Ready to Build a Website? Here's What You Need
When your website is set up correctly, and focused just right on your ideal clients, it can be a 24/7 sales and marketing tool for your business. Unfortunately, far too many small business owners are missing out on important keys that can make or break their businesses. Don't be one of them! Having a great website is a non-negotiable in 2012! You have to have an effective, strategic online presence in order to grow your business.
Here are five key areas for your profit focused website:
1. Your website platform. I've said it before and I'll say it again - WordPress is the BEST platform for your profit focused website. It's easy to update with new posts, even for a non-techie, and has all of the behind the scenes functions that you'll need to get found by search engines and ideal customers alike. You can create a website with pages and posts or a more traditional blog style website.
Be warned - there are two types of WordPress. WordPress.org is a free blogging platform that is hosted on WordPress's site. What you'll need for your WordPress website is the version available at WordPress.com.
2. Your website theme. One of the reasons that WordPress is such a good choice for your business website is because of the myriad of themes available. You can select a theme that fits your site's purpose and then have it customized by a WordPress expert. There are lots of free and premium themes available that can take your website from bland to spectacular. Visit StudioPress, ThemeForest, iThemes or WooThemes for a theme that fits your brand and your needs.
3. Domain Registration and Hosting. Of course, the best WordPress theme in the world isn't going to do you a while lot of good without a domain name and web hosting! Your domain registration will allow you to host a site at a web address. Try to choose something memorable, not too long and connected to your business name. Your hosting is a monthly fee that will allow you to host your website at that domain name. It holds all of the files, images and content that people see when you visit your site.
If this seems like Greek to you, don't worry! There are several companies that offer domain names and hosting together in the same package. Try out GoDaddy, BlueHost or HostGator for your domain registration and hosting needs. Typically you'll pay a one-time fee for a domain name and then a monthly hosting cost for your website.
4. Royalty-free Images. You can't have a profitable website without images, but you can't just Google an image and use it on your site either. You have to use images that are free for your use - called "royalty free." These images are available for use on your website without paying a photographer a hefty fee. Although there are some sites that offer royalty free images for free, your best bet is to go with a microstock photography website. These sites normally have better quality images that you can use on your site and in your marketing materials. I prefer Dreamstime and iStockPhoto. They both have a great selection of images.
5. Copywriting. Copywriting is essential to your profit-focused website. Your pages and blog posts need to speak to your ideal customers and motivate them to take the next step with you. A copywriter can take your basic message and turn it into something that really compels your audience to make a purchase, sign up for your course or reach out to connect with you.
You can find a copywriter by asking for referrals. If you know other small or solo business owners who has a website that makes them money, ask them about their copy and who created it. Choose writer who experience developing effective web copy for your target market.
Another option is to post a project on Elance.com. With Elance, hundreds of copywriters will bid on your project and you can select the one with the right qualifications and price for your needs. Elance copywriters are rated based on their past projects, so you can be assured that the writer you're working with knows his or her stuff!
With the right platform, theme and copywriting,