These days, businesses everywhere have established a presence on the web. Take a good hard look at the commercials on any given day, and you’ll likely discover that web addresses are nearly as prevalent in the contact information as a telephone number.
Those naysayers of the 90s that downplayed the importance of having a website are no doubt choking on their words right about now. But what if you are a small artisan product producer making handmade bath and beauty products…is having a website really all that important?
The answer is a resounding YES. And the good news is that it has never been easier.
Would-be website owners have a vast array of products, services, and software to choose from in creating their own virtual corner of the web. From website editing software that installs onto your own computer to hosted blogging platforms, there is literally something for everyone, and every skill level.
Rather than leave your head spinning with the dizzying details, we’re going to focus our discussion on a simple, free method that you should give some serious consideration – a hosted WordPress blog.
A Free Blog at WordPress.com
For those who may be operating with a limited budget, you can get started with a free blog immediately by signing up at WordPress.com. You can select from thousands of design themes, both free and paid versions, which will allow you to customize the look and feel of your new web destination. Additional tools, called plugins, allow you to enhance the performance of your blog by allowing you to add navigational upgrades, search engine enhancements, shopping cart functionality, and other various capabilities. You could literally spend days just exploring all of the upgrades at your disposal.
Do-it-yourselfers will be pleased to discover the comprehensive tutorials offered by WordPress, and the hundreds of developers of its associated plugins and upgrades. Of course, for those who would prefer to have the technical details handled for you, there is no shortage of freelancers and professional firms that will be more than happy to design your new WordPress site to your specifications.
One of the many benefits of a blog is that they are fairly easy to get indexed by the search engines. The addition of search engine-friendly plugins will enable you to customize the titles, keywords and descriptions of your web pages, just as you would with a traditional website.
Staying in Contact
We all know how crucial it is to stay in contact with our customers. Blogging makes this task very simple to do! By setting up a free account with Feedburner.com, you can give prospects and customers two methods to keep in contact with you – by subscribing via RSS feed, or by email. With the addition of just a few lines of code, you can be up and running with this service in a matter of minutes.
Communication can be further enhanced by enabling your blog with one of several Twitter plugins. Twitter Tools, for example, will automatically post to your Twitter account each time you make a new blog post, making it a cross-promotional dream tool. Leveraging the power of a Twitter account can also help boost your subscriber list.
Whether you are offering products for sale on a limited or international scale, there is no disputing that a well-designed web presence can be an invaluable sales tool. You don’t have to be computer whiz in order to craft a visually-appealing, effective website. A bit of imagination, the desire to learn, and a few hours of your time is all the investment that you need.
Interested in learning more business-building tips and marketing ideas? Subscribe to my FREE Make Your Own Spa Products E-Course.