For stay-at-home moms, starting a blog or developing an ecommerce website can serve as a professional outlet and help cushion bank accounts. The Small Business Administration (SBA) notes that in 2011, ecommerce sales raked in around $190 billion and are growing more quickly than traditional retail sales. As an entrepreneurial mom, you’ll want to get in on the action by starting your own website. For concerns about expenditures, technical expertise and time, read the following as a beginner’s guide.

Objectives

Think of your website as your electronic business card. It should quickly convey your product or service, yet maintain your viewers’ interest long enough so that they read through your blog or content. A website expresses to potential customers that you are serious about what you do and how consumers can access your products or services. And with exceptional SEO, you can attract thousands of potential customers or viewers to your site. Imagine what an impact that could have on your sales or viewer clicks.

Costs

Whether you want to hire a pro or create a site by yourself depends on the impression you want to convey, your level of technical expertise, and your budget. The SBA also mentions options for low-cost website packages that are available. Blogger, Yahoo, Google, WordPress and several other companies will let you create an attractive site with templates, often for well under $100 to start.

Using online tutorials, you can ‘click and drag’ to add banners, images, and social media buttons (important for you bloggers). Internetproviders.com advises bloggers keep site navigation simple and downloads fast to hold viewers’ interest and make access by mobile phone users easier. The possible downside is that many of these can look pretty basic or dull. Your website design should reflect your brand and personality.

On the other hand, if you offer professional services, such as business counseling or virtual consulting, then spending more up front to hire a professional designer to create a more polished website will be well worth it. Expect to spend in the $2000 – $4000/+ range.

Time

To maintain your website, you’ll have to budget your time just like how you budget your money. If you decide to turn this job over to a Web developer or hosting company, then you can focus more on managing, growing and promoting your business, while also meeting family obligations. Once your website’s set up, you’ll still need to create and upload content, images, add-on’s, meta-tags, and other SEO essentials.

Once up and running, reserve time for website maintenance, such as adding fresh, original content or blog posts, updating new products, checking links, sharing content on social media, and maintaining other ‘housekeeping’ tasks. As a stay-at-home mom, you may need to rely on outside resources, such as professional webmasters, hosting companies or developers, to keep your site’s operations and functions in good shape while you focus your energies on branding and marketing.

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