Every Advisor should have an online presence and at the very least have a website. Some studious Advisors go a step further by creating blog. There are many resources available online on building websites and the tons of tools to make the process simplified even for those with little or website designing knowledge. In my mind the simplest approach is to use a platform called WordPress. Originally created for blogging, this platform is now the go to for professional and beginners alike. What makes WordPress unique is its ease of use and the ecosystem that’s grown around it. Which allows you to easily expand the site to include videos, podcasts, blogging or even e-commerce.
A website can be an inexpensive marketing that can really offers tremendous goodwill for your practice over the long haul. Having your own site also provides you a platform to build an online persona for your practice. Furthermore, by adding a blog you can really give your audience a feel for your personal approach to solving financial planning situations that your niche can relate to, and this helps to position you as a thought leader. Another benefit is you’re in control of the content that your prospects will see online the next time they search for you on google. Let’s face it whether its a referral, a new contact you’ve added through networking or a someone you’ve prospected cold, the first thing prospects do even before having a discussion with you is to checkout your online persona. Chance are you’d probably look them up online too. Many Advisors may already have a presence on LinkedIn, and even a bio on their firm’s corporate site, but having a website really enhances your marketing. Once you have content on a site, you can use it to build a community around your clients. If your content is meaningful and not just fluff, your clients will pass it on to their peers, which builds tremendous credibility because you are seen as a thought leader in their networks as well.
An important step in launching site is to get a good Host. I would suggest, one of the best platforms used by millions of bloggers and websites is Bluehost, why? well Bluehost is considered by many as the most reliable for WordPress sites, further I would say a majority of Blogs run on Bluehost. Their platform is quite robust with almost not down time, which is very important. The last thing you need to have a site that does not load properly or down due to your host servers. With Bluehost you won’t having to worry. The other bonus is that it is incredibly cost efficient. You could be up and running with a blog or a site from just $3.95 per month (USD), plus an added bonus when you sign up you’ll receive a free domain for 1 year, now that’s great value. One factor that bloggers really like about Bluehost is the available support, I don’t any of the other hosts out their can come close.
How to Start your Website or Blog
- Get your domain Registered
The first thing you’d want to figure out is a name for your site. It’s a good idea to keep it short if possible, also use a name that is a good reference to your practice. If you have a group then try getting the groups name for your site. You can get your site register here.
Its best to have your site registered through the host, this way when its time to renew your domain there’s no confusion.
When registering, I’ve found the 36 month plan to offer the best value here from Bluehost, it’s just good value and compared what to you’d spend to get a domain plus hosting elsewhere you’d be crazy not to use their service.
- Getting a Host for your site or blog
It just can’t be stressed enough how critical it is to setup your site from the onset with a reliable host. If you don’t it can be very expensive to move your site to another host. In the blogging community many have learnt it the hard way, the worst is losing your content. That’s why I’ve done the research here for you. If you follow the steps outlined you’ll be on your way with a great looking site in no time and will save yourself some serious headache over time as well.
Lets talk about the cost of creating and hosting a website or blog. I know there are marketing firms that focus on Advisors and charge anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000 to get an Advisor site up and running, plus you may have additional ongoing fees for maintenance or changes. What you’ll find here is that by following the instructions in this article, your cost will be substantially less, well at most about $65.40 USD per year. Yes that’s correct, you’d be crazy not to set it up or maybe too lazy!
So let’s take a look at the numbers:
- For starters you really only require the Basic package of the three offered by Bluehost. And as I said earlier if you get the 36 month package that will bring your cost down to about $3.95/mth (due in full upfront). At that price, you really don’t have an excuse for not getting your own site up. I know a lot of Advisors tend to go with the default site offered by their firm because of the typical cost constraints in getting a site built independently. If you choose the 24 month offering it will be $4.95 per month, while the 12 months basic package will put it to $5.45. That’s your decision, I can tell you that however you do it, you’ll get great value from Bluehost, and all the plans include a free domain, 24/7 support and one click WordPress installation. Keep in mind that this pricing is only available through the referrals links we’ve provided here.
- If you choose the basic plan, switching to the others are quite easy, the folks at Bluehost are great to deal with, they make the changes with no issues. During the sign up, I’d say you don’t need all the add-on so go ahead and uncheck them unless you felt it is worthwhile for your particular site.
- By the way, I should also mention why I suggested you should get the 36 months or at least the 12 month paid up package, although month to month is good, you will only get the free domain in a paid up plan. A domain registration on its own is worth about $20 per year, so that’s a great little saving to keep in mind. The other thing is that it is quite a bit more if you choose to do a month to month payment plan, rather than paid up for the whole period and way less hassle in the long run.
- So getting this site up will cost you about $47.40 USD per year on the 3 year plan or $65.40 USD for the 1 year plan. And both of these include your domain for the 1st year, additionally WordPress is included free.
Get started with Bluehost here.
Time to Create your Site or Blog
- Use this link to go straight to the Bluehost site, then select the green “Get Started Now” button.
- Select the hosting package you prefer
- Enter your preferred domain name for your site, you may have to try a few, because there may be websites with similar names already.
- Add your personal information and payment details
- Setup a password, make its one that you’ll remember but secure enough so that no one else can figure it out, because that will impact your entire website.
- Install WordPress and you’re now ready to design your site
Start building with Bluehost here
Let’s talk about WordPress for a bit
With Bluehost you do not require major technical knowledge to set-up WordPress and its Free, which is awesome. WordPress is also open source, and probably the most used blog and website platform presently, this is good because there are thousands of themes and add-ons available. Best of all it has a very simple user interface that anyone can handle fairly quickly.
Once WordPress is installed and you’ve setup a password, you’ll be asked to pick a Theme and this can be a bit overwhelming, but I would suggest you look at some of the modern single column scrolling themes with big pictures, these look great and you can add pictures of your team to personalize it. From here you select Business or Personal, and continue to customize the the site based on your preference. Keep in mind if you get stuck at anytime, simply reach out to Bluehost and they will guide you through the entire process.
If you’ve reached this point and are going ahead with creating your Advisor site or blog, congratulation, you’ll be glad once you’ve completed it.
Featured Image courtesy of Ben Kolde
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