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http://www.youtube.com/user/Sepharoth64,Ali Abdaal
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December 9, 2021By Origin Ten LTD47 Minutes

How To Build A Website in 2021 By Ali Abdaal


Making website is one of those 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 to, it’s so easy. These days, my friends. Welcome back to the channel. In this video. 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 that personal website in 2016. Ultimately led to this YouTube channel where you are now watching this video. And so,

In this video. 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 wide something I recommend for everyone. Secondly, we’ll talk about how to actually create your own personal website, how to get a domain, in which platforms to use, both free and paid options and then we’ll talk about. Once you’ve got a personal website. What the hell do you actually do with it? How can 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, but why do I need a personal website? Well, overall, there are six.

If it’s of having a personal website and instead of using myself, as an example, because I’m quite far ahead of the journey. I’m going to use my housemate Sheen, who started her own personal website just under 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 of

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. In shins example, she started her website in June of 2020 and it’s 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 our 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 into, let’s have a chat about it. Benefit three of having a website that you write on regularly or a block, is that it gives you lots of connections, so,

Then I’ve you know, for 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 Shane. Again, started less than a year ago. She’s 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 and things like that. 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 the does. The same thing. Let’s talk about it and through that. She’s made a lot of interesting connections from all.

The world. Some of these connections have led to benefit number 4, which is that when you have a personal website, you expose yourself to lots of energy. No, in a non weird way, 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 kind of 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.

Site, and you’re right when I 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 interacted with anyone outside your village, the amount of impact, you can have the amount of opportunities you can have is pretty small because 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 be traveling around and you be making friends and saying hello to people and having

Stations 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, not having like your best foot forward, not having a professional reputation, that’s on the internet. That’s sort of the modern-day equivalent of just being confined to a little village where the only people that you’re really going to interact with our people that you meet at work or you know, School University and maybe if you go to a conference or networking event, maybe you’ll run into someone. But having that website that

Right on regularly, massively, expands the potential impact of your work, you know, Sheen’s had articles that she’s written about women empowerment. They’ve been shared like hundreds of times. It would be almost impossible to have that level of impact. Even I don’t like 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 video 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 little village and interacting with people.

One-on-one and finally benefit number 6 of having a personal website is that you can monetize it if you want, probably shouldn’t be the main reason for having a personal website because it’s 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 hundred thousand to a million dollars plus per year from their websites, which is just utterly insane, but it’s the sort of thing that happens if you stick with this for a very long time. 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 paralyzed call it as like, you know, even while you’re sleeping, your 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 army 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 should start a personal website.

Do you watch this video? 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, or you might have heard of the thing that I use called ghost. There’s 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 your 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 sub stack and sub. Stack 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 dotsub stock.com, but it’s quite nice because it’s totally free. It’s very easy to get started. It automatically has the email

That’s a component built in. And so even if you have, even if you starting from scratch and you just have your friends and family signing up to a newsletter, you can 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 dots abstract.com forward, slash my blog post, which you can then share on Twitter or Instagram or LinkedIn, or Facebook or whatever and then you can drive more traffic to your thing over time. More and more people subscribe to your newsletter if they like this kind of stuff that you’re writing and it’s just a very free very easily accessible way of

Cutting a website. The problem with sub stack 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 thing, 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. IE 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 been a permission or I physically don’t have the money. Like for me. It was all of the above when I was younger, you know.

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 when I was like 13, 14 years old. If you’re in that position, don’t worry about it. We’ve all been there. I know how you feel. I know how Asian parents are, like, and therefore you should just make an account on sub stack 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 on the internet should be.

Free. These are the people who are like, you know, spend, you know, freaking $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’s 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 to kind of do this for free, but ideally, don’t be a cheapskate. If you can’t afford it, if you have the disposable income to started.

Side. 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, for this are not that expensive. So there are two options that I would recommend on the paid route. 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 housemate Sheen. You should just use Squarespace. No, they’re not sponsoring this video. They sponsored a video of mine like two years ago. It’s just you square space, square space is easy. It’s $13 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 are kind of good.

