For what can one use a website for?
A web site can be used for:
A hobby – sharing your interests and just having fun – thousands of people around the world have simple web sites to share with others of similar interests.
A club – to publish schedules, to display images of members, to store and display their history, to offer training tips, to publish club news.
A “work from home” business – a simple site that displays your products and services, contact details and email capacity to you – plus whatever else. For example, it is great for mums who opt to stay at home with the kids – but need a bit of extra income – or just something to do – while their little darlings are having a nap! Good for a range of ‘work from home’ businesses.
A local business – commercial enterprises such as a service station with car repairs, a bookshop, pharmacy, restaurant, dress shop, newsagency.
ALL of these can be built with no need for technical know-how – so the end result – your web site – can be changed and updated – by you, if that is what you want – as simple as writing a regular Word Document on your computer.
Styles and Formats – the “Look and Feel”
This is about what the site ‘looks’ like – its lay out, colours, graphics, logos, artwork and so on. This can be simple or complex (with specially designed graphics etc). There are many options – the more complex – has added costs – but for the simple site – the “look and feel” costs are included in the overall “Once Only”website cost.
This is the ‘text’ and images (pictures) that tell your ‘story’ – the information about your services and products – or hobby etc. This provides the reader with information that can satisfy their search. This is best written by you – but we can assist with this too.
It’s no use having a web site unless people can find it – “putting it on air” – this is called hosting a web site. There are many hosting companies with varied yearly prices.
Your website needs to be ‘found’ by searchers – e.g. people who use Google, MSN or Yahoo to look for a service, product, hobby or whatever.
For a small local business – a web site needs only to be information providing – e.g. location, operating hours, price lists, details of products and services. A simple site provides all of this.
Your own ‘brand name’ can be used for a web name (called ‘domain’ name) OR it can be generic – if you want to attract new clients who do not know you.
Your web name is important in helping a search engine (like Google) find you when someone who doesn’t know you types an inquiry into their search bar looking for a service like yours – if you want them to be able to find you (and not a competitor) then your content becomes critical – this is a more complex issue – and, if your need is only to have a basic site where your regular customers can find you, then the simple version is better …. and cheaper.
This is the amount of people who find your site – and may or may not visit and read it. Traffic is vital if you want to attract readers who do not know you. And well written content is vital for gaining traffic – content is what search engines read to identify and rank your site.
It is not critical if you only want a basic site for local customers or, for example, a club – but, it is if you want to attract browsers from outside your area. It is the equivalent of passer-by traffic in a shopping center.
So, how to build a blog?
If you know nothing about website construction, then this issue may seem daunting at first.
BUT, don’t be put off! There are easy, cost effective and viable solutions available for setting up a blog or website.
Just to re-iterate: you do need a blog or website ….. if for no other reason than a blog is your business online shopfront, and if you use affiliate marketing or PayPal then one becomes essential.
A website is about:
content for your niche
about relevant (to your niche) keywords
Design and layout
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): On-page and off-page
Using keywords to attract search engines to your topic/niche
Monetization if you wish (e.g. with AdSense)
For my blogs and websites I have been using ones built on a WordPress Platform for years now.
For ease of use, blogs/websites built with WordPress are the easiest to learn how to build.
If you want a blog program that gives you a cut and paste capacity – as does WordPress, then you can easily build a website with little hassle.
WordPress uses a WYSIWYG system – ‘What You See Is What You Get” – you type or paste in your content and it does the html stuff for you.
For internet marketing, simple is usually better. A flashy site with whizz bangs only detracts from your message.
You can get many website/blog hosting companies that use WordPress.
HOWEVER – what is critical is the level and type of support that goes with the hosting deal.
The key things for you need to be able to do is:
- Using Google Keywords Tool
- Research: Identifying your niche
- Writing content (or outsourcing it)
- SEO (getting backlinks especially)
- Traffic Building
Most sites that offer really cheap hosting and site building usually provide you with that – something cheap (and problematic). You usually get what you pay for.
You need to do check out various offers – and compare apples to apples. Make a comparison chart – note what they offer (based on what you need), domain purchase prices, monthly fees, storage capacity (bandwidth), email service, number of pages (content needs to be at least 30+ pages for Google to take you seriously).
I pay $20 – $25 a month for my sites – and while there are cheaper, there are none better for step by step guidelines printed and video), support, (it is superb), with affiliate opportunities.