Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
There are a hundred reasons you might want to start a site. You might have a personal brand to start building, a business to advertise, or a passion you want to blog. Regardless of the reason, it’s likely that it’s going to cost you money. But it doesn’t have to become a gaping hole in your finances.
Design your own space
The visual design aspect of the site is one of the most important for building a great online brand. But it can cost a lot to pay for those resources. So instead, look into the amount of free options available. For instance, WordPress themes if you’re running a blog. Otherwise, you might be able to make use of free stock image directories. Just make sure you take your time looking for ones that have real visual appeal. Be aware of any attribution demands on them as well.
Don’t jump at the first options you see
There are some elements of your online presence you won’t be able to avoid paying for. If you want a quality site and you want to stick away from generic URLs (which you should), you need to fork out a little. However, you should carefully look at the market before you make a decision. Compare and contrast the options when choosing cheap web hosting and domain names, while being aware of your site’s needs.
Get seen for less
How well designed and optimized your site is will play a big role in your online visibility. But it’s not the only thing that matters. How you manage your reputation with outbound marketing methods like social media is certainly a factor. The more relevant social media channels you’re able to use and provide consistent, fresh content for, the better. But you don’t want to be wasting your time hopping from one window to the other constantly. Instead, you can use free social media management tools to keep track of your accounts like a business, but without the business-level costs.
Balance the budget
There aren’t only opportunities for you to minimize the amount you’re spending on your online presence. There are ways to use that presence to generate another layer of income. A lot of them revolve around marketing and affiliation deals with other businesses. The more links you provide and the more redirections you get sent their way, the better the money can be for you. To that end, you’re going to need to make sure your site has a blog where you can produce content. To keep your site’s integrity, it’s best to choose the marketing partners that have some relation to the subject your site revolves around.
Being eagle-eyed is going to make it a lot easier to cut that online budget way down. From using free resources to still get the professional branding you want to find the cheapest options for the tools you need. With the tips above, you might even be able to start making more than you spend.