Welcome To The Web.Search.Social Episodic Content Show!
More on that in a minute.
How Much Should A Website Cost?
We’ve written about this a couple of times and just recently someone wrote to us who had read one of the articles we wrote a few years ago and asked us how those prices compare to today.
The person who wrote in had gotten a quote for $15,000, which she said included a logo, branding, collateral and website. The cost, she said, was twice what she expected so she asked us for our opinion.
Unfortunately we can’t make any kind of educated assessment based on that information because there’s no telling what is included – or not included – in the project.
But we can say that a LOT of things can affect pricing. For example, will someone be doing the copywriting for you, or are you expected to bring your own? What about photography? What type of functionality will you require? A basic contact form? A photo gallery? A membership portal? There are a lot of options and quite a lot of services that can go into building a website.
The job of the person who asked us the question – and yours, if you’re evaluating a proposal from someone to build your website – is to ask a lot of questions so you understand what you’re getting, from the content to the search optimization to the extent of the design services.
Get all the details but be careful not to get TOO many details. Sometimes a proposal can be too specific and box you into a corner. For example, knowing someone will build you a contact form is sufficient. You don’t want someone to specify that it will be a contact form with three fields, because what if you realize you need four?
What’s The Minimum Threshold?
Building a website requires a lot of time and understanding how all the pieces work together. A website is more than a WordPress installation, which just about anyone can do at the click of a button.
You can get a website for $500 if all you want is someone to click the button. But that doesn’t make it a good business website. At a minimum, you’ll be investing several thousand dollars for someone to sit with you to discuss your business needs and goals and to put in the time, strategy and planning required to create a good marketing tool that will help you generate leads and sales.
It’s not really the building that’s as important as all the stuff that comes before. A college student can build a website. It doesn’t take much to put together HTML or install a WordPress theme and a couple of plugins. But it does take quite a lot of expertise and time to figure out how a website will help you reach your business goals, how it will fit into the bigger marketing picture, how it will reach your target customers, help you lead people through your sales process and ultimately serve as the marketing engine it should be.
We go to far as to say that building a website is the easy part.
How Do You Know If You’re Getting A Fair Deal?
First of all, know what you’re getting. Ask a lot of questions so that you understand what’s included in the cost. Make sure it’s in writing!
Secondly, understand how the process works. Will your developer expect you to show up with everything you need, including directives, so he can build what you tell him to? Or will he be the one asking the questions and guiding the process?
Finally, make sure the services you’re getting are services you need. Paying $5 for a service you don’t need is too expensive. Paying $15,000 for services you do – perfectly reasonable!
And if you’re still not sure, we’ll make it really easy on you. If you have a proposal that you’re considering, send it to us and we’ll let you know whether it sounds fair or gives you enough information to make a good decision. You can email it to us at [email protected] or [email protected].
Your Seriously Social Moment
Do you schedule your social media posts? Lots of people don’t like to schedule because they don’t think their content should be going out without them. They want to “be there” to send it. But Ian Anderson Gray has five reasons why scheduling is a good idea.
- Scheduling lets you find and share better content. Finding good stuff takes time so if you schedule your posts you’ll have more time to spend finding or creating better content.
- Scheduling lets you spend more time working on your business. You may want to spend all day on Facebook but that’s probably not the best use of your time.
- Scheduling lets you spend more time offline with the people that matter in your life. You can batch schedule so you don’t have to spend all your time hanging out online waiting for that perfect time to post.
- Scheduling frees up your time to have more down time. Go for a walk or do something that recharges your creativity.
- Scheduling lets you reach people when they’re actually on social media. You can have content going out nights, weekends or any time when you’re not online.
Remember, scheduling is not engagement. It will save you time and help you be more effective, just remember not to be a robot. Take time to engage, too.
Video Is Powerful. True Or False?
Yep! It can be. It can also be dangerous, maybe even lethal. There are a couple of popular video genres that have sprung up, including prank videos, reaction videos and response videos.
The problem is that people can take them too far. In one series of prank videos, some men walk up to strangers on the street and pick a fight. Then when the person on the street reacts, the pranksters strips down to a thong.
In one of these videos, the person being pranked pulled a gun out, thinking rightfully that they were being threatened and harassed. While we’re not fans of “blame the victim” mentality, we think maybe these guys are asking for trouble and if something bad happens it’s going to be their own fault.
It’s a bit like screaming, “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater.
Let this be a caution to anyone with kids or teenagers. These videos seem to be rather popular and they’re being emulated in many ways.
Licensing Fees For “Reacting?”
In reaction videos, someone shows a video to another person and then records that person’s reaction to the video. While this is all on the up-and-up, an interesting thing happened recently. A company called Fine Brothers Entertainment told other would-be videographers that they’d license the “reaction format” for a fee. So anyone who creates one of these types of videos owes the Fine Brothers a licensing fee.
Predictably enough, the internet was outraged. We wonder how someone can insist on a licensing fee for something they didn’t invent and that anyone can do.
It’s a bit like the patent trolls we talked about a while ago who want a licensing fee from anyone who delivers “episodic digital content”. Theoretically, anyone who podcasts would be subject to this licensing fee. We’d have to pay up just to be able to put our content online. We wonder how Netflix or HBO or Hulu feel about paying Random Patent Troll for the “right” to post episodes of their content.
So we over here at Web.Search.Social decided that anyone who uses the word podcast owes us a fee. Makes perfect sense, no?
Content Is Getting Boring
The final video genre we touch on is the response video, where someone creates a video talking about someone else’s video.
The whole conversation is a bit baffling and we wonder if we’re entering a brave new world of content creation where there is really nothing much original, where everyone is just piggybacking and pilfering.
So yes, video can be powerful, but we think – especially when it comes to business – that people who create original content will be the ones who stand out.
Links & Resources
- Prank videos we talked about – what are your thoughts on them?
- We planned to link to the Fine Brothers videos but oddly enough they were removed by the user. Guess the internet outrage did its job. Here is some commentary and follow up from other interesting sources.
- Merlin the Magical Fish responds to the Fine Brothers
- CPG Gray wants to license stick figures (parody)
- More CPG Gray hilarity
Join the discussion 3 Comments
I love how you guys mentioned in the podcast charging for web development by component/project, instead of per hour. I always thought it was impossible to track hours for stuff, but always felt that I should be able to do it. Things that seem easiest from a design perspective can often be the hardest to make!
Great episode as always 🙂
I used to track hours, too, but it’s almost impossible and also self-defeating. First of all, you’re always going to cap your income. Regardless of your expertise or talent, you will only ever make as much as you can work in hours. Secondly, you spend a lot more time on things than you realize – even when you’re not “on task” so to speak, I bet you dedicate at least one shower to thinking about a project 🙂 All that stuff is not trackable but it’s all your brain working!
Even though I’m still not seriously in the business, I couldn’t agree more. It’s the times when I’m not sitting in front of my computer that my brain works the hardest. And yes, those showers!