Useful Websites for Newbies
Discover some useful websites that will help you get started
When it comes to earning a secondary income, most people are turning to the Internet.
But, if you have ever tried it, you’ll discover that making money online really isn’t as easy as some people make it out to be. In fact, most people that try it will give up, simply because they often go around in circles, being told different ways of making easy money, instantly and it’s simply just not true.
This list has been put together to help you discover some useful websites on the Internet and more importantly, to give you a better understanding of how blogging and marketing works.
Getting Started – A Few Important Factors
Before You Start…
It is important to start your new ‘career’ in the right direction. Staying focused and having a plan is key so before you start, ask yourself this question…
What do you want to achieve from your website?
Without a doubt, almost everybody will say ‘Dah, to make money of course!’ Well, believe it or not, this is where most people will go wrong, seriously. If you have this vision from the outset, you are likely to fail.
With this mindset, your website is likely to contain adverts, affiliate links and products from Amazon (or other suppliers) that have no relation to what your site or article is about because all you’re interested in is making money.
The knock on effect of this is that your visitors will not stay and read whatever it is your article is about, causing your bounce rate to increase. If all you’re interested in is making money, your career as a ‘Blogger’ will be very short lived.
So, If I was to ask you the question again, would you still think it was a silly question? Well, you may wish to consider these answers instead.
I want my website to…
● Provide useful content that has value to followers that have a similar interest.
● Provide a service that will help me build a list of subscribers because I know that this is how I will earn an income.
● Provide my visitors with a feeling of trust, ensuring that they will return or recommend my business, creating organic growth.
Money, will come with time. Any successful blogger will tell you that you need to work at these things, stick with it and don’t give up, no matter how hard or tough your journey becomes.
Useful Websites That Will Help You Choose A Profitable Niche
Hold back on the design and do this first.
Choosing a niche is the very first step you must follow BEFORE doing anything else. It is why people get lost and suffer from what is called ‘information overload’.
If you are unclear about what you want to achieve when you first set out, then you will flit from one niche to another, struggling to achieve an online presence of any value.
There are niches that will always be popular. Categories include a top ten of…
● Self Help
● Work from home
Now, before you sit there and think ‘I’ll choose…’, these are very, very competitive niches. But if you decide to blog around one of these niches, don’t expect too much too soon.
Instead, you could always do a little research by using some of the following methods.
Make good use of your search engine but try using these basic search tips first.
The diagram below shows the results (note the amount found) after typing in a long or short-tailed keyword.
The other keywords that appear as you are typing represent other popular topics people are searching for, that are related to your search.
By using other keywords, this is a great way of discovering a profitable niche.
Diagram N:2, on the other hand, shows more accurate results. As you can see, although the same keywords have been used, this time, they have speech marks around them. By doing this simple task, you’re commanding your search engine to search for those particular words in that specific order.
You will also discover that the drop down ‘suggestions’ has changed too, allowing you to see (and use) other people’s ideas. In this case, I would have clicked on ‘profitable niches low competition’
Search book titles.
No, I’m not going mad, seriously, try searching through some book titles. Books of a particular subject are published because there is a demand for it. Furthermore, research would have been done to produce the book and an expert would have had to approve its content before going to publication.
The best books to search are ‘Idiot guides’ or ‘how to’ books and the most popular books in this range is the ‘For Dummies’ series. Take a look at these titles. Do you think you could create an Internet business out of these niches?
TIP – Enter the keyword ‘popular’ into the search bar on the Dummies website and discover what people are buying today. That way, you’ll be up to date with the most in-demand niche.
Remember to choose your niche carefully. Particular diet fads will come and go, whilst meals for babies and toddlers will always be in demand.
Search magazine titles.
This is perhaps better than searching book titles for two reasons, one it gets you out and for another, not only can you see first hand what people are buying but you can also see what products people are ordering by looking at the adverts within the magazines.
For example –
If you were to have a website all about keeping chickens, you could promote a numerous amount of different products.
These could range from food/feed, bedding materials, runs and coops/pens. None of the products need to be yours, you just have to promote and run a successful website.
