This post is going to cover a little bit of something more important that just the nuts and bolts of actually performing that action of creating a home page.
I’m sure you all know (at some level) the importance of creating a website an online marketing structure for your business. That’s why you’re here. Between the hilariously low cost, lack of an barriers to entry, and the potential upside (unlimited) there is no reason not to.
And yet you haven’t.
This is something that held me back from creating my work-from -home business for YEARS. at first, I was obsessed with creating the Tim Ferriss 4 hour work week style business…the set it and forget it style product-only business that would let me party 7 nights a week and make tons of dough.
Then I went on to denial after those businesses failed. I decided that work from home was still a pipe dream, and that there was no way that anyone could possibly make a work from home business work, especially with a kid at home, and especially with all sorts of distractions and issues. It could never work. My wife was less than enthusiastic about the idea of adding another moving part into our lives as well, as we were balancing jobs, a daughter, and a new home that needed repairs and constant maintenance.
But instead, I just did it.
I decided that there is no way of guessing if something like this will work or not. There is no way of envisioning the outcome of something unless you try it first. However, I have spent my life working on these assumptions that are ingrained into our minds. And here’s how I did it.
How many times as a young lad or lass look did you across the room at the woman that you were crushing on, and say to yourself “no way, (s)he would ever be interested in me”? Probably too many to count. I know I did it. Eventually into college you may be gained some confidence (thanks to that ol’ liquid courage that gets passed around at most institutions of higher learning) and actually talked to some of these fine people that you were unreasonably afraid of before…and what happened?
some of them probably said get lost, but quite a few more probably were actually pleased to see your interest. Sure, they might not have turned out to be your soulmate, but it was a generally a nice conversation nonetheless.
When I realized this, I noticed that there was an easy way to “trick” your brain into deciding whether or not doing something was worthwhile or not…especially things that you may be afraid of doing. I call it the “Worst That Can Happen” Equation (WTCH)
so, the WTCH equation is pretty simple. Let’s say that there’s a GORGEOUS girl, sitting across the bar from you and you want to go say hello. So as any self-respecting man I’ll go ahead and do some math before heading over there…right?
So here’s what we do. The WORST thing that can happen, literally the worst thing, is that she ignores you. Now if you look at your situation, you’ll notice that that is exactly what she’s doing right now. So you are actually losing out on something by not going and giving it a shot.
See how simple that was?
Now let’s get into building a home page for your business, and use our WTCH equation first.
The worst thing that can happen when building a home page:
Now with this, there are actual costs: and here they are
Bluehost hosting: ($9 a month)
Domain name purchase (single charge of $1- $10)
A few hours of your time (bill yourself out to your own company and see what this will cost)
So you have a total cost of somewhere between $40 and $500 depending on how valuable your billed out time is, and if you’re actually going to forego any work (BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF HERE)
Now, how many clients do you need to land from this page to make your money back? One? Half of one?
Probably not many.
How many times have you frivolously spent a similar amount of money (and time) in the past year? how about in the past month?
How much have you spent on other marketing tactics in the past year? what was their ROI? what was their “break even” point? (how many clients did you need to bring in to break even on the marketing?)
And now for the big one: How many hours have you spent in the last week chasing business?and how much more work could you get done if your business came to you online instead?
What’s the Worst That Could Happen?
Now let’s get started.
- Buy a domain and setup hosting through bluehost. Go to (afflink) and setup bluehost. This is an affiliate link that will give you a discount on bluehost services, so use this link to save 10%. PROTIP: DO NOT type in the domain you want until you are completely ready to buy. Every domain registry is trolled by bots that love to auto buy domains that people click away from, and then email you later offering the domain at a “great deal” of $1,000 to $10,000 or more. Don’t fall into this trap.
- Use Bluehost’s specialized wordpress install system to install wordpress. For those of you who have built websites before, you may remember that the hardest part in the olden days was setting up domains, and then connecting databases and such and getting everything to jive. Bluehost does it all for you. Also, if you’re having a hard time getting setup, they have customer service reps available 24/7 to help you get off the ground ASAP. Very simple.
