As a new business owner, you need to make do with what you have. But what if you are starting from scratch? What if you don't have funds to build a website or eCommerce store? Worry not. You can build an professional website without spending a fortune by following the steps below.
1. Start with royalty-free images
While it is tempting to download and decorate your site with the best photos found on Google Images, you're better off going with shots that have been verified as royalty-free. Creative Commons can be a great resource, but it's also not without the occasional headaches.
To remedy the problem for small business owners like you, HubSpot makes hundreds of royalty free photos available to anyone willing to exchange a bit of personal information. Yes, accepting the images will land you on an email list. But that's really not so bad if you're getting value in return. Here's a high-quality sample from HubSpot's inventory:
2. Get Online
All you need to get started with a Weebly website is an email address. Sign up now and log into the advanced website builder to drag and drop text, images, video and more. Plus, you'll get up to 500 MB of storage for your site, with every bit and byte of data protected with SSL security. Once you're ready to start selling your products online, you can upgrade to an eCommerce plan for as little as $8 a month.
3. Grow your audience with marketing tools
Launching your website is just the beginning. You'll want to grow your audience by reaching outside your immediate network, and Weebly's powerful marketing tools can help. How? Start by tailoring your copy with built-in SEO. (Weebly websites are built to be found by and indexed by Google.) Next, use Weebly Promote to reach your customers and prospects via email and encourage social sharing with buttons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more in every email and every piece of content on your site. Finally, create shareable coupons and sell electronic gift cards from your online store — Weebly makes adding eCommerce as simple as dragging, dropping and customizing a few elements.
4. Publish and track
Click the publish button and you're ready to draw in visitors. But don't click too fast! First, you'll want to connect your site to Google Analytics, which is also free to use and integrate. (Learn the basics in just a few minutes.) Keep track of as much data as you can handle and read your reports at least weekly. The more you know about which pages your visitors like, the faster you'll start making money when it's time to upgrade to an eCommerce site.
The best part? Weebly scales with you, including the ability to go under the hood and change every line of code and integrate Square for a seamless selling experience. Weebly is also free to try — right now. Here's how to get started with our free website builder.