- For Fresh Graduates/Jobseekers
- For Sole Traders
- Work from Home
Do I need a website?
So what is the role of websites in today’s world? For sure you yourself have an answer to that question. Yes, websites are today’s Yellow Pages, the modern folder of individuals and businesses alike. Only difference is, websites are much more attractive and its functions to execution is just limitless. Websites used to be limited to the big guys, but thanks to modern times, everyone can own one just like any commodity is just how you use it to your advantage that differs from any other website owner. Website benefits individuals like you and me in countless ways.
Its amazing how you can learn about a person’s skill set and even bits about his/her personal life just through scanning websites. And who can deny the ease of shopping online and booking a holiday just in one sitting? Yes, power of websites it is.
I assume you wouldn’t care reading this article if you are not considering the thought of owning a website. If you are an individual or a business, or just anybody who wants to grab the promising opportunities that the online world can offer, then I suggest you carry on reading.
Just as mentioned in my previous article- Why owning a website is a good investment, the online world is for everybody and it won’t stop welcoming whoever wants to venture with it. After all, the world wide web is created and given as a gift to us all by sir Tim Berners-Lee; it is given to the world for free and our only job is to find out how this huge endless powerful tool can help us with our own lives and dreams.
So on to the big question, do you need a website? This blog is about “Do I need a website” because I tell you, the only person who can answer this question is you yourself. As someone who makes website for a living, of course I can say all things possible just to convince you to go for one but at the end of the day, you yourself should decide on this yourself. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you would have more firm inclination to either yes or no.
For Fresh Graduates/Jobseekers
Question: I just graduated from university/college and I want to start working, Do i need a website?
Answer: Yes, you may want a website.
It’s not really a priority; but if you want the best future, the best career, it is all worth it. Having your own website that showcases your skill set will bump you on top of the game. We are all aware of the unemployment matters that the young population of today faces. Even if you are lucky to land a job, still, a website will be a lifelong investment you can grow.
Take for example, if you happen to finish a course in nursing, I’m sure you would instantly say you don’t need a website since you can easily land a job with the shortage NHS is experiencing today. True enough and I respect your opinion but if you are someone who’s adventurous, ambitious or simply someone who loves to try out new things, then a website can help you widen your horizons.
Gone are the days when we are limited to writing personal resume or what we know more as curriculum vitae (CV). Today, CVs are still used but take note, hiring is getting more modern as well. Companies and agencies do screening and staff hunting online more and more.
There are growing number of employers searching for staff online and I guarantee you that owning your own website, with your own name in your domain gives you an edge that others don’t. Do a little test, type your full name in any search engine, do you like what you see? If not, then it’s time to do something about it! Having the knowledge, skills and the right attitude/personality is one thing but showcasing this online is another.
At this point a website is not really a priority considering finances and the time you are willing to devote to it but having a website definitely gives you an advantage and the earlier you own one, the better!
Grow your online presence the right way.
1. Start by joining social media sites and professional networks and maintaining your profile properly.
You already have a Facebook or Twitter account? Good for you! What I can suggest you is to carefully go through your own profile and ask yourself, if I am a potential employer, would I be happy to see these things? Consider adjusting your privacy settings, wisely choosing what you share, carefully picking which friend requests to approve, and just generally keeping a professional demeanor online. Of course you may say its your own profile and you can do whatever you wish but keep into consideration what you want the world to see and how these things can define you as a person.
Be patient and take time creating your profiles especially in professional networks or more business oriented sites such as Google Plus and Linkedin. Show your passion and dedication to your chosen career path by displaying interests in your profile and following influential people in that particular industry. You will learn things from them and someday people will start following you back if you show persistence!
2. Save up and finally have your own website.
So why not try investing on a website from professional designers? You can just sit back, share how you want things to be done and everything will come to life. Basic personal website can cost from £50-£3,000 believe it or not! All depends on the provider and what you need exactly. Of course if you are starting out, I’d suggest go for the lower half of the range but please don’t go for cheapest choices as much as possible unless you are 100% confident of your provider’s capabilities.
