Here`s the magic formula:
- Put something up on the web. Chris is right, don`t worry about begin perfect because I can guarantee you it won`t be the first time. Just do something!
- Next buy some keywords from google at http://adwords.google.com. You can actually buy some of their search traffic. You can start with as little as $50.
- As you buy a little traffic to your site, you`ll eventually make a sale. Maybe it`s 1 in every 500 visitors. Maybe 1 in a thousand.
- It`s here that you want to "improve" your site. You can begin to make small improvements to your site to get the conversion ratio looking better. 1 in 100 is really good. Only make one change at a time and measure it. If you make less sales, put it back to the way it was. If you make more sales, keep the change.
It`s just that easy!
Hopefully this helps.
Go for it! Get something up that is presentable, and most importantly it will take a few weeks to start showing up in the search engines giving you time to improve your site. I would wait until you have your site at an acceptable stage to you before you start buying keywords etc. You want to be sure you can handle the business that may unexpectedly pick up. Good luck Steve.
Steve, I think you should get the site out there and in the true bootstrapping spirit, rework it as you go. If there isn`t a lot of functionality on the site and it`s more informational then there`s no reason to delay. Updating often is a good idea for any website to keep the content fresh and keep the bots on their toes.
Whats your main goal? To create a brand, or just sell merchandise? They require two different kinds of website development.
If you are trying to create a brand, you need to design a killer logo, have company colors, your mission and what you want your site to tell your customers about your brand. Develop your sites look and feel to reflect your corporate brand which takes time, so by the time you do all of that your site should be close to perfect.
If you just want to sell merchandise, you can throw up any old site and follow the advice of Bryan he is correct in the order of what you should do to develop your website.
The positives to creating a branded website is that once you have a brand developed you can quickly move from your initial product to sell other things to your customers once they trust your brand.