Earning will come from affiliate links leading to other websites or a related products.
The most traditional way of searching for profitable niches is to use a keyword search tool such as the one that’s provided by Google within their Adwords toolbox . If you do not have a Google account, you will not be able to access this tool. So, sign up now.
Useful Websites For Creating Your First Website
Where Do You Start?
Like anything that’s new to you, finding something that best suites your needs, demands and skill levels can take time. Sometimes it can even be costly.
Here is a list of companies that you may wish to start with when it comes to designing your website. Remember, learning how to use software and designing a website are two different things altogether but one thing they have in common is that they are going to take a bit of time to learn and get right.
Don’t beat yourself up if you get things wrong to start with. This is a new skill you are learning.
Without a doubt, the most popular blogging platform for most Internet Marketers has to be WordPress. And because it’s so popular, you’d never be far away from a ‘How to…’ article, training course, plug-in or tutorial video.
To find out the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, read the related article below.
Other popular platforms or software for creating blogging/websites include useful websites such as…
● Google.sites FREE
● Blogger FREE
● Wix FREE (limited options) or subscription
● 1&1.com (USA) or 1&1.co.uk FREE (limited options) or subscription
● Square Space FREE trial then subscription
● Webydo FREE (limited options) or subscription
● Serif.com CD Software
● Web Easy 10 (UK) or (USA) CD Software
I have personally always used Serif WebPlus for building my websites. It’s a simple drop & drag software and has enabled me to create some great results, quickly.
And as you can tell, I use WordPress.org for blogging. I have also had a go at playing around with Adobe Dreamweaver but time to learn and practice has been limited over the years.
This is, however, something I may go back to once the kids are a school full time! Anybody that’s a parent will know exactly where I’m coming from.
Tip – Before you finally decide what you’re going to use, think long term. Another factor for choosing Serif is the fact that once my websites are designed, they are mine. I’m not tied into any long term plans. With some of these plans, if you leave the company, you lose your websites.
Now, with a website, come’s Hosting & Domain Names (amongst other things) and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of companies waiting to snap your hand off for your business.
Market Leaders for Hosting & Domain Names
Below is a list of companies that can provide you with hosting and domain name packages. Please note, though, when purchasing a hosting package, search engines prefer it if you buy from a domain that is based in your country. But it’s not the be all and end all if you don’t, reliability and great service must always come first. These useful websites will help with your selection.
Some services will offer you free domains and/or hosting but if permitted, it is always best to buy your own. That way you are not tied to any one company.
● WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
● How To Create Your First Website
● How To Build a Website
● How to Make a WordPress Site in 21 Days
● Create A Website Using Google Sites
● Create Websites With Blogger & Save $$$$ In Design Fees
● How to Start a Blog on Blogger
Free Website Design Tools
Using free tools for the job
Within the first five seconds, visitors to your website will do one of two things. They will either stay and spend time or even money or they will increase your bounce rate.
To prevent the latter, take a look at these useful websites. A great resource for website designers, they will help you with creating, developing and understanding what it takes to produce a great looking and functional website.
Da Button Factory Create your own buttons for your websites by using this simple, yet effective free tool. Da Button Factory offers you the opportunity to produce some great looking buttons for your website. From ‘rollovers’ to ‘buy now’ buttons, save valuable time producing them in Photo-shop or power point and produce them in minutes.What’s more, it’s free.
Banner Fans will help you create professional looking banners for either your website, Facebook Page or Twitter page. What’s more, you could even just use this tool to create a background for your banner, adding your own pictures and font at a more convenient time. A great tool for both newbies and professionals.
Jssor.com provides some fantastic looking sliders coming in all sorts of styles, shapes and sizes.Whilst they are offered free to anybody that wishes to download them, I would say they are more likely to benefit experienced webmasters only.
A great resource for professional website designers and those that wish to further their options for clients.
Font Squirrel – When it comes to using fonts, it is always advisable to use the ‘web safe’ fonts that are used on every website. But when it comes to designing banners, logos or info graphics etc, everybody wants to theirs to look the best. If you decide to concentrate more on the design side of things, then you’re going to find this website very useful for its huge range of various fonts.
