Launching your own website can be an exciting time. Not only do you get your own little place on the web to upload content and send to your friends and family, but you have the opportunity to make money through selling products and advertising space. But before you dive in head first, check out our list of things you should think about when starting a site.
- Picking a theme
The most important thing to think about when launching a new website is the topic. If your website was built to promote your business, then you’ve already got your theme covered. If not, you’ll need to think about what sort of website you’d like to create – and your overall aims. If you want to make money from your website through affiliate marketing and ads, then choose a niche and write regular content. If you’re launching a site as a hobby, then a community-inspired website with a blog, forums and user sign ups could be an option.
- Decide on your content management system
Before you launch your website, you should decide which content management system (CMS) you want to use. WordPress and Blogger are two of the most popular choices (see a round-up of pros and cons for both here), but newer platforms such as Wix, SquareSpace and Web.com are entering the marketplace and making it easier for you to start your own site. For reasons of freedom and control, we recommend using the self-hosted version of WordPress. You may need to ask your web host to install this for you, but as soon as it’s done, the software is easy to use and incredibly customisable.
- Think of a content strategy
Your website will be pointless unless you pack it with high-quality content, so think about your strategy before you launch your website. And, if you’re launching a website for your business, content is even more important, as the benefits of content marketing for small businesses are endless. Think about what sort of content you want to appear on the pages of your website, and then look at your blog and put together a list of blog post ideas. You don’t necessarily have to blog every day or every week to boost your SEO and presence.
- Create a brand
If you’re launching a standalone website that’s not connected to a business or brand, then you’ll need to come up with your own brand. That means creating a custom template for your website, a logo, promotional graphics and social media graphics. If you don’t have expensive image editing tools like Photoshop, use free alternatives like Canva; if you don’t have the funds for a custom theme, use a website like ThemeForest for premade templates.
- Get promoting
If you don’t have the time and energy to promote your new website, then the chances are that it won’t be a success. You need to do everything in your power to get people to visit your website – so think about advertising, guest blogging, tweeting, Instagramming and even taking your website into the real world with posters, flyers and a launch event.
About the Author
Max Greene is the Managing Director of Muffin Marketing, a small business marketing agency offering content marketing, social media management and search engine optimization.