I have an idea, now what? How to make your website/app idea a reality

So you have a great idea for a website, or a new app idea that’s going to be a million dollar invention. Now what? You’re not alone. Many people have great business ideas but then don’t know what to do next. Where do you start?

You start right here. This guide will walk you through everything that you need to get your new idea off the ground, and into the hands of the world. Get excited!


It’s actually not that hard to make an app idea become a real product – just follow these 5 easy steps:

  • Step 1 – Research your idea
  • Step 2 – Acquire a domain name
  • Step 3 – Build your app/website
  • Step 4 – Market your finished product
  • Step 5 – Make money from your app/website

I’m excited you’re going to become an internet entrepreneur. You will run into obstacles along the way, but if you keep your perseverance it will be worth it in the end!

business idea

Step 1 – Research your idea

The first step is all about making sure your idea really is a good one. Many times you’ll come up with a great idea for an app, but then realize later it’s already been done, or there are no customers for it besides yourself. Nothing’s more frustrating than spending months on an idea, only to find out later it’s actually worthless. Use this list of questions to discover things you may need to think about:

  • Has this idea been done before? Search for solutions that already exist. A product may already exist, you just couldn’t find it quickly in your first attempt. Search using alternative keywords that other people may be using to search.
  • Who are your competitors? What makes you unique and different from them? If there are other competitors, that’s not bad – it means the idea is profitable! But if there are many and they’ve been established for a long time, it will be difficult to win against them (ie, don’t compete with Google).
  • Who is your typical customer? What type of person are they? What is their age/gender/income? How many potential customers are there in this market, and how will you be able to reach them to let them know about your new app/website?
  • How much investment is needed? How much money are you going to need to get started? Will you need to hire employees, and at what cost? Do you need to pay for any resources, such as a computer, inventory, or a warehouse? Where will this money come from?

If after answering these questions you still feel like you have a good idea, congrats! Proceed onward with the inventing!

Step 2 – Acquire a domain name

Everyone knows having a good domain name is crucial. The problem is that all the good ones are taken! But with some ingenuity you’ll be able to come up with one that’s short and catchy.

Keep in mind that right now you’re only buying the name of your website, not the actually website itself – that will come later. Names must be renewed every year, and usually run about $15.

I bet you already have a few domain name ideas in your head. Go on over to NameCheap and search for some domains you liked. If you’re lucky it’ll be available, but most likely you’ll have to be creative to find one. A couple tools I use to help me come up with unregistered domains are Instant domain search and Name boy.

domain name search

If you can’t find anything  you like, consider buying a domain that’s already been registered. Many internet ‘squatters’ snatched up domain in hopes to resell them later at a higher cost. It’s possible for a good, taken name to be purchased for under $1000. Contact the domain owner via a WHOIS lookup, or find domains for sale via a domain marketplace like AfterNic.

Step 3 – Build your app/website

You’ve got the idea and name ready, now to actually create your website/app. Unless you’re a super genius, you’ll probably need to hire 2 people to help you out with this: a designer and a programmer. A designer is an artistic person who create the look of your product: the logo, the layout, colors, etc. A programmer is the nerd that knows computer code and can make that design actually function the way it’s supposed to function. For example, consider Google. Designers made the home page look the way it looks, with the logo, links, and search button. But the programmers made the site able to search billions of webpages and produce a results page in lightning quick time.


Most of you probably have some designer and programmer friends, but please don’t use them. They’re sick of hearing business propositions in which they get “50% of the profit” because you split it with them just for having the idea. Instead, man up and hire a couple people. You don’t have to hire employees, instead there are sites where you can post a task, people will bid on it, and you will pay them the agreed-upon price when it’s complete. Depending on the scope of your project, you can probably get a decent design and programming job done for $200-500 each. I use Elance to find qualified professionals, judging based on their reviews and how much experience they have.

As the designers and programmers are working on it, make sure you help test it. There are many browsers, phones, and computer types, and just because it works on one doesn’t mean it will work on others. The last thing you want to do is pay someone for a product that only works on 10% of computers.

As they create the design and code, you’ll need a place to put it, also known as “hosting.” This allows your website/app to be access via the internet. Expect to pay $5-20/month for a shared host, meaning you don’t need the server to yourself as you can share it with other webmasters. As you get more popular, you’ll have to upgrade servers to accommodate more traffic. I recommend starting out with StableHost. I just switched to them from HostGator and have been SO happy with the experience. They’re great for both beginners and experts.

