I had an interesting email this week from a reader who asked me about website design fees. This is not my area of expertise. But this reader is a very smart guy. Why? Because he knows from my ezines, blogs and web site that I’ve been online for a few years and making a decent living from it.
He’s a rabbi who has many years experience counseling people, and in particular older people. He now has made a wise decision to start offering coaching services to people, and wants to leverage the internet to find clients, sell ebooks and other programs.
He has many questions about what to do first, where to invest his marketing dollars, and how to get set up so that everything works seamlessly and automatically. Smart guy.
While I don’t profess to have all the answers to his particular questions, I want to emphasize what’s important here. He is asking questions!
Many people just go with their gut or common sense. It goes something like this:
"I need a way to find people online. Ergo, I need a web site. Who can do a web site for me, that doesn’t cost too much? Oh, you can? Only $1000. Okay, that seems reasonable. Do it."
It’s only later on down the road when they want to start an ezine, or a blog, or sell an ebook that they realize they need more than just a web site. That’s when the web designer kicks in hourly fees.
I’ve never heard a programmer say they can’t do something. They always say they can easily set up autoresponders, gather email addresses, send out a newsletter, create a blog on your site, even create a secure payment system for sales.
I’m sorry, but here’s the real news: they can do all this, and charge you for it, and it still won’t do everything automatically. And you will be tied to their hourly fees (and schedule) forever.
Don’t make this mistake. Start out slowly, ask questions, gather information, inform yourself about the benefits of a third-party shopping cart before you even think about setting up your web site. The two go hand in hand. If you want to make money online, you can’t have one without the other.
P.S. Here’s a link to a Shopping Cart system that really rocks, and comes recommended by The Blog Squad: KickStartCart