The Ultimate Cosplayer's Guide on How to Make a Website
It's 2019, and it's easier than ever to make a website on the internet, especially if you do cosplay! Don't be that struggling professional putting this off just because you don't know how to do start a website. Here at AnimeXpres and within our Otaku family, we try to do whatever it takes to see you successful. Unlike other stores that barely provide any information on the anime industry, here we care about you like our brothers and sisters. Take matters into your own hands and follow the guide on how to create a website for yourself.
Why Cosplayers Should Make A Website
Let's begin on why you should start a website in the first place. Kinda like too many anime shows coming out each season, too many sellers in a market leads to over-saturation in any industry. Starting a website today might seem like a stretch but just a couple decades ago, few people were even using the internet!
Look I've been in your shoes before. I know what it's like to send out messages to these bigger accounts and get no response. Nowadays, everybody is on social media. Everybody uses popular apps such as Instagram, and cosplayers, anime fans, anime stores, pod-casters, and writers around the world use the internet to share with each other great content. And although it seems like common sense for me to tell you all of this, it's very important to know your market before starting your business.
- Relevant Solution - Refer your fan-base to a place where they can find more about your personality, voice, and creative content. If you're a writer looking to make it in the anime world, having a website shows that you are serious about your craft and that you're a professional in front of your audience.
- Claim Control - With Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc., the main issue with them is that they have their own rules and terms you have to abide by. Not that they're not good enough for your content though! They are the perfect platforms for distributing your art and photos and liking and commenting as a user.
- Risk - When you sign up for Instagram for example, you run the risk of losing all of your valuable content in the event that the Instagram team can take down your photos, or temporarily block your account. Unlike a website, free social media accounts don't offer a way to backup your content.
- Financial Freedom - Having a website is no guarantee of quick-success nor is it an easy fix. But owning your own piece of internet real-estate gives you the tools you need to present yourself of how your audience wants you to be present.
- Beautiful Design - Again, being on your own website allows you to express your creativity and even if you've never done it before, there are plenty of tutorials all over the internet that can teach you how to set up WordPress or use drag and drop options.
How to Create a Website in 2 hrs or Less.
You have to do a bit of research/brainstorming first in order to pick a good domain name that's still available. Try and find out the best domain names for your business/niche. More than just a fancy name, a domain name is a powerful asset in the online real estate. You also need to be aware of other similar domains that can confuse your audience, whether it is sufficiently descriptive or memorable, how easy is it for people to share, and a number of other considerations.
You should focus on your target audience by finding out what they are searching for in your niche. The Google Keyword Planner tool can help with this. It's a free and powerful tool. When signing up with DreamHost, you'll get to register your domain. You can also register a domain for free although this is not advisable especially if you're thinking long-term. Free domain name registration (and hosting) is only suitable for those who are "experimenting" online or for hobby/fan-type websites.
If you wondering whether or not space exists for more anime websites, well I think anime fans aren't just looking to be on Facebook, YouTube, or what-have-you. There are really cool bloggers in the anime community you can reach out to and learn from. Plus, the internet is constantly changing, and although it was less saturated before, plenty of NEW people from developing countries are just starting to use the internet for the first time. I'm sure they are looking for show recommendations or anime artwork and so on! They could be landing on some of your pages thanks to anime!
Distribution and Marketing
In the age of the mobile internet, everybody is hungry for attention. I mean, it's really simple actually. Just like we have your attention in providing quality posts to motivate you and help you, there are hundreds of websites out there each with their own unique ideas. Please do not start a website unless you're serious about marketing. This is the most important part, it's actually kind of more important than creating the website. Thanks to the global demand for niche content though, Instagram is a perfect place to refer your traffic from.
There are cool stores (hint us) out there willing to pay premium prices to Instagram models for promoting their products onto their story or share to their following. You can set your rates cheaply at first just to get your foot in the door and set up a relationship with your clients. Then, once you start to gain a buzz you can raise your prices to what you feel you are worth. But just don't be that person on Instagram charging $30/day when you haven't even done any promotion before.
So to begin, building is one of the easiest parts about it. One of my favorite platforms to use is Weebly. If you're completely new to web design they are a great start as the "drag and drop" feature really makes it easy for anyone to design a beautiful website. With Weebly, WordPress, and other platforms, most have themes ready to go for you to place.
Have fun. Life is short, I'm not saying this to get you to start a website neither. That should be your decision you want to make, just like me. We all sleep but have different dreams and I wish you well :)