If WordPress is a foreign term to you, this is your lucky day. Last time, I told you that part of setting up an efficient sales and marketing channel was going to require an online presence. You may have heard others say that you don’t really have to bother, you can set up a Facebook Fan Page or a Pinterest board and be good to go. To be sure those are valuable tools, but at the end of the day, you don’t have control over those accounts, they could be shut down at any time for any reason and you have no recourse. Do you really want someone else to have that much control over the business you work so hard to build?
There are other blogging platforms available, but WordPress is by far the fastest growing website tool around. It powers over 65,000,000 websites as of Dec 2011. The best part is it is free! That is not to say there is not any cost involved, but it can be very minimal. You want to build your site using WordPress.org, not WordPress.com. There are a lot of reasons, but the main reason is that you can actually do business using the .org version.
With WordPress, all the programing language is already done for you. There are things called themes that make your site look the way you want. Lots are free, and there are also “premium” themes that offer more features for a fee. Themes can be changed, so your decision does not tie you to that theme forever after. There are also plugins that can add so many functions to your site, many are free, you just click to download.
Five compelling reasons you need a website
To be honest, there are more reasons you need a website, but five just sounded like a good number.
- It gives credibility to your business
- It allows you to reach a lot of people
- You can make money
- You can establish your expertise
- You can showcase your products
- It makes it easy for people to get in touch with you
- People get to know you
Okay, I got a little carried away, but you have to admit, all those are important reasons. When you are running a small business, especially if it is home based, getting people to respect your credibility is tough. If they walk into your storefront, there is no doubt that your business is real. Having a website accomplishes a lot of the same things a storefront does, but it is astronomically cheaper!
A Website Needs Content – You Have Tons of It
Are you shaking you head about now? Do you question that you have anything to write about that other people would be interested in? Come on, give yourself some credit. Things that you do without thinking twice are the very information that millions of people are interested in. True story, but I anticipated that you might doubt that. I understand where you stand, because I have been in the same position.
I want to put my money where my mouth is so to speak, so I have proof for you. I did a little homework. This is a keyword research about a few keywords you may know just a tad bit about.
Of course, you can opt to pay a webmaster thousands of dollars. Plenty of people do that every day. I once paid someone a lot of money to put up a site for me too, so I know it is true. I have also personally talked to people who not only paid for the website to be built, but continue to pay a sizable amount of money each month to manage their site-ouch.
Remember in the beginning of this blog I told you WordPress is free? That’s true, it is. I also said there were some fees you would have to pay. Also true, but before you click away, let me tell you that the fees are minimal. You will have to pay for your hosting account, possibly some graphic designer fees, and if you really want to, you can invest in a premium theme. Let me give you some details about those fees.
- Hosting – I recommend using Bluehost. It makes it really easy to get your WordPress site up and running because it uses what is called a cpanel. At the time I am writing this post, they are running a special so hosting is offered for$3.95 per month. That is a great deal. It is usually priced at $6.95 per month, still a great bargain.
- Domain name – that is the name of your website. If you sign up with Bluehost your first domain name is free. You can host as many websites as you want for the monthly hosting fee, but you will have to buy the additional domain names, they usually are under $12 per year.
- Graphic design – it depends. You can use one of the headers that comes with one of the free themes from WordPress. You can design your own header, still free. You can find a graphic designer on Fiverr and pay a whopping $5, or you can find a graphic designer and then the cost increases quite a bit depending on their fees and the intricacy of your design
If I did my math correctly, your website could cost as little as $47.40-$52.40 per year. So what are you waiting for, you have plenty to say about baking, cakes, cookies, bread, recipes and so much more, and the best part is millions of people are hungry for the information you can share with them.
Oh, rest assured, I am not forgetting about one little detail, that you don’t have the faintest idea how to use WordPress or build a website. No worries, we will tackle this project together. I am doing a series of blogs to help you get started and learn how to use WordPress. I will even install WordPress on your site if you choose Bluehost for your hosting. I want to be totally upfront here, I am an affiliate for Bluehost and if you choose them as your host, they pay me a commission. It does not cost you one penny more, they are paying me for the referral. One of the reasons I feel comfortable making that recommendation is that it is so easy to install WordPress, and they have helped me out when I had a problem with one of my websites. the fact that it is a great deal is icing on the cake. Be sure to check back soon, we are going to start building websites together. If enough people are interested, we can even just meet in my classroom and have a class project. That would be fun. Contact me if that is something you are interested in.