How to launch your website on a shoestring budget
Whether you’re a professional or a business owner, your website is a huge part of your success. For many wannabe webmasters, the biggest hurdle to getting started is lack of money. On the surface, it’s easy to see why many believe starting a website would be financially draining. However, contrary to popular belief, there are ways to launch your website on a shoestring budget. Finance should never be a deterrent to getting your site up and running. Here are three tips to stretch a small business marketing budget:
Choose Cheap Hosting
One of the first decisions you’ll make when launching your website is what type of hosting you’ll need and who will host it. When you’re attempting to achieve all your goals on the cheap, it’s best to go with shared or cloud hosting, as these are the best hosting options for newbies. These options are similar, and both relatively inexpensive at around $8 monthly (or less for long-term contracts). Sure, you share a server with a handful of other sites. However, if you’re just starting out, this is the way to go. As you probably won’t have much traffic in the beginning, more advanced hosting options might be a waste of finances early on. These choices are also very low maintenance, requiring no technical know-how, which allows you to focus on other aspects of launching your website.
Get A Free Theme
There are thousands of free themes floating around for your creative use, and you should take advantage of that when working with a small budget. Your hosting platform will likely offer its own themes. If you’re opting for Managed WordPress, which is a great cheap option with an enormous amount of potential, you’re in luck: WordPress alone has a plethora of free themes to choose from. Even more, there are web designers online that give their work away for free, where you can get premium themes for next to nothing or nothing at all.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of places to find inspiration if you’re overwhelmed by the many choices on the Web. For example, this list of awesome illustrator portfolio websites would be a great start for illustrators looking to showcase their skills. Looking for minimal photography portfolio websites? That’s covered, too. A quick google search will give you a range of ideas for you get started, no matter what niche you’re in. Whether you’re launching a portfolio site or ecommerce site, there’s a free theme out there for you.
Otherwise, you can go ahead and visit ThemeForest for a entire market of themes suited for every platform. Filter your results by “Sale” or set your maximum budget requirement, and you’ll be fed with a lengthy list of results that meet your criteria.
Do Content Marketing On The Cheap
Content marketing is crucial for website owners, as it helps build SEO and also lends an air of credibility to the website. Unfortunately, many people consider content marketing to be too expensive to include in the budget. In fact, a content marketing survey report found that a whopping 65% of companies consider content marketing too costly. However, content marketing doesn’t have to be so expensive if you’re prepared to bootstrap it.
To begin, add a blog and link it from your main menu. This is free to do, and it’s a great start for webmasters with low budgets. An illustrator with a design portfolio might offer detailed insight into their work one week, and tips on how to create magazine covers in Adobe Illustrator the next. A small business owner that runs a home inspection service might write a post on how homeowners can identify issues in their septic tank. The options are endless.
You can do the writing yourself, assign the task to one of your staff members, or outsource the writing to a cheap freelancer using a platform like Fiverr, Upwork, or Blogmutt. Outsourced work can be in the range of a few bucks to upwards of $60 depending on different factors. Test out a few cheap writers for different posts and take your time finding the perfect one.
Judy Lees is a super-connector with AYC Web Solutions who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.