Build a Web Presence without Breaking the Bank

Make Your Presence Known

You are in business for yourself.  You need a web presence.  One goes right along with the other these days.  There was a time when they did not, but today is a different day.

 I am not sure if the light came on when I read Robert Allen's Multiple Streams of Internet Income or Internet Riches by Scott Fox. I am certain, though, that reading and reviewing both of these books helped me to see the simplicity for building a web presence for any business.  In fact, each of these books helped me to see the necessity for an entrepreneur to build a web presence that would become "sticky" in tech terms.  That is to say that people would not just click and go, but that they would actually go and visit multiple pages on the site beyond the home page as well as visit beyond just clicking and moving to another site.  Stickiness deals with depth and duration,  how deep the visitor goes through your site and how long they stay on your site.

Build Your Web Presence Now!!

Build Your Presence Piece by Piece

You may not have the funds at your initial launch to build an extravagant website. It just may not be in your budget. So, unless you are solely an Internet-based business, here are some alternatives to traditional websites that allow you to build a web presence without breaking the bank or losing your shirt on design and a webmaster.

Email: Google's GMail service offers plenty of space and security. Setup is simplistic and it interfaces with other Google applications such as Google Calendar for seamless approaches to business. You can also choose from other providers such as Yahoo and Hotmail, too.

Document Sharing: You will hear many talk about this as "cloud computing," but the cloud concept is a little further out there. Sites like Slideshare and Box.net offer users the ability to "share" PDFs and PowerPoint presentations with others over the web via downloads. This is a great resource when you can't make a presentation in person, but you can send an email for the executives to review the hyperlinked image that leads to your PowerPoint slideshow with your proposal.

Videoconferencing Channels: Whether its through Skype or Tokbox, videoconferencing has gone to new heights. Evaluate the sites prior to usage and test through a trial period if necessary. There are too many options available to not be involved in videoconferencing these days. Plenty of them are free, too.

Explore through Website or Smart Computing to identify some of the best of the best when it comes to online services for your business. Also, be sure to check out CNET for countless product and software reviews. Arm yourself with information before you end up paying a web development consultant or social networking coordinator an exuberant amount of cash to do what is actually free in the first place. If you don't get it, take a class through an extension course at the local college or see what business or computer classes are available for free in your community through SCORE, SBA or someone else like your local chamber of commerce.

Your Alternatives to a Website

So you need a web presence, but you don't have the tools to build a website and your budget won't budge much further.  Do not worry.  There are some alternatives available for you.

Build Your Own Social Network Page: Use Ning or other "community platform" providers to develop an interactive web presence with Twitter and RSS feeds.  Incorporate such a presence at nearly half the cost of web hosting unless you desire a unique name where you can purchase a domain name.

Hosted Platforms: Some sites that serve as "hosted platforms" include Redroom for writers and poets, Christian Archives for churches and ministries, and some others that usually specialize by industry or audience.  You can build a following with these.

Blogging Platforms: Look around cyberspace and you will discover that numerous bloggers use their blog as their primary web presence.  Blogger and Tumbler offer some good designs and templates.  Check out WordPress for its plug-ins.

These alternatives are free or at a greater discount than actually building a website and they make maintenance a breeze.  Don't break the bank trying to get out onto the Web.

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