Lesson 1 - Start with a Domain Name
Now that you know you need an online presence, you can buy your own domain name as the first step in the process. It will cost you about $15 per year. Buying your own domain name ensures that you will have control and ownership of your domain. It also means that you can move from web host to web host easily by changing the name server yourself, following the instructions in your domain account. This gives you POWER over your website. Don't fall into the trap though - this company wants to host your domain too. Just go there - buy your domain, set up your account for future access, and save your email and password somewhere. Then get out. Don't spend another cent there. Buy your domain here. A clever way of doing this is to bookmark the home page login AFTER you have logged in. Google can save your password for you.Buy your domain here
Choosing the right domain name.
Put some thought into this. Do some research too. What are your keywords? What words would potential customers use to search for you on the internet? If you get this right, you will save yourself many thousands of dollars in advertising. For example, Sharon has a hair salon in Cooroy called Beyond Bliss. If she were to choose her business name as the domain, an organic search will bring up a guesthouse in Bright! Google won't understand those keywords have anything to do with hairdressing. What if she used 'cooroyhairdresser.com.au' instead? A customer would probably do a search 'hairdresser in cooroy' and that domain will feature well because it matches the keywords used. Lesson 2 - Web Hosting
A good exercise for you to do before you acquire your domain name is to write your list of keywords/phrases (say 10?) and then do a search for them to see what comes up. Also look at how many results were gathered. These are your competitors. See if you sift them out with more precise combinations of keywords. Then you will have your target audience. The next step is to host your domain - Lesson 2.