Website Building 101: From Build to Launch

Let's talk email

Now that you have a better understanding of how SEO works and how it can benefit your website, let's shift focus to email. Wait a minute... Email? Is it 1996 again?

This may come as a surprise to you, but email is still heavily used. According to Forrester (2014), "72% of U.S. online adults send or receive personal emails via smartphones at least weekly."

Considering there are over 2.5 billion email users worldwide, 72% is a significant percentage and something that should not be ignored. And as someone who is creating a website, it's important that you take action. But how?

Put simply, you need to build an email list. Doing so will allow you to directly contact your most important website visitors with exclusive content. And let's face it, exclusivity sells. People naturally love the idea of receiving something exclusive, which is exactly what you need to offer.

Start an email list (I recommend MailChimp) and sell the idea of giving something away for free to anyone who signs up. This can be a nice incentive to not only grab attention, but it's also a great way of building trust with your audience.

As your list grows, consider new ways of keeping your subscribers engaged over time. Ask questions and reply with answers. Direct communication can go a long way in benefiting the overall image of your brand.

Nowadays, it's all about social media

There's no arguing that email marketing can be very effective, but if there's one thing that has taken the Internet by storm, it's social media. Our daily routines rotate around platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Social media is simply huge, and that's not going to change any time soon.

The instant gratification of reaching out to a particular person or brand is powerful, especially if you are working in customer service. Ask a question on Twitter and you will likely receive an answer within minutes, often faster than you would via email.

If you have any kind of online presence, then you need to be active on social media. Determining which platforms to get started with entirely depends on your website and its focus. For the kind of work that I do, I prefer to primarily interact on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

Of course, everyone has their own way of doing things, so choose whichever platforms that you feel would work best with your brand. And don't forget to cross promote your social media links with your email list. The more people that you can reach, the better.

Advertising your website

When it comes time to advertise your website, you'll be happy to know that you have plenty of options to choose from. The most obvious places to get started with are usually Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. Having used both, I can say from experience that each has its advantages.

Advertising via AdWords grants you what seems to be an endless amount of ways to customize your ad. From an in-depth keyword research tool to a real-time display of how your ad will appear in search results, AdWords is the service to use.

If you are new to advertising, that will not be a problem. AdWords makes the advertising process fairly seamless and easy to understand. And of course, there is plenty of support documentation to help you along the way.

Going the route of Facebook Ads isn't a bad idea, either. Like AdWords, Facebook Ads provides a variety of tools to aid you in customizing an ad to your liking. You can even target specific demographics in local areas, which can help significantly with particular businesses.

One of the perks of signing up with Bluehost that I did not mention earlier is the added benefit of receiving free advertising credits with your account. This can be an excellent way of getting your foot in the door.

And finally, it never hurts to advertise your website the old fashioned way. Sign up for VistaPrint and get 250 business cards ordered. Pricing is very affordable and the print quality is actually quite good. I've used VistaPrint a few times in the past and can definitely recommend them.

When your business cards arrive, do not hesitate to hand them out to friends and anyone else who could be interested. You can even consider stopping by at local businesses to introduce yourself and explain to others what you're doing. After all, you never know what kinds of opportunities could turn up.

And now it's your turn

Now that you have reached this point, you should feel comfortable enough to get started with creating your website. Remember, the process can be a lot of work, but I promise you that the end result is worth it.

Because I'm excited to see what you come up with, I encourage you to leave a comment below with a link to your website. Don't worry if it's not finished yet, as no website is ever truly complete. There will always be new ideas to implement and experiment with.

After all, this is your website we're talking about. Make it your own.


Course Challenge:

Create a WordPress website hosted via Bluehost and attract at least 100 visitors within a 30-day period. Once you complete this challenge, contact me with your results.

Helpful links: Bluehost | WordPress