If you're serious about being a successful digital marketer the very first thing you MUST have is your OWN website – not a free one – a domain name which you actually own.
I know there's a lot of conjecture out there about making money online without investing anything but my experience, which spans several years, is that to build a real, lasting online business you need to invest in it. One thing you definitely need to get is a domain name that reflects what your business is about, as well as reliable hosting.
Having your own website on a domain name that you own shows people you are serious about your business and projects a much more professional image than a free website or blog. People also instinctively trust a unique domain name more than web content posted onto third party sites such as social media sites, forums, article directories and blogging platforms as a unique domain name gives your content a more authentic feel.
If people have more trust in your website, by extension, they will trust you more and be more receptive to any affiliate recommendations you have included on your website.
Your website provides you with a perfect platform for communicating with your customers and leads, thereby building your ‘brand'. This is really important as people buy stuff from other people, generally people that they trust or even like. A website is a great way to tell people a little bit about yourself, show them that you are not just another ‘marketer' selling to them but a real person.
The days when you could just advertise an affiliate link and make money from cold traffic are long gone. Today's internet marketing requires you to do so much more than that if you ever want to make a reliable income from it, let alone the huge pay days you might have heard you can make as an online marketer.
However, getting your own domain name and website is the very first step on your journey to becoming one of the very small percentage of marketers who make a lot of money online.
As regards choosing a web host, you have 2 options. If you plan to build big sites and get a lot of traffic, then you need a hosting plan. If this is the case, I personally recommend using Bluehost because of the high standard of customer service they provide and their market leading pricing.
However, if you're just starting out and want to put anything from 1 to 12 blogs or websites together with great resources, flexibility and, as far as I can see, all the same capabilities as starter monthly or yearly hosting plans, I would definitely check out Lifetime Hosting as the value for money factor their one-time payment plans offer is through the roof.
When deciding on a domain name there are a few things you need to consider but the most important points for me are that your domain should be something which quickly tells people what your website is about and something easy to remember so that people can easily type it straight into a browser if they notice your domain name advertised and decide to see what your website is like. It is also advantageous to get a domain that contains keywords or keyword combinations that people who would be interested in the products or services that your website is going to promote would be likely to search for in the search engines.