Tag Archives: legitmate online business

What’s the Easiest Way to Setup a Website for My Business?

How can I setup a website for my business is a question I get asked a lot. If you have a real world business you may know that you need to have an online presence, you may even realise that its the cheapest form of advertising you can buy. If money is no object then I can assure that you can spend thousands on getting a custom designed website. A website that may not rank well in the search engines, so your potential customers will never find you. I strongly suggest that instead you invest a little time and a lot less money and setup your own website.  There are three steps:

  1. buy your domain name;
  2. buy some hosting for your website;
  3. install and configure WordPress for that site.

But WordPress is for blogging you say? Well no its not – WordPress is just a tool which you can use to create a blog, a static website, a portfolio page or an online resume. In the same way you can can chose to use Microsoft Word to write the next great Australian novel, or the shopping list. Its just a tool.

Buying Your Domain Name

Many small businesses will automatically think that their domain name should be TomBrownPainter.com if they happen to be a painter called Tom Brown – that’s not a bad choice, but you may actually want to consider a more SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly url around “painter” and any other skills you might have and the local area you serve.  PainterDecoratorMyTown.com or MyTownHousePainter.com may be better. Don’t worry – you don’t have to build separate websites for all of them. You can point all of your domains to your main website and each domain will cost you less than $10 year.

Buying Hosting for Your Business Website

You may be offered a free domain with your hosting – I’ve explained before about hosting scams. Domains are cheap, hosting is cheap don’t try to go with the more dubious options of free.

Install WordPress

Chose a host which includes something called “fantastico” on its feature list – a good webhost like Hostgator will do so. Using fantastico its only a couple of clicks to install the software – and you are ready to start making WordPress your own by installing some useful extensions to the software – called plugins.

You will also need to chose a theme which controls how your website looks – but that is a whole different post!

Unique Content and Legitmate Online Businesses

Is unqiue content important for your legitimate online business? Many blogs about blogging will say YES it must be unique! Google loves unique content – it won’t rank anything else – well yes and no. So lets look at the case for unqiue content in the post and then look at the others options later.

Content to Promote Your Real World Business

If your business website is supporting a consultancy or a real-world business then your site should be well written and the content should be unqiue – you are after all trying to differentiate yourself from your competition.  The more you write the more content you will have on your pages so that google can read it.  Try to write content which includes terms that your customers would use – not necessarily the language that you, as an expert in the field, would use when talking to a peer.

Why? Because those are their terms your potential customers will use to find your website. There may not be an awful lot of people searching for the “a local widget maker in mysmall town” – but if someone is and you are the correctly located widget maker you almost certainly have yourself a very good lead.

Content for a Residual Income Website

If you are building  niche websites then your type of content depends on your monetisation method to some extent. If you are going to be using Google’s Adsense program – then you must have unique content – the more the better. Using spun or duplicate content will get you penalised and at worst dropped from the program. Its hard to argue that your site is designed just to make money from Adsense if you are using duplicate or very poor quality content. Your content should provide value to the reader. And the longer the better – why? Because the more you write about a topic the more likely you are to come across random phrases that  people are searching for – the so-called “long tail keywords” – keep an eye on your statistics and you will no doubt be very surprised about the topics that people are finding your website by searching for.

If you are promoting affiliate programs then you really need to be writing pre-sales copy. Again keeping the content of your own website will allow you to rank quicker with fewer backlinks – but copywriting is a specific style of writing and if you are not familiar with writing in this style then check out some specialist resources.

Content for EzineArticles.

Ezinearticles.com is one of the best article directories to submit articles for – you will get both a powerful backlink and also, quite possible visitors from their site. For this reason they are extremely picky about the quality of articles that they will accept from you – particularly if you are a new author with them. Make sure anything you submit to them is not just unique but grammatically and spelling-wise perfect.

Content for Other Support Articles

Many people will use software to distribute the same, or similar, articles to many different article directories.  Although these don’t provide terribly strong links – they are links and they will be counted – in fact Google will index and even rank unqiue content – but that’s for the next post.