Step 4 – Market your finished product

Alright, your new website or app is done and ready to be used! Congrats! But even though you feel like you’re almost done, getting customers and the word out there is half the battle. Most people think if they build it, they will come – but that’s not the case. People need to know that your app exists, and telling them is hard!

There are 3 main ways you can get the word out there:

  • Search Engine Optmization (SEO) – Search engines such as Google will drive traffic to your site if they think it’s relevant to what people are looking for. Add your website to the Google index, and don’t forget about Bing too. Once you’re in their system, they’ll regularly scan your website to see what’s on it. This is where SEO comes in – you must have lots of good information on your pages. Write blog posts and articles that use the keywords that people will be using in their search queries. Use Title and H1 tags, and add Meta Descriptions. Also reach out to other websites and see if they will link back to you – this is another measure that search engines use to rank you on (how many “backlinks” you have). This is only a quick overview of SEO, search for much more detailed info if you take this route.
  • Advertising – You know what advertising is. You see it on TV, radio, and billboards every day. You can try that offline route, but you’ll find it’s more cost effective to target people that are already on the internet for your app/site. The most popular way to advertise on the web is via Google Adwords. With Adwords, you pay a cost per click, and your advertisement gets on the front page of the search queries you bid on. Go to Google right now and search for ‘cars.’ That block of links at the top with a different background color is all ads. Paying for advertising can get expensive ($0.20 – $3.00 per click), but if you can target exactly who’s looking for your product it can be super effective. I’d recommend trying SEO first, and if it doesn’t provide any results after a few months, try this.
  • Word of mouth – Your app must be so great that people love to tell others about it. We all wish for our products to go “viral” because that’s the quickest and cheapest way for exposure. It’s also the hardest. Other than making a solid product the people rave about, make sure you set up facebook profiles, twitter accounts, pinterest pages, etc to make it easy to share and talk about your site. You can also try offering incentives for your users to tell their friends about it in exchange for a reward.

google search

Step 5 – Make money from your app/website

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! It takes perseverance to have a successful app, and I applaud you. Now that you’ve got people using your site/app, it’s time to monetize it. There are two main ways I suggest trying to make money from your new website.

Charge for it: That’s right, make people have to purchase your product. This can be by setting a price in the Apple App Store, or requiring paid user accounts. Lots of people overlook this route since lots of stuff on the internet is free, but if you’ve made a high quality product it’s worth it! There are loads of companies that sell access to their website, and they do quite well. Consider a one time purchase, or recurring membership fee monthly or yearly. You can start accepting payments with a service called Paypal. You set up an account, direct people to a payment page, and you get money in your email account which can be withdrawn to a real bank at any time.

Sell advertising: This is how most websites start out making money. Other companies have a product of their own they want to sell, so you’ll sell them space on your app/website with a link to their product. If your users are highly specific you may be able to reach out to a few companies to set up deals, but when starting out it’s easiest to join a network that automates this for you. I suggest Google Adsense. Depending on your niche, you could get anywhere from $0.10-$2.00 per click. Google takes a cut of the profit, but it’s worth it because they already have a huge network of advertisers in their system, and all you have to do is place a snippet of JavaScript code on your website.



  • Lots of people think their ideas are worth lots of money, and then get disappointed when they try to sell it and no one buys it. Keep in mind that ideas are just thoughts, and thoughts have little value. Actually making the idea into a real product is where you can get a real reward.
  • If you sell advertising, don’t test out the links with clicks from yourself. This is considered “click fraud” and will get you banned from making any money with that program since they’d be paying you for fake clicks!
  • Don’t give up! It’s easy to start the first few steps, but nothing is accomplished unless you complete all 5! You will hit roadblocks, but keep your chin up and keep trying!


It’s fun coming up with the next-best-hottest internet idea! But actually making it a reality is even more amazing. Although this guide can’t cover everything you’ll encounter, it’s a good start. Comment below if you have any questions about making your business idea come true!

Resources Used

Posted in Entrepreneurs
29 comments on “I have an idea, now what? How to make your website/app idea a reality
  1. RB says:

    I have an idea for an app that I think has a good chance to save a life or two. I don’t want to sell it I want to give it away but I have no idea where to turn to. If you have a moment any advice at all would be much appreciated.
    Richard Bird
    London Ont.

    • Hi Richard – sounds like a great idea! Feel free to just post your idea here, and I’ll walk you through what else you would need to do besides what’s already in this article.

  2. aaron english says:

    Me and my brother are trying to build the ultimate social media site/application but were novices we need a mentor for advice.

