(BPT) - Now that the new year is underway, it's time to dream even bigger. Maybe you want to change your unique talent into a side hustle. Perhaps you have a passion that you want to pursue full-time. No matter what it is, there's a market for different ideas and products — you just need to figure out how to bring it to life and position it to make money.
The key? A custom website. The problem? Most people don't have extensive website design experience or the finances to hire someone who does.
Monetizing your idea starts with having a high-quality website to market and sell your product or services. Fortunately, even if you're not trained in technology or web design, you can still build a website exactly how you want and get a custom domain to attract customers and build your brand.
The easy way to build your own site
Universe is an app that allows anyone to create bold, unique, fully featured websites using a grid-based editor and modular, drag-and-drop building blocks. While most website creation tools originated for desktop computers, this one empowers anyone to build, manage and update their sites on their phone, tablet or computer — wherever they are.
The app incorporates everything from a domain to design and commerce tools, and is essentially a business in a box. Creators can use pre-fabricated templates, but don’t have to if they don’t want to feel constrained in their creative process. Whatever your vision, you can bring it to life. You can even create and launch your website for free!
Universe couples ease-of-use with flexibility to empower creators and help them achieve their business goals. Just some of the noteworthy features:
- Easily customize your layout
- Link to your other online/social profiles
- Embed playlists and other media
- Customize your background and even include a video background
Finding and affording a custom domain
If you want to really brand your business and have a professional appearance, you need a custom domain name. A domain is an integral part of a website: It’s how you find a site, what you call it and what locks your brand into your customers' memories. A custom domain is a unique expression of who you are.
Once you’ve got a domain, you’re established. Your project’s real. It’s got momentum. Even if no one else knows about it, you made the first move, you put yourself out there on the internet.
Some companies let you build sites and give you a URL that’s a subdomain or subdirectory off their main domain. This option restricts SEO, making it harder for people to find your site on search engines.
Other companies let you add a custom domain to the site you build on their platform, but you have to go to some other service to buy and register your domain. Then you have to link everything together. This is a lot of work across multiple tools, so be informed.
Some other companies let you connect a custom domain to your site for free for your first year, but look at the price in that second year and beyond to ensure the cost is within your budget. Do you really want to invest in making a gorgeous site just to be priced out of maintaining it on its custom, branded domain in the future?
With Universe Domain+, you can host your site on a custom domain for $11.99 per year, which equates to less than $1 per month. If it’s important enough to put on the internet, it’s probably important enough to give it a custom domain. A website isn’t a website without a domain. Do your research and make a decision that makes sense in the long term since your goal is to create a successful business both now and in the future.
Monetizing your business on your website
Universe is continually releasing new updates to their commerce and design tools to empower creatives everywhere to build amazing sites and monetize their passions. These features include updates to make text-styling and color palette selections more intuitive for everyone — not just designers!
There's also the “Group Block” feature to combine and repeat combinations of site components, push notifications to let merchants know when they’ve made a sale, and the ability to leverage e-commerce and marketing tools like Discounts, Google Analytics and the Meta Pixel natively in sites built on Universe.
The Universe platform helps creators take credit card and Apple Pay payments, sell products, manage inventory and print shipping labels all in one place. If you upgrade to Universe Pro, you'll also get site analytics, custom domain and email support, mailing list features and so much more to help businesses grow online.
Dream big and set goals for success
Resolutions are hard to stick to, but with a website designer as intuitive as Universe, you're sure to stick to your goal of finally starting the business you've always wanted. Start for free and see what you're really capable of.