Oh lordy lord did I waste so much time when I first started my online "business" because I, uh...had no clue what I was doing.
I remember spending hours designing my website header only to change it three days later.
I experiemented with all sorts of clever links on my website's navigation bar.
I've planned out and failed to execute at least 3 ten-day "happiness" projects only to realize that they had nothing to do with anything and would not serve me or my readers in any particular way.
I want you to learn from my trial and error so that you don't wind up spending hours creating a website that no one understands.
I'm about to say something that I might get attacked for, so bare with me.
Here it goes:
COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR READERS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WEB DESIGN.
Whew! It feels good not to have that secret hiding in me anymore.
In fact, I feel like saying it again, and a gain!
Communicating with your readers is more imortant than web design!
Yeehaw! Now we're getting somewhere.
Don't get me wrong. I'm OBSESSED with web design. I think web design is RIDICULOUSLY important.
But the truth is that web design doesn't run a business.
YOU run a business, and you have to be able to communicate your value with WORDS.
That's something that design, despite how much I love it, cannot do.
Before you even THINK about hiring a web designer (which you should totally do and I'm giving a mad shout out to my girl Leah Kalamakis), you need to know what you're going to put on your website.
Here are the 5 wonderful things that you absolutely must have on your website to call yourself a professional online business owner.
1. A work-with-me page.
Seriously, even if you put NOTHING ELSE on your website, you need to show people how they can work with you!
I understand that launching a service based business is terrifying. That's why I wrote the Wannabe Entrepreneur Series.
I also understand that many people prefer to start a blog before starting a business so that you can get your feelers out there and figure out what you love to write about. That's totally fine.
But I want you to make creating an offering your NUMBER ONE PRIORITY.
If you already have an offering, I want you to make having an exquisite work-with-me page your NEXT priority. If you're not getting as many clients as you want, it's probably because they aren't sold on what you have to offer.
2. An opt-in offer
Your website isn't a business.
It's a marketing tool!
Your website is your storefront.
The problem is, if you don't make an impact on people the FIRST TIME they visit your site, they'll probably click away and never come back.
The best way to make an impact is to offer new readers something of value in exchange for a free product that you create for them!
I'm sure you know by now that people aren't exactly jumping at the opportunity to hand over their email address to an unknown business.
By offering them something super cool in return, they'll decide that they want to subscribe. Then, they'll get your amazing blog posts and/or newsletters in their inbox every week. Then, after a while, they'll fall in love with you and may even become your favorite client!
3. About Page
What I want to know when I go to a business’ about page is, “What am I going to get out of building a relationship with you?”
I want to know that you offer value for free (that makes me feel really good and changes my life in some specific way).
I want to know that you want to take care of me and solve whatever problem I have.
And finally, I want to know who you are. Why are you in business? What are you trying to accomplish? What is your vision?
I want to be able to say "Wow, I really like this chick! We're two peas in a friggin pod!"
Blogs are a genius marketing tool because you can use the same blog posts again and again to offer amazing free value to new readers.
When done right, your blog works like a full-time salesperson.
Each blog post should address one specific topic and offer a simple solution.
If you're worried that your blog post is too vague or complex, it probably is. Cut it in half and focus on making the half that remains EVEN BETTER.
Make sure you have a system in place for collecting blog ideas and scheduling them. You don't have to make a rigid editorial calendar, but you do need a system that works for YOU.
5. Super fly email marketing.
How do you feel when pushy businesses send you impersonal emails?
Pretty shitty, right?
Take that in to consideration when you write emails to your subscribers. What can you say that will make people happy that they opened your email?
Think about the type of email you LOVE getting, and make your emails to your subscribers more like that.
If you're anything like me, I bet your inbox is full o' crap, right?
Don't add to the nonsense. Be real. Be you. Be the kind of business owner you wish showed up in your inbox.
Enough reading and learning, cupcake! You've now got to DO something about this.
Go put on your copywriting genius crown and cook up some personality-infused writing for your website!
If you need help, make sure to grab (and USE) the Top Secret Copywriting File. In it, I give you all of my best tips for crafting the copy for each of the pages mentioned in this post. You are robbing yourself if you don't grab these cheat sheets!
And if you're a supah serious business lady who wants to play with the big kids, let me remind you of The Total Knockout VIP Copywriting service...
You + Me spend one extravagant day together crafting all of the copy for your website. You get to borrow my brain for the day, get tons of bonus resources from me (so you don't forget what you learned), AND have me create your copy. There are 5 openings for 2014 at a $1,000 discount. Wham bam thank you ma'am! Learn more >>