Friday, 12 November 2010

Marketing Tip: Pillar Content

Sometimes it takes new technology to re-discover old truths. One of these truths is that for all media people are drawn towards quality content that internet marketers now call 'pillar content'. Such is the extent to which quality drives popularity that many websites thrive not through artificial link building but from popular momentum generated by free links, bookmarks, Facebook thumbs up and so on.

Basically if you add value you get more interest. When selling something it is only a successful ploy to wave a price tag under someone's eyes if they have already decided to buy. People who type 'buy adidas trainers' into google are more than 60% of the time going to do just that online. The conclusion being that being number one in google.com for 'buy adidas trainers' allows you to just place a big picture and a link on your page and you have a sale.

From the marketers viewpoint most buyers are still in the uncommitted stage. They are turned off by adverts but turned on by information. This is why free maps with advertising down the side is a successful marketing ploy: it is pilllar content and promotion.

This is the key - pillar content and promotion. So if you are trying to sell a Thai villa or other property then you need a website that offers good information about the surrounding area, visa regulations, weather etc. This specific information by itself will generate traffic.

For a brochure, it is sometimes a good idea to include some value in the printed media to make people hold onto it. That is the thinking behind coupons in magazines and newspapers. Again a map or a timetable or a list of useful telephone numbers and websites gives the brochure an element of pillar content that makes it a better promotional tool.

In short, it is about going the extra mile and not being totally in the face of the customer that ideas of buying can take seed and maybe go from thought to reality. And then you have a sale. That's when you want to be up there for 'buy adidas trainers'.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Buying Furniture for a Thai Villa

Once you have built your Thai villa either for residential purposes or for rental then you have to find some furniture to put in the villa. This can be a difficult process because there are so many furniture suppliers to choose from.

Naturally your choice of furniture supplier will partly depend on what style of interior décor you wish for your house. You might prefer a minimal look, a Thai look or a more traditional western style. Some people go for a Moroccan theme in their Thai villa. While a Moroccan style is attractive in itself, it is in my opinion, somewhat gauche and inappropriate in a Thai setting.

If you are buying furniture for yourself because you intend to primarily use your Thai villa for your own use then you will want good quality furniture that is going to look good and last a long time. If you are furnishing your villa primarily for rental purposes then cost is a key factor. While the furnishings in a rental villa should be attractive they do not need to be top of the range. Renting out a villa to the public means the furniture is probably going to get more wear and tear then if the villa is just for your own use. Also if you are going to rent your Thai villa you should consider going for a neutral décor that has a generic and accessible feel.

It is important to remember a few things when looking for furniture in Thailand.

1)    When you order the furniture it does not get sent out immediately. Normally furniture suppliers make to order. So don’t forget to leave plenty of time between ordering furniture and making plans to rent out your villa. On average furniture will take 2 months to make.

2)    You cannot always dismiss a furniture supplier in Thailand because they have a clunky website. Although Thais are very adept in putting up websites they often make websites that are lacking in design values.

3)    The biggest areas for buying furniture in Thailand are Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is famous for making heavy traditional pieces of furniture that emphasize the beauty of the wood. Chiang Mai is in the north of Thailand and has access to many rare and beautiful hardwoods. Furniture made in Chiang Mai is often cheaper than furniture made in other parts of Thailand. However, transportation costs can often negate any savings.

4)    Most furniture shops and suppliers will want a 50% deposit paid up front and the other 50% paid on delivery.

5)    If you are sending money to Thailand to pay for furniture then don’t send it in Thai Baht. 9 times out of 10 the Thai bank you are sending the money to will give you a better exchange rate than your local bank.

6)    It is very possible to negotiate with furniture shops. If your order is worth over $1,000 most furniture suppliers will be happy to offer a 10% discount and they sometimes throw in extras such as cushions and bed sheets to further sweeten the deal for you.

7)    Always get 2 or 3 quotes before committing. This will give you a much better idea of what represents good value.

8)    Good green options are furniture pieces made from renewable resources such as coconut, rattan and water hyacinth. Be careful, a lot of what is called ‘rattan’ is actually plastic in a rattan style weave. 

Friday, 23 July 2010

Pinging the Digg

The title says it all really. Recently I've discovered another dimension to successful internet marketing. It is not enough to write ezines, hubs and info barrels etc. sending you one way links to your site promoting property in Thailand. It is a great start, but to truly optimize your work you have to back link to your back links.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Energy Saving Tips

With every year that passes laws around the world are enforcing tighter regulations concerning carbon emissions and energy saving measures. It is only by adopting green building practices and green interior design ideas that governments around the world can meet their targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Bearing this in mind, it stands to reason that those villas in Thailand that have a better green profile are the villas that in the future are going to be the easiest to sell. Not only do people want environmentally friendly products but also governments are making 'green' a legal necessity.

Bearing this in mind, here is a list of energy saving and 'green' measures that are relevant to properties in Thailand:

  • Heat is a major factor in Thailand. Anything that can reduce the reliance on air-conditioners is a good idea. For example, installing window awnings over east facing windows to reduce direct sunlight. Planting trees by south facing windows to create natural shade. Using ceiling fans rather than air-con. Allowing natural ventilation through a living space by opening windows.
  • Installing uPVC window frames to reduce thermal gain.
  • Buying glass with a low-e coating to also reduce thermal gain.
  • Installing photovoltaic systems (solar panels) to produce clean, carbon free, alternative energy.
  • Collecting rain water by attaching rainwater bins to drains. This rain water can be used to water the garden.
  • Planting a garden that is less dependent on regular watering.
  • Providing a composter to turn food waste into organic fertilizer for the garden.
  • Installing a programmable thermostat that can accurately regulate the indoor temperature and cut down on cooling costs when you are not at home.
  • Using recycled wood or wood from sustainably managed forests.
  • Buying furniture made from quickly renewing resources such as rattan, water hyacinth and bamboo.

These are just some of the measures that can be taken to make a property in Thailand more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. A villa in Thailand that tenants and prospective buyers will need to spend less on cooling is a more attractive property to purchase or rent.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Importance of Getting out of the Office

There is a temptation when trying to sell or rent a property in Thailand to spend too much time in the office and to place too much emphasis on internet marketing. For many people they just want to go to a nice air conditioned office, sit in front of a computer for seven hours and go home to a cold beer and feel they have done a good day’s work. This is an easy trap to fall into. You find a comfort zone and you are reluctant to get out of the office and try something different to promote your Thai property.

So far in this blog I too have placed too much emphasis on internet promotion and have ignored other ways of generating leads. So below I will briefly list other strategies for generating enquiries and interest.

Brochures

Brochures may seem old fashioned but they are still a good marketing tool in Thailand. In a future post I will look at some of the salient issues involved with making a good brochure, but for now let us suppose you have your brochure. Leaving them on a table in your office is not good enough. You must be proactive and put them out in places where tourists and potential customers go. The best thing to do is to purchase a number of Perspex brochure holders and put your company logo and details on them. The easiest way to do this is with a sticker. Then you need to drive around your local area and visit bars, restaurants, hotels and resorts and ask to be allowed to leave some brochures. Often these places have a table dedicated to information. Place your brochure holder with brochures there. More often than not Thai people are happy for you to leave brochures. In one day you can often place brochures in up to 20 tourist spots.

It is important to keep a record of where you have placed your brochures and to take your time to return to check your brochures. Sometimes all the brochures have been taken. Sometimes some cheeky person has put their brochures in your holder. Never leave too many brochures in one place and count how many have been taken. This will give you an idea about which spots are the most effective and which are not worth continuing.

Networking

Going to opening parties for new businesses and to launch parties is a good way of meeting people who are potentially interested in Thai property. Of course you will meet mostly people looking for new customers like you, but not everyone attending will be in the business so to speak. Networking doesn’t have to be confined to parties. It can be done on a very informal basis. Sometimes just going to a bar and striking up a conversation with a tourist can result in a new lead. Be friendly, find common ground, buy a few drinks and more often than not the conversation will get around to what you do. Offer to show them a property as a form of recreational activity. It is vital to never hard sell. It puts people off when they are out trying to enjoy themselves.

Show Friends and Family and Friends of Friends Around

It is always a good idea to take time out to show family and friends not only your property but also the general area. Show people the benefits of an area and they will grow to love a place. It is only then that viewing your property can be done in the right context. Being kind makes you look good and it makes people more inclined to take your words as the truth. Furthermore, when your friends and family return home they are more likely to recommend you and your property to their friends. If you show hospitality and kindness to enough people the word will soon get round. A personal recommendation is a powerful selling tool in business.

In the same vein it is sometimes good to let people stay in your property for discounted prices or even for free. If they had a good time it is a strong advertisement for you and your property. People back home will see the holiday photos and be envious.

