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Nick Wharton By
Posted 22 Apr, 2020 | 2 Comments
Posted in: Blog Design

Sitting here in Lisbon Portugal on lockdown during a worldwide pandemic definitely isn’t how I thought things would turn out in 2020. 

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that Dariece and I were travelling around Europe and enjoying some of the continent’s most romantic cities, drinking wine, eating delicious food, and basically enjoying the amazing things that travel can offer.

But that all changed around March 17th when we were told that it was a state of Emergency in Lisbon, Portugal and we’d be locked down here for an undetermined amount of time.

We went through a few different stages of emotions at first. Panic, fear, uncertainty, and finally… focus and determination.

The focus came in the form of new projects and new hope.

Why Did We Start a New Website?

Dariece and I had both been wanting to start a new website outside of the travel niche, but when things were booming in travel and we were doing well financially, we didn’t have the push we needed to get started.

But now that we are stuck in our apartment in Lisbon and we’re only really allowed to go for a couple of short walks per day (we’re grateful for those walks), I knew that I had enough time to start a new website.

Blogging Archives

Dariece and I were back and forth on who would start the new site and who would run it.

We already have two websites running full-time, so there wasn’t enough time in the day for us both to start a new site from scratch.  

We decided that I would start the site and Dariece would continue to work on our other two websites. We decided this for 2 main reasons:

  1. I already had a topic in mind. Something that I’m passionate about and excited to write about.
  2.  We decided to use the new website as a case study to show students of our Blogger Courses that it’s possible to build a profitable website in 6 months.

So after much deliberation, we decided that I would be the one to start the new site and it’s been running for the last couple of weeks!

I know what you’re thinking.

What is The New Website?

I’m sorry but I can’t tell you!

Not because I want to keep it a secret, but because if we’re using it as a case study to show new bloggers that you can build a new website/blog to earn money after a few months, we don’t want to give it an unfair boost by sending Goats On The Road’s audience there.

New bloggers and website owners wouldn’t have access to an audience like GOTR, so it would completely skew all of the analytics and profits if we were to just open it up to our other online communities.

So for now, you’ll have to wait.

We will be announcing the new website sometime down the road.

Want To Follow Along And Build Your Own Blog or Website?

I’ve been keeping a detailed timeline of everything I’m doing with the new website and I’ll be sharing all of my data with the students in our WordPress Beginner Blogger & Website Design Course.

I’ve started nearly a dozen websites over the past few years, but never really with the intention of writing blog posts, promoting them, optimizing them, working on their SEO, and making a serious profit for them.

That level of work was always reserved for Goats On The Road.

Free Blogger Course WordPress

But now that we have a few writers on Goats On The Road and some teams in the back end helping us to keep it running (and now that we’re on lockdown), I finally have time to build a new website and show new bloggers just how quickly you can grow them.

It was one thing for me to say “We did it with Goats, so you can too”, but now I’m starting another site from scratch, following along with the formula in our SEO course and I’m happy to say that it’s already working!

I started the website on March 20th and by April 18th, less than a month later, my DA already went from a rating of 1 up to 8 (DA is a measurement used to check the strength of an overall domain), and I started getting my first traffic from Google and Pinterest!

I’m literally just doing exactly what is in our Beginner Course and I’m so happy to see it working so well.

However, upon building this website and a couple of others recently, I noticed that a lot has changed in how easy it is to build and design a professional-looking website.

There have always been hundreds of good WordPress themes and plugins to help you design a site and build an audience exactly how you want.

It’s not like the old days when you needed a coding background. These days, there are drag and drop interfaces that make building a site a breeze.

So I decided it was time to update the WordPress Beginner Blogger & Website Design Course, and now it’s better than ever.

We Updated The Course!

I can’t believe it’s already been a couple of years since we first created our WordPress Beginner Course.

It seems like just yesterday I was locking myself in a room (voluntarily) and recording hours and hours of video tutorials to help new bloggers.

