When I first became a Lyft driver back in 2013 I had no intention of building a website about ride sharing. But after a few months of driving, I saw that there was a big opportunity to both help drivers with ride sharing problems and get paid promote for Uber, Lyft, and other brands in the industry. So I decided to build a website and use it to create some side income to. Fortunately for me, the website has become pretty successful and I’ve learned a lot about owning and maintaining a web business since then.
I want to open up the hood and show you how ridesharingdriver.com works. It’s not the most complex website, so hopefully it will show you that it doesn’t take a ton of expertise or experience to create something online that can be really helpful for other people, and help you build a side income.
Ridesharingdriver.com blueprint, in a nutshell
- I built the site using WordPress software
- I styled it using the Epik theme by Genesis
- I collect and send emails with Aweber
- I protect my site with Sucuri
I built this site with WordPress, content management system software that a huge chunk of the internet uses as the backbone of their website. At its heart, WordPress is a blogging software. It makes creating a website and writing blog posts an easy, visual process. You don’t need to know much about web development to use WordPress, so I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make a site.
To style the site, I use a Genesis theme called Epik. I like the way it looks, it has tons of great customization features, and it only cost $50. If you want to keep things really cheap as you first get started, you can find plenty of great free themes for WordPress.
I use Hostgator to host my site. It’s definitely one of the cheapest ways to host a site, and overall I’m happy with the service. At less less than $10/month, it’s really hard to beat price. I’m happy with my site speed, and I’ve had almost no downtime over the years. Their support isn’t nearly as fast as other services, though. It’s a great entry-level option for anyone who wants to quickly start a new site, but don’t expect.
I use Aweber to collect email addresses, send email newsletters, and send an automated email sequence to new users. Aweber is priced competitively with similar service like Mail Chimp, but it has more customization features that allow me to do a lot more with autoresponders than I would be able to do with Mail Chimp or Mad Mimi. I use my autoresponder to send my free PDF guide, then I send out a sequence of emails that contains all my top articles, so users who only saw a few pages of my site will get to see more of my best content.
One of the ways I earn money from this site is by promoting relevant brands using affiliate links that give me credit if a user clicks my affiliate link. For example, if a driver wants to wants to shop for a new car or research auto loans, they can click my affiliate links go to an affiliated site that will give me credit if the user creates an account or buys something.
I use CJ.com to get most of my affiliate links. It’s one of the biggest affiliate network, and it seems to be used by just about every brand that has an affiliate program. It’s easier to use than other affiliate sites, and it makes it easy to browse and apply for affiliate links.
I use the AmazonAssociates program at Amazon.com to link physical products like phone chargers, phone mounts, and other gear drivers need.
To protect my site from hackers and scan for malware, I use Sucuri. It’s on the expensive side of things ($200/year), but they offer an industry-trusted firewall and a malware cleanup service that are worth the money.
Putting it all together: How to get started
Figuring out how of all of these tools work together is the hard part, but here’s the basic layout showing how it all works together, and what order to take the steps in.
- Buy a domain from anywhere. GoDaddy or Tierra.net are good choices
- Buy hosting
- Install wordpress using instructions your hosting company will give you
- Log into your site and choose a theme
- Start writing!
- Once you get visitors, use Aweber to collect email addresses
- Don’t give up! Keep going!