If interested, I can even give you a free personal quote without commitment. Just drop us a message.
You can start saving as little as £10 pounds a day or any amount you wish with everyday savings that most banks offer nowadays which allows you to even earn interests and best thing is, you can easily do it through your mobile phone. You can also go simpler by just having your own coin bank, the classic piggy bank approach. Or perhaps, get a website as a birthday present or Christmas gift for a change, what do you think As a job seeker, would you rather save for a weekend trip or invest in a website which will help you extend your experience and opportunities? Your choice. Think about it.
3. Build a website that truly represents you.
Be sure your website will effectively encapsulate everything about you. Remember that this website is yours and you should make sure that everything about it translates what you are as a person. A feel of professionalism and shades of your personality would be perfect.
Make sure your website will clearly show what you do, what you are looking for in terms of career, your unique traits, and as mentioned earlier, a splash of the real you. Always remember, nothing too fancy, no distractions… Be careful of picking colors, fonts, and images to display and all other elements you are intending to add. Most important is your choice of words; take your time in composing content. Do not over analyze what you write, be truthful, and just be you. People admire genuine people; its not bad to show vulnerability but its not also wise to beg too much. A balance between being humble and displaying strength is just what you need to show. A character of weakness is not at all desirable so as being show off and having an attitude that stinks.
Tips for creating a Personal Professional Website:
- Link all the social pages you have created previously.
- Choose a theme. Stick with your colors and choose fonts with personality that relates to you.
- Make sure you have a welcoming page that briefly summarizes everything about you.
- Provide necessary references or just a page purely intended for what other people can say about you. Screen posts and comments first to avoid unnecessary spams or some nasty jokes and rants.
- Only include photos that you’re comfortable sharing online, choose wisely and remember to caption these photos appropriately.
- Display something interesting about you such as being an animal lover, sociable, involved in charities, family oriented, etc. as opposed to giving generic pool of hobbies just like everyone else does.
- Good balance between work and play does the trick; too much gimmicks is not good so as a stiff, dull website.
- Make sure you clearly state how people can contact you. A contact form is perfect but if you are happy to give your address, mobile number and email, you are welcome to do so. Just make sure you have personal and business contacts separated.
You should not rely everything solely on your web designer, after all, this website is all about you. The job of the web designer is to create your vision so your role in this project is even more important whoever you are working with. Get your website plan and vision ready before deciding to contact a web designer, sometimes being in the moment confuses most of the people which tends to produce unsatisfactory results.
Whether you decide on getting a free or paid website, remember that the most important thing is to devote enough time and put your heart into making it. Your website is your online presence, your avatar, your pass to the internet world. Its a lifelong investment which you can improve and jot down your progress in life like a journal. With a website, you sure would win good points when it comes to your reputation online and you can effectively exhibit 80% of yourself in just 5 minutes or less by just looking at your website. Selling yourself online is taken cared of by your website, now the next thing is impressing your prospects in other avenues of the real world.
For Sole Traders
Question: I run my own business on my own, Do i need a website?
Answer: Yes, you definitely need a website.
It was reported last year 2014, that sole traders are driving business growth here in UK. According to Business Population Statistics report, 197, 000 out of the 330, 000 new businesses that opened early last year all come from the sole trader section. This is a very positive thing for the country as many more driven individuals like you and me are finally wanting to do more than the 9:00-17:00 regular job and do something we are more interested about and would give more flexibility in our lives. But the question is, how do we keep up with the rapidly increasing number of competition? We all know for a fact that being a sole trader is not as easy as it looks. Yes, more and more people are opting for this option but only few truly succeeds and makes it big. The reason? Online intervention aside from other basic business attitudes namely determination, persistence, and hard work.
