Thu 1 Feb 2007
Let me first answer the common questions:
I’m not a computer whiz. Creating a website isn’t much harder than creating a document in your word processor.
I don’t have a lot of time. Spend more time selling your products (services) and less time setting up your business using the detailed steps.
Is this really free? Yes.
Why? By giving you a free website, companies build your loyalty.
Why do professionals charge $1000s? Anyone can create an online business. Making the website look “sharp” is a job for the pros. If you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, create something functional now and improve it later.
The “catch” is that for free you won’t get your own domain name (www.MyBusiness.com) . Instead, you’ll have to have a name like: MyBusiness.googlepages.com. From a professional marketing perspective, this isn’t ideal. However, if you have no budget but want a website, then this will work wonderfully. There are a number of companies that will provide you a free website. I’ve found that that “Google Pages Creator” is the best – they don’t insert advertisements onto your website.
- Go to: pages.google.com
- Create a free Gmail account (if you don’t already have one)
- Websites are all about visual appeal. Gather images that highlight your product (or service). Make sure that the images are yours to use (either something you created, is in the public domain, or have licensed).
- Design your “Home” page. This page should answer the question, “What problem does your product (or service) solve?” Don’t clutter it with lots of details. The home page is all about getting someone interested enough to read further. Make sure that the home page has your contact information (name, address, phone, email) on it (note: you want contact info on all your webpages).
- Design your “Contact Me” page. Make it easy for someone to find you.
- Design your “About Me” page. Add a picture of you. This page should answer the question, “Why are you the best person to sell this product (or service)?” or “Why should I trust you?”.
- Design your “Store” page. This page should answer the question, “How much does it cost? What are the details? What proof do you have? How can I buy it?”
- Go to: www.paypal.com
- If you don’t already have a (business) checking account, go to your local bank to get one. Link the account to Pay Pal.
- Choose for your Paypal “payment solution” Website Payments Standard. Create Buy Now buttons and/or PayPal Shopping Cart for each product you’re selling. Insert the buttons at the proper locations on your “store” webpage.
- Get feedback from your business associates. Does the site look acceptable? Is the information on the site accurate?
The site that you create will be a full-fledged online business. People can find more information about you and your products. They can order from you online. You can gradually improve the look and feel of the website over time.