Using MySpace For Business Websites

MySpace is seen as a viable alternative to buying web hosting and a domain name for some businesses, according to an article in Honolulu’s Pacific Business News.

Local Web designers face competition from MySpace.com
Pacific Business News (Honolulu) – May 25, 2007

On the face of it, this is a good counter-argument to my post about Free Web Hosting and Blog Services vs. Buying Web Hosting and a Domain Name. It seems that some small business owners are using MySpace as a way to create a website for their business — for free — and they are getting good results in the form of new customers and purchases. One business featured in the article is a clothing boutique.

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It makes sense that people who might be looking on MySpace for things to buy would be interested in fashion and shopping for new clothes. And there are lots of other businesses that would appeal to the same MySpace demographic: coffee shops, skateboarding shops, surf shops, music stores…

Part of the appeal of MySpace is that people don’t necessarily go there looking for things to buy. They go there to talk to friends, share stuff they find interesting or funny, etc. But the fact that someone may find a store on MySpace that sells cool clothes, and then go to the brick-and-mortar store and have a great shopping experience, well, that’s huge, of course, because they are likely to talk about it on — duh — MySpace.

Obviously, if you are selling something like legal services or rare books, then MySpace may not be for you. However, if you have a business that appeals to 16-24 year olds, then setting up a free MySpace page might just be a no-brainer.

The Business News article sets up a false dichotomy — a choice you don’t really have to make — between creating a small business website on MySpace and buying a full-blown, professionally designed website for, as they say, anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000.

My point is, you may want to spend $5K to $20K, on a business website. You may need some serious eCommerce capabilities, or cutting-edge graphic design, or pages and pages of product samples or whatever. Most very small businesses should not pay anything like $5,000 for a site these days. There are just too many good low-cost options available — using WordPress, for example. But, regardless, there’s no reason you can’t have a site on MySpace in addition to a dedicated business website with your own hosting and domain name, and then link the two together.

The same is true for a listing sites like MerchantCircle.com. Check out the McBuzz Communications listing on MerchantCircle. These are free, easy to set up websites, and they are just one more way to increase the visibility of your business on the Web.

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