Extend your target clients from local, to global, to everyone’s door steps by having your own website. Website is a business itself and if you have started your business in your own living room like us, the online approach is a good way to boost leads, sales and increase awareness of what you offer. Gone are the days of putting signboards like the typical shops; today, we don’t even notice but the greatest sole trader businesses are behind even the most regular looking homes. Their secret? Effective utilization of the many online strategies. No matter how small a business is, who says that we can’t aim big? Remember that the higher the goal you aim for, the more likely impressive results you achieve in the end. Having your own website says a lot about you and your business.
Sole trader’s online essentials:
- Social Media Pages
- Business Directory Listings
- Advertising Campaign
- Other Marketing Options
Hiking your business to the online level or simply starting fresh through the internet is not easy at first. Initial efforts should be significant enough to help boost your business and give a strong bold statement the moment you are trying to introduce the business and what you can offer to the public.
Other people may say having a Facebook and/or Twitter page is enough to keep the business going but we all know that having a website with your brand and name on it helps establish trust and credibility to the clients. Think like a customer; would you rather buy from someone who posts his/her products in Facebook or buy from a trusted company who’s able to re-direct you to their own website with proper terms and conditions, secured payment system, multiple contact options and enough details about themselves? For me, I respect sole traders who find time and invest their own money and effort to create their own websites. I have nothing against those who start through social media but let’s be honest, people who are willing to invest on a website for the convenience of their clients really mean business.
How about freelancing or selling your stuff in online market places like Amazon and eBay? Good question. These are very good places to start but mind you, if you want to expand, then a website is a better choice. Joining these websites surely offers you advantages but just remember that they are made for commercial purposes meaning you have to pay your fees in order to operate under their website. Also, you have certain limitations and rules to keep in mind. You also have to consider the fact that you will have to compete will hundreds, thousands, and even millions of other freelancers or sellers offering the same services or products that you have. With your own website, you can do it completely your way without any limitations. You don’t have to compete and pitch to potential clients alongside other offers. You can surely promote your products and services through these freelancing websites and online selling sites but it is still advisable to have your own website ready as somewhere you can refer your clients to where they can see everything about you and what you can bring to the table presented in the way you want.
All the online essentials for sole traders listed above can be delivered by online service providers like us (Magin Web Design) but if you have time to experiment and have knowledge about this things, you can definitely try to do it yourself.
Start with social pages; you have many choices as you know. As much as possible, keep a personal profile and create a business page separately. Follow people related to your business, join groups who you think can benefit from what you offer, and regularly share updates, promos and anything interesting going on with the business. Facebook Groups, Twitter Lists and Google Plus Communities are great places to start.
Be listed and verified online with the many business directories available. Directories are lists that people are more likely to use aside from search engines. Also, find relevant sole trader websites relevant for your category. Be found online by listing in every possible credible business directories you can find. Being listed also gives a sense of trust and credibility for you considering not everyone can be verified by some of the biggest directories. It is one way to drive traffic to your website and gives you more back-links and chance to be found online. Not to waste the opportunity to showcase what you offer through these mediums, make sure that all the sections required for by the directories are filled up up to detail. These directories can also offer you leads and advertising options that may suit your needs. You may get a phone call or email from these directories which verifies your authenticity as a business, and some may pitch you other services that they can offer just be wary of scams that just want your details off you.
Regarding advertising campaigns and marketing options, these things are more of the serious stuff that needs time in planning and a strategy that will work long-term to your favor. If you want to try it our yourself, you can start with posting advertisements to sites such as Gumtree (and other advertising sites mentioned earlier), Google Ad-words and Social Media promotions such as Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads. If you have established your social networking sites, it’s wise to choose advertisement promotions that these particular platforms offer. If you prefer online advertisement outside social media, then go for it. If you want to aim big, Ad-words is for you though this requires wisely picking keywords that will help you get more exposure plus Ad words campaigns usually costs more than the other options but also offers greater audience if used correctly.
