Not having a sales funnel for your online course is the equivalent of setting up a lemonade stand in the middle of the desert where no one will ever find it. Sure, it may be super hot outside. Sure, your lemonade may be delicious. But if you’re not giving people a clear path to follow and that leads to your lemonade stand, they will never find it. This “build it and (hope) they will come” approach rarely translates into sales and enrolments, at least in the real world.
I won’t get into too much detail here, because we do have an entire article on how to sell your course on live webinars (see link below). But the basic premise is to invite your email subscribers to a live webinar where you will share some of your best advice upfront before presenting your course. The great thing about hosting live webinars is they allow you to spend some time educating and interacting with your prospective students (which helps them get to know, like and trust you) before you invite them to sign up for your course.
Shopify’s primary focus is ecommerce, so they are specifically geared toward building this kind of site for as little as $29 a month. There is also a ‘Lite’ plan available for only $9 a month, which allows users to add a Shopify buy button to an existing site (which can be on another platform). Importantly, the industry- standard encryption SSL certificate is included with all their sites.
WordPress (either version) is a blog-focused content management system that accepts plug-ins and themes that extend its capabilities to what most of what the other products here offer, including commerce. In fact, WordPress.com uses plug-ins such as JetPack to provide many of its features. As a whole, WordPress (either .com or .org) is not as easy to use as the other options in this roundup, but if blogging and site transferability are of key importance and you don't mind digging into its weeds a bit, you should consider the platform—especially WordPress.org. Furthermore, the ability to use WordPress is a valuable skill, as some estimates say that WordPress powers 30 percent of the internet.
Responsive design is a popular web design strategy used by some of these site builders. This approach reformats the same webpage content to fit different screens. But in terms of SEO (search engine optimization), the search engines only care about whether a site displays suitably on mobile screen sizes. Both Bing and Google have pages where you can enter your URL to see if your site plays on mobile acceptably.
The first example to look at is the email delivery service MailChimp. MailChimp allows users to sign up and use their service for free. If you have a more extensive email list or require more features, then you would join their upgraded plan. They want to make their services seem as easy as possible in an effort to be accessible to both professionals and novices. In MailChimp’s funnel, they have traffic which they get a lot of via word of mouth. Next up is a homepage that draws you in with its slogan and its iconic monkey graphic. They place their buttons strategically around their page for ease of browsing. They next utilize their pricing page and emphasize their free option. They want to get you signed up for their services so you can show everyone how easy their platform is and help them grow.
As you work with your site, the Squarespace interface offers a number of helpers, such as their logo maker, curated color palettes based on the design you’ve selected, or easy typography customizations and global font settings. You can also switch between layouts pretty easily. And when you’re ready, you can register a new domain for your site and get it launched to the world.
As you can see, there are quite a few factors to consider when choosing an easy online website builder. And you have a slew of provider choices—there are at least 20 more vendors than those included in this list. Hardly a week goes by when we don't get a pitch from a new one we've never heard of before. We've reviewed many of those, but they didn't make the cut, either because of outdated site designs, lack of site-building options, or inadequate ease-of-use. Some recent examples include 1&1 Ionos MyWebsite, PageCloud, Ucraft, and Yahoo Small Business Websites.
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There are three main ways to build a website. If you’re a beginner, by far the easiest way to build and launch a site is to use a website builder provided by your web host. If you’re at least somewhat web-savvy, you could use use WordPress or a content management system (CMS) such as Drupal or Joomla. If you are already well-versed at coding, you can start from scratch and use HTML to build the site from the ground up. Each approach has its merits and challenges:
These services can host your content on their servers free of charge, but in exchange for that zero cost, your online destination will have a less-than-elegant domain, such as jeffreylwilson.tumblr.com. That might be fine for a personal blog, but it will look too low-rent for a business that wants people to trust it enough to pay for whatever it's selling.
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