Planning and Researching a Website

In recent blogs I have been focusing on finding your niche and the importance of having a passion for your chosen pathway.  Hopefully by now you will have some idea about your focus, and the next step is to begin considering domain names and the first stages in marketing your site – indeed, in the very near future I will be producing a couple of videos to help you through the domain process and how to use a hosting company.

In the meantime I thought you might be interested in the article below by Paula Wynne.  I came across the article purely by chance, but it provides a very good overview of the steps involved in planning and researching a website.  I’ve also added Paula’s book ‘Create a Successful Website’ to my Christmas present list, so I’ll let you know my thoughts on her writings in future blogs.

Prep for your new site
Before you dive off in your quest to find a website, you need to think about planning, researching and brainstorming your idea.
As you plan your shiny new website, you will understand the need to explore every avenue of your online business so that you are fully prepared. The work you do now will be reinforced along the way.
Naming Your Site
By now you’ll have an idea for your website; it could have been stewing away in your brain for many years or it may have only popped in for a visit recently and something made you pounce on it.
Before we go into planning your site, one of the first things to consider is the name. Many entrepreneurs have seen the viral effect naming can have on a business. When you go through the process of brainstorming a name, you will come up with all sorts of concoctions.
Domain Names
The most important thing about domain names is: firstly you MUST own it and secondly, find a name that you can use for viral and optimisation purposes as well. My book has a lengthy section on how to find a successful domain name. It also explains the difference between a bog standard name and a descriptive, keyword-rich domain name. And it gives you a run down on international versus country domains. Pop over to Amazon if you can’t wait to find out more!
A cool tool to brainstorm is mind mapping. Buzan’s iMindMap brainy piece of software hosts a range of features designed to make you more productive and creative in the way you think.
Mindmapping is like a giant Octopus with colourful tentacles, images and icons that allow you to add notes and links to a range of files.
When brainstorming chapters for my book, I drew up an iMindMap to generate new ideas quickly and effectively and to store them in an organised way. This can help you to plan and record spontaneous bursts of inspiration, as well as to explore promotions for your future website.
Score Goals
If you haven’t already done so, you will need to set goals and objectives. This way you can establish the exact aim of the site or your potential business ideas. You may have grand plans to sell this brilliant idea of yours for a cash bomb with an exit strategy after a number of years. You might want to manage a small and cosy family business over a long period. Maybe you need to run your online business while working a day job or alongside another business.
Whatever it is you want to do, you need to aspire to something in order to achieve it. Recognition of your aspirations and actually visualising it, will lead to achievement and result in success.
Niche describes a ‘niche’ as “a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing and having specific appeal.”
It’s really important to find your niche and now is the time to research it.
For example: you may be a photographer, so what’s niche about that? Well, maybe you specialise in underwater photography or newly born babies. If you’re a commercial photographer your niche may be shooting scenes such as factory equipment, food or rock concerts.
My Partner and I set up a niche job board that is dedicated to flexible jobs working from home, as well as home business opportunities. Take a peek at Remote Employment to see how we found a niche appeal to a specific audience.
Above all, you should only ‘niche’ it up if you love your chosen web concept and you know a lot about it. Don’t settle with a topic you’re unsure about just because you think it will make money. Do what you love the most, where your passion will ride waves and your energy will be unstoppable.
Testing The Market
Research is vital for any project, especially for an online business. There is a multitude of sites out there so you need to know exactly what you are getting into before you rush ahead, spending money on a fancy website, only to find there are several hundred already doing the same thing. Flip through Create A Successful Website to find a quick test on how to test the market and you’ll find a list of research examples.
Prepping up and setting objectives at this stage will pay off later on. Brainstorm all possible avenues of research so you get all the ‘must do’ tasks out of the way because we are now heading into some pretty exciting stuff.
Best wishes for your website!
Award-winning entrepreneur, speaker and author of ‘Create A Successful Website’, Paula Wynne offers practical workshops to help you succeed in your online business.
Want to learn more about how to create a successful website and promote it online? Claim your chance to win a workshop with Paula at: = >

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