Planning Your Website: Format, Costs, and Content



Debra Jason is the author of the award-winning book “Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget.” She is a speaker, trainer, copywriter, and marketing professional who recently spoke with us about website design.

Anyone who is planning to make a new website or redesign an existing one for their company should follow the right steps to ensure their efforts are successful.

Debra’s advice to site creators in the past included clarifying goals, describing the product or service, identifying the target market, and defining the brand. Here she discusses the next steps in the process.

Planning Out the Site’s Format

When creating or redesigning a website, it is wise to have some general ideas in mind. While specifics aren’t required, you should have a rough vision of the layout and design your site will have.

This can depend on the company you’re creating the website for. If it is a magazine printing company, you may choose to utilize a variety of pages showing off some previous work. Unlike a magazine publishing organization, some companies prefer to keep things short and sweet – this is okay too, so long as the site format works with the brand, target market, and goals.


Creating a Budget and Informing Your Staff

Once you’ve got this step down, the next is to determine your budget. Debra notes that it is important to share costs with those team members who will be involved with the project. Copywriters, graphic designers, editors, and project managers can all play an important role during the initial design process.

Those who will write the content are of particular importance. Debra describes the process of “DIY” content creation as akin to handling your own court case instead of hiring a lawyer. Web copy will make a big impression on the audience, so it is best to leave it to the professionals. She warns against using an amateur’s services just because the goal is to save money. Impressions are everything, and a site’s content is just as important as the format.

A publishing organization in San Antonio, TX may choose to focus their website on samples of their work or even full articles that have done very well. Though she recommends professional assistance with the copywriting aspect, she offers a tip for those who do insist on going at it alone – don’t think of it as an advertisement. Don’t become overwhelmed, and don’t feel pressured to get everything right the first time.

Building Up Your Skills for the Project

One tool Debra suggested for helping people hone their writing skills is “Magnetic Copywriting: Twenty One Days to Creating Killer Copy That Converts.” This home study-program provides users with tools on how to improve their writing skills and create copy that converts. Memorable words can resonate with a person, and increase the chance they’ll buy the product or service advertised on the site. The tool includes seminars and a series of templates, allowing users to practice up on writing impressive headlines.

Debra’s advice in this instance is the same as it was for writing the copy – don’t rush it. Good headlines, copy that converts, and websites all take time. Practicing up and planning ahead can help even the smallest company make a great website that helps them achieve organizational goals.


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Debra Jason

A recipient of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association's (RMDMA) "Creative Person of the Year Award," Debra Jason started The Write Direction in 1989. Past President of the RMDMA, she is a seasoned direct response copywriter with more than 25 years of experience in the field of direct marketing. Since then she has personally written thousands upon thousands of words for hundreds of clients around the country (and some overseas).

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