Creating a profitable website is not impossible, but it is not a get rich quick scheme. What I like about it is that it can play to a person's strengths and once it is set up, it really doesn't take a lot of work.
There are a lot of sites the will sell you on a program you can invest in. I started this site through one of them, Site Build It!. However, the program is strictly for beginners and I left because I wanted to incorporate more things into my website than they could allow. If you know nothing about the internet and are not computer savvy, I would suggest it. However, it does cost a pretty penny, and what I'm suggesting here, is cheaper.
Before jumping in, you need to have a concept and idea of what your web site will be about. This can be tricky, because you want to create a site that will interest other people, but you also need to consider what keywords you will use. Think of keys as several subtitles to your page (you don't want to have one word, but rather phrases). For example, for my main page I picked the keywords: work from home, work at home, legitimate business opportunities.
Now, there are experts who pick the flaws in some of my choices, and I don't claim to be an expert. But you want to think about what words you would insert into a search engine to find your page. Your site is going to need information that connects with the keywords that other internet searchers would type into earches. Keeping this in mind, will help when you are writing the text for your page. You are going to want to mention these keywords in your title, headers, and at least three times in your content. You will also want to be able to integrate your other important words into the content as well. Finally, you'll need to be able to do this logically and not just list them.
Once you have your main concept, start brainstorm ideas for other pages you'd have on your site. You want to think about keywords still, and the overall logic of your page. Make an outline of your pages. You will want to be able to come up with at least 30 page of good content. These pages will need to be about 400 words long. For more on Search Engine Optimization, I am going to recommend Search Engine Land.
Your domain name is probably the most important decision you'll have to make. It's also the most difficult to change. You'll also want to try and incorporate your keywords into it. Of course, the problem lies in finding one that hasn't been taken. The nice thing is, you can incorporate hypens (-) and underscores (_) if necessary to make up the name.
While you can register a domain name separately, I recommend chosing a webhost site first. I really like Blue Host and use that for this site and for several others I have designed professionally. Yes, it is an affiliate. But I did choose what I felt was the best choice. Of course, there are a hundred others to choose from. You can change your host, but it can be a huge headache, so pick wisely. The costs run between $6.95 and $9.95 for a basic site. However, if you pick a cheap one that doesn't allow you to do what you want, that $12-36 you saved a year will be spent on headache medicine.
Why am I recommending paying instead of creating a free website? Free websites won't give you an unique domain name and generally have popups or other advertising on them. You don't want that for this type of site. When you register, you'll have to decide on your domain name.
For more on how to get your site listed, I'm going to direct you off site. Again, I'm sending you to Search Engine Land. They have a great page on Search Engine Optimization.
The easiest way to do this is to sign up to an affiliate network. Affiliate networks have a bunch of affiliate programs in all different areas so you're bound to find something for whatever site you are building. I'm currently using the CX Digital Media Affiliate Network for most of my affiliate advertising. They have a lot of affiliate programs that you can add to your website and make money based on commissions that those ads generate. You can track how many clicks each ad is getting and how many conversions or sales each one produced which is quite convenient. They will also pay you for each person you refer if you use the affiliate link that you get when you sign up.
The more pages you can add to keep your content fresh, the better. Also, it would be good if you can find groups to join and participate in. Do not join groups simply to market (aka SPAM) your site. Read the terms of the group before posting and answer questions rather than referring people to your site. Being part of the groups is good because it will give you ideas for more pages. This isn't the be all end all of how to get started, but should give you a rough guide to get you started until I can add more to this page.