I received this email inquiry out of the blue one day and since it has some good (free) info for those starting out, I decided to post it publicly.
= = = His Initial Email = = =
Subject: Re: New Website Help
My name is Thomas. I am a college student in Kansas who is trying to go to school and get my new website off the ground at the same time. My site has had great response from those who have stumbled across it, but I need a way to really get it out there. I am looking for guidance and experience.
My website is an interactive guitar lesson video database. www.yourstrum.com
I am just looking for a “Plan Of Action” I have done alot of researching, but with my limited budget, I want to know what things to do and in which order would benefit my site the most. Could you send me a quote on your services? Looking forward to hearing back. & thank you for your time.
– Thomas S.
= = = My Reply = = =
Hello Thomas and thanks for contacting me. 🙂
You’ve definitely put a lot of work into your site. I certainly didn’t find the time to do this when I was going to school — I was too lazy. 😉
‘Learning Guitar’ is a hot market right now and so are membership sites, so you’ve got some things going for you.
I think your web design is hampering your conversions though. It’s a bit too ‘red’ and cluttered looking. I know you want to show everything, but save something for the member’s area.
I would suggest checking out the competition to see what they’re doing. One in particular is http://www.guitar1000.com/ just for the look, but I wouldn’t buy his software. I did and it’s okay, but you can do more with WordPress later on.
How’d you get hooked by with a web design company in UT?
Heritage Web Design
Dave Aitken 1460 Moon River Drive Provo, UT 84604
You’ve got Page Rank and Domain Age working for you, now you really need to build links for targeting keywords and then you’ll have traffic.
So…keyword research & link building are your next steps.
There’s my free advice. 🙂
I don’t know your budget or time constraints, so here’s the break-down for you to do all this yourself.
If want links built for you, it’ll run about $20 for around 300 links from someone on the BacklinksForum. Of course, you’ll have to know what keywords to use as your anchor text, so that step is the most important.
Download the free version of SEO SpyGlass, register for the free version of KeywordSpy and Market Samurai (Mac) or Micro Niche Finder (PC). Those 3 tools combined with Google’s External Keyword Tool will help you to find keywords that are worth using in your marketing efforts.
If you want someone to either do it for you or guide you, then that’s a different story.
I personally charge $55/hr, but that’s typically for projects a little more complex than link building. If you wanted me to set things up, or provide you with the info that you’ll need to do it for yourself whenever you wanted, then that’s probably a 3-5 hour charge for me to do the kw research for you, etc., but you’d be able to run with it after that.
It’s all up to you. 🙂
Thanks for contacting me and hope to speak with you again soon.
“kreg.ertman” on Skype
= = = His Reply = = =
I appreciate your advice. I am so new to this all, when I started working on my site I thought… When It is done people will just find it! .. (wishful thinking i suppose) So it is great to get some advice. The web company in Utah is a WHOLE different story. lol This company “Heritage Web Design” Or also called “HIT” Web design. I found them while looking for a company to help me build my site, they were THE WORST company I have ever come into contact with. Overcharging for things “On Accident”, terrible customer service and support. Their Tech Team was unable to help with any problem. I heard through the grapevine that they were going down the tubes so I took my site and ran to another hosting company www.webworkz.biz (they are like a branch of Godaddy) & it has been so much better. The Utah Company has since closed their doors & are under investigation by the state of Utah for criminal charges. I know others that were still with that company and they are completely screwed. The company has now renamed themselves again and funneled all of their finances into a hosting site called www.isowebworks.com (So watch out for them!)
Anyways, I will get on the backlinks! It is refreshing to find someone you can contact directly with a question about this sort of thing. I will definitely be coming to you if I need any assistance & also recommend you to others.
& Hey, if you want to learn the guitar just make a “free Account” on www.yourstrum.com and I will go in and change your account to active for a year..
& if you don’t want it feel free to give it to someone else.. I really just want some people to start using it & if they like it maybe I will get some good word of mouth advertising!
Thanks again for your advice and feedback. – Thomas S.
= = = My Reply = = =
Thanks for the heads-up on the web company. If you don’t mind, I’d like to post it in my blog so that other people can learn and also find your site too. 😉
Thanks for the membership offer too. I don’t play, but I think I may have someone that could use it — my neighbor and oh boy, do I hope she learns soon. ha ha
One more piece of advice, unfortunately Heritage is the administrative contact on the domain registration — meaning that they have to approve anything that you do with it and therefore, you can’t switch hosting, etc. because you don’t have keys to your kingdom.
If you ever get another domain, always always make sure you’re the admin. You can put the web guys in the slot for ‘technical’. There’s also one for billing, but the admin is the most powerful — as you’ve now learned.
I’m not sure if that means that you can’t ‘get’ to your domain when it comes time to re-up as I saw that it comes due next year. So that’s something I’d be working towards instead of waiting until later when it’s about to expire and go up for auction…
If you need more help, just give me a note.
Take care in KS.