Just like it takes only one lego piece to start building a castle, it takes only one night and no money to start a business. One of the ways to do this is to create a website. Here’s how:
Step 1: Make a list of competitor websites.
Practically every product and service has a website now. Google a few major competitors who are doing well and make a list of their websites. If your idea is so unique that you don’t have competitors, just look for something close enough. Also look for products/websites in a similar stage as you. For example, if your idea is a cool website that’s going to take time to build, you should be looking for other websites that are “coming soon”, but successfully building hype.
Step 2: Identify similarities and differences between the sites.
There are a few thing you should look for including but not limited to function, navigation, design, and wording.
- Function – what is the purpose of the site? Is the main function to be informative? Is is a place for people to purchase a product? Is the site itself the service/product? Does the site have a blog?
- Navigation – what are the menu items at the top? How many pages does the site consist of? How do people interact with the site?
- Design – is it a simple, modern interface? Is it packed with information? What color scheme do they use? What kind of people are they targeting with their design?
- Wording – what is the tone of voice? Casual? Professional? Automated?
Step 3: Analyze the reasoning behind these features.
By noticing the similarities and differences between the websites a few competitors, try to understand the reasoning and principles behind these features. It could be anything from company culture, target customer, to branding. Why do certain menu items exist? What kind of impression are they trying to leave on you, a visitor of the website?
Step 4: Create a blog.
Creating a blog is simple and free; there are plenty of free blog hosting websites that allow you to use a variety of easy-to-use templates. I suggest using blog.com or wordpress.com simply because I have experience using them and can help you if you get stuck. If you’ve taken your time doing Step 1-3, you should feel pretty comfortable designing a decent website using a template.
The screenshot above is from http://entertainla.blog.com, the homepage for my social marketing business.
Next Step: Socialize!