We first started the course by popular demand.

For years I had given a free 200-page blogging ebook to everyone who started a blog or website through links on Goats On The Road, but after receiving awesome feedback from our readers, I knew that I needed to take the teaching a step further.

The WordPress Beginner Course was a culmination of nearly a decade of blogging, years of research and testing, and of months and months of work spent creating it.

Since creating the course, we’ve had over 1,000 people start new websites and blogs and the response we’ve had from the course has been incredible.

And that’s only a fraction of the positive comments we’ve had in our Facebook group for bloggers.

Our main goal with Goats On The Road has always been to basically help people to follow what we do.

When we started this whole blogging thing, we had no idea what we were doing, and yet we managed to turn it into a thriving business.

More than ever, readers have been emailing and messaging us lately and asking if we’d still recommend starting a blog today.

Currently, with the global situation, a lot of people are hesitant as to what to invest their time and money into.

I totally get it.

We’ve also been hit massively by the loss of tourism traffic to our main website (Goats On The Road) and so we’re cautious about what we invest time and money into now as well.

Start a Blog Hero Pic

I guess, when it comes down to it, you have to think about what you’re knowledgable and passionate about, and what you enjoy doing.

Do you enjoy the work you do now?
Do you enjoy going into your office and working closely with colleagues?
Do you enjoy having a boss give you a clear outline of your work?
Do you enjoy having a steady, exact income that gets deposited to your account every payday?
Do you have enough free time already?
Do you see your loved ones, friends and family enough?
Do you want to earn money while you’re traveling when the world re-opens?

If you said yes to most or all of the above questions, then starting a new website may not be your best choice of time and money spent.

On the other hand…

Do you enjoy writing?
Do you enjoy taking photos?
Do you enjoy sharing knowledge?
Do you enjoy learning a new skill?
Do you want to work for yourself?
Do you hate the commute to work?
Do you hate office politics?
Do you want to be able to work from home?
Do you want to be able to work even during a global lockdown?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then maybe creating a website is a good idea for you.

For me, answering our reader’s questions about whether or not starting a website is a good idea was easy. 

The first thing I did when we got locked down here in Lisbon was to start a new website.

Why Did I Update Our Blogging Course?

Well, as I mentioned a couple of times in the post already, the main goal has always been to help people to build something lucrative online. And, while I had already updated the course at the beginning of 2020, so much has changed even since then.

New Technology

There are so many different plugins, apps, page builders, technologies, and themes that help make building a website so much easier. 

Thrive Architect Full-Width Gif

The updated course helps you to design a professional-looking website within a day, and then after you have the design all set up, the growth and monetization modules are the same, helping you to turn your passion project into a full-time income.

Build Blogs AND Websites

When I first created the WordPress Beginner Blogger Course, it was aimed at mostly helping travel bloggers.

A lot of people were emailing and saying that they didn’t want to run a travel blog, or maybe they didn’t want to blog at all, they just wanted to build a website for their business.

While there really isn’t a difference between a website and a blog (a blog is just a part of the website where you write blog posts), I thought it was important to cover all types of web properties in the course.

The new modules in the course still show you how to build a blog (because every business should have a blog, no matter what), but it also has instructions for creating websites about anything you can think of.

Website Template Examples

If you want to create a website to host your yoga classes, or to show off the menu at your new restaurant, or to explain to your customers what kind of consulting you can offer… the course will show you how to build it now.

Now’s The Time To Start a Website

The main reason I went back and decided to update the course is that I honestly think that there’s never been a better time to start a new website project.

Think about it. When have you ever had this much spare time?

This lockdown isn’t looking like it’s going to end any time soon, and within the next month or so you could build a solid website, with all of the pages you need and enough blog posts to start growing an audience.

Blogging Beach Successful Blogger

I’ve had my new website for just a little over 3 weeks and I’ve already started to see some traffic coming in from Google and Pinterest.

