Why You Need a Website
You hear a great deal about the Internet these days -- that it's revolutionised communication ... commerce ... education ... Life-As-We-Know-It ...
Is this just hype?
You be the judge:
AN INTERNET TALE
After spending over twenty years at the Chalk-face, as a high school teacher, the novelty had worn off somewhat, so I did what so many others are doing now, I started looking for ways I could achieve that most desirable of lifestyles and be my own boss.
Home Based Businesses (HBB) are the fastest growing segment of the economy with thousands of people launching out on their own every week.
But there are pitfalls in setting up your own business: capital equipment can consume huge quantities of your precious resources; advertising costs can be horrendous, but since they're the only way you can tell people about your product or service, you have no choice; printing costs eat into more of your money; then you have to pay for postage, long distance phone calls and faxes to suppliers and customers. And we haven't got to the problems that can arise when suppliers let you down, when there are problems with transport ... aargh!
If I sound as if I've 'been there and done that,' it's because I have. My first business was marketing a series of courses I'd written.
I had the courses printed; I set up a free-call number and a reply-paid postal system; I advertised in all the major newspapers in three states; I paid to have the courses mailed to those who ordered them, and I soon discovered that I was just covering costs ... but only just.
This certainly wasn't the door to economic freedom I'd visualised (OK, let's be honest, it wasn't the freedom I'd fantasised about. Where were the big cheques every week? Where was the huge customer base that was supposed to be clamouring for me to write more and more courses for them? Mere figments of my imagination!)
ENTER: THE INTERNET!
But then I discovered the Internet, and suddenly there was no need to print hard copies of my course; I could email the whole course to students anywhere in the world!
And it didn't cost me any more to send courses to a hundred people than it did to send one course to one person. Suddenly my running costs were reduced, and I was able to halve the price of my courses.
I could change the course as I saw the need, adding newer examples to keep it up to date, deleting sections I wasn't happy with, rewriting whole sections. Plus, I now had the most amazing advertising vehicle for my course -- a website!
I was able to put up examples of my writing; I could show people what was in the course; I could point out the importance of being able to write well. I could do anything! And this was all because of the Internet.
Mind you, it took me some time to work out how to actually build a website; I made some terrible mistakes and wasted an incredible amount of time -- time that I could have been using to build my business. (My first efforts are outlined in an article I wrote, The Saga of the alt tags: http://www.write101.com/saga.htm )
That was in 1998 and my business has expanded to include professional writing services -- something I'd never thought about doing. It grew because people I met through the Internet asked my advice about their own writing and then asked me to write for them; I now have clients from every continent (except Antarctica).
That's what happens with business opportunities -- they just sort of arrive out of nowhere, and you have to be ready to recognise them and grab them before they get away!
The Internet provides the greatest opportunity of all in its capacity to change the way we do business and communicate, and in the rapidity with which all this has happened.
In 1996, there were an estimated 40 million Internet users worldwide, but according to a study released by market researcher the Angus Reid Group, global Internet usage is well on its way to reaching 1 billion users by this year (2005).
Consider the following:
? A world where e-mailboxes outnumber TV sets and telephone lines is probably only two years away.
According to statistics compiled by Messaging Online, the total number of e-mailboxes in the world has soared 83.5% in the past year. For comparison, the CIA says there are almost one billion TVs in the world, and according to the ITU there are less than 800 million phone lines. This means email has in 12 years done what it took 50 years for the TV and 125 years for the telephone to do.
? Online advertising revenues are expected to grow to $28 billion worldwide this year, according to new Jupiter research released in June at the Global Online Advertising Forum in Cannes, France. Jupiter says that nearly 6% of all global advertising revenue will be spent online and that growth will partly be driven by the rise of the online population worldwide, which will more than double within the next five years.
? Because of the swift time-to-market and the strong return on investment of e-mail, a new Jupiter report estimates that commercial e-mail spending will grow from $164 million in 1999 to $7.3 billion in 2005 - an estimated forty-fold increase in e-mail volume.
? The online population growth in Northern Europe, Asia and Latin America will lead to a global melting pot in a few years, eMarketer predicts and most of the Internet's growth will be in Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
? eMarketer also predicts that wireless devices will link millions of new users to the web in the next few years.
According to the European Commission, Europe has one of the highest cell phone penetration rates in the world, with Finland leading the pack at 64.4% (Statistics from Masha E. Geller's MediaPost: http://www.mediapost.com)
WHY YOU NEED A WEBSITE
As well as using your website to facilitate your business, as I did, there are countless other uses:
? Keep in touch with family. So many families these days are spread across the country and around the world. We miss out on all those precious moments such as new babies, first steps, graduations, birthdays, weddings ... but having your own website means you can post pictures of your family, you can even put up videos and recordings so everyone in the family can keep up to date.
? Have you retired? Use the Internet to plan that great Retirement Odyssey; put up maps of your travels so friends can follow your trip; post your travel diary and keep the best travel memories fresh for all time.
? Set up a site around your hobby, sport or craft and show off your work or collections.
