Websites are often grouped under three types: personal, professional and community driven. Before you start thinking about generating ideas for your site, you need to first categorize its type. Once you narrow down what you want to build, everything else easily falls into place. And you can turn any of these methods into a way to make money online.
So, let’s take a look at the questions you should ask yourself before starting construction on your corner of the Internet:
- Who are your visitors? Do you know them well?
Understanding your audience will help you structure the site in terms of layout and content. This vastly improves how people will interact with your material.
- What age group does your target audience fall under?
The age of your target audience will influence everything from graphics to readability. After all, you wouldn’t use a college vocabulary if you’re targeting 13 and younger.
- When was the last time you thought about the logo for your website?
Imagery plays an important role for brand recognition. Colors, shapes and design keeps your site in memory longer while making it easy to identify for the fans.
- What are your other interests to create a website apart from a primary aim?
For example: Let’s say you want to create a personal blog. Would you want to monetize it? Perhaps later you want to sell your own products from the site.
- Have you decided on the types of media that you will showcase through your website?
Photo galleries, podcasts, audio, videos and live streaming are just some of the different types of media to use for accentuating the website.
- Are you going to build on your own or hire someone?
You can surely hire someone to design your website. However, you can also use content management systems like WordPress. These are easy to use and require no knowledge of website programming.
- Will your visitors share your information?
Today, sharing is a virtual necessity. Social media and email sharing are among the more popular additions to any piece of content on a website.
- What kind of call to action are you going to use?
Calls to action include elements like signing up for a newsletter, buying a product “now” and other method of inspiring action from visitors.
- Do you have a strategy for mobile users?
Having a mobile-friendly website is another necessity if you want to succeed online. This is because more people are accessing the Internet from hand-held devices than computers nowadays.
- Is your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy ready?
The competition is incredibly high on the Internet. You need to have some kind of SEO practices in place if you want the website seen in engines like Google.
- Have you decided on the content strategy for your website?
There is a saying on the Internet, “Content is king.” This is how people are going to find your site: through words, images and video. Having an effective content marketing strategy is important.
- Are you planning to link your website with Social Media?
Social sites like Facebook and Twitter have a wealth of fans and followers. It’s a good idea to create profiles specifically for your site to engage those audiences. And it’s free!
- How much can you spend to get this website ready?
While your website budget will influence things like marketing and design, don’t assume you need a lot of money to have success. In fact, there are a lot of site owners out there who reach tens of thousands of people per month while spending less than $150 per year.
- What do you want to convey through your website? It this a personal or business website?
The difference between personal and business sites usually revolves around the content. A personal site has a bit more freedom when it comes to writing articles. A business site is more likely to generate income and build a stronger fan-base.
- Have you decided if your website will have a blog and/or RSS feed?
A lot of marketers are including blogs, even for eCommerce websites. This is because they generate more traffic and pull in potential customers while offering free information. Using RSS feeds is similar as it provides content people can absorb.
- Do you plan to create one from scratch or just update your already existing site?
Building a brand new site gives you more flexibility in design and development. However, sometimes it’s easier and more effective to simply revamp a site that is already established.
- Have you decided on the hosting service? Did you check all the latest deals?
Choosing a web host provider is vastly important. You want to make sure you’re getting all the tools you need for success. This includes things like a content delivery network, up-to-date server hardware and current background applications like PHP.
- How is your site going to “feel?” What type of emotions are you planning to portray?
Emotional connections work exceptionally well for engaging an audience. They set the tempo for action and build bonds between yourself and guests.
- Do you know about website analytics? Have you researched how to use the data?
Website analytics offers an incredible amount of information regarding how people access your content. It’s also helpful when determining your target audience and figuring out what people want to read. For instance, Google Analytics reports are invaluable for figuring out your visitors.
- How committed are you to spending time in this website?
To build a successful website, you can’t simply set it and forget it. It takes effort and determination to build a following, which will lead to far greater opportunities. Whether you’re trying to make money or just want notoriety, maintaining a website requires commitment.
Well, these are few questions that will help you to start thinking about your website thereby generating few ideas.
What is in it for the Visitors (WIIIFV)? This is always a tough question that everyone keeps wondering about. Why do you want people to visit the site? What are your promoting through your content?
Most often, people look for free stuff whether it is information, help, tutorials, guidance, feedback and more. So, it is all the more important to know what you target audience wants. This can be achieved by researching the market a bit.
Are there similar websites online?
Say for example, you plan to create a website related to recipes. If you search Google for various recipes, you might get almost 100 million results. Now, if you search “chicken recipe,” you might get around 10 million results. If you search again for “baking orange chicken recipe,” you might get around 1 million results.
Keep adding keywords to your search and narrow down to the niche area where there are no or very little competition. This is the niche area where you might want to create a website.
Can I earn money through my website?
Well, this is a million dollar question that attracts and motivates people to create their own website. The gist of it is, yes and no.
Yes, if you can follow a simple technique by using Google Adsense. Create a way that keeps people coming to your site and Google Adsense will take care of the earning part. You can also include affiliate marketing programs or selling your own products.
No, if you cannot make people visit your website.
How do I Promote my Website?
Now that you know the importance of getting people to visit, next you need to know how to promote it properly. Many of the new website owners spend 90% of their money to get the website done and spend only the remaining 10% on promotion.
This is the main reason why most website businesses fail. There must be 50%-50% investment in both building and promoting the website. Some of the areas where you can spend for promotion are through Google Adwords, blog posts, search engines, subscription newsletters and so on.
However, not all promotion requires a monetary investment. A lot of methods require nothing but time. For instance, sharing your site’s content on Facebook and Twitter can generate an audience without spending a single dime.
Sharing on social media also improves brand recognition, reputation and helps build a loyal fan base.
6 Tips for Website Designing: Things to Avoid
There might be many who will give you various ideas for designing the website. But, you need to remember that some of the old tips are not relevant today. Some of them include…
- Music in the background: Please, it is completely annoying and spoils the mood of your content. It may have been fun and cute back in 2001, but today it has a negative impact on visitors.
- Stuffing with keywords: Search engines like Google are focusing more on delivering quality content to searchers. This means practices like cramming as many keywords as possible into a single page will get your site penalized in search results.
- Too many advertisements: Make sure that you only have a few advertisement blocks. Too many will distract your visitor and delivers a poor layout.
- Wall of text: Long and drawn out paragraphs are more difficult to read, especially from mobile devices. Break up your content with headers, images and shorter paragraphs.
- Overdoing animations: Some animations are actually quite effective today to keep an audience interested. However, you don’t want too many as it may become a heavy distraction.
- Ignoring mobile users: It’s necessary to keep your mobile audience in mind when designing the website. If you don’t, you could alienate a large portion of your target audience.
Design for Your Visitors
Build the website according to what your target audience wants to experience. By giving them what they want, your site will gain popularity over time. Otherwise, it may sit in the digital world ignored and unloved.