Iconfinder is a great website for finding you all sorts of Icons, instantly. Not only that but it will categorize its findings for you. You can either pay for Icons or use some of the many free ones it has found from across the Internet. But before you use and publish any of the free icons on offer, it’s always worth a quick check of the terms and conditions of use.
Adobe Color Wheel How do you choose the correct colour scheme when designing a website? Do you go with what’s popular, choose your favorite colours or simple use your artistic flare? When a customer lands on your website, first impressions count and that is why it’s so important to get your colour scheme correct. Have a quick go at this colour wheel from Adobe and you’ll soon be producing professional looking websites.
Foxy Form We all know the importance of collecting data and forms of any kind are valuable. If you are unable to add a form to your website, then give these a go. Foxy Form offers you a very quick way of creating a basic contact form to add to your clients website. You do have to provide your email address though so just be aware of unwanted mail.
Converticon Having a favicon on your website is important.
It can create and spread your brand. When people bookmark your website, it makes it easy to recognise.
I know when I first started out, I didn’t believe it was that important but the main reason why I didn’t bother was because I didn’t know how to create one.
Google Analytics – Anybody that designs a website without an analytics program of some sort, needs shooting. And anybody that is told by their website designer ‘analytics will be extra’, needs to change their designer.Without a doubt, this will be one of the most powerful tools you will add to your website, in fact, it can make or break your website business. It really is that necessary. Don’t go live without it.
Flash Vortex offers some great looking flash banners (if you like that sort of thing!).
They are easy to edit, enabling you to customise then to your own requirements.
Being flash, I’m not sure if they are supported by Apple products so be sure to check it out before wasting hours in creative mode.
Design Your Own Great Content Graphics
Get started with some of these great free to use tools
We all know that styles and trends come and go but for the moment, it looks like info graphics are here to stay.
Over recent years, the Internet has exploded with design sites offering some great drop & drag programs. Enabling even the newest of newbies the opportunity to create some great looking posters etc. Here are just ten sites offering you the chance to produce your own info graphics, so go on, get creative.
Canva is one of the first sites that I was introduced to so I guess I’m going to be a little biased for making it my number one choice. Whilst you can create some great infographics for free, Canva offer a whole lot more besides too. There may also be a small charge ($1) for some premium products, a small price to pay for such a great service. I would also suggest signing up to their emails and discover the ‘How to’ tutorials.
Venngage is a great infographics site if you want to produce posters with charts or maps. Pricing is again split in two levels. This time, rather than pay for what you use, there is a monthly subscription charge. A great resource for designers that are charging clients for work but would suggest the free option for personal use.
BeFunky is a basic programme for editing your photos using a selection of some simple drop and drag tools. A good place to start for newbies but a little frustrating if you don’t intend to upgrade as the adverts seem to have been placed over the navigation bar.
Canva is one of the first sites that I was introduced to so I guess I’m going to be a little biased for making it my number one choice. Whilst you can create some great info graphics for free, Canva offer a whole lot more besides too. There may also be a small charge ($1) for some premium products, a small price to pay for such a great service. I would also suggest signing up to their emails and discover the ‘How to’ tutorials.
Venngage is a great info graphics site if you want to produce posters with charts or maps. Pricing is again split in two levels. This time, rather than pay for what you use, there is a monthly subscription charge. A great resource for designers that are charging clients for work but would suggest the free option for personal use.
BeFunky is a basic program for editing your photos using a selection of some simple drop and drag tools. A good place to start for newbies but a little frustrating if you don’t intend to upgrade as the adverts seem to have been placed over the navigation bar.
If you’re looking for a free tool that will help you create some professional looking quotes, firstly go to brainyquote.com then use either quozio.com or quotescover.com. Once you start experimenting, you’ll soon start producing not only inspiring quotes that everybody loves but content images that people are likely to share too. Oh, and don’t forget to add your website address.
quozio.com is great for producing and sharing inspiring quotes such as this one by Susana Martinez. Remember to add your website address to help drive traffic to your website.
