Your Own Web Site: Patient Friend or Darkest Nightmare?
Most everyone will agree, if you are going to do business online, you need your own web site. It can be a mini-site or a full blown multi-page mega-monster. These days, maybe you just need a blog.
There are those who have written entire books about how they made X amount of dollars with no web site, and no product of their own. That's entirely possible.
Having your own site may open up many possibilities that you could never have imagined. For many who embark upon their own web site adventure, it becomes a learning experience with no equal.
Your site will take on a personality of its own. You may see it as a very patient friend, waiting calmly for you to discover some little hidden function, which opens up a whole range of entirely new possibilities, and starts your thoughts racing - thinking about how to capitalize on that particular feature.
You may get a little careless, or too relaxed with it, then bam! Right between the eyes. Oh, no, you've just wiped out your index page by mistake. Happily, you're not just enthusiastic, but also careful. You have a copy on your hard drive, so that's easy to fix.
Anyway, it's fun, can be profitable, and most certainly could feed that creative flair in all of us. Others may look at it as a nightmare. I guess it depends on your frame of mind.
To prevent your experience from becoming a nightmare there are a few basic things that will help.
1. Research domain names carefully. Don't just pick one you like. You want it to be something a lot of people are searching for, but hopefully has low to medium competition.
Use Wordtracker's FREE trial: http://wordtracker.com
http://www.google.com search will give you an idea about competition for any particular keyword.
Use Overture's search box to find how many times your keyword was searched on last month: http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion
2. Don't get fooled into paying too much for a domain name, unless it's really a special one that fits your purpose and your niche like a glove. Domain names can be had, starting at around $9 or $10 at:
3. Research again when you go to get your actual domain, the space for you to tack your sign (your domain name) on to. Especially check storage and bandwidth allowed, and of course price.
4. My advice is to use a template to build your actual web pages. You can find them all over the 'Net FREE!
http://www.ibdprince.com - has all kinds of webmaster goodies, including really great looking CSS templates.
http://www.diyminisite.com - templates and videos about mini site creation - click the "not yet a member" link to join. It's FREE. Then go to the download area. No strings.
5. When you actually start creating your web pages, take care that the HTML you use is in line with what the search engine web spiders require.
Get a FREE copy of "7 days to Massive Web Site Traffic." It outlines the steps to a web page that can rank high in the search engines, and even goes beyond just your web pages, to tell you "the rest of the story." I thoroughly enjoyed it.
...There used to be a link directly to the ebook, but now the only way to get a copy is to go to: http://www.seoelite.com
Scroll through the sales pitch, then close the page. The "7 Days" popup appears. It sounds like a lot of trouble, but believe me, it's worth it.
6. Don't load your site down with slow loading banners and images. Use interlaced low-res images that have been optimized for the web.
7. Write your copy, then play editor: write, hack, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, until it is crisp, clear, to the point, and utterly understandable.
Repeat your strongest point or benefit a number of times (at least three). Some people just don't get it the first time or two.
Spread your text out a bit. Don't double space, but use very short paragraphs, and lots of headings with some space between the heading and the paragraph.
Target your audience. Don't talk about network marketing to golfers. They may be interested in network marketing, but they probably got to your site via a search for a golf product and that's what they're looking for.
Did you advertise a network marketing opportunity in a golfing ezine? That's acceptable in the "paper and ink" world, but could be spam online.
Keep your fonts constant throughout your site. Variety may be the "spice of life" but can really look lousy on a web page. You can vary the size a bit, and throw in a little color, but stay conservative with the type style.
Know your target audience, and be sure not to speak (write) above their heads. Use words they will understand without Webster's help. You may get by with writing a little below their level, but never above it.
Highlight important selling words and phrases with bolding, italics, underlining, and color. Just don't overdo it.
Don't forget, purchases are never made on logic, but on emotion. Use copy that is designed to trigger an emotional response, such as a sense of loss, one of the strongest: "If you wait, this offer may no longer be available at this price. Get it now at this ridiculously low price, and it's yours forever."
8. The most important point, that will probably do more to promote your online success than any other is this: Pick a niche! Do not get sucked into selling network marketing programs and how-to information, ebooks and such, about online marketing. That's what EVERYBODY is doing. The competition will KILL you.
Find something you are interested in, research it, and if necessary learn it. You are so much better off starting out by learning a niche like "19th Century Knitting" or "17th Century Scrimshaw" than you are jumping into the cauldron of poor souls caught up in the nightmare of selling ebooks that are being given away FREE all over the internet.
Why do so many do it? There was no one to tell them "don't touch that, it will burn you." There's about a million or more marketers out there telling you, "Come on in, the water's fine." So you do, only to find they just wanted to sell you something.
Don't fall for it! It's hard to change direction once you get up momentum, so start out right.