Building a website can be fun, but it can be intimidating. It is probably easiest to build the website with WordPress.
There are two different WordPress sites. They are WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is free, but in the title of it, you will always have the word “WordPress.” You can use it, you don’t have as many options. With WordPress.org, you have to purchase a hosting site, you have to purchase a website name, and you have many different themes that can be chosen, plus different plug-ins. It comes across as a much-more-professional-looking site if you take a little time to learn how to use it.
Several years ago I went to a community college and took an online class that cost $79 and learned how to use WordPress.com. Then I spent another $79 and took a class concerning WordPress.org. About that time, life got in the way and I never got around to finishing that second class. If you would like to see what I did with that information, you can go to www.TXnaturekayaking.com and www.nordybooks.com. I developed both of those sites. You can go to www.grandpahelp.com and see another WordPress.org site; however, one of my granddaughters, without the benefit of the training I have had, developed that site. If you’re over the hill, you probably need training like I had; if you’re not, you can probably read the instructions and get along without any specialized training.
The fourth blog in this series mentioned developing a name. If you have not registered the name, it is appropriate to do so at this time. The easy way to register it is to go to GoDaddy.com, type the name in to ensure that it is available and then click the button to pay your money and get it registered. They will try to sell you a number of things. Do you want to be able to have email addresses based on your website name? Do you want the registration for one year, two years, three years, or more? Some companies go under within a year and if you bought five years’ worth of name, you’d be losing some money. If you do buy five years, you get a discount. There are privacy options and various other options. Besides buying the website with the.com name, you can also buy it with .net, .org, or several other options.
You need to buy hosting; you can do that on GoDaddy, Blue Host, or thousands of other web hosting sites.
Most of the web hosting sites will download the WordPress software onto your site. If they don’t offer that option, it’s not particularly difficult to download the WordPress.org information onto your computer and then upload it to the website.
You have a brand-new website, you have usernames, and you have passwords. Be sure to write them down because you need them. Open up your WordPress site as an administrator, and go to the dashboard and start seeing what is available. If you mess something up, it can always corrected. If you are not comfortable playing with your WordPress site, you’re not going to accomplish anything. Go have some fun.
Most websites have sections for blogging and for web pages. Consider blogging as current events, and consider web pages information that needs to be available for long periods of time. There is a definite need for both, but don’t confuse their purposes.
With the blog, you need the ability for people to comment on the blog. Many of the comments you receive will be spam or trash, so be prepared to check the box to review comments before they can be viewed by people visiting your web site.
The information that is regularly posted on the blog is given away for free and is used to establish you as an authority on your subject. By using the information on your blog and the lead magnet that we talked about last week, you can use this information to develop a mailing list. Once you have a mailing list, it is relatively easy to attract qualified people to post on your blog. When qualified people start posting on your blog, you start developing the reputation of being an authority on your subject.
In order to develop an email list and to make use of it, the web site also needs the following:
1. Landing Page – This is a sales page that lets people know how valuable the Lead Magnet is, and they can get it for free by Opting In and providing their e-mail address. If you are set up so people can view your pages on mobile devices, when they furnish their e-mail address, it will be their main e-mail address.
2. Lead Magnet – See the previous blog.
3. List Manager (Mail Chimp is one of the more popular). You have numerous other options. Some start out very cheap to free for small mailing lists. As your mailiing list grows, so do the fees.
4. Monetization Vehicle – You could have a product, or an affiliate product, that you list on your website and mention in e-mails you send out. There needs to be a shopping cart incorporated so your customers have a way to purchase what you are selling.
5. Follow-up Machine – If you buy 12 armadillos from me after reading one of the e-mails I sent you, you probably do not need that e-mail again next week, but you may need armadillo food, so next week’s e-mail might offer armadillo food. Plot out your strategy so when the person on your e-mail list either buys or does not buy, you have relevant sales e-mails to send them over the next several weeks. If you do not ask, no one will buy.
To give people who visit your website a certain level of comfort, you need to have a Frequently Asked Questions page, an About page, and a contact page. In my case, if I do not see these pages, I am very hesitant about furnishing my e-mail address.
Now you have the infrastructure for your site, but you need some blogs before launching it for your potential clients to see. Next week we will talk about populating your site.