Building websites to sell, is something you might want to do for several reasons. Maybe your budget prevents you from buying an existing website. Or maybe you have an idea, product, or service you are creating that is brand new. Whatever the reason may be, when it comes to the topic of how do I actually build a website, you must first determine what type of site you are going to build.
There are 4 main types:
Building Product Websites to Sell
Have you made or invented something you are looking to sell? Do you provide a service like photography, web design, or coding? The “product” can be an item you sell or even you yourself (your expertise for a given topic). In either case you are building a product website.
Now product websites seem simple on the surface, but they are perhaps the most challenging when it comes to actually building them. It is not so much that the actual building of the website is hard, it has more to do with creating the mission and vision of the project.
What will your website look like? Do you like a lot of colors or a more minimalist approach? Are you going to actually sell items through the website or will people contact you directly? If you are going to sell items through your site, what payment processor should you use? The list goes on and on.
It’s not to say you don’t have to consider these things when building other types of websites, but since a product selling website is oriented around a unique product or brand, often times this type of website can present the most front-end questions you must know the answer to before beginning the design process.
On the flip side though, if the site is just a personal work portfolio or blog, this process can be fairly straightforward (unless you’re like me and can’t make up your mind about design elements). So as the name suggests, product websites are centered around produced items or professional services.
These types of sites can be some of the most profitable but can be difficult to resell if the product/service is centered around you. If it’s a product that someone else can take over and update the value of the site is much greater than if the product has a limited life or you are needed for updates and changes.
Building Affiliate Websites to Sell
Affiliate sites are can be easy to create, but most designers make them complicated when they don’t need to be. The thing to remember when building affiliate sites is minimal distractions and a clear call-to-action. Nothing else matters (not even design).
Now before you get up in arms and tell me I’m wrong, let me prove it to you by sharing an example. Sometime in 2006, one of our friends just started learning html and was promoting several different VOIP offers (companies like Vonage).
He had started to have some real success promoting them via PPC, so he decided to take what at the time were very, very basic design skills and put a site together. This is what the first site looked like:
Interestingly enough, this site converted like crazy! He had many solid 4-figure days just promoting VOIP offers just through this little work of art. It goes to show that when building affiliate sites, laser targeting your visitor on one or two things – the products you ultimately want them to go buy – is the name of the game.
Thankfully, a lot has changed since 2006, and in 2012 there are several other design options. Just remember with affiliate marketing that design is not the primary focus.
In the Premium membership program, we’ll not only explain affiliate sites more in depth, we’ll show you actual examples and provide complete training on setting up the sites.
Building Membership Websites to Sell
If you want to start a membership site, then there are several things you must consider. There are 5 main types of Membership Websites, and while we cover all 5 in the membership program, we want to spend this time talking about one that is probably the most popular: Content-Based Membership Websites.
With content-based membership sites, you are taking material you’ve produced like training or how-to videos, compiling it in one location, protecting it with a membership script, then charging people for access. A perfect example would be our very own Buying & Selling Websites Membership Program.
Successful content-based membership sites answer yes to two key questions:
1) Is the target market large?
2) Is the training or information not easily found online?
Using BASW as the example, this site was created based on the real-life experience of two internet entrepreneurs. There is website after website that talks about building websites and making money online, but there is no one with our individual stories.
With our combined real-life experience we had over 20 years of marketing online, millions in sales through our sites, an extensive knowledge of ppc, seo and scaling online businesses for sale. This material would be valuable to those either looking to start an online business, to anyone who owned a website or who wants to buy and sell websites. The market was large.
Since so much of our program is from personal experiences, case studies, and showing people the mindset they must have to be successful online, the second question is easily answered. The material is most definitely not easily found online because it is personal experience.
You have to be able to answer that question, otherwise both you and your customers will be confused and unhappy. With BASW, this was easy. The goal was to teach people things that would not just work in 2012, but in 2024 and beyond. The focus is online, but the business fundamentals taught along the way (tax strategies for example) help our members start thinking like a true entrepreneur whether they are doing business online or off.
“So that sounds good for you guys, but what about me? I don’t have any experience that others would pay for.”
Maybe not, but I know you know someone who does, and this is a good transition to another important point about building website in general. Don’t try to force your training on a market. Find people looking for a market. If you don’t have the personal expertise, partner with someone who does, and create it.
Go back and read that again. Building a successful membership site is not easy. It’s nearly impossible if you go out and try to make your interest, hobby, or passion the topic of your content-based site. Use free tools like Google’s Keyword Tool or Google Trends to see what people are searching for then give it to them.
REAL LIFE EXAMPLE: A few years ago we noticed a new product on Clickbank about some game called Farmville. We had no idea what it was, who would be interested in playing it, or anything about the game, but we know there are several new membership sites selling Farmville Cheats or Farmville Secrets that are making a killing right now.
I could just have easily passed that by and thought, “Nobody is going to spend money on that,” for the simple reason that I had no intention of spending money on it. But there are people who want to spend money on it and who are spending money on it as you read this! That’s what I love about the internet and content-based membership sites specifically.
You can take this knowledge we teach you and literally enter any market by partnering with someone who knows that industry or topic. The one thing to remember is you must: 1) Research what people are looking for, 2) Determine if they’ll pay to learn about it, 3) Partner with someone or build it yourself.
In closing, I mentioned membership scripts above, and two of the most popular are Amember and Membergate. I’ve personally used Amember and love it. It is a very cost effective solution for membership websites and sufficient for most membership website needs.
Membergate is more expensive although a more google friendly format and easier to use.
Building Content Websites
We almost didn’t include this because we sort of grouped content websites with membership sites in the training program, but we wanted to at least mention this option.
This would be the last type of website we would recommend building because there is no business model behind a true content website. The only thing content sites have going for them is that if they create enough of a following (traffic) they can sell advertising or promote things as an affiliate. “If” is the key word because you will need be prepared to write a lot of unique material to get any considerable amount of traffic with which you can make money.
Unless you have a domain that gets a ton of type-in or organic traffic, we would stay away from building pure content websites unless you have a clear plan for monetization. Having said that, all the news and celebrity/gossip sites would fall under this category.
Website Building Software
Once you’ve determined the type of site you wish to create, finding the right software is next. If you know HTML (or don’t mind learning), we would hands down recommend purchasing Dreamweaver from Adobe. This is what professional web developers use to build websites, and there are some great resources, books and websites teaching HTML, CSS, and all the other 3-4 letter acronyms related to building websites. One website that we especially like for learning just about anything you need to know online is Lynda.com.
What Else Can You Teach About Building Websites In 2012?
Lots. Here are the lessons incuded in the Website Builders (Ant) Section of the Membership Site:
Picking the right domain and host.
Software used to build new websites.
Introduction to WordPress (my favorite platform to build sites and it is free).
Membership sites explained.
Membership site live examples.
Affiliate sites explained.
Affiliate site live examples (see one of my own sites).
Product sites explained.
Product site live examples.
Traffic, Traffic, Traffic.
Buying Links: The Facts, The Myths, The Truth.
Finally, learn what a few of our very own customers have to say about BASW. From all different walks of life (and from all over the world), they each share unique insights into what BASW has done for them. NEXT: Customer Reviews & Success Stories.
Like what we’ve taught you for free? Join BASW today!