Good, because it forces you to take the website thing. Seriously, you’ll also 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 ghost. Ghost is a nine dollar a month. Really, really good, web hosting solution. It’s what I’ve been using for my own website, since 2016, for the last five years. I absolutely love it. My website today is still hosted on ghost and I’m like mates with the founder of ghost. He’s a cool guy. He’s done an interview on this YouTube channel. There are really great company. They’re entirely remote. It’s open source software and if you pay for ghost Pro, which is

Hosting service that’s just nine dollars a month and it’s very, very easy. To get, I have a cheeky affiliate Link. In the video description, goes to Old /l E. I get a bit of a kickback, if you sign up for that, but 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 ghost because it’s absolutely amazing and I just love it overall. Whichever platform you use and I’ve given you three options, substr, Squarespace, and ghosts. They’re all pretty good. Whatever. Option you choose. Don’t overthink. It one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to creating website, is thinking that the platform matters. Oh my God.

Good WordPress, or web flow or wax, or sprays, or ghosts are like 100 different solutions. Spending ages to like researching, this. It really does not matter like no one cares. What platform your website is hosted on the important thing is a that you have a website in the first place and be that you write decent content for every week that gives you 99.9 percent of the value and 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 plan.

I’d recommend ghost personally, but feel free to use Squarespace for which a slightly more expensive, but slightly very slightly easier to use or feel free to use sub stack. If you need a free option. Secondly, what you might want is a domain. Now, the domain is like, Ali Abdullah.com or like google.com or like facebook.com and that links to your website platform. So initially when you make an account on ghost, you might start with Ali Abdullah. Dot goes to dot IO. That would be your url. That’s not very pretty. It’s not very nice thing to someone. Hey, check out my website at I leave. They’ll do ghosts, Ohio. It’s just, it’s just a bit amateur that.

That’s probably why subtype looks a bit amateur. It’s not very proud to be like, hey, check out my website, only adults abstract.com., What you can do is you can buy a domain like Ali Abdullah.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 ish. And then you link up that domain to Squarespace or ghost not raised substantially, have to pay an extra $50 for that. But ignore that we link.

At the main to Squarespace of coast, and now you can see check out my website, I am.com. And that just sounds kind of cool if you’re down for paying for a.com or.net or .co.uk or don’t. Whatever domain name, the service I use these days is Google domains. It’s easy to use very nice. If you want a domain for free, then you’re out of luck because you can’t get a domain for free, unless you’re a student. And if you’re a student, you can use, namecheap to get a DOT of free .me domain, and .me, domains. They’re not as Pro looking as dot-coms, but for a personal blog, it’s actually very reasonable to have a .me domain. So if you’re a student head of

To namecheap. I’ve been using them for the last 10 years for my domain hosting and I’ve only recently switched to Google domains again. It doesn’t really matter what domain registrar, you use. The two that I recommend or namecheap, and Google domains. And then when you’re done, you’ve got, you’ve got your platform. I eat goes to a square space, in which case, you’ll have Ali Abdullah at squarespace.com or all your Builder, goes to Ohio, and then you have your domain which you connect to your thing. And now you have a website and it’s taken maybe 5 or 10 minutes to set up. This is all very nice and straight forward. 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. She asked me.

What platforms to use? How do I do it? I sent her. I said go to squarespace.com and you’ll figure it out and she said that she really hated me for doing that because it I 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 squarespace.com, click the buttons, and it’s just really, really obvious how to make a website. Making 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 JavaScript and it’s so easy these days back in the

Day in like 2005 when I was making my first website. Yes, it was hard. It’s now 20 21. It’s like piss easy. To make a website. You literally just go and Squarespace or ghost. Click the sign-up button, enter your email and password and you’re literally done. It’s so so easy. If you haven’t tried it yet, would 100% recommend giving it a go quick caveat before we move on. Yes, I get that. There are other three ways to do a website. You could use naplan data file. You could use Heroku. You could open source, goes to WordPress, check them all of that, sort of stuff. If you know what I’m talking about there, then, you know that this suitable at the this video, which is for beginners is,

