One thing that I’ve recently come to realize is that people aren’t starting their blogs and use social media for everything instead.
For sales, to get discovered, to receive contacts… matters that could be very well put on a website and would simplify its discovery over time.
There’s some good in it. This approach skips the hassles of having one.
Take site layout, for instance. It’s a big industry.
When WINTEMO was online, I made a blog post about a WordPress theme on Themeforest.net that cost a whopping $3000! In contrast, the theme on our main site, Divi by ElegantThemes came with 80+ others for more than 90% fewer. For that money alone, you’d get a pretty decent site to begin any project with the right foot.
It’s safe to assume that there’s higher price to pay to have more control and flexibility over what happens in your own estate than in someone else’s, that weights outside your wallet too. Yet, using other people’s turf to make posts or advertisements will be free of those burdens when compared to the same in a self-maintained website.
There’s also the added bonus of getting in touch with an already existing community rather than creating one from scratch.
No wonder people sell their old stuff on Facebook and not just craigslist…
While we’re at it, let’s make a short A/B test between sites and Social Networks.
Social Media and Blogs
How exactly do both relate to each other?
SEO or Marketing
Social Media Networks typically have plenty of users, don’t have any sign-up costs or require any investments, apart from paid advertisements which are completely optional.
Filling out your profile, populate your page with content related to your line of work and connect with groups and prospects comes right after creating your account. This saves time since there’s nothing else to setup. The principle should be the same in most Forums, though joining them just to promote affiliate links or products might be a quick way of being invited to leave. Nobody, including us, likes spammers.
Without a blog, you’re limited to “contribute” with your content on other people’s sites. Everything you write that has some value in it can be published on a website in order to put your name out there, even if on a smaller scale than a competitor in the same area.
Those work just as well as a website so, at first glance, it seems pointless to add a big expense in terms of time and money. But the start is the biggest wall that must be overcome and it doesn’t necessarily mean money has to be spent, especially if you’re already on a tight budget.
With that in mind, let’s go through the walls that prevent or discourage people from getting a website.
It's been done
Not having a website because somebody else already started your idea is plausible.
Imagine that two restaurants open next to each other and that one is the mirror of the other. The only thing that differs is the name. They serve the exact same menus, have the exact same ambiance, all on the same street.
And the result?
They’ll cannibalize the customer pool. It’s quite likely that people will assume either place belongs to the same manager too. None of which is good for either business, right?
Depending on who has the best analytic power – it may take some time realize what the problem is at first – the most appropriate course of action would be making different. Look at what can be different:
Build an esplanade
Practice group discounts
Create special event nights
Provide take-away services
Diversify the menu with foreign food
If one of them implements these new possibilities, it’s not hard to guess where the customers are more likely to go.
What I mean with this is that it doesn’t matter if it already exists if it can be made better. If the competitors of a niche you’re interested in are not interested in improving, you have yourself an opening that can be explored.
It takes too much time/money
As we covered in the first mistake, not investing (which doesn’t necessarily mean just money but doesn’t exclude it either) can cripple yourself out of useful services or assets that could speed up the building, the advertising or the engagement of your site.
The sooner a website is made, the quicker its purpose can be put on rails, which is the part that matters for some webmasters. Delaying its construction – procrastination – is simply laziness and unwillingness to put an effort in something important.
Again another example:
Building the structure from where you’re reading this (or the floor you are stepping on if you’re on mobile), takes time. An awful lot.
A building has to be planned, foundations laid in, rebars fixed… many complex procedures take place before a person is able to charge their cellphone battery (or manage other First World problems, wink-wink), but eventually, all that becomes possible and you can open your restaurant and make it unique in the area so people will prefer yours over to the one next to it.
It’s also part of the growing process, as a webmaster and also as a person. Trying to skip it is cheating yourself out of experiences that will help you in the future.
I’m already successful through Social Networks/Forums/other
Good. It’s a good time to expand your business then. Successful names don’t ever stop pressing forward and go from idea to idea.
No example since there’s plenty of those outside. Everyone starts somewhere and that somewhere is many times small.
What are the benefits of having a website?
Despite people normally buy liberally what they want, they feel much more comfortable buying from someone they know. That said, the reason keeping you from making a significant purchase from a complete stranger is the same motive why people won’t come to you.
Blogs are the solution for that issue. Not just for advertising but for various other reasons:
Getting the face of your business known
Receiving inbound traffic
Attain a professional outlook
Share ideals without restriction
Connecting directly with people on the same area
Besides, blogs pay for themselves if you already have an audience, so once more, they are a good investment. “Monetization” doesn’t always occur, nor does it have to be, at the financial level. It may be in the form of recognition, a post reblog, a contract, a deal… anything that might help spread the word further in your favor.
Not having a website – The Conclusion
By now, the answer must have become obvious, if you don’t have one, start here:
Then work your way up. We might update this post in the future with tutorials as well but there are already numerous resources where you can make your internet spot shine.
P.S.: I might have been a bit hard on those two spots in the previous post, but that was referring to poorly coded and formatted sites. Don’t become one of them!
Now tell us about your experiences. Are you the type of entrepreneur that forgoes the use of a website? Have you managed to succeed this way or did you decide to go for the traditional route?