By John L. Beath
Everyone needs a website in today’s competitive digital world. Even if you have one or two websites promoting your books, products, ideas or photos, you can’t have too many sites. Currently, I have 35 websites and continue to produce at least one per week – most recently, using Weebly.
Many people don’t have the funds or skills necessary to create a good-looking website, especially one with a decent shopping cart option. Fear not, all you need to know is how to drag and drop, if you use www.weebly.com.
After signing up for a Weebly account, users can create a free website or blog complete with a shopping cart, video, images and much more. Weebly’s unique programming is a drag and drop interface so simple anyone, regardless of skill level, can create great looking websites. The drag-and-drop program also lets you choose between dozens of professional designs with numerous simple-to-use multimedia elements. After dragging and dropping your elements, images and text, you can click between templates at any time during design or after the site is completed. You can change the look of your site as often or as frequent as you want.
If you have a Google account or PayPal account, you can quickly create a revenue generating website with a professional and secure shopping cart. For an example of a Web store site on Weebly, visit www.SuperSquids.com. I built this site quickly, with no design effort, using Weebly templates. The most difficult part of building the Super Squid site was taking pictures of the products and sizing them to 72 dpi in Photoshop. Other than the images, the site required some text and lots of drag and dropping of Weebly elements.
You can use the free option on Weebly or pay $70 for two years of hosting for up to 10 websites. If you own your own domain name just follow the directions and point it to your Weebly account or purchase the domain through Weebly.com. Whatever website solution you choose, follow Weebly’s instructions and you will quickly have the best looking, inexpensive website possible. Don’t forget to create links to and from your other sites too.
In addition to Weebly drag and drop elements, you can use the HTML option for more difficult and complicated features.
A friend of mine created a really great Amazon store through the Amazon Affiliate Program and used the Weebly platform for her new website. To view her site, visit http://www.glutenfreetravelmagazine.com/gluten-free-store.html.
Her Amazon store requires no inventory or shipping. When someone purchases something from her affiliate store, Amazon deposits a percentage of the sale in her account.
If you are interested in dragging and dropping a new Weebly website for your business watch this how-to video.
Profit Tip: Monetizing your efforts
Sign up to be an Amazon affiliate if you frequently interview people who have a product to sell—whether a book author or product representative for an outdoors gear company. Should you mention their product on your broadcast or in your writing, you can post a link on your website to the item’s Amazon listing. If people click your link to order the item, you earn a percentage of the sale.
Not only does this help monetize your efforts, it provides a good customer service to your readers, listeners and viewers. Instead of trying to remember a book title or author’s name, they need only visit your website and click a link to purchase the featured item.
Profit Tip: Targeting niche markets
Create as many websites as you can. The most common question people asked about my website business is: “Why do you have so many sites?”
With numerous sites I can target every niche market that interests me, relates to the products I sell or ideas important to me. My current URL inventory includes 157 unique Web addresses, all of which will be working websites within three years.
Remember, a product does not have to be something you sell. On the Web, a product can also be your ideas or your newspaper column. To market something successfully, you must promote, promote, promote. In the Internet world, links are the way to promote your website. It is also imperative that your site contains relevant content. If you focus on those two aspects, you’ll succeed.
Tailor your content to a niche market and your site stands a better chance of soaring to the top of search engines. High-ranking niche websites can take your business and Internet reach to the next level.
Example: If you love to write about bass fishing, come up with your niche having to do with bass fishing and then purchase a URL with that keyword in the URL address. My SuperSquids site is niche because it is the name of my own brand of squid lures. I also own www.squidlures.com, a site ranked number 1 in Google if you search for “squid lures.” This is the power of niche websites and importance of creating more than one website. Each time I create a new website, I also create links that come from the same category of websites – a strategy that helps with all my site’s rankings. Of my 35 websites, 90 percent of them are ranked No. 1 to No. 3 for the search terms targeted on Google and Bing. ◊
John L. Beath is OWAA president and owner of Pacific Lure Communications. He is a writer/photographer and owner/editor of 14 Web sites and 10 online stores. He is also an Internet marketing consultant for several businesses. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By John L. Beath