Do You Need a Website?
What is Your Goal?
Knowing your goals is one of the biggest determiners in whether a website is necessary or not. Are you wanting to network, brainstorm with others, share your thoughts, or promote your affiliate business (such as Scentsy, Partylite, or Avon)? If so, a Facebook page and Twitter account is more than sufficient. But if you are wanting to sell and advertise your products directly, build a readership, offer ongoing services, or show off large quantities of your work, a website is vital.
How Much Are You Willing to Invest?
Maintaining a website requires both time and money - though not as much as you may think. With high-quality DIY sites like Weebly, Wix, and GoDaddy, it is entirely possible for a novice to build their own site, rather than paying big bugs for a pro to do it. That said, depending on the reason you want the site, a professional may still be the way to go. Ask yourself how much time and money you want to invest - are you willing to pay for a professional site? Do you have the time to do it all yourself? Can you afford to hire guest writers or freelancers to update it on occasion? Consider both the financial and time commitments necessary for maintaining a website before making a final decision.
Where do you go to learn more about a business or individual?
Know Your Altermatives
In order to make an informed decision as to whether you need a website or not, you must be aware of what else is out there. If you're a foodie wanting to share recipes or a handyman offering tips, a YouTube channel may be ideal; if you're looking to get lots of hits in a short period of time, Facebook pages are a no-brainer; if you're looking for employment opportunities or potential clients, LinkedIn was made for you. Knowing what else is out there will be incredibly helpful in assessing your needs.
Weigh the Pros & Cons
- An official, central site
- A professional appearance
- Personalized options
- Ability to create a storefront, logos, etc.
- Easy advertising tool (you can add your site address to business cards, email taglines, Facebook pages, newsletters, etc.)
- Ability to monetize
- Requires investment of time and money
- A steep learning curve
- May not attract your target audience
- Can be harder to gain readership than alternatives
- Can be hard to find an available, appropriately named domain
Do Your Research
Whether you decide to pay for a professionally built website or opt to create your own Facebook page, it should be the result of doing sufficient research. Knowing your audience, knowing your goals, knowing your options, and knowing your limits is the best way to both decide your mediums and succeed in your ventures.