Many businesses don’t have a website; other businesses have tiny “brochure” sites. You’re a writer, so you can help these businesses to tap into the online world. When you help them to make money, you’ll make money too.
BIG TIP and ACTION step: Sign up your clients to your website updating service once you’ve completed their site.
Here’s an action plan:
1. Know Your Tools, or Collaborate With a Developer
Are you comfortable creating websites for your clients? I am; I can install WordPress, or create a basic HTML site, in my sleep. If you’re new to creating websites however, you’ll want to collaborate with a developer.
(Collaboration is an easy process. Just line up a client, and create the text content. Writers write; focus on the content — you can hire others to handle the website technology.)
To find a developer, check the Web, you should be able to find someone locally without much hassle. Alternatively, post a project on one of the outsourcing sites — Elance and oDesk are good options.
Make your choice: either DIY, or collaboration.
If you’re not sure, then wait until you have a client, you can choose then.
I’m sure you’re wondering where you’ll find clients; we’ll get to that in a moment. There’s something you need to do first.
2. Create Your Landing Page
You need to create a “landing page.” This page is an advertisement for your services. It’s called a landing page, because this is the webpage you link to from your own advertisements for your services.
Create a specific page on your website for this — don’t send people to your home page. You’re attracting people who want you to create a site, so you need a page which describes those services, and enables people to get in touch with you tout de suite.
3. Advertise Your Services
Once you’ve created your landing page (remember, it’s a specific page), it’s time to advertise your new service.
You can advertise anywhere you like, online, or offline. Yes, you can opt for free options: Craigslist is free, and so is article marketing.
For quicker results, be prepared to spend money — advertise on websites visited by small business owners and managers.
4. Entice Prospects Onto a List With a Freebie
This step is VITAL. Whether you spend money getting people to your landing page, or advertise using free options, it takes time and energy to get people to check out your services.
You need to make the most of every visitor you have, by getting them onto a mailing list, so that you can contact them again. I cover lists and much more in Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON).
Charging for your services
So, now you know what to do, I’m sure you’re wondering how much to charge.
Be aware that site design/ development is none of your concern. You charge your clients for WORDS — the text content. If you create a site yourself for a client, those fees are in addition to whatever you charge for the text. If you’re collaborating with a developer, he’ll tell you his charges, you bill the client for them separately.
BIG TIP: money up-front is a must, so make sure you get a retainer.
You can charge whatever you need to meet your financial goals. As ballpark figures, for website content, $50 per 500-word page (be aware that a web “page” can be of unlimited length) is on the low side. Reasonable rates would be upwards of $200 for a 500-word page, depending on the amount of research you need to do.
A basic website contains upwards of five pages: the home page, contact page, “about” page, privacy page, product page, etc.
OK, so there you go — another top opportunity for you to explore in 2012.
This is #5 in our list of ten; see the other opportunities here.
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