Residual Income Websites Need Keywords

There are three key elements to building a successful residual income producing website:

Most beginners focus heavily on the second step – building the website – but that really its the least important part of the process. The most important part is finding a profitable niche and finding the right keywords that your potential customers and visitors are using to search for.

In general its not so much a keyword you are looking for – its more a key phrase – the longer the keyword phrase generally the less traffic there is, but also generally the traffic there is is more likely to buy: for example if you had a shoe website who do you think is most likely to buy a pair from you:

  • someone who searches for “shoes” or
  • someone who searches for “girls size 1 pink shoes”

the second person sounds like she needs a pair of pink shoes, and she needs them now! So you may only get a few visitors – but you might make more money because the traffic that you do have is buying traffic.

Think of  it this way: how often do you go to a bookshop – and just browse – you may buy – but basically the bookstore is a destination with probably free coffee and comfortable seats – and you go to be entertained. You buy eventually – but not today. The trouble with a visitor to your website deciding “not today” is that they may get distracted and end up at a different website – its harder to remember which website you were on compared to remembering which book shop offers good free coffee!

Compare that to your local convenience store – you don’t go there just to hang out and see what’ interesting do you? No but when you go there its almost certain that you will leave having purchased something – and do you notice how many times you go to the store for milk but come out with several other items as well? If you want to make a residual income from your website – you want to be a corner convenience store – not a  bookshop 🙂

So don’t decide to build a website about planning a road trip around Australia – just because you are – instead you first need to find out two things

  • whether anyone actually searches for “planning a road trip around Australia”
  • and how much competition there is

There are lots of fancy tools and ebooks who promise to tell you the answer to these two questions – but Google themselves provide a free tool: the Google Adwords Tool which although there a few tricks to how to use it properly, which I will talk about later and which definitely has its limitations – will get you started on your way to building residual income websites.

So click on the link – type in your keyword you are thinking about and do the following:

  • change the search type to “exact” – look for terms which have at least 1000 searches a month for that exact term;
  • add the Adsense CPC column in if you are considering Adsense on your website – eve if you are not a CPC of 5cents means  that no wants to spend money advertising on that particular terms which may mean you need another keyword
  • now check out the competition for that term – do you think you can beat those websites? If you can then you may have found your first niche!

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Do You Want a Blog or Website – Is There a Difference?

A long, long time ago there were static websites – websites which didn’t change very often – and when they needed updating you had to go to the computer wizz to do it for you. Often making a chage to the actual look and layout meant changing many hundreds of pages. It was hard to keep track of and keep things up to date – say for example a change phone number on every page.

Then came along blogging – the idea that you could update your own online web log (ie blog) without needing to be an expert or even know what html or css code was. You could write your online personal diary – it caught on – and blogging was born!

So the idea  evolved that blogs were entirely different from websites – that a blog had to be updated frequently and a successful blog had lots of comments and interaction with visitors.

Well that is what a blog was originally – but blogs have become a whole lot more sophisticated – and all because WordPress is a very, very successful piece of software. WordPress is free – its developed by enthusiasts and given away for free WordPress does something very important – it separates the look of a page from the content. WordPress is a platform that developers and designers can use to develop an infinite number of different looks and functionality of WordPress sites. Called themes – there are specialised WordPress themes which will turn your website into a real estate listing site, an e-book selling site, or a newspaper – if you can imagine a style of website its probably been done in WordPress already.

Lets take the current front page of this website as an example:

wordpress-1

Now  using this particular theme – I can vary the look without changing themes – so I could have something like this for example with a couple of clicks of a button or two:

wordpress-2

Its the theme which gives this particular site a static front page  – as opposed to the standard look of the most recent posts running down the page.  The popular “magazine style themes mean that breaking news sites can have rapidly updating stories showing near the top of the page, other designs give the front page a completely static look.

You can run a website on a blogging platform such as WordPress and you can use WordPress to develop a static website.  The choice is yours – and the casual visitor to your site won’t even know that you are running WordPress. Either way you can use your website to make residual income – but that’s the next post!