Publishing a Travel Website
A step by step guide
One way to stay in Egypt and generate some degree of revenue is to publish a travel website. What could be better? Writing about your favourite places or activities and earning money while you sleep? Although it’s not that easy and takes a large investment of both time and hard work, it is totally plausible.
1) Find your niche?
If you decide to publish a travel website, your chances of success are greatly heightened if you do something that’s not already been done and for which few resources exist. It could be a destination, an activity, community, or twist on all three - something about which you have intimate knowledge and about which others would want to learn.
2) Building your travel website
You don’t need to be technical to publish a travel website these days and in fact the whole thing can be achieved without knowing a single line of HTML code. Design packages using ‘What you see is what you get’ (WYSWYG) software allow the user to manipulate the design of the site on screen while the software generates the appropriate coding. If you are tech savvy enough to use Microsoft Word for example, you should easily be able to get your head around such an editor.
This website was made using X-Site Pro, a cost effective solution suitable for both beginners and professionals.
3) Buying a domain
A web domain refers to the URL address through which surfers can access your web pages. For example, www.yourdomain.com. Some webmasters opt for a brand name e.g. www.alternativeegypt.com, while others go the descriptive route e.g. www.boattripsinegypt.com
Purchasing a domain name is as simple as setting up an email address and can be arranged through a number of brokers, see the resource box below. First you have to ensure that the domain doesn’t already exist and is available to buy. Once you’re happy with both domain and price you make the transaction. Typically a domain name costs between 5€ and 25€ per year.
4) Server Space
So you have built and designed your travel website with Xsite Pro and found a domain that encapsulates your message. You’re ready to upload on to the worldwide web.
Server space is the physical location of your website, the actual disk space where the files are saved and through which visitors access your web pages. Depending on who you rent your space through, these can be located anywhere in the world. Server space starts from as little as 5€ per month for a number of websites. See resource box below for more info.
5) Earning Revenue
So how does all of this translate into money exactly? Typically in one of the following ways:
Google adsense – This system automatically selects relevant and appropriate adverts to display on your web pages. You can see an example of this running down the left hand panel of this webpage. Each time a visitor clicks through to one of the adverts for more information, you get paid. Albeit a few pennies. However potential audiences on the worldwide web can reach millions of visitors each year (I have a long way to yet) so it all ads up. Google will allow you to easily setup such a system from day one if you so desire.
Affiliates – Affiliates are partner products or service providers that advertise through your website. Alternativeegypt has an affiliation with hostelbookers. This is a valuable addition to the site as it allows visitors to book their hostels in Egypt through alternativeegypt. Again, every time a hostel is booked, the affiliate pays out.
Product sales – Finally you can always earn money through your website by selling your own product or service. Perhaps you have written an E-book about your destination and visitors can download for a few bucks from your site. Maybe you’re a tour guide touting your skills or even a teacher.
6) Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search engines like Google use algorithms to determine a web page’s relevance and importance to its subject matter. Your success with the search engines ultimately determines your success as a webmaster.
SEO refers to the deliberate design and manipulation of a website and its pages to be ranked favourably by the search engines.
SEO can be ‘on page’ where it refers to good practice in website design, and ‘off page’ where the focus is on building links with other websites and online communities.
Google states quite explicitly in its webmaster guidelines what techniques will aid high ranking. See the resource box below. Ultimately, write quality content for your visitors and not for the search engines. Update and add content regularly and follow google’s webmaster guidelines.
7) How long does it take?
Different webmasters have different experience. In my own personal journey several years before your traffic grows sufficiently to bring in any real money. So my last piece of advice on this is as follows: Make sure you enjoy writing about your subject. If you’re only interest is money making, I am sure there are faster and easier ways to do it.Search for Jobs in Egypt