Other websites that provide free tools, a free trial or a subscription charge include –
● Designing an Info graphic with Nigel French (Subscription Service)
● 3 Good Reasons to Use Info graphics for Branding
● 9 reasons to use info graphics in your content marketing
● How to Keep Info graphics from Ruining Your Visual Content: 8 Rules
Search For Free Images Using Chrome
Or buy them from as little as $1
Adding photos/images to your website not only gives it colour but it breaks up your content meaning that your visitors are likely to carry on reading longer articles. But where can you get them from for free?
Well, you could start by using Google Chrome. By going into your settings, you can use Chrome to help provide you some free images – a great resource for newbies or those on a small budget. To get clear instructions on How to.. Search for Free Images using Chrome, follow the link to this free PDF.
There are of course other options. If you have allowed a budget and wish to purchase images on a ‘as and when’ basis, then you won’t struggle to find good quality, suppliers. You may wish to start with these top seven providers that start from just $1 –
Buying Your Images in Bundles
There are of course other ways of purchasing images for your websites or projects and that is to buy them in bulk. This can be done in one of two ways. You can either purchase a CD that has hundreds (sometimes thousands) of images on or you can download them online giving you instant access.
Purchasing your images on CD
I remember back in the day, these were always available in most big retailing shops, however with so many online services offering free downloads, they have become harder to find as the years have gone on.
Amazon (USA) – (UK) has always been my first port of call when purchasing anything these days. And with the ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ service that is offered plus competitive pricing, you can’t really go wrong.
Failing that, over the years I have a built a small collection of CD’s containing royalty free, high definition images, all for under £10 each from Serif.com.
Purchasing and download your images instantly
If you can’t wait to receive your purchase through the post, you could always download your image bundles just minutes after purchasing them.
Sites such as Mighty Deals offer such service but as you can see from the samples below, there is a time limit on all deals so be quick.
You can also find other suppliers of top images at the following sites –
Now, when it comes to screen shots, there are plenty of options available throughout the Internet but I have reduced myself to just the one. After playing around with a few free downloads and purchasing a few CD’s to install on the computer, I have finally settled with Nimbus Screenshot.
It is a free download that is available to all Google Chrome users and although it doesn’t work on all websites, it is a great way of creating images of websites for free.
If you have any questions regarding copywriting issues then articles like this one are always useful to read when you have a few minutes to spare.
Have fun with your images and get creative with these great tools. Once you have decided on the images you are going to use, why not get creative with them? These tools are free and they enable you to manipulate the final look of any image (if you have downloaded or purchased your images, please check the licensing rules BEFORE you change other peoples work).
Two of the more popular free downloads are gimp.org and getpaint.net. Whilst these sites offer free (reputable) downloads, they do request a donation. Please be prepared to learn and study to achieve the best results.
If time is your enemy then perhaps you would like to have a go at playing around with these sites.
If you have had the time to view all of these sites, you will discover that they are all pretty much similar to each other. However, there are different photo options and categories between them.
Free tip – for those of you that want to make sure people haven’t taken YOUR image and used it for their own website, you can always use tineye.com. Simply upload your image and It will search the Internet for your image, returning results in seconds.
● The Ultimate Guide to Sourcing Free Images for Your Blog
● Helpful information about image copyright rules and how to license stock photos.
● The Ultimate Guide on Finding FREE Images for Your Blog
● The Big Guide To Free Images For Your Blog Posts – Part 1 Public Domain
● The Big Guide To Free Images For Your Blog Posts – Part 2: Creative Commons
Outsourcing Your Work
You Can’t Do It All
This is going to be a tough journey and you’re going to need all the help you can get. And that’s going to mean spending a bit of money on things like design, logos, content etc.
Outsourcing your work will mean that things are going to get done quicker, look more professional and leaves you with more time to research your chosen niche.
Some of these useful websites offer an amazing service and offer great value for money, none more so than fiverr.com
Take a look at what you can achieve for less than a $ on Fiverr.com –
Please Be Aware – Although these gigs start from a $5, they may end up costing you slightly more. For example, if you hire a writer to write an article for you, it will be for a certain amount of words. The more you ask for, the more it will cost.