Whichever way you want to start online, one thing is for sure, having a website will tremendously be an advantage for you. Wherever you try to promote your business online, you can always ask people to refer to your own website for them to truly understand your vision, your story.
As a sole trader myself, the usual challenge I encounter when it comes to business is the initial contact with clients; as any other human being, they need reassurance that I can deliver what I promise and that I’m not close to anything like a person who will run away with their cash or someone with a fake identity. In order to address these things, one of the best solutions is to build your own recognition online with the above mentioned suggestions. Own a quality website that best represents you and start interacting with people online, start building your community and surely, it will slowly increase your exposure and hike up your credibility as well.
Work from Home
Question: I want to work at home, do I need a website?
Answer: Yes! Websites offer a LOT of money making opportunities.
Yes again you can say you don’t need a website because you can use Facebook, Twitter, freelancing site or online places. I have nothing against these great websites where you can certainly make some money but do you know that there are way too many other ways to make money at home, online with your own website?
Not so good with computers huh? Not to worry! Just like any other skill in life, using computers and navigating the online world is something that anyone can learn. You just need patience, desire to learn and most of all, the determination to make things happen. With a website, you can conveniently be your own boss and earn doing what you love to do, in the most comfortable working environment of your choice, manage your own time and simply get the fulfillment of growing your own empire.
This option is truly great for people who enjoy exploring the online world, for mums and dads, for people who wants to earn extra cash, for anyone who wants to try getting a piece of the huge pie that the internet offers. More and more millionaires are made online and it’s just a matter of time for you to be one of them! What are you waiting for?!
Create websites that make money:
- Sell your products
- Offer services
- Create your own blog
- Promote other people’s products
- Make your own classifieds
- Share your interesting content; media website
- Start a forum
- Provide a lead generation website
- Build a membership site
- Generate money for a cause; charity website
- 12, 13, 14, 15 and many more!
Now I can discuss each and every choices that we have here but for now, I won’t. Why? Its not selfishness… Just like what we always hear, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. I personally challenge you to find out what these websites are all about in that way, you would truly learn and appreciate it on your own efforts. My husband and I are both self starter when it comes to online money making. We used to both have day jobs and had sleepless nights finding the perfect method for us to make money. Learning a technique yourself will help you more since the knowledge and skills will stay with you forever.
Do any of these suggestions I give interests you? Go ahead and explore the internet and you will surely find out more about these. If they ring a bell to you and if you actually know how these things works, what are you waiting for? In making money online, time is precious… The earlier you start, the better!
What I can offer is to create a website for you, its our job and we definitely know what’s best for you for any purpose you want to have it for. We’ll support your goals not only as your webmaster but also as a friend. (Oh yes, husband and I are super friendly:)) We are also creating a website called Shopwriter which is all about online money making from the most basic tutorials, advanced articles and secrets towards internet driven financial freedom. We too are learning everyday and we’d like to share that to everyone interested.
I am strongly encouraging everyone to start your own venture towards money making online whichever way you prefer to do it. I am not offering any product for sale, just a friendly offer for our website services but that’s not really the main purpose of my proposition here. Just want to share my opinion about this and basing from our own experience, yes, you can’t get rich instantly and easily online BUT with persistence, passion and a lot of patience, anybody can hit the jackpot. I am not necessarily promising a life of luxury and success but a life of learning new things everyday, growing your own website, and a steady, slowly income that’s 100% by you and for you.
You don’t have to be an owner of a multimillion company or the CEO of a worldwide recognized brand just to own a website. Nowadays, website is one of the things business minded and self-driven people must have. My advise for you is not to underestimate what a website can truly do. Financial freedom and working like a boss all came from the online internet culture and the number of successful people that are testament to this are just growing rapidly. Why not have one for yourself? Why not!
P.S We can help you generate some ideas and suggest you some options to go for. Just ask away, we are friendly, we don’t charge for our honest advice!