Again, as with networking, it is important to not pressure people. People will often react negatively to pressure and back away. It makes you look desperate.

Placing Classifieds in Shops

Again this is about leg work and research. You would be surprised how many people stop to read classifieds in shops and supermarkets. Placing your ads in these places gives your property visibility. I heard one story of a successful promoter of a property in Spain who got the vast majority of his bookings from placing classifieds in supermarkets in the north of England. Lots of people don’t trust internet adverts but do follow up on ads placed in shops and in printed media.

Making Friends

Finally, it is always a good marketing strategy to make as many friends as possible. If you do someone a small favour they will be more inclined to do you one back. Maybe they have a friend coming to Thailand for a few days. They remember about how nice you are and come up with a plan to put their friends up at your place. Scratch enough backs and something must come of it.

So there are a few tips on what you can do outside the office and away from the computer to generate leads and paying customers. This is not an exhaustive list. I hope to be adding to it in the future.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Buying Off Plan Property in Thailand - the Advantages and the Disadvantages

Advantages

1) The main advantage of buying an off plan property in Thailand is the price. Off plan properties are nearly always cheaper than a comparative built property. Off plan in Spain and other countries around the world are investment opportunities. The same is true in Thailand. The earlier you invest in a development the bigger the potential profit is. As the development progresses so the prices for remaining off plan properties also increase.

2) If you invest with a developer with a proven track record your investment is usually safe.

3) It is sometimes possible to sell on your off plan before construction has finished. Thus making a quick profit.

4) Once the property is built you have a brand new house or villa. This villa because it is new will usually come with a structural warranty. Second hand houses and villas rarely come with a structural warranty.

5) Your new villa has had no previous owners so you won’t have to pay for alterations. Furthermore, most developers allow customers who purchase off plan property to customize their villa in terms of interior design, tile colors etc. This means you can really get the villa of your dreams with off plan.

Disadvantages

1) The main worry for the purchaser of an off plan property is that the constructor and/or developer will go bankrupt before your off plan property is completed. In which case you will have to apply to the Thai courts for compensation.

2) Time can be a negative factor. Often things take longer to build than expected in Thailand. It can be frustrating making plans to stay in your new villa only to discover that it isn’t ready for occupancy yet.

3) In the current economic climate the housing market has seen a considerable slow down. This means that off plan investment is unlikely to result in a quick purchase and re-sale to make a tidy short term profit. In the longer term property prices will increase and so will demand in Thailand. This means off plan property is more suitable for those able to wait a few years to make a profit on their investment.

4) You cannot see the property before you commit to buying. You have to make your decision based on computer renditions of the off plan property or from viewing a show house. It is the technical competency of the constructor, the reputation of the developer and the real estate agent that you have to place faith in. This is faith that the villa will be completed to set out specifications. It is important to get an independent building inspector to visit the property as it is being built to make sure the building plans are being followed.

These are the major issues of buying off plan in Thailand. It is always advisable to do your homework before committing to an off plan project. Remember that in Thailand real estate agents and developers are often one and the same thing, so don’t expect independent advice from the real estate agent. If you are keen to buy off plan property in Thailand always check around and compare the prices with finished houses on the market. If there is no considerable saving in buying an off plan property then it is not a good investment. And finally, it can never be stressed enough, get a good lawyer to advise you about the issue of foreign ownership in Thailand; and get a lawyer to check with the land registry office who actually owns the land you are intending on purchasing or leasing.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Writing Articles to Promote Your Property Website

It can be very frustrating having a website that is designed to sell your property or rent your property in Thailand. It is often the case that your website will be difficult to find by potential customers because you are competing with real estate agents and developers in Thailand for the same keywords. It is very hard to get on the first page of google or yahoo! for keywords such as 'property', 'real estate' , 'villa rental' or 'Thailand'. You are competing against CBR Ellis, Raimon Land, Siam Properties, Soho Properties and Viviun.com to name but a few. All the best domain names will already be gone - anything with 'Thailand' and 'property' in the domain address will have been snapped up long ago.

Instead it is a smarter move to try and focus on other keywords. For instance, the name of the resort or beach near your property. Or the name of the island or town where your property is located. There will be a lot more availability. Maybe the .com address is gone but perhaps the .net is available. If so buy it and slightly tweak your site and put it up again. That is the first step. The next is to get some good links to the site.

The best way to get the best links to a site is to write quality content on a magazine style site that has a big readership. Write articles about the beach, good restaurants in the area, funny or unusual things that happened to you in Thailand; write about festivals and food, about language and culture. The possibilities are nearly endless. In each article make sure to put links into the text. The anchor text, as it is called should be one of your keywords. For example, Thong Nai Pan  has both 5 star hotels and cheap bungalows to stay in. This example has got the name of the beach, 'hotel' 'cheap' and 'bungalow' all in the anchor text. You will have to carefully read the editorial guidelines for article submission for each magazine site but it gives you an idea of what an effective link should be. Don't just put the web address at the end of a piece. Rather the link should be integral to the context of the article and in the body of the article. But don't get link greedy: often you are confined to just one or two links per article.

As you write more articles make sure you link between your articles on the same site. This is usually encouraged and will further boost your search engine rankings for each of the interlinked articles. For example: as I mentioned in my previous article on website promotion it is a good idea to get a blogger and wordpress account. Here I have used words from the title of a previous post to link back to that previous post. The more internal links in a website the more search engine friendly the site becomes (this is one of the reasons why wikipedia comes out on top for some many different searches).

Here's a list of magazine sites to write articles on. They are all free, and they all allow 'self-serving' links. As I said before, read the editorial guidelines carefully before making your first submission.

1) http://ezinearticles.com/ This website has really good exposure. They are very fussy about spelling and links so follow the rules. 

2)  www.yousaytoo.com. This blogging site lets you add pictures, make friends and gives you a share of the adsense revenue you generate for them. So get an adsense account. To get an adsense account you need to have an email address associated with a website. So for example info@backpackinargentina.com is good, backpackinargentina@gmail.com is bad.

3) http://posturown.com/ This uses the wordpress interface. It takes a bit of time to work out but doesn't use any coding. To register you have to fill out the form then send them a separate email asking for an account. It's irritating but designed to stop bots I guess.

4) www.hubpages.com lets you post automatically without having to submit and wait for acceptance. It is a good blogging site that is easy to use. You can add pictures, video and link widgets. They also share adsense money with you and help you get affiliate links with amazon.com and ebay.com

5) www.infobarrel.com Is another good blogging site. They share adsense and amazon money with you. The articles from infobarrel do well in search engines and give good linking juice to your website.

6) http://writingmafia.com This is very similar to postyourown.com in the sense that it uses the same wordpress interface.

Remember to set up a new email address to handle all the new mails you'll be receiving. Also you can write nearly the same article several times using different wording. If you publish the same  exact article you won't get in trouble but google might down-rank the article as a duplicate - this  is all open to debate at the moment.

Finally, to give your blogs an extra boost don't forget to digg them, facebook them and twitter them.

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Rental Market in Koh Phangan and Thong Nai Pan

There seem to be three distinct stages in the development of the accommodation market in Thailand, especially for beach destinations. Phuket, Koh Samui and Hua Hin have all followed a similar evolution in their development. Below are the three stages.

1) The first visitors to a beautiful beach are invariably intrepid backpackers who are prepared to take long bus and boat journeys, hike and trek and really embrace the adventure that sometimes can be involved in getting to a destination. Backpackers will take cheap basic accommodation such as simple no bathroom bungalows or even just a hammock. Just being in a beautiful place with access to the basic necessities of food and water is enough. 

As more backpackers arrive so the locals are able to offer better accommodation and perhaps a generator for electricity in the evening and cold drinks. 

Businesses quickly become established and the locals start to make good money catering for the larger number of visitors to their little bit of paradise. With this improvement in income usually comes the financial incentives to improve infrastructure: better roads go in, better boat links become available, taxis appear and electricity arrives.

With these improvements come backpackers and tourists who want a bathroom, hot water and air-con. And thus mid-range accommodation options appear. At the same time travel guides start to publicize a location.

2) It is at this point that phase two starts. And that is high end tourism arriving. This is driven by the building of a '5 Star Hotel'. The hotel offers lots more amenities and facilities to a location. Not to mention more employment opportunities to the locals. Behind the hotel is investors who want a return for their money. They spend money on advertising the hotel and the location. The hotel works hard to liaise with travel agents, offering commissions and making promotional materials. This is when a location really explodes in popularity. TV and mass media exposure are sure to follow.

For a while the beautiful location is shared between the cheaper more basic operations geared towards cost conscious backpackers, the mid-range places and the high-end hotels. A bohemian vibe with better facilities. 2 dollar noodles and 100 dollar dinners. The choice is great for the visitor and allows maximum employment opportunities.

3) Stage two to stage three is a gradual progression more and more towards catering to high spending short stay tourists. Prices go up. The cheap bungalows are torn down and replaced with sealed concrete units with air-con, hot water and bathrooms.

A successful hotel in Thailand invariably creates copycat business plans. If an area can make good money for one 5 star hotel it can make good money for two 5 star hotels. This is especially true during times of  economic prosperity in the developed world.

At the same time a fledgling land market is normally to be found in the area. When hotels move in with tourists who spend money so the dream is created - the possibility of owning a house in paradise. As the land market becomes more established so prices start to rise. The 5 star hotels offer more and more luxury, everyone upgrades and prices rise. This creates confidence in the commercial strength of a location. With this land prices further increase.

And this is when a location really happens as a money-maker. It has everything going for it: a large turn over of high-spending tourists, a great profile as a must-visit place, and a growing reputation as a new real estate hotspot. Land prices increase year by year but are still well below the average for similar land in places like Phuket.

This is where Thong Nai Pan is at. Namely at the start of phase 3 where land prices have sharply risen and the profile of the average visitor has changed from backpacker to 2-week holiday maker or honeymooner.

In Thong Nai Pan Noi there are three 5 star hotels - Panviman, Santhiya and Ra Sa Nan Da. The latest Ra Sa Nan Da is directly on the beach with boutique villas with private plunge pools. The cheapest villa costs 22,000 Thai Baht a night ($688). That is serious money.

Now all the essentials are in place for a luxury villa rental business to flourish. Big spenders are coming to Thong Nai Pan, 5 Star Hotels are charging 5 star prices and people are starting to build their own luxury villas.

Unlike in Haad Rin and other beach resorts in Koh Phangan the tourism is not dependent on the few days surrounding the Full Moon Party. Furthermore, much of the rental accommodation in  Koh Phangan is mid to low range in quality and geared towards a long-term rental market. The returns on such a business are small but steady.

Whereas in Thong Nai Pan people want luxury and are willing to pay for it. Amongst those higher-end tourists visiting Thong Nai Pan will be a growing proportion who have already been before. They will be looking for a bargain. Why spend nearly $700 a night for a small villa when you could rent a private villa for $300 a night? These people will be wanting more space and privacy and extra amenities such as a fully fitted kitchen. For a family this makes perfect sense, and for those with food allergies it is crucial. This is what happened in Koh Samui. First the expensive hotels, then the land market, then the villas-for-rent market. One step creates the next step.

The key to making money under this paradigm of development is to know where the market is at. Things can change quickly and the market can tip into the negative situation of supply far outweighing demand.

I believe the time is right in Thong Nai Pan for money to be made in the rental market. At the moment in Thong Nai Pan the supply of luxury villas to rent is minimal yet the demand is there. It is just a matter of correct promotion to get the message out to those who would definitely be interested. Luxury villas can offer maid service, cleaning services, car rental etc. that hotels offer, but most importantly they can offer real value for money compared to thousand-dollar-a-night places.

No where else in Koh Phangan has the same cachet as Thong Nai Pan, and nowhere else in Koh Phangan has such an active land market. Now is the time to build a villa and rent it out, or buy a villa and rent it out. By the time the next up-cycle in the world economy comes around it will be too late.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Finding Reputable Lawyers in Thailand

Finding a reputable lawyer in any country is not a simple task, and this is especially true in Thailand. All lawyer firms will tell you how competent they are. Every firm of lawyers in Thailand probably has a website full of testimonials from satisfied customers. So what can you do?

Well despite its shortcomings the internet is still a good place to start. Here are a few guidelines to help you in an internet search for a reputable lawyer to help you deal with the complexities of Thai law in regard to buying and selling property, and setting up your own Thai company.

1) The first place to go is a forum. Forums give you information and advice from people who have been in similar situations to you. One of the biggest forums for issues related to buying property abroad is: http://www.propertycommunity.com/

2) A forum specifically for Thailand that is well subscribed is: www.thaivisa.com/forum. You can post nearly any question here and get a host of answers.

3) It is worth looking at several websites for Thai lawyers. You will soon begin to notice which websites look more professional. Looks can be deceptive, but on the internet a really professional looking website with clear easy to understand text is a good indicator of a reputable law firm. Have a look at www.limcharoen.com. This site provides a good bench mark for what a serious law firm's website should look like.

Other things you should consider when choosing a law firm:

1) Is there any connection between the developer and the law firm? It is worth asking. There is an obvious conflict of interest if a law firm represents both seller and buyer.

2) Following on from the previous point, be wary of taking the advice of a property developer when choosing a law firm in Thailand.

3) If you are buying property or land in Koh Phangan, then it is a very good idea to seek legal council in Koh Samui or further afield. The law firms on Koh Phangan have an unproven track record. Whereas, law firms in Koh Samui, Phuket, Hua Hin and Bangkok have been operating for much longer in the property field and can provide much better legal advice.

4) Word of mouth is an invaluable resource. If you meet anyone who has experience of the property market in Thailand then you should pick their brain.

5) When buying property or land in Thailand or when leasing land in Thailand the first thing any lawyer should do is check at the land registry office to make sure the seller really does really own the land; and what type of land title the land has It sounds obvious but people continue to fall prey to this scam.

6) Finally, don't buy land or property on Koh Tao. The island is a legal oddity because it is a former prison colony and no proper land titles exist for the place.

Once you have decided on a few lawyer firms that seem legitimate and competent then the next step is to contact them. The promptness of the response as well as the professionalism exhibited by the response is another good indicator as to the quality of the law firm. Finally, arrange a meeting. The first meeting should be free. Ask difficult questions and use your intuition.

If you follow these guidelines you should be able to find a reputable law firm in Thailand. There are many to choose from.

Friday, 8 January 2010

3 Steps for Promoting Your Website

Creating and promoting your own website has never been easier. This blog focuses on tips for people with a product related to the property market in Thailand.

In the old days making a website was a complicated and expensive affair involving mastering HTML code, Flash, php, Javascript and a host of other technical jargon. Chances are that if you have paid someone to make you a website then you are feeling held to ransom by your website designer. He or she probably wants money off you to update your site. They probably want money to Search Engine Optimize your site, they probably want money from you to get links to your site. In short, it is a bottomless hole you have committed yourself to.

That`s why more and more people are shunning using web design companies and doing their own websites. And as this route becomes more popular so the resources available to the amateur become more powerful. All you need is the ability to re-size photos and a bit of patience.

The biggest help comes from www.wordpress.com. They offer free websites if you are willing to have the phrase ‘wordpress’ in your domain name e.g. hotpropertyinphangan.wordpress.com. Just sign up for free and start fiddling around. Wordpress offers a variety of website templates called ‘themes’. You can customize a theme by adding your own header (this is why you need to be able to re-size pictures). You can add as many navigational tabs as you want, you can add your own links, you can set up a gallery page and you can add video clips (hosted free on youtube or daily motion). At first it will be frustrating but you will be surprised how quickly you get the hang of using wordpress. Once you are on the wordpress path you will start to notice how many people are adapting wordpress themes to make their sites. By using the tags function you can pick keywords and do your own basic SEO. It`s all there. And what`s more, the wordpress dashboard for your site also provides stats about how many people are visiting your site, what pages they are looking at and how they got to your site (i.e. through a search engine or through a link).

After you have got the hang of using wordpress the next step is to find a hosting company that will let you register your own domain name and has the feature called ‘fantastico’. Fantastico is fantastic because it allows you to put up your own website using the wordpress interface, which makes the process the same as making a normal free wordpress site. Once you have done this you can easily update your site, change the site look and improve on your tags and links. This is step two completed.

At this point you might want to abandon your expensively designed site or you might prefer to use your wordpress sites as linking vehicles to your main site. Remember that one way links are more powerful than reciprocal links.

Resources 


1) www.wordpress.com (great looking free and paid for websites. Big selection of 'themes' (templates) to choose from.
2) www.blogger.com (free blogs which allow you to monetize with adwords)
3) www.netfirms.com (the cheapest place to buy domain names).
4) www.google.com/analytics - by far the best web stats program. It's free to sign up and you simply paste in a bit of code into your site or template to get comprehensive information about your website's visitors.
5) www.adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal - Another great tool by Google. You simply put in a keyword or phrase and find out how many searches were made using that word/those words. And how much advertisers are prepared to pay for those keywords. This gives you a good idea of your market and what keywords you should be aiming to get high rankings for.
6) www.freewebsubmission.com - A good place to start promoting your new website.