Do you own a brand? I mean a brand or business of any kind. Then you must have a website. If you haven’t done this step yet, you are robbing yourself of many opportunities that would make your brand shine like a star in today’s oversaturated world.
Why should you need a website?
A website is a very powerful tool to push your brand forward. When I’m talking about a brand, I mean even your name. Are you a photographer perhaps? Maybe a writer? YouTuber? Then your name is your brand. And every brand needs a website. When you create a website, it serves as your digital business card. It shows people what your brand is about. It can show your contact information and makes it easy for other businesses to find you. Artists like painters or photographers can show their portfolio, stores have their products for anyone to see, musicians can show where they will be playing next or information about their albums etc. In short, once you have a website, you start existing in the online world. You no longer can only go to other people’s pages and promote yourself. Now, people can come to you!
As the first thing, you should consider your hostname. It should be something that identifies your brand and if possible, it should end with .com, which is a standard in today’s world. As you can see above, this did not work for me, but I am very happy with how my name turned out. As long as your name is memorable and people can easily tell what your web is about, then it’s the right one. Sometimes even just a catchy name alone is enough.
What I recommend, when choosing a name, is to go to https://domains.google/ and put the words you are thinking of into the search bar. Play around with your idea. Try out at least 20 different domain names. Trust me, the number sounds big, but this name will be with you for the rest of your life, so think hard! You don’t have to buy the domain yet (although you can if you feel like it), but you should use this service to find out if it is available. Now, let’s get to making a website.
Method 1 – The Easy way
No one programs their websites anymore. It’s ineffective and a waste of time (unless you go for something extremely specific). These days there are services called website builders. They try to make everything as easy as possible for their user. Most of the content is done in a drag-and-drop way or just through simple edits. Great examples of these websites are Wix or SquareSpace. None of them sponsored me, so feel free to pick either. They are both incredibly good at what they do. I am sure there are other web builders as well. Another one I can think of is Webnode, but feel free to search google for more.
The advantage of these services is that you can buy a domain name and hosting (a server running your web) directly from them, thus administration of everything will remain in one place. In any way, I recommend buying your domain name. These services offer free plans, which is okay for testing, but if you want to look professional, you want your own domain name. Otherwise, you would always have the name of the service in your domain name – for example, www.mywebsite.webnode.com. This looks unprofessional and it’s harder for your visitors to remember. It also drives people away. Sadly, you will have to make an investment to avoid it.
Method 2 – The more difficult, but cheaper way
If you don’t want to spend money on the services or just want to have complete control over your website, I’d recommend getting a website with WordPress. WordPress is another website builder, but this time, you can have control over everything. How your web will look, what functions it will have, how it will be monetized etc. WordPress allows you to utilize many advanced features very easily. I might one day make a tutorial on how to make a WordPress page, but for now, I encourage you to google one of the hundreds of tutorials on YouTube or check out some online courses on Udemy or Skillshare.
To make WordPress work, you need to buy hosting. Websites run on servers, which are basically computers running 24/7 with access to the internet. Unless you have one like that in your house, I would recommend buying a server on one of many hosting companies. This is called hosting. Look for “website hosting” on google and you will find many, many hosting sites with different prices. Places like BlueHost come to mind, but their pricing can be a bit too much for some people. Still, they are known for their pretty good support, so feel free to go with either. The BlueHost link is sponsored if you want to support the blog.
I would recommend going for the cheapest one. Oftentimes, ones located in your country can be much cheaper than the global ones. Hosting from a Czech company called OneBit (sponsored as well, I fought for this one) cost me about 1.5$ a month for their starter plan. Most of the time you don’t need anything more than that. Especially when you are just starting out. Try to make sure that your hosting company is also offering a WordPress installation. Usually, it’s done in one click. Oftentimes you can even ask the company’s support to set up your website.
After all this, your WordPress should be up and running. Just sign in into the administration and pick a nice theme for your website. Just experiment around. It can even be fun. Once again, I urge you to check out a several of many tutorials on the internet on how to do important stuff like adding analytics. But in either way, you should be ready to start.
The most important part: Content
Your page should now be pretty much empty and not looking like those fancy sites you saw on the internet. Now is the time we are getting to the main part, the content. I always divided content into two types. Media and text. Both are very important. While media content makes your page look alive and pretty, text is usually what people come in for.
Media can be photos, videos, charts, interactive stuff like games etc. Basically, everything that uses graphics of some sort and is not just a plain text. Every website should have pictures of the highest quality. I’m now not talking about pixel density or resolution (although those should still be reasonable), but rather about the style of the pictures. You should also keep the pictures directly related to the topic you are working with.
If you are an artist then every picture on the website should be done by you. With a travel blog, you should use photos or videos you took during your travels. Those are everything here with an occasional stock photo of the place you are in. If you are a blogger that uses many different topics, you will most probably need mostly stock photos.
Stock Photos and Videos
There are many places where to get stock photography and videos. There are stock sites like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock, but the free alternatives will probably be enough for you. Among my favourites are Unsplash and PixaBay. Both of these sites offer high-quality stock photos you can use on your website. Just read their terms of service and learn how to legally use them.
Text and SEO
And now the text. Text is incredibly important. It fills your web with words and more importantly keywords. If you have enough of those, people that search google for a specific thing has a higher chance to end up on your web page. No matter what website you have, you should always have a blog part of it where you post regularly about the topic your website focuses on. This can be talking about events, products, your diary or even things happening in the field your business is in. This way you will drive people towards you for free. Otherwise, you can just pay for advertisement and let people land on the pretty page that you built.
If you are interested in how to gain free traffic, I recommend reading this article.
Now that you have a website people can come to, you can pay Google or any of social media sites to show your advert. Once people click on it, they will be brought to your page. You can even set up who can see those ads to a scary degree. Online stores use this regularly. With ads of this kind, you pay only for whenever someone clicks on the link or picture your ad is made out of, which brings them to the exact place on your website you want them to see. I do not recommend this unless you have a product you are selling and can make the money back.
Last but not least, a good reason why to create a website is to monetize it. Let’s be honest, it’s pretty much the only reason for many people. Monetization is not just slapping ads all over the page and hope someone clicks on it. There are many different ways of monetization that you can use on your website, for example, selling your own product, using affiliate links, building an e-mail list, selling someone else’s product, selling shout outs and more. You just need to be creative. I’ll try to make an article on each of these and when I’ll do so, they will be linked in each of the words. For now, once again, I encourage you to google these if you are interested.
Hopefully, now you understand how to make a website and why. It is seriously a thing I believe every business or a hobby should have. It is a wasted opportunity to not do so. If you liked my article and would like to be notified when I release a new one, feel free to sign up into my newsletter below. Otherwise, as always, thank you for reading this far. You are an amazing person! I hope you’ll have a wonderful day and that your business will grow at an incredible rate!