ll ignore using a domain name.
Once you submit this information, you now have a website. Go to username.justfree.com, replacing username with your user name, and you’ll see the placeholder site that JustFree.com puts in for you. Notice that they’ve put some Adsense ads on the placeholder site. You don’t get the money for those ads, so we’ll want to put up a real web page.
In Part 2, we’ll look at how to setup a blog very much like this one.
If you already know that you want to have a webhost that will support larger amounts of traffic than JustFree.com and are willing to pay for it, I can recommend both Site5 and Midphase. I’ve had hosting accounts with each, and have been impressed with their level of customer service and have had few technical problems with the web sites. This blog, for example, is hosted at Site5. You can sign up for either using the links below. I think Site5 provides the best value, at more space and bandwidth than you’d really need for only $5 a month, but you won’t go wrong with Midphase, either.