? Are you a member of a charity organisation? Build a website to keep in touch with members and benefactors. Use it to arrange fund raisers.
? We all know that children these days seem to be born computer literate, so give your children the opportunity to explore their talents and to build their skills by giving them their very own website. If the Internet is going to play such a dominant role in our lives, your kids need to be thoroughly skilled in all its uses.
Developers have seen the writing on the wall and many are now building housing estates with Internet access a standard inclusion in new homes.
Websites are the way of the future and we can learn to use them or get left behind.
NB If the spelling of words such as "visualised" in this article worried you, please read this: http://www.write101.com/aus.htm
Jennifer Stewart has had her own web-based business since 1998 and offers ghost writing and other professional services to clients from every continent except Antarctica. Visit http://www.write101.com and subscribe to free, weekly Writing Tips: mailto:WritingTipsemail@example.com
How Your Own Website Helps Your Small Business Grow
What do you mean, you don't have a website for your small business? Now that the Internet age is well and truly upon us, small business owners who haven't yet realised what a well-designed website could do for their business are getting harder and harder to find. If you're one of them, though, read on to find out how starting your own website could help your small business grow.
Up The Sandbox!
Go to any internet marketing forum you want these days and one of the topics is sure to be whether or not there is a "sandbox" at Google where new sites are forced to come and play for 3-6 months before joining the ranks of ranked and searched results. On the surface it would appear that this is so. New sites are typically taking a long time to get indexed and even longer to show up in the search results. So hence, the sandbox theory. Let's examine some possible reasons and more importantly, our reaction to it.
How To Evaluate Your Web Sites Performance
Setting up a website is the very first step of an Internet marketing campaign, and the success or failure of your site depends greatly on how specifically you have defined your web site goals.
How to Listen on the Web
When building a relationship, listening is more important than talking.
Direct Sales and Your Corporate Website - A Creative Marketing Plan that Works!
Creatively marketing your corporate site takes time in the set up but you will learn that building your customers isn't about marketing your products but getting your name and reputation into the minds of internet customers.
Lead Generation How to -- 10 Tips On Generating More Internet Sales Leads
Many millions of dollars are being wasted on promoting and sending traffic to ineffective lead generation websites. Here are my top 10 tips to make your site generate more leads for you and your company.
Achieving Differentiation With Your Website
Internet Marketing is not a miracle marketing strategy ? competition still exists and you need to have a unique approach with regards to:
Link Trades That Waste Your Time
Never has competition been so difficult in the Internet world. Google and Yahoo keep indexing more and more pages, into the millions upon millions, and yet more and more people are creating super quickie links pages that are supposed to get other webmasters to want to trade links with them.
Make Your Own Brand!
There are millions and millions of websites on the Internet. You NEED to be different in some way from all of them! If you could get a visitor to your website, that means nothing. Only returning visitors must be counted. When they return the second time, "branding" starts to occur. Huge companies advertise not because they want to provide you with information about their product. They do that because they're trying to "brand" its name and image. Actually, it is the brand you are paying the money for when you buy something from "Adidas", "Nike" or "Coca-cola". People will actually be willing to pay for the brand they know, so make it as bright and memorable as possible. However, it is useful to remember that too complex logo will definitely slip out of peoples' minds.
The Web: Your Window of Opportunity
Thinking about starting up a business? The web is the way to go. Look around! More and more, people are relying on the internet as an information resource, a way to foster personal relationships, and method of purchasing goods and services.
What Business Owners MUST Know BEFORE They Commit To Having A Web Site
Q1.Why would I need a web site? A1.
What Does An Ex-Basketball Coach Know About Pulling Web Metrics?
In my previous life.....
Where?s Your Web Site?
This simple question can take on several different forms, but if you have your own web site, all are equally important. Don't worry, this isn't a sales letter, and it's well worth a read.
Streamline your Business Website with a Content Management System
I talk with so many people who have small businesses and would like to have a web presence but don't know the first thing about how to even get started. Some of the reasons I hear are:
Bring Your Visitors Back Clamoring for More! Maintain and Improve Your Web Site Weekly - Part 1
80% of your Web site is Maintenance!
Conceptualize, Build and Publish a Web site
Conceptualize, Build and Publish a Web site - What's required to get started
Guidelines for Web Page Optimization
Below, I have listed 8 simple steps that you can take to optimize your web pages. By following these, you will improve your chances of increasing your rankings:
User Interface Design: Key to Achieve Best Web Development
From early days of www, the Internet sites that are added day by day are increasing tremendously. When you will consider this pool of web, may be they are about computers, industry, entertainment, search engines, fashion, organizational or even individual, all of these sites are concerned about one major part of web development apart from the logic or programming efforts behind it is 'User Interface Design'.
Effectively Using Robots Meta Tags
The "robots" meta tag, when used properly, will tell the search engine spiders whether or not to index and follow a particular page. For the purposes of this article, we will be using the "( )" symbols to represent the "" in html coding.
How To Keep Your Website Sticky
Developing a website with content that entices visitors to return over and over again is something that takes time and effort to put together. This checklist can give you a great start on creating a popular website that entices readers to hang around on your site.