- Choose your theme from the multitude of free themes in wordpress. Go to the appearance menu (screenshot) Then go to Themes. From here you’ll see a button that says “add new” click here and select a new theme that suits you best. For the sake of this how-to, we’ll be looking for a simple, single page theme. “Welcome Mat” by appsumo is a really good solution for this, and it will act as a “placeholder” for your site until you build out a full site with a blog, FAQs, and all the other goodies that will help you rank in the search engines.
- If you want to use Welcome mat: Go to the plugins tab (screenshot) and select “add new” Search for “sumome” and install the plugin that looks like this (screenshot)
- Install the “Welcome mat” app inside of the sumome plugin Create a username and password for sumome, then install the free Welcome Mat Plugin.
- Plug and chug. From here, all that you need to do is fill in the blanks with a company name, tagline, an offer, and some contact information. some of the places you’ll need to look to make sure everything is filled out is:
- Appearance: Go in here to set the tagline for your site, the site name, change theme colors and views, and setup the general look of your page.
- Plugins: if you’re using a regular theme for your site, then you probably will need a plugin to setup a home page if you’re following this guide. For this, I use the MailMunch plugin first, as its free, and allows connection with Mailchimp, which is a great way to collect emails (see: leads) and start building your list.
- Pages: Go here to edit the information on your home page. Simply click on the text box in the middle of your screen and then select the “visual” tab to look at things at they will (pretty much) be on your live site. Here is where you can put your company’s value proposition, your offer to drum up leads, and the Mailmunch email capture box.
- Posts: If you’re going to build a site with multiple pages in one go, be sure to go here to write a quick Bio of your company or you, or a FAQ.
- Now to make the single page. If you’re using Sumome, head over to Appsumo.com and follow their walk through (https://appsumo.wistia.com/medias/md7jts696u) on how to do it using their system. If not, Here are some themes I recommend to use to create this simple one page monster. Just search these names in the “Add Theme” Section of WordPress.
- Single Page
- Fullscreen Lite
- Create a “Landing Page” in the pages section. Go to pages and click on New. save the page as your company name, as this is what will show up when you navigate to the page in the op menu. (WARNING: get a feel for how the above themes work before you do this, they may already have a feature setup to create this static page once they’re installed. read through the information on the theme before proceeding)
- Set your theme to a “static page” from the theme options menu. This will make this page the main page that people see when they go to your URL.
- Add a custom picture to your page . If you don’t already have some pictures of you or your company at work that you can use, www.allthefreestock.com has a lot of great photos you can use without any fear of copyright infringement. Grab some nice photos and use them to spruce up the page.
- Add your mailmunch box. follow the instructions in the mailmunch plugin (under the plugins section of your wordpress) and set up your mailmunch. To do so you’ll need to create a free mailchimp account over at www.mailchimp.com.
- Create a sweet offer to get people to give up the emails. type in a google search that you imagine your potential customers using, and see what comes up, navigate to those pages and take a look at the special offer they’re using to get emails and leads. Once you find one that suits your company, copy the idea, or modify it to make it special to your company. BOOM, you’ve created a tried and tested offer.
- Test it. Logout of wordpress, and navigate to your new site. type an email address into the mailmunch box, and see if it comes out the other side (in your mailchimp account) Did it work? great!
- Share it. Now that it’s created, follow these steps to get the word out, and to start getting leads.
- Take a picture of yourself hard at work at your company. You can decide how it looks, but make it interesting.
- Use that picture to make a social media post. Bonus points if you create a buffer account too (www.buffer.com) Go ahead and create a facebook post that reads something along the lines of “hey everyone, my company X is giving away Y as a special promotion just for being a part of our mailing list, sign up here www.mysite.com) Send that thing out.
- Ask your friends and colleagues to share it as well. Now get on that face space or twitter tube and start asking buddies to share the promotion too. Your good friends should have no issue doing so, since it’s a great deal anyway. And all of a sudden BOOM, you have new leads, and it cost you $40 in setup, and some of your time. Now get to work converting those leads into paying clients.