Zazziq Ebook Excerpt
Zazziq was a company that provided digital marketing support (web design, blogging, newsletters, etc.) to self-employed online businesses that worked in the metaphysical niche. Most of Zazziq’s clients were psychic readers.
Zazziq put out this book about marketing for spiritual professionals. This excerpt is the Internet Marketing chapter.
Now that you have a business plan and a goal in mind, I’d like to address an area that is my own personal specialty: Internet marketing. I personally LOVE Internet marketing, as I feel that it’s a great way for smaller businesses to get the same level of exposure as larger companies, even though the smaller companies don’t have the marketing budget of the big dogs.
Building a Website
If you tried website building years ago, you may remember it as being a lot of code and a lot of hassle! Fortunately, it’s gotten much easier! Today’s content management systems have made web design as easy as posting to Facebook!
What You Need:
To build a website, you’ll need a few critical elements. First, you’ll need a website hosting service. The cheapest way to get this is to use a shared hosting platform like BlueHost or InMotion Hosting; if your website ever gets big enough or gets enough traffic to make shared hosting a bad idea, you can upgrade to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or a dedicated server, but that’s not normally a problem in our business. I recommend InMotion Hosting with BlueHost as an alternative. I do NOT recommend GoDaddy – it is terribly unreliable and the tech support is extremely difficult. The purpose of the host is to hold all the files for your website and then display them to people who enter in your web address, and shared hosting through InMotion or BlueHost will run around $90 a year for the first year, with prices going up to $120 or so for each subsequent year (as of this writing – prices do change regularly, so check with the web host for the most recent prices).
The second thing you’ll need is a domain registration. The web host will assign your files to an IP address, but that address is a weird string of numbers that nobody can remember! The domain name is the website address that people type into their browsers. For example, if you type http://22.214.171.124 into your web browser, it’ll pull up Facebook. But you can’t tell your clients to check you out at 126.96.36.199! So the domain name registers your ownership of the domain, which gives you a website address like www.zazziq.com instead of a weird number. Domain registration normally costs $10-15 depending on your host. You may also want to pay for Domain Privacy. When a domain is registered, the registration data is publicly displayed on www.whois.com, and anybody can search for the owner of the domain. Domain Privacy (usually about $10-20 a year) masks that information so that nobody can get your home address from your domain registration.
The third thing you’ll need is a content management system. This is where the magic happens! A content management system allows you to build a website without needing to know how to code. The most popular CMS platforms are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Ruby on Rails, with WordPress being the easiest to use and most popular. All of these CMS platforms are FREE, which makes it even better! BlueHost and InMotion Hosting provide a one-click installation of WordPress for you, so you can set up your site easily.
Setting Up Your Site
Once you have the basics and you have WordPress installed, you can get creative! You’ll need at least three pages on your site: A homepage, an “About Me” page, and a “Contact” page so that clients can get in touch with you. For these pages, you’ll want to have great graphics, well-written text, and an attractive theme. Free themes and plugins can be added to your WordPress installation that allow you to dramatically change the look and feel of your site.
Some basic plugins you’ll want to activate (that come pre-packaged with most WordPress installations) include Jetpack and Akismet. Akismet helps to cut down on comment spam – those annoying comments from people on unrelated articles that are nothing but spam. Jetpack allows you to view site statistics and has some other great tools included.
In addition to these plugins, you’ll probably want an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO. These plugins help your website rank more highly on Google, Bing, and other search engines. You’ll probably also want to add a social media plugin so that you can link your website visitors to your Facebook or Twitter profiles.
Beyond the basics, you have a lot of options. If you’d like to allow your clients to schedule their appointments directly on your website, you can use a scheduler plugin like BirchPress Scheduler ($89 as of this writing) or Appointments+ ($19 as of this writing). You can add ecommerce if you’d like to sell some products on your website like charged talismans or spell kits or something like that, and I’m a big fan of WooCommerce for ecommerce.
If you’re going to get paid on your website, there are basically two different options. The first is to go through a payment gateway and have your clients go TO the payment gateway site to check out. For example, if you’re using PayPal as your payment gateway, the client could select what they want, click on “Checkout”, and then they would check out on PayPal’s site.
The second alternative is to use PayPal’s merchant services or another payment gateway provider to allow your clients to check out directly on your site. This has the advantage of being more professional, and it can give your clients a bit more security on making their payments, BUT you must use an SSL Certificate if you’re accepting payments on your site. You can usually buy a shared SSL Certificate from your website hosting company for about $100 a year (as of this writing).