Knowing basic HTML means that you can earn extra money on web pages you create. You can sell ad space to outfits like Google AdSense and others. Just choose and copy from a template of various ad banners, then paste into any web page. They choose which similarly themed ads are displayed. You earn revenue on a per-click basis. If someone visiting your page clicks an ad, you earn money based on a percentage. This is an option to consider for popular web pages on your site that incur many visits. Speaking of Google, they offer a multitude of free software resources for web site owners to do all sorts of things like analytics, reports and more. If you own a business web site, it might be worth a look.
Knowing basic HTML will also help you create and customize social network pages like Facebook, MySpace, and others. The idea behind this is web presence. This means that the more places your product info can be found will increase web presence and potential customer awareness. You should be using social network sites to further promote your site, and why just accept their templates for your profile page when you can customize it yourself? Most will let you do this. Take advantage of the free publicity. It will only cost you a small amount of time.
Another way to promote your web site is by holding online auctions. For the most popular online auction site (you know the name), you pay an insertion (ad) fee and a percentage of the total amount IF sold. Not too bad, but don’t forget about the payment transaction fee. Online auctions bring up a whole area that requires another learning curve. We use online auctions as a means for revenue, and for promotional purposes. Although we are in a niche market, we’ve had some sales from buyers of a previous auction, looking to see what else we had on our site. I’m sure with a more popular product, these returns would increase.
Whether you decide to use this venue for revenue and/or marketing purposes, just remember the realities. Whatever your merchandise is, you will have to sell many of them at discount prices to make any real money in online auctions. That’s saying if your product is popular enough to make that many sales. Not to mention that although there are tools to make preparing and holding an auction a lot easier, it still requires effort and time. We know this from experience.
Getting on with promoting your web site, you might consider learning how to make simple promotional videos. While this is not a venture that will earn you money, it will save you money by not hiring someone to do it for you. And you don’t need professional equipment either. I have written a whole series of helpful articles and video tutorials if you’re interested in this. The main advantage of creating videos for your web site is additional promotion for whatever product you’re selling. You won’t make money from the actual video, but hopefully you’ll create enough interest for potential customers to visit your site and buy something. A video also spruces up your web site and provides interaction, interest and detailed information for the visitor.
This opens up yet another useful resource for small business web site owners, YouTube. YouTube permits you to post essentially a commercial video on their site for free. They will also let you embed the uploaded videos directly onto your site, as long as you don’t charge to watch them. The advantage is that you don’t have to use precious web space on your server for large video files. Even if you have plenty of space, you’ll have to learn how to create streaming videos, find and encode a software player into your site to play them. Sound complicated? It is. Whether you make your own videos or pay someone to do it, embedding YouTube promo videos makes this job a lot simpler and is free. Once your video is uploaded, just copy the embed code and paste it wherever you want on a web page. Now your customers can watch videos on your site.
Anyway, knowing basic HTML can help you do all these things. It also helps you sell more products and saves you money by not paying someone else to do it. Some of these ideas do take effort and some investment, but mostly time. Some may work for you, and others may not. Whatever you’re trying to sell or promote online requires doing at least some of these things to be successful. More importantly, they help you make money. That’s the idea, right? How you create a commercial web site depends on how much money you have, but mainly how much time you are willing to spend in maintaining and promoting it.
You may just want to post a single web page with a phone number or email address for now. That’s my advice. Start off simple. Slowly build your site as you learn more. You will always be updating your web site anyways. It comes with the territory. In time the more you learn, the more you’ll add. Right now just get your feet wet and add a small business web site for the world to see. Go ahead, dive in. It will be fun. Maybe it’s just what your business needs. Good luck!