Creating a successful online business requires investment in time and money.
Contrary to what most people would have you believe, it isn’t just about installing WordPress and forgetting everything else.
In fact, if you’re under a budget and are not a professional designer, then starting with WordPress might be the wrong way to go about it.
If you want to create a better website and dominate the internet on a budget, this article will be giving you tools and tips to help you dominate the internet; from getting started to marketing your business to getting customers, here are 5 tips for you:
1. You Don’t Have to Use WordPress
With over 70 million blogs using the self-hosted version of WordPress today, it’s only natural that WordPress is the top choice for bloggers and webmasters. But WordPress doesn’t always have to be your choice.
In fact, unless you’re only interested in having a basic blog then I’d recommend you stay away from WordPress if you are on a budget.
Here’s what people will tell you about WordPress: It’s free, easy to install and search engine friendly.
Here’s what they don’t: It take a lot of money to customize and get the best from WordPress.
With WordPress, you can either go for free, premium or custom-made themes. Free themes are often used by tens of thousands of people and can’t be customized if you’re not good at coding, making them generic and bad for your business. The same thing goes for premium themes; the best premium themes are used by hundreds or thousands of people, also making it difficult for you to stand out.
To get a quality custom-made design for your website from a good designer, you’ll probably have to spend in excess of $5,000 on design.
In reality, most startups and small business online don’t even have that much for their first 6 months. In that case, what do you do?
Find an alternative: A great alternative to WordPress for example is Easy WebContent. With Easy WebContent, for example, for the price of hosting with a service like Hostgator or Bluehost you’ll be able to both host your website and get a complete set of tools to help you manage them; including premium themes and a site builder that can be used to customize your site to your taste as well as an editor that makes publishing content a breeze.
2. Develop a Marketing Strategy
Of course, you’re on a budget but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a marketing strategy.
Having a marketing strategy isn’t all about advertising like most startups do today.
Effective marketing can be cheap or even free.
For example, instead of using advertising to grow your customer base you can leverage content marketing; this includes releasing constant reports and whitepapers, distributing them to various outlets, having a blog that is constantly updated and most importantly, leveraging guest blogging AND SEO.
Guest blogging, for example, was used by Leo Widrich from Bufferapp.com to get their first 100,000 within the first 9 months of starting Bufferapp.
Guest blogging can also be very powerfully used for SEO and there have been various case studies showing how phenomenal it can be; even to the tune of 100,000+ additional visitors in one year in some cases.
3. Streamline Your Marketing
Once you have a solid marketing strategy, you can then work on how to implement what you have planned.
There are usually two ways:
- Invest the hours like most people do
- Streamline your marketing by effectively using tools
Both methods are not bad, but using the second method can save you both money and time.
I talked about guest blogging earlier on; it’s like the most powerful marketing strategy right now, used by both individual bloggers and mega corporations.
A smart way to streamline your guest blogging, for example, will be to use a tool called Post Joint; Post Joint is designed with the aim of connecting “Advertisers” and “Bloggers” and helping them place blog posts.
“Advertisers” are anyone who wants to use the platform to publish guest posts while “Bloggers” are anyone that wants to receive guest posts.
With an active team monitoring the tool and ensuring it’s spam-free, you also get the most from the tool.
4. Pay for Analytics
Now, this is probably the last thing you’ll want to read in an article that tells you how to create a better online presence on a budget, but creating an effective online presence starts with knowing what works for you.
Free analytics won’t help you with this; tools like Google Analytics are too basic and will only reveal little insight into what works for your business.
Paying for advanced analytics software helps you know which of your campaigns is successful and which one isn’t.
A tool like Kissmetrics, for example, helps you visualize your sales funnel and lead process; you know what source of traffic to your website yields a particular conversion, making it easy for you to optimize and improve your marketing funnel.
While there are other tools that do something similar, Kissmetrics is one of the best tools out there that help with this.
5. Build an Email List
It’s cheap and easy to do.
You won’t be able to convert every visitor you get to a customer no matter how effective your marketing is; you can repeatedly market yourself and get more customers by having a database of your visitors, though.
Offer a free gift, which positions you as an authority in your field, as an incentive to get people to subscribe to your email list, capture their email address by using a service like AWeber and regularly get in touch with them offering value and encouraging them to use your offer.
Joseph Oni is a professional marketer with over 3 years of marketing experience online. He helps people find quality website builders.