If you're an entrepreneur, you know that the best way to grow your business is to systematize what you do so anyone can follow your directions. This systematization then allows you to move on to the next item on your business master plan so you can continue to grow.
If you own a retail jewelry store but haven't figured out how to systematize your personal daily routine then you are not an entrepreneur, you are simply a small business owner with too many daily duties.
The systematization process is one where you identify repetitive work and figure out how to assign it to someone else who can do the job just as well as you, and without supervision. You would them place you trust in that person to make sure your quality of work and desired outcome continue.
Since the dawn of the internet and search engine optimization ( SEO ) business owners have struggled with the amount of work involved with maintaining their website. The idea that a website could be set up very inexpensively "overnight" so you could sell online is very alluring. Like a fable that was somehow mistranslated, then debunked on Snopes.com, that incorrect overnight process and success got woven into the belief system of every business owner. What's even worse is that the web programming, SEO, and internet marketing communities have continued to feed into this lie just to make their own purses fatter.
Sure, everything about your website can be systematized, but that doesn't mean "free" or even "inexpensive."
Back in the early days of SEO, you could bold and italic the important words on your website as an easy way to tell Yahoo and AltaVista that those were important words to rank for. Once discovered, this technique was quickly abused by everyone until many websites looked like blotches of black ink. Later search engines didn't give as much weight to these factors and the widespread abuse eventually abated.
Google caused another issue with their concept of PageRank, which is based on getting links from other pages on the internet. The original idea behind "getting links" is that, if you like a website, you would link to it from your website. Actually, before search engines existed, the "World Wide Web" was created by one website linking to another.
Reciprocal linking strategies developed when business owners would put a link to your website on theirs in exchange for the same on link on your site. This reciprocal linking took time and could not be systematized.
What Google didn't realize when they created PageRank was that they opened the door for a major internet business model where 1 person could register thousands of random domain names and create a massive database of businesses. A single low fee could be paid to have your website listed on all those sites at one time. This created a simple systematization of link building.
Eventually Google fought back and now that type of linking strategy is dead.
Google also says they like it when people write new blog posts or online articles and link to your website from random sentences within those articles. This eventually led to another major internet business model that got abused. People were writing very low quality, "fluff" type articles just to build links. It's easy to hire writers for $1 for a 300 word article if you really don't care about the quality. You could buy 100 articles easily and post them on various websites overnight.
These "fluff" articles created links, but are usually confusing to read since many are written by non-native English writers. Eventually Google put a stop to this systematized process too.
It seems like any time the internet community figures out how to systematize an internet marketing process, Google, Bing, and even Facebook figure out how to shut it down. Internet marketing people are always looking for the next short cut, the next way to systematize a tedious labor intensive process so it can become profitable.
Sadly this all goes back to the misconception that you can set up a profitable website overnight and for little money. It's not true at all. Every short cut to gain online popularity eventually ends in disaster for your business.
Disaster happens when you build your business around the traffic coming to your website, but then that traffic suddenly disappears.
So then how is it that you can create a profitable website and not put your own blood, sweat, and tears into it?
The answer is to either hire a good staff to do it, or you can hire a good agency.
The agencies I'm talking about won't be cheap. If price is all you're concerned about then I suggest you just give up on your website now. A good agency will be less expensive than hiring a full time employee, but not dirt cheap. Assuming a proficient in-house internet specialist will cost $75,000 per year, you should be able to hire an agency for about $45,000 that will be able to correctly handle a variety of different website and internet marketing related tasks.
Forget the $69 per month blog writing company that creates a special blog website for you with links back to your website. That's poisonous for your business.
Forget the $300 per month Facebook marketing company. That's a complete waste of money.
Forget the $75 onetime fee for link building unless you feel like eventually deleting your website and starting over with a new domain name.
Forget any online marketing idea that you might have which includes the words "rapid," "easy," or "scalable" because Google will eventually figure it out and zap you.
Forget the idea of setting up a website today and forgetting about it for a few years. That's akin to setting up a retail store and never unlocking the door or turning the lights on.
The only way to build a successful website is through long term commitment, listening to what your customers want, and giving your customers what they are looking for--which could be the best product or the best service.
If you're still in the market for the cheapest website after reading then, then I obviously didn't get my point across with this Nugget because you are either going to overwork yourself trying to do it all yourself, or the cheap .