Many folks are surprised when they find out that I do most of the design work on my web sites and have been doing so since I started my business in 1998.
You may think that doing your own design is a waste of time and that it is better to outsource it all. And sure, I have outsourced some of my design work, particularly the ebook covers. But I personally find it frustrating to wait for site and logo designers.
Sometimes you fork out $199 for a logo or header graphic which ends up looking like a 2 year-old could have done a better job; or, you hire the same designer that everyone and his brother in the niche uses, and your design ends up looking like the ‘same old, same old' with only color and text variations.
So, I don't wait for designers… especially when I can do a good job myself in 10 minutes to an hour. Not to mention that it's fun! For me, it's a break from the ‘work' of writing. 🙂
What's ‘fun' for me however, is a a DAUNTING prospect for others. For newbies especially, designing or building their own website may seem absolutely impossible..
Quite frankly, however, I think it is a far worse prospect for your business when you let someone else have control over every aspect of your site. Too often the webmasters I talk to have been ‘working on their sites' for six months to a year and more, and they still don't have a clue how to FTP a page to the server, let alone insert a table into an HTML page.
As far as I'm concerned, that's like making your auto mechanic responsible for making sure that there is gas in your car and air in your tires.
For example, one webmaster, with whom I spoke recently, spent a THOUSAND Aussie dollars, (about $780 US) to a company for initial hosting and design work. All she got was … a template to choose from, and was SEVERELY RESTRICTED as to what she could actually do with the site. They also charged her an additional $40AU per month for hosting. She wasn't allowed to FTP in or off the server. Worst of all, the company had a prominent link to their site at the bottom of every one of her pages, and she wasn't allowed to remove it! SHEESH!
It's no surprise that webmasters who relinquish control to that degree don't see a lot of success with their web sites. They never learn the ‘language' of design, so they have difficulty communicating what they want done and then the work takes 10 to 20 times longer to complete.
Some new webmasters and affiliate marketers are so afraid of making mistakes with their sites that they don't want to ‘touch' their sites at all!
If that describes the stage you're at – Relax!
So what if you make a mistake? We've ALL made mistakes. Test things out. If something doesn't work, do it again, or get help. There's absolutely NOTHING to be afraid of. It is all do-able.
Trust me on this one. When you take time to learn how to do a little HTML, create a simple header graphic, insert that header image and an email capture form into that page and then send the whole thing to your server via FTP, you will be LIGHT years ahead of where you're at now.
You'll no longer be reliant on some webmaster or designer who doesn't respond for 48 hours, and you won't be paying him large sums of money for that kind of ‘service' either.
So here's the plan…Just do it!
If you don't have an FTP client yet, download Filezilla from Sourceforge and play with it. Sourceforge provides all the documentation you'll need and also offers a support forum.
If you have a blog, but haven't installed an autoresponder (absolutely ESSENTIAL element!) installed yet, head over to Aweber, get signed up and read the instructions or watch the videos. It's really easy to do, just a simple matter of cut and pasting the code that Aweber provides. But if you have problems figuring out how to set up your autoresponder series or how to send a broadcast message, ask questions and keep working through each issue until you do understand. The guys at Aweber are really friendly and won't bite.
Stop getting taken for a ride where it comes to your web site! Put yourself in the driver's seat by learning the webmastering basics discussed above – basic page construction, simple graphic design, email capture form installation and file transfer via FTP.
Once you have control over your site, you'll feel PROUD of your accomplishment and be ready to tackle more complex tasks – like how to invest your affiliate earnings. 🙂