When I decided to go into business for myself, I knew that to create awareness of my skills and to get clients, I needed to have a website. In general, the days of yellow pages and classified ads are antiquated - today most searches for businesses are done on line. However when anyone decides to take the step toward self-employment, they may not have much start-up capital, and likewise not a great deal of technical expertise to do it themselves. There are abundant resources now to make this important step easier.
There are many free website systems online, including the one this website is created with - Weebly.com. Google, Yahoo, WordPress, and many others, like Weebly, provide a variety of designs and options to choose from. The amount of customization varies depending on whether you choose a free or paid version, and the domain name (the www.blahblah.com part) will vary. If you have a basic knowledge of software, for instance a familiarity with MS Word or Publisher, you can create attractive websites yourself. You will need to determine a business name so you can choose a domain name - there are resources online to help you with this, like GoDaddy.com, www.domainsuperstar.com and more.
However the physical creation of a website is not enough: what do you fill the site with? What do you write about yourself, and HOW do you write it? That's where a third party is important. Here's how I work when I create a website for a business.
We write down all the keywords we can think of to describe a business. Let's imagine a massage therapist startup: keywords might include relaxing, therapeutic, healing, expert, certified, licensed, compassion, professional ....and so forth. We write down the vision for the business, the mission, the goal. We write the steps we determine will lead to that goal. We gather pictures, and testimonials from people who have experienced what the person does. In other words, we get ALL our material together. Not only do you want details about your business, but about you as well, giving an impression of your personality.
Consider the pages you'll need: a HOME page with the basic overview of what the business or topic is. Then an "about" or "bio" or some such, which is a short resume of your experience and why they should buy from you. A services / products / store page. A testimonials page, and photos if appropriate. Start writing a draft on each page using some of the keywords you determined. After you get the basics written you can go in and flesh them out with more details. Remember that the information should be clear, concise and to the point.
Most website systems online offer you a way to include keywords, categories and other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) options. If you are doing a website yourself, you probably don't have SEO experience, but this is the aspect of a website that makes it visible on search engines like Google. The better SEO information, the better traffic to your site.
The MOST IMPORTANT aspect of the website, in my opinion, is the professionalism. If you have typos or grammatical errors, or if your content is not clear, then your work ethic and skills may not be as obvious as if the site were correctly written. This is where the third party really comes in handy - have a second set of eyes look over everything before publishing to the web. A clear, informative and professional website will convey the message you want the world to see.
Is all this intimidating? I know a great resource to help you! Holly@LightseedsOffice.com!
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