MINIATURIZERS / MOBILE SITE BUILDERS
You need a mobile-friendly site NOW. The fastest way to get that it is to miniaturize your site. This makes your site easily accessible via mobile but does not change the content. Just makes it smaller to fit on a mobile screen. While it is not the ideal solution, at least it is a start.
If you start here you should monitor your mobile site traffic and begin your mobile site development for the long term. If you are already at that stage, skip to the Mobile Platform Providers.
The miniaturizing solution often includes an advertising revenue model. If you are looking to create a business model around generating revenue with advertising these are great options.
Takes your RSS feed and builds a mobile site with your posts. Includes a text alert option so that your site visitors can be alerted via SMS text message whenever you update your blog. FeedM8 is an advertising supported service and advertising will appear automatically on your mobile site. You can get 60% of the revenue generated from the ads, but you must verify your site to be eligible. There is also an affiliate program whereby you can earn money by suggesting FeedM8 to others and get paid when they start generating ad revenue.
The interface is very easy to work with and the mobile site that is created works well. There is a nice selection of mobile banners / widgets you can embed on your site to alert your readers that you have a mobile site. Reports show visitor count only.
There is no capacity for building a mobile site from scratch within FeedM8.
You can use MoFuse to miniaturize your blog or you can use it as a mobile site builder. MoFuse also offers a piece of script that you can put on your blog that will allow it to serve the proper version of the site based on how any particular visitor is browsing. Mobile browsers will trigger the mobile site to show and a desktop browser will be served the full sized site. (This is a great feature!)
Using MoFuse is very easy and the site builder is fairly robust. You can do a lot with it, creating different types of pages and reordering them easily. The stats program built into MoFuse is basic but it works well. With MoFuse you can create up to 5 mobile sites on one account.
The advertising revenue split on MoFuse is 50/50 and they support AdMob and Google Adsense. You can choose either one. You can also specify whether you want your advertising to show up at the top of your site or the bottom.
WinkSite is a mobile web builder with the ability to build in a community aspect around the mobile site. Although I haven’t been able to see that many folks are actually using the community feature effectively. That said, WinkSite has a lot of cool features you can use to build a mobile site quickly.
Winksite offers its publishers the ability to monetize their mobile sites using Google Adsense, AdMob, mKhoj, BuzzCity, GetMobile, Admoda, Adshandy or Mo’Jiva. Your Revenue Share is 100%. Winksite does not take a share of your revenue that your mobile site generates.
With WinkSite you can also generate your own self-service ads. You can create a landing page, click to call option, link to a video, survey or another mobile site. This opens up the option of selling ads for a fixed price to sponsors or creating your own ads for you own products.
This Works for sites, not just blogs. It is not an exact science and your site will not be perfect, but it may be better than doing nothing. The best thing to do is head over to Get Mobile and input your site URL into the Publishers section where you can submit your site to be “juiced.” It will do its best to mobilize your site and let you preview it.
Once you see if the mobile version is acceptable, you can sign up for an account (its free) and then add advertising to your site if you wish. Or just launch your mobile version.
Get Mobile also has a mobile site builder available with templates you can use to jumpstart your site building. As with all mobile site builders you will likely find you want it to do more than it can. That’s normal right now.
MOBILE PLATFORM PROVIDERS
If you are looking to develop a mobile site on your own domain that is a true mobile media property, you will need a mobile platform. These are services provided to businesses with at least $10,000 available to invest in their mobile site. You do get what you pay for as the mobile sites produced by these companies are fabulous.
iLoopMobile’s mFinity platform is a multi-channel platform that builds mobile sites and has an integrated text messaging component as well. The iLoop platform can also build out a mobile content storefront allowing you to build a mobile site to sell ringtones. iLoopMobile is a very strong option for your needs.
CrispWireless specializes in mobile sites for media companies – newspapers, magazines and television. Their robust mobile sites are top notch and perform well. If you choose to work with Crisp Wireless you are in good hands.
MOBILE WEB DESIGNERS
If you don’t want to do it yourself with a mobile site builder or go with a platform builder, then you are building your site from scratch. In that case I recommend working with a web designer with mobile experience. Here are a couple designers I can recommend.
Brian and Cyndi Fling are the mobile design team at Fling Media. They do excellent work and have great creativity. They also do iPhone app work as well. You can’t go wrong with Fling.
Little Springs Design
Barbara Ballard and her team in Lawrence, Kansas are top mobile web designers. Barbara has even written books about mobile design and they host a Mobile Design conference. They know their stuff.
Need Mobile Website Help?
Need help with your mobile website strategy? Do you need to figure out how to drive traffic to your mobile site once it is built? Check out my Mobile Marketing Launch Kit which includes a module about creating a successful text messaging campaign.
Not Listed Here?
If you are a mobile site designer, have a mobile platform or have a mobile site builder and would like to be listed, please contact me so I can find out more about what you offer. I am open to reviewing companies worldwide even though right now I only list U.S. companies.
Just saw on a great article by Ross Dunn over at Search Engine Guide that is awesome. He covers some great stuff about building a mobile website, promoting it and even has some very specific tips about mobile SEO. If you haven’t already done so you should read his post How to Simply Create Your Own Mobile Website – it’s a gem.
Everything that Ross covered in his post is solid advice. Since I was right in the middle of launching a mobile site this week (details here) I was especially glad to see his post. Here are some more tips from the trenches I’d like to share that compliment what he already covered.
Affordable Mobile Site Builder
The site builder I chose to use is MoFuse. It is an online mobile site builder that has a lot of flexibility in what can be done with it. It can mobilize an existing site or build a complete new one. Pages can be crated from scratch or can be RSS fed pages. (I used a combination of both.) I found the site building process to be more intuitive and flexible than other site builders. It is extremely easy to drag and drop pages to rearrange the order of pages.
With MoFuse I am using my own domain but didn’t have to host it myself. There is a free option and a paid version (currently $3 per month). With the paid version I got access to build as many sites as I want and can monetize the site with AdMob or Google Adsense and keep 100% of the ad revenue.
There is a built in site analysis that monitors traffic right from within the dashboard and I’ve found that MoFuse has excellent support and is very responsive to customer needs.
It would be well worth your time to give MoFuse a look if you are looking for an affordable mobile site builder.
Get Traffic to Your Mobile Site with Mobile Directories and Search Engines
In addition to the mobile directories that are covered in Ross’s post, you should also work to get your mobile site listed here:
Before you start clicking to submit, have your site description written and a list of keywords ready. You’ll need them for a lot of these sites.
Then keep a list of which sites you have submitted to so you can check back to see if you’re listed. That way you will also avoid double submitting.
- IMMBN IMMBN International Mobile Marketing Business Network
- BOOK HANDBOOK The Mobile Marketing Handbook by Kim Dushinski
- SMS BUSINESS TEXT MSG BUSINESS How to Start and Grow an SMS Text Messaging Business
- MOBILE WEB BIZ MOBILE WEB How to Start and Build a Mobile Website Building Business
- SPEAKING SPEAKING Invite Kim Dushinski to speak about mobile marketing