It’s so exciting!

If you follow the steps from the course, it’s really not hard to build up a useful and professional website as long as you stick with it.

I personally wanted to utilize this extra time the best way I know how, and the best way I know is by starting up new online businesses.

I Was Reminded That it Still Works

Having built another website in the past month, getting it to an 8 DA (domain authority) and seeing traffic coming in, I was reminded of how actionable and still relevant the content in our course is.

I was simply following along with the steps in that course and in our SEO Course and I’ve been able to grow it quickly.

I used the exact methods that I teach in the WordPress Beginners Course to design the website, write blog posts and make the website look super-professional, and then using the strategies from the SEO course to help the website appear in Google Search Results.

I did all this, while still making YouTube videos for Goats On The Road, still helping run our other site and still only working around 5-6 hours per day (which is much more than we’ve ever worked since quitting our jobs in Canada).

After seeing early success, I knew that the course worked, but I also knew that I could make it better.

So, even though I updated a few of the modules at the beginning of 2020, I went back and redid the entire design module to include the new technology so that new bloggers could build a beautiful website within a few hours.

What To Expect From The Course

The course is a framework and a guideline that you can follow, step-by-step in order to start, build, design, and grow a successful website or blog.

I walk you through the design steps with the newest technology so that even if you’re not tech-savvy at all, you’ll be able to follow along.

Note: You should at least have the technical know-how to be able to email your friends and family and send photos to people online. Without at least that, even with my help, building anything online will be difficult for you.

After designing the website to look exactly how you want it, you move on to creating essential pages and writing blog posts.

 

I walk you through every step of writing a blog post that people will actually want to read, including how to add photos and videos, how to format the post, how to write it so that Google will send you traffic and how to actually publish it on your blog.

Then we get into the basics of what you need to do moving forward, in order to grow a successful website.

The 200-Page Blogging ebook walks you through the steps of basic growth with your website, while the Private Blogger Facebook Group has over 500 people who have started websites and blogs through the course and all help each other grow (plus I’m in there answering questions almost daily).

Lastly, with our Bluehost special you get 60% off the cost of hosting and you get 24/7 WordPress chatroom support with WordPress experts — that is priceless.

If you get stuck on any technical side of the site, Bluehost can log-in to your website and help your fix it.

Lastly, something that I also think is super valuable right now when everyone is worried about spending money and investing in new projects, Bluehost is offering an extended 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee.

So if you start this thing and realize it’s not for you, you can cancel at any time and get your money back.

Why is The Course Free?

Well, it’s actually not free.

It’s normally $120 USD for the course.

But, as always, our WordPress Beginner Course is free for anyone who starts a new website or blog by following along with the video on this page

I offer the WordPress Beginner Course for free because when you start a blog using our links, we get a commission from Bluehost.

What is Bluehost?

Bluehost is a website hosting service and in our opinion, it’s the best one available today.

A lot of people will promote a lot of different hosts and claim they’re the best, but you may often find that they don’t even host their sites with those hosts.

In reality, they just promote them because they offer the biggest affiliate commission.

How To Start a Travel Blog Cheaply

We host all of our sites (5 currently) on Bluehost and their 24/7 instant customer service, fast servers, and their easy website set-up technology put them ahead of the pack in our opinion.

Basically, you can start a blog for free quite easily, but if you ever want to earn money from your website or blog, you need to own the domain (ie: YourWebsiteName.com) and host it online.

That’s where Bluehost comes in.

If you start a free blog, you won’t be able to design it exactly how you want and you’ll never fully own it.

Trust me!

We had a free blog for years before we realized what we were missing out on.

So, because Bluehost gives us a bit of commission for every blog that starts through our links, we’re able to offer our $120 WordPress Course for free.

If you already have a website, but you still want to learn how to build a new website the right way, you can buy the course here.

FAQs

Over the years we’ve been coaching new bloggers (over 1,000 students), we’ve had plenty of questions in our inbox and in the Private Facebook Group, so I figure this is probably a good place to answer a few of those.

For me, starting a new blog was a no-brainer, but I’ve been there before, I know it works and I know what I’m doing. 

But what about new bloggers?

Is it still possible?

Question: What’s the difference between a blog and a website.

Nothing at all.

A blog is a part of a website.

Just like you have a website with a shop on it, a blog is just a part of your website.

Starting a website and a blog is the same thing. The course shows you how to build a website, and then build up the blog part of the website in order to attract an audience and earn money.

If you’re starting a website, you should always have a blog with it anyways.

That’s where you’ll write some posts and engage with your readers. That’s where they’ll get to know you. Even the biggest companies in the world have a blog section of their website.

As you can see from this post, I use the words interchangeably because these days, they are basically one and the same.

Question: I’m not tech-savvy. Should I even bother starting a blog for myself?

As I mentioned earlier in this post, you should at least have enough technical understanding to be able to send emails, open your web browser, message on Facebook etc.

If you’ve never looked at a computer screen, or you need your grandchildren to show you how to open your emails for you, I’m going to be brutally honest, starting a blog isn’t for you.

Start A Blog Course

On the other hand, you don’t have to be tech-savvy to start a website. There is so much learning material available online today, and the course will show you step-by-step exactly how to build, design, and grow a blog… the right way.

Question: How much will it cost to start a site and grow it. Are there hidden costs after I start?

The cost of starting the website is the only thing you have to pay ($36 / year + tax, paying for 3 years. Or, $59 for one year).

I’ve purposely made the course using all free plugins, tools and tricks.

You won’t be forced to pay anything else after you’ve started.

There are some upgrades you can look at once your site is earning money, but the cost of hosting is all you’ll have to pay to get started.

Question: How do I get access to the course and how long do I get access to the materials?

When you start your blog through our links, you’ll automatically receive an email with full access to the course, ebook and Facebook Group.

From that point on, you will have unlimited lifetime access to the course, the course material, the Facebook Group, and all future updates.

Question: Will I really get help along the way?

100% yes. 

You have help from myself and 500+ other bloggers in the Facebook group and you have the incredible 24/7 WordPress Chat Support with Bluehost.

The former will help you with blogging and growing a business that can earn money, while the latter will help you with any technical difficulties you may have along the way.

I still contact Bluehost all the time for help with technical things with Goats On The Road and I’ve never waited longer than 2 minutes for an answer. Their customer support is the main reason I recommend them.

Conclusion

Basically, our WordPress Course is better than ever and we’re excited to help more people to use this time in lockdown wisely and start their own websites or blogs.

I’m not saying it just because we get a bit of commission from Bluehost, I’m doing it myself. As I said, the first thing I did when we got locked down was to start another website and that’s because I believe in it.

Once you finish the free WordPress Course, we also have some advanced courses you can take to help you grow even further.

I’ll be building my new website alongside you and I’ll be sharing the successes and failures of that site in the Private Facebook Group as well.

So join me and the 1,000+ students already in the course.

I can’t wait to see you there!

Sincerely,

Nick

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Nick Wharton

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Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his expert knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. He has been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and has more than 10 years of experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Nick’s advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and he spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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2 thoughts on “Why We Started a New Website During Lockdown

  1. Hi, Nick,
    Since you told that you are locked in Lisbon due to virus restriction I thought how you will survive in these times when travel industry completely collapsed.
    First thing that came to me was “why they do not start few another blogs if they already know how to run successful blog?”
    Looks like you were thinking at the same direction.
    I hope your new site will bring you another success.
    At least, I wish you to do it!

  2. Hi guys,
    You are so good with the idea of the new website. I was thinking on a new niche too. Good look to your new site and I can’t wait to hear more from it. All the best and keep going this great work!

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