You if you’re also the sort of person that gets hung up on whether you want to use an amplifier Heroku or ghost this and that chances are, you’re not the sort of person who actually writes anything once a week on a website. So I would suggest at least from most people I’ve spoken to who are in that camp of being computer nerds who are 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 every week and Publishing it and making it good rather than quibbling about whether to use natla fight or Heroku for whatever website your hosting. Finally. Let’s talk about now that you have a website because

As you’ve seen how easy it is to make a website. What the hell do you do with your website? How do you actually make your website? Good? Again. This is a lot more straightforward than people make it out to be firstly your website only needs three pages. It needs an about page and need to contact page and it needs a Blog Page. Literally, that is all you need. Your homepage can literally just be your about page, or it can be your latest blog post. 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 try and do it every week.

Once a week is, I think a good Cadence it gets you into the habit of writing. It gets into the habit of publishing, it gets 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, that’s probably not particularly useful to anyone in the world. Therefore. I tend not to write blog 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 inside. So I learned from this book and it’s I listened to a podcast that was like, oh, you know, I listen to this episode of the Tim Ferriss show that last year really good with Seth Godin, you know, 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, I don’t know a first year. Medical student. It would be very reasonable for me to write. What the experience of a first year. Medical student is, like, would that be useful to anyone else? Yeah. Probably it would be useful to people who are thinking of going into med school. I’d say you’re like she and 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 would be interested in. What is the day-to-day experience of doing a PhD actually like and there’s a nice quote from Gary vaynerchuk that I often come back to which is document don’t create like creating content and the concept of that is actually 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 of 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

Living my life. I’d be like, you know, this is my morning routine. And this is why this is my morning routine. Here is an article that I read about X and this is what mate, 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 a 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 personally enjoyed. So Sheen, for example, is super into women empowerment, and eradicating period, poverty, and improving access to girls education. That’s cool. She writes articles about that. I’m more into like Tech and like, content creation, and like personal development and like, you know, how can we improve our career?

Asthma 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, write about it, publish it and just do this every week for the next two years and I can pretty much guarantee that your life will 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 right, you know, let’s say I had no audience.

So 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 sort of 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 in

raising for professional networking and all that kind of stuff. You should also 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 LinkedIn, Twitter post, a link on Instagram post a link to LinkedIn, post a screenshot on Instagram. That’s how Sheen without an audience at the start. 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 a Blog and then every time she would write a new blog post. She would post about it on

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 a 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 person’s article. So really the way that people find your blog find they find your website is not really through search engine optimization these days may be used to be in like 2005 B. 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 ok. 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, and no one was watching. I would get like, 23 video views on the YouTube video, and at that time, it’s because my YouTube videos weren’t very good, but

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. I think 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 ghost, if you use Squarespace, it’s going to be pretty by.

Alt. And these days when it comes to a personal website, the Aesthetics of the website is absolutely not the thing. People care about, people care about the content, they care about the idea is to 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 Squarespace, their free ghost has a lot of free templates for the first four years of my website. I was just using a free Ghost 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? Just be like, look, it’s just that

Full free theme. That just comes with ghost when you use ghost at your website platform. These days, 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 that can lead. 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 – of your articles is what will lead to more website traffic compared 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 on 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 let you know, I don’t want to use my real name online or like, it feels really scary to like put myself.

Out there and have a personal website. Trust me. I’ve been there in 2016. I had all these fears myself. I’ve been wanting to set up a website for like years of that point and I never did it because I was just too scared, but I found the solution and that is all in this video over here, which talks about how writing online made me a millionaire. And in that video. I share how I got over the fear of putting myself out there on the internet and how ultimately, my personal website ended up completely changing my life. So, check that video over there. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you found this video useful, and I’ll see you in the next one. Bye. Bye.