In the time that I have been using the Internet, (since 1996) I have seen a lot of websites. I have seen a lot of good websites and I have seen a lot that were just plain awful. Here are some things to think about before you start a website.
What is the purpose of your website? Is it meant to be primarily a sales site or is it meant to be purely informative?
Once you have decided on your website's purpose, you need to decide on a theme. There is nothing worse than going to a website and having to play guess what this website is about. To pick a theme, I suggest that you write down a list of things that you are interested in and/or knowledgeable about.
Once you have written your list down, you need to do some research. Use a tool such as the search term suggestion tool on overture to see if there is a demand for your topic. If you type in your topic and see a lot of searches done for your topic then you should use that topic. If you don't see a lot of searches done for your particular topic, try another one.
Now that you have picked a topic that is in high demand, you need to either develop a product that fits the theme of your site or find a product to sell that fits within the theme of your site.
You also need some sort of freebie to offer on your site so that you can build your own opt-in list for marketing purposes. You should offer an ebook or a special report. Maybe even offer an e-course. Whatever you offer, make sure that you have a way of capturing the email addresses of your visitors. These people will become your “warm market" or people that you can market your other offers to.
You will need to find a hosting company to host your site. Free Web space is fine for just casual websites, but if you are serious about making money online you should eventually graduate to a paid host. The reason behind this is that many people perceive a site hosted on a free web space to be unprofessional. I don't agree with these people myself, but you do have to deal with what the majority thinks in this industry.
You also need your own domain name. See the above tip.
You will need to code your site. You can either learn how to do this yourself or you can hire someone to do it for you. The amount of money you have to spend on this endeavor should help you to decide whether or not you want to hire someone.
Lastly, you need to figure out how you are going to promote your site. Here are some suggestions:
writing free articles for reprint in ezines and on websites.
buying advertising in ezines
buying advertising on websites
trading links with relevant sites.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of things to think about when starting a website. This article's purpose is just to get you started. You should certainly read everything you can find about doing business online while you are building your business.
Copyright 2004 by DeAnna Spencer
This article may be reproduced and redistributed freely on the Internet as long as the resource box remains intact.
DeAnna Spencer is a virtual assistant that helps entrepreneurs run a successful business by providing affordable administrative help. She also publishes a blog for small business owners. Visit this small business resource today.