Popular gigs can take up to twelve days so again, if you pay an extra $5, you can jump the queue. When you think how much these people are getting paid (Fiverr.com take a 20% commission), it still is by far the best value for money.
For those that don’t live in the States, you are still able to use this site! When you take the exchange rate into consideration, UK users can expect to pay a little over £3.00.
When anybody creates something that’s successful, you’ll always have people trying to ‘copycat’ their product or services. This is no different with Fiverr.com. There are now a handful of companies offering similar services including…
By all means give them a try but if you stick with Fiverr.com, you can’t really go wrong.
Other useful websites you may wish to consider include…
Of course, Fiverr.com isn’t the only place that offers this kind of services.There are many, many more companies available on the Internet, each specialising in their own areas of service. For example –
● 99designs.com will advertise your request amongst its designers. Several designers will take part and you get to choose (and pay for) the best result.
● SEOClerks.com specialise in just the SEO side of things.
But if your budget allows it and you’re looking for somebody with a bit more experience, then you may wish to try these useful websites instead…
Before you hire – Always have a go at doing things yourself first. It improves your knowledge and know how. You’ll also appreciate the time and effort that is needed to produce these things.
SEO, In Other Words, Search Engine Optimisation
So, what’s that then?
You do not need to spend hundreds (sometimes thousands) on an SEO ‘Guru’. Instead, I would suggest reading books, watch YouTube videos, research on websites and use free tools. All of which can be found on any of these sites…
You will always discover that results may vary from site to site. That is why I will always use two. For my second choice I will flip from one site to another but my first choice has always been smallseotools.com
Don’t get too hung up on SEO. Follow the basic rules and you’ll be fine. Marketing and traffic strategies are far more important (my opinion).
You may want to take a look at this…
This book alone helped me understand the majority of what I needed (and still need) to do to my website(s).
Anybody that’s familiar with the ‘For Dummies’ series will now how simple they are to follow. This particular title was written by Peter Kent and I have included a link to his website services above.
Search Engine Optimisation is available on Amazon from £13.59 (UK) or from $17.01 (USA). You could also try your local bookstore or library.
More about the Author: Peter Kent Consulting
● How to Get 5,000 Visitors to Your Next Blog Post… (WITHOUT Google)
● 10 Basic SEO Tips To Get You Started
● Google’s Search Engine Optimisation Guide
● Writing for SEO Part Two: Basic Optimization Tips and the Logic Behind Them
● 55 Quick SEO Tips Even Your Mother Would Love
Email Marketing & Landing Sites
The money’s in the list
This is the most important part of Internet Marketing. Get this bit wrong and you’re wasting your time because you’ll never make any money.
Here is a brief guide explaining what you should be doing and why.
Create something to give away, run a competition, or produce a PDF fact sheet that contains some killer content. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, just very useful.
If you have created a fact sheet or e-book etc, get a cover designed for it using fiverr.com.
Now you need to subscribe to an email, auto-responder subscription service such as
This will be another area that is new to you and therefore, will need some training on how to set things up. Be patient, you’ve come this far! Most companies will provide ‘How to…’ video tutorials. If you still can’t work things out, take a look on YouTube.
Now set up your welcome page and four follow-up emails, just to get you going.
Do not try selling anything until your fourth or fifth email. You need to represent value for money and your subscribers need to trust you. Build your relationship first.
Now set up a leads page / sales page / landing site. If you are new to all of this, you may want to take a look at LeadPages. They use simple drop and drag technology and have plenty of templates to choose from and there is a monthly subscription charge.
Other useful websites include
Now, go and market your sales page, give away your free gift and build your list. But be warned, it’s hard work and conversion rates are low.
The benefits of building your list is so that you can send your subscribers a short email with a link leading them back to your latest blog or article on your website.
