A.-Why you should consider your own website.
1. You own it:
The number one reason for having your own website, is that you will have your own property in cyberspace on the world wide web. You have full control over your website and you decide what you want to share on it. ...You own it.
All the social media platforms where you may have accounts, belongs to someone else. You are merely allowed to participate on the platform as an account holder. The owners of the platform have control over what you are allowed to share in accordance with the rules of the platform. You therefore don’t have full ownership of your content on these platforms.
2. Influence & control:
Through your website, you will be able to manipulate what information others will be able to find about you and what you want to share. You will be in control of your own content.
3. Unlimited reach:
A website will enable you to increase awareness and to extend your reach to an unlimited local and /or international audience.
4. Get noticed:
Your own website will make you stand out from the crowd and it will become your tool to be getting noticed in the world out there.
5. Cutting edge:
The world wide web is constantly evolving. By building, expanding and maintaining your own website, you will continuously boost your own creativity, improve your skills and keep up with trends.
B.-What can you do with a website?
1. Brand yourself:
People are primarily attracted to people, secondly to products and only thereafter to companies. Your website is the ideal platform to brand yourself as a person and the gateway to the product or the company that you want to promote.
2. Knowledgeable expertise:
The best way of branding yourself, is by sharing quality information that will add value to the visitor’s experience. When you create a constant flow of high-quality content on your website, your website will become a valued source of information for visitors and you will be recognised as a knowledgeable person. If you choose to attach a blog section to your website, it will be the ideal tool for adding valuable content to your website. Another way of increasing your image as a knowledgeable expert, is by creating video content and then insert it into your blog posts on your website.
People are constantly searching the internet for specific solutions. (See Google Trends)
Having your own website, opens the opportunity for you to create your own content and then present it as the solution that others may be looking for. Again, this will assist in you getting recognised online as an expert in your field and it will contribute to self-branding.
4. Product awareness:
You can share information about products on your website. It may be general product information, product benefits or even product reviews and comparisons. The visitor will experience it as informative, rather than a pushy sales offer. After reading the information, the reader will be aware of the pros and cons of the product and more likely to become a client prospect than before.
5. Sales funnel:
If you want to create your own online sales funnel, you may choose to purchase costly sales funnel programs, or you can build your own very effective sales funnel on your own website.
C.-How to create your own website.
The easiest way to create your own website, is by using an online web-editor program.
WordPress is an example of a popular and widely used web-editor. It started out as blog-site software and it developed from that to a full website editing platform. WordPress has plugin features available for almost every thinkable add-in that you want for a website. I have built two large and content rich websites in WordPress before. At first, I found it a bit challenging to find my way around, to get my website published to my domain and to optimize the look and feel of the site. Though I was able to master WordPress and I did well with my WordPress websites, I will not easily choose to create a website in WordPress again. WordPress is however the preferred choice of many web developers.
My preference is to use Weebly. In my opinion, Weebly is much easier to master than WordPress. It has more than enough functionality to create stunning websites, without the need of the many plugins that is used in WordPress. I even migrated one of my websites from WordPress to Weebly and it is now much easier for me to expand and maintain this website.
2. The Pros and Cons of Weebly:
The pros of Weebly can be summarized as follows:
- 10 websites can be created on one account.
- The free plan of Weebly is free forever.
- A free website can be published to a free Weebly subdomain. …forever.
- Weebly is user friendly and intuitive.
- No HTML knowledge or experience is required.
- Templates are easily customizable.
- Many different theme options are available.
- Excellent tutorial information available in the help and support centre.
- The Weebly App Centre offers many additional features over and above the standard options.
- Great for building a full business website or even an online store.
- Very large websites can be accommodated in Weebly.
- Both desktop and mobile friendly displays.
- Good SEO optimization options accessible.
- Weebly allows exterior hosting.
You can host your website elsewhere and use your own domain.
The Cons of Weebly can be summarized as follows:
- The online editor can sometimes be slow or unresponsive.
- Firewall and anti-virus programs may want to block the use of the editor.
- The drag and drop editor may limit your creative options.
- Weebly is expensive with domain purchases and hosting, but exterior hosting is allowed.
3.Free domain versus own domain.
A free Weebly sub-domain is great to start off with, while you are exploring and building your first website. If you choose to upgrade to your own domain in future, the sub-domain will direct to your new domain. Therefore, all SEO and traffic that applies to your free website, will reach your website at your own domain.
Another benefit of using free domains, is that you can build small websites as capture pages or sales page websites outside your full and content rich website which is published to your own domain.
If you are serious about branding yourself, your website, product or company, it will however be best to publish your website to your own domain. With your own domain, you will be recognized online as having a real presence. You will also be able to setup domain branded e-mail addresses for your own and business use, if applicable.
This means that you will have to register your domain with a hosting company and also that you will need to upgrade your free Weebly plan, to a paid subscriber option.
Although you can get very far with the free option, in the long run it will be best to have your own web domain.
I am making use of Afrihost as a hosting company. Their products are priced very competitively and their customer support ticks all the boxes for me.
4.Create your website
Here below is a video with a basic run through of setting up your own free website in Weebly. The purpose of the video is only to serve as a springboard for you to take the first step in creating your own online space.
I trust that this tutorial will assist you in creating your own website which will eventually assist you in expanding your online business
The next tutorial topic will be:
Upload your lead magnet as a web file.
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