If you have looked at ways to make money on the side, there are a number of different things you can do as a side gig in addition to your part-time or day job. If you want to expand a side business, having a website is extremely important and can help drive growth.
It’s no longer feasible to run any kind of small business without a web presence. A customer goes to the Internet for just about everything. Even a simple website can give you an edge. A website is necessary to inform your audience, boost your brand recognition, explain your unique selling point, and drive sales.
Determine the Purpose of Your Website
A business website will typically serve as a space to give general information about your company or it can be a direct platform for sales. Whether you are creating an ecommerce site to sell products or a simple website that just gives the customer more information about your business, one of the most important things you need to do is say what your company does in plain terms right on your home page. You shouldn’t make customers have to guess or make this information hard to find. Think about the user experience when a customer goes through your site. The goal of your website needs to be the primary focus when you are creating it. Users need to be able to easily navigate it and the goal should be recognized as users make their way through the site.
Decide on a Domain Name
Your domain name is going to be one of the most important features of your website. This is the URL you are going to share with any of your clients, whether current or potential, and you will also promote this on social media. The name should be easy to remember and type and still be descriptive. You should steer clear of abbreviations, numbers, and acronyms to avoid any confusion for customers and still keep it short. When you have selected your domain name, you need to make sure that it’s available and purchase it.
Choose a Host
No matter how big the website is, every website needs a host. This is the server where all the data is stored. When you have a small business, hosting your own website can be too large of an expense so you will need to choose an external host. There are two different routes you can choose from. A shared web host is the cheaper option and this means you share a server with other sites. Dedicated hosting costs a lot more but it means you don’t have to compete with other sites that could slow down your site and you have your own private server. Keep in mind that free hosting sites aren’t free for the hosting company so there are other methods for compensation, such as placing ads on your website.
Build the Pages
This is where the majority of the work is going to come in to build your business website. A good website is more than just a static page. You will want to have multiple pages that are dedicated to specific aspects of your business. Each support page should keep the primary goal in mind, have a purpose, and have a call to action. There also needs to be a contact page and it’s best to include as much information as you can to make it easier for customers to contact you. On your website, be clear about what your business does. Visitors need to know what you do within seconds of landing on the website. Place calls to action. These buttons will do better when it makes sense on a product page. If you are able to, it’s best to avoid stock photos since tacky photos can turn a good site into just an average one.
Use Social Media and SEO
Social media, such as Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, can be the best and easiest way to increase your audience and reach customers. When you update your website, be sure to post about it on social media. You can take your marketing a step further and employ search engine optimization techniques, such as keywords and links, to help with search results.
While there are plenty of different ways to make money on the side, your side hustle can become a lot bigger with the right website. It may even start to turn into your full-time income.