Websites are expensive, really expensive if you are selling something, and just plain expensive for a great optimized site. So how do you get out there if you are just starting up or just want a web presence on a budget?
Here are a few options worth considering for a budget web presence:
- Consider a website using a template design. There are some website templates that you can buy that don’t look half bad, just don’t expect things like that to get you fabulous organic placement. Be realistic, use them as a stepping stone allowing you to walk before you run. When you can invest in a better website, but use inexpensive options to get out there. We have a program called Quick Launch that is our version of an inexpensive website. For $600 you get 5 pages with a degree of customization and the content you want.
- Consider using a blog as your first website. With a myriad of blog templates and WordPress you can even create section pages. This is a simple easy way to start a web presence for under $150. This even includes an expert setting up your blog on your selected hosting server. Creating the content and customization will be up to you, but that is a super bargain to get your feet wet on the Web.
Mind you I have learned these from experience both from long-term personal blogging and ghost blogging; here are five things you definitely DO NOT want to do on your blog.
- Never talk about real-world customers. Never if you change their names and circumstances. They will see themselves in your blog post and be angry. Don’t risk the bad blood.
- Never trash competitors or a product. Blog posts are forever, you can do a review and present pros and cons, but trashing is simply crossing that line of providing information. Being vindictive in a blog post can get you sued. Don’t waste time doing it, vent to your friends.
- Don’t stray from your main topic. If you are blogging for business stay tuned to that topic and your readership. If you start offering toe nail care tips when you should be talking about Internet marketing you will definitely turn off your readers. You can digress once or twice but get in the habit of digressing and readers will chop you.
- Don’t make your blog post a dissertation. Shorter is better, but not too short. My guideline is about 250 words on one thread. Need more space, break the thought up into parts.
- Don’t get hung up on comments or lack thereof. People do read your blog. If you are not getting comments or feed subscribers this does not mean that people are not reading. Still only 7% of all readers will be getting your news via feed technology. Just a few will choose to get your blog posts by email if you have this set up on Feedburner and your blog. Most will actually bookmark your blog’s home page and visit using a browser.
I’m sure I have more deadly blog crashers, but this post is getting long so that’ll be another post. :0)
Our July newsletter is out with great information and tips on how to find your site in the Google SERPs, ergonomic computing, and keyboarding shortcuts.
Click in to read the full issue at http://www.mccordweb.com/newsletters/2008/july-08.html.
- Finding Your Website in the Google SERPs
- Top Tips For Painless Computing
- Save Your Wrist With Keyboard Short Cuts
Just about every website owner should be allowing online payments especially when PayPal makes it so terribly easy to help your customers pay you on time.
Some websites need a mini store, and some just need a user-selected amount payment option, but nearly every business should have a PayPal option.
When I started to do auto-billing for repeat business clients using their credit card on file with us, I cut the time that I had to track down late payments out of my work schedule. By making it easier to pay for my services not only did I get paid on time within my terms, but those who had been late payers before were able to become prompt payers with my new policies. This has allowed me to focus on selling and take less time and lower my frustration level with slow paying clients.
In fact as taking credit cards online has been so successful for my own business I now have a virtual terminal allowing me to take phone orders, repeat billing requests, and to process a client’s credit card without their intervention.
If you have a website you should really consider why you aren’t taking credit cards online. it’s easy just get your feet wet with PayPal and then if you need to look for other options after you have some success you can springboard from there.