It wasn't until this year that I made the commitment to market myself and invest some time and money into growing Kelly Craig Design. I joined a local women's networking group. And I designed a website, www.KellyCraigDesign.com. I'm not a website designer. I do print graphics, and I can make a nice image to use ON a website, but doing a website design is not where my training is. Maybe that will be next year's project.
I used Weebly to host this site and it's been a snap. They have a ton of pre-made templates and there's no fee to start up. There are a lot of web building sites out there, just like Weebly and they're all easy to use and affordable. I went this route because I wasn't sure if I would generate enough traffic to warrant spending the money to upgrade. But in the end, I did spend a little to upgrade to add some services.
My first reason to pay a little was to get rid of the Weebly logo at the bottom and add my logo in the search bar at the top. I also decided to add this blog and people seem to be reading it. But has it been worth it? Has the hours of time I spent creating this page and maintaining it been worth the investment?
So far, I've had my business website for about two and a half months. In that amount of time, I've had 1.4K hits! In only two and a half months! And well over half of those have been "unique" visitors; people who have found me that aren't my friends on Facebook or in my network on LinkedIn. My work flow has increased by 30%. Not too bad for only 80 days of cheap marketing.
Some great sites to look at for do-it-yourselfers: Site Builder, Website Builder, Sitey, Weebly, and GoDaddy. All of these are easy to use, with lots of templates to help with quick page design, and are very affordable or even free. Again, these are for a good, basic web presence, not something high-end with lots of bells and whistles. If you want fancy, pay someone who really knows what they're doing to build it for you. Trust me on this.
So my opening question was, do YOU need a business website? I think my answer might be can you afford NOT to have one? Or, do you currently have a website, but it's out of date or looks awful? That is almost as bad as not having a website at all. With the potential for so much visibility, it is absolutely worth the investment to have one and have it look good and be functional.