Remember – People that land on your website via SEO or through marketing are one time visitors. But your subscribers are your CUSTOMERS. If you keep providing them with the information they want, about 2-3% of them will buy from you. And the bigger the list, the better…
● 10 Examples of Brilliant Email Marketing (and Why They’re So Great)
● Email Marketing: How to Push Send and Grow Your Business
● The Smart Marketer’s Landing Page Conversion Course
● 35 Beautiful Landing Page Design Examples to Drool Over [With Critiques]
Training. Learn ‘How To…’ From The Best
Save time and money by going directly to the best in the business.
Learn Internet Marketing Correctly.
Along with a new hobby, interest or career comes learning and whilst some people will take to things like a duck to water, others will need a more ‘Janet & John’ approach.
But regardless how quickly you pick these things up, insuring that you go to the right place is essential. The list above has been compiled using sites that I have used or are still using whilst the remaining useful websites come highly recommended.
In Brief –
Chris Farrell is one of the best places for all newbies to start their Internet Marketing training. I was a member of Chris’s site for more than two and a half years and really wish I had stumbled across him first. Not only would I have saved money but I could have saved an awful lot of time too.
Kim Roach is one of Chris Farrell’s success stories. Yet another membership site, this time specialising in all things traffic. Once you have got your website ready and you have a bit more experience, this membership site is well worth its fees. Kim Roach will also explain to you (and show you) why it’s important not to rely on SEO. At the time of writing this article, I have been a member for three months, no need for the ‘love it or shove it’ guarantee on this site.
Gaz Cooper runs the Amzingtrainigacadamy.com website for anybody that wants to learn how to be a successful Amazon Affiliate or at least, what’s involved to become successful. It’s a membership site I have a lifetime subscription to and it’s a great source of information for all things Amazon related. Again, another Chris Farrell success story.
Learn To Blog Back In 2013, Matt Wolfe and Bradley Will teamed up to combine their skills by creating LearnToBlog.com. It can be fair to say that both Matt & Bradley have had their fair share of success stories. And with online blogging being their main forte, LearnToBlog.com was set to be a success right from the start. With Matts WordPress experience and Bradley’s blogging background, it seemed only natural to combine the two services.
Serif has been around for a number of years now and it is always kept up with the latest technologies, ideas and service. It also goes without saying that with any great product there will always be some easy to follow and ‘how to…’ videos. All in all, a great place to start.
Grammarly will help you ensure that your article reads well and is free of those grammar mistakes we all think we know about. The odd one or two types can be acceptable but if people start questioning your articles and the way in which they are written, then they may question the content and how much of it is true.
Online Profits is a great place to start if you are serious about trying out online marketing and your budget is tight. For just a single payment of $29, you become a lifetime member to a whole host of information. It’s not a huge amount to lose if you decide that actually, Internet Marketing isn’t for me, with the bonus that you can always come back to it at a later date.
Social Rank Media is another one of Chris Farrell’s success stories (I know, he has a lot to answer for doesn’t he?). Social media is one of the most important ways of marketing your website and although we think we know how to use these social media sites, we could be getting a lot more out of them. Social Rank Media shows you how.
Web Video Zone is a place to learn about video marketing. The video player not only promotes your product or service but it produces an opt-in box at the end of the video. Not something I would recommend for newbies just starting out but most defiantly something to consider for the future.
WordPress Apprentice will help you get the most out of your valuable time by showing you the essentials and ‘must does’ to your WordPress site. Combine this site with ‘How to Blog’ and you’ll not only be learning how blog but you’ll be earning from your blog too.
● How To Spot Internet Marketing Training Scams
● The Top 75 Must-Read Online Marketing Blogs
● What are online scams? How do I avoid them?
● How I Learned Online Marketing (and How You Can Too)
● How to Be an Internet Marketer
Please Leave A Comment
Due to the speed of technology, some information can become dated. Whilst I do my best to update posts regularly, to proof I’m human, I may occasionally miss some dated information.
If you happen to discover something I have missed or even better, can suggest any useful websites or related article that you would like to share with other readers, please contact me to have them added. Please do not leave them in the comments box, thank you.
You can contact me on 101usefulwebsites(at)gmail(dot)com
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