The best of both worlds — your own domain and a Weebly website for $5 a month

You can use a custom domain name with a low-cost Weebly website that costs $60 a year using the Connect plan. The first year’s domain is free from Weebly if you pay for a year’s website in advance. It's a good compromise between choosing a professional domain and taking advantage of cost savings as you start a new venture.

Your new website: How much will it cost? How long will it take?

Heeding advice from a self-guided business course I'm taking, I sent out a survey a couple of months ago to my website design clients to learn more about their preferences and concerns. One of the questions I asked was "What were you most concerned about before working with me?" The two answers given most frequently were "How much it would cost" and "How long it would take."

Creativity and focus need time and space

I read an article today about a writer who resorted to renting a cabin in the woods for two days without internet service or a cell phone to reach his goal of writing 40,000 words for his upcoming book. I won't be renting a cabin in the woods anytime soon, but I think I'll take some inspiration from this article to think about unplugging at regular intervals to give myself some quiet time to allow creativity and new ideas room to grow.

Where do your potential customers hang out online?

I use social media for my website design business to establish my expertise and promote my business, to get ideas from others in my field or related fields, and to inspire or share information with my potential or current small-business clients. For the last four or five months, I've been trying to educate myself about how best to use my time on social media to let more people know that I help small businesses create websites on Squarespace and Weebly. I have decided that my approach, given the time I have, is to do my best to post on several social media channels several times a week. I create original posts and I also share helpful posts from others in my industry. I researched where my potential customers are spending time online and now focus on posting in those locations. 

Popping your head out from time to time is good for your business

As a confirmed introvert, I've tended to favor online networking strategies rather than in-person networking events. That's why it was a stretch to go to a local Women's Business Networking event last night. Reflecting this morning on the evening, I'm really glad I donned my courage cape and took the chance at trying something new. I'm glad to be back in my den this morning, but if I hadn't popped my head out to check the weather "out there," I would have missed out on learning and networking opportunities that I couldn't have had any other way.

You're the boss, so be the boss of your time too

If you have started your own business recently, I encourage you to read this article for tips about how to understand where your time goes, so you can become more deliberate about the choices you make: "My Biggest Mistake as a Solopreneur – And What I Learned From It." After I found this helpful advice a couple of months ago, I started keeping a log of how I was spending my time on marketing and learning activities related to my website design business and also how much time I was spending on personal social media and a personal website and blog I maintain. Now I am much more deliberate about how I spend my time online and I've narrowed down my business-related social media focus to Facebook and LinkedIn and I aim for weekly blogging.