  3. Johne546 says:

    Very informative blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  4. Well the course of action you have mentioned is something that many try but ultimatley all depends on that edge which either you or your competitors have in terms of apps response from the market.

  5. tunde says:

    I have an hiring network idea with a huge market in Nigeria. I need a stakeholder web developer. Anyone here?

  6. Souhaib Osix says:

    *LOOKING FOR A WEB PARTNER Or A Youtube Partner! *
    I Have So Many Ideas,so im looking for Someone To Create with some cool ideas On Web !
    MY FACEBOOK : Souhaib Osix ( game Over )

  7. pawan saini says:

    i have created some games
    is there any idea that i can sell my games any get money

  8. Jaime Barragan says:

    The idea that I have for a website is revolutionary. It brings back an age old method of entertainment that literally had people hanging off every word.


  9. good article, once you have the idea develop it, another option is to flip it, check out websitetenders as its free!

  10. Goran Dulic says:

    I have a good idea about shopping.The plan is to do a website.I think that a website can become a real world hit in terms of shopping.This is not something new,and does not look like a site that until now have.
    Is anyone interested in this story?
    Please contact in my mail to: dulic.goran74@gmail.com

  11. Dragos says:

    I have an idea for an app for police forces… what should i do ?

  12. Angelov says:

    I have an idea for a website and some capital,but i have difficulties finding a serious web developing company.I tried two companies,who said they can do it,but couldn’t deliver and complete the project.
    Can someone give me an info of a company or individual who can develop a website,a bit more complicated than a regular online-shop?
    Thank you in advance

  13. Liz Ashton says:

    Good article by Shane. Two points to mention –
    1/ Intellectual Property – always check if you can protect your idea i.e. your intellectual property, via the way of patent and copyrights. If you live in the USA you can register your copyright through http://www.copyright.gov. Remember if you are going to have a brand name, do a trademark search to ensure that the trademark is not being used and then consider doing a trademark application to register the trademark from your counties’s intellectual property office. If you are unsure of what to do and how to do it then alway seek the advice of an experienced Intellectual property law firm, as they should be able to guide you through the various processes.
    2/ Another good website company for those who have a limited budget who want to build their own website is http://www.abcwebsitebuilders.com, I use this site to build my own websites for my business ventures as I personally have found it to be very easy to use (like using word), I had a 10 day free trial and the functionality is in my opinion fantastic. You can do a basic website and then upgrade your website to be an commerce site, all the pricing is shown and there are no hidden charges. The part I like the best is that there are no locked in contracts as you pay month by month and you can do it yourself with little to no website experience.

  14. billiejo allen says:

    I have a perfect website I know will go far, who do u go to to try and sell it so u don’t got to do it urself due to no experience? Thank u

  15. Husam says:

    hi, i have an app idea, i know its brilliant, will success 99%, but the thing is i am just a student, i do not know developers, i do not trust websites to submit my idea, and i do not have enough money, i need to know what is the first step to start working on my app, this app will be valid in the US for now, please advise.

  16. Tom says:

    I was wondering if you had any advice on how to attract potential customers, we are a team of skilled HTML CSS WordPress developers, trying to understand how best to promote our business, we have begun by offering a free design, and if they like it they can pay us, is this a good strategy?

  17. Mark McGrW says:

    I have an app idea of for an app it’s called take an app nap, where you find a Nap buddy on the other side of the globe in the opposite time zone and you wake them up and when you sleep they will wake you up…also another website where you find second internet husband are wife, only for the Internet, I have a “Copywrite” on these that complies with the Internet. If any one wants ownership of these ideas just give me 500,000

  18. Mark McGraw says:

    Another web idea for the Internet is web Church, on Sunday you don’t have to leave home, just face time to a pastor of your choice every Sunday…are webCourt where you have the choice of settle your “Legal” differences on the Internet, Save money, save gas, I also have these “Copywritten” under a Global internet legal Law”

  19. Mark McGraw says:

    If you want to buy these million dollar opportunitys just contact me @ 6016184595 leave message. Remember I’ll take 500,000 “U.S. Dollars for every design I have”

  20. Louis says:

    Hi I have an idea . It will need a website . I think it will be of great interest .
    I will try and go through these steps.

  21. Mack says:

    While making gaming website, do I need to make my own online games or I can just download it online and put it on my website?

  22. Rele Mopeli says:

    I’ve got an amazing website idea that has the potential to link companies with job applicants in a huge way. Not only in Africa but also the rest of the world. Are there any web designers I can contact?

  23. stanrab says:

    Grate Idea check it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *