Making use of the internet for your farm can be productive. Creating a website is not enough. It has to be used in conjunction with other things. Business cards are a good way to utilize your website. Advertising that is done in general newspapers, classified ad, trade magazines, Ozarks Farm & Neighbor, Farm Talk, Midwest Cattlemen, etc., is made more productive by adding your web address leading individuals to your website.
Using important information on your website is helpful as well. What is it that you want to promote? Pictures of the animals you want to sell. Have a bull for lease or to use as AI? Be sure to include his picture. More than one is usually a good idea, show all angles, and include information about the animal regarding blood lines, birth weights, weaning weights, etc. Anything that a prospective buyer needs should be listed on your website. Keep your pictures current as well. Once you sell that animal, update it with a current animal you are selling.
Include contact information such as phone numbers or a “click through” email. This is where a person can click on an attachment that automatically emails you for more information. Be sure to follow up on contacts once they have contacted you for information.
How much does all this cost? You may need to purchase a “domain name.” They are around $40 and are usually good for one to two years. This is the (net or .org). People usually expect a commercial (business) website to have a .com or .net address.
How much is the website itself? It depends on whether you build it or have someone else build it. It is very easy to build yourself. You can also get them for free on several sites listed on the Internet at the present time. Doing a quick search for free websites presents several places that offer not only free hosting but templates that make building your own site fairly easy. With a template you simply upload your pictures onto the pages, and put your text in the text boxes. It is that simple. With Weebly, it is a little more complicated, but you have a lot more flexibility in what you can do with your site. There are a lot of website builders who will build you a complete site including a domain name for around $200 for a basic site and upward for more bells and whistles.
Rhonda Wallen, of Wallen Prairie Ranch, told Ozarks Farm & Neighbor that their website has definitely increased sales for them. What she likes is that they can post pictures, date them and people can actually see what you have currently available. They have had people from other states come in person after looking at their website. Rhonda had a friend get their website started and they maintain it. They advertise in farm magazines and utilize their website there. People also find them through search engines using key words. She believes what people like is the ability to look and see what you have before they make that initial call. They post their seasonal sales, farm events and animals for sale. She said it does take some upkeep but that it is worth the effort for the return in the business it has brought for them.


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