Everyday I hear someone say they want to make a website or a blog, yet they fail to do so. I know the process can be overwhelming at best, but if it’s broken down into small tasks, it doesn’t have to be.
Typically, there are two types of websites/bloggers. In one scenario, there lacks focus and covers too much information with impossible navigation; while the other scenario is the site lacks enough information to keep visitors engaged.
Creating a website is a practice in temperance–just enough information to be informative, but not too much that you overwhelm your visitor into leaving. The trick becomes determining what you want to cover on your site. To start, take some time to keyword research as well as visit other websites relevant to your topic.
Website Outline Examples
If your website was about handbags, it would make sense to include some of the most popular handbags out there, such as Michael Korrs or Coach. But along with providing the handbags themselves, what other relevant information can you include? If it was my site–shoes, earrings, belts, and other accessories would be relevant and worth adding.
Conversely, I wouldn’t turn around around and add makeup to the same website because that, in my opinion, is an entirely different topic, although I have seen it being done. Some might argue that they work together, but if you have to argue to make a point, maybe you need to take another look. However, it is safe to say that it is a matter of perspective.
Another example, if you have a website about cats that includes health articles and cat supplies, adding information about monkeys really wouldn’t go together, no matter what your perspective is. Yet, I would have a website that includes information on both dogs and cats.
Creating a Website Plan
The Site’s Purpose: Start by clarifying the reasons you are building the site. Is it a passion or yours, or perhaps a hobby? Next create a list of the site’s goals in order of importance. Be as specific as you can, as this outline will grow with the site, as well as your experience and expectations.
Audience: You need to clearly identify your audience and understand what they will be looking for, how you will reach them, and what information you will provide for them. Will you use PPC, Adsense, or social media? There’s many ways to monetize a site, research which one works for you.
Marketing Tactics: How will you attract visitors to your site? Will you utilize word of mouth, pay-per-click advertising, article marketing, or a mixture of them all?
Site Content: This ties into what we discussed above–what content will you provide your visitors? List the topics you will include, along with any images you will need. Sites such as iStock Photo can be a huge help. Or, you can take the photos yourself, also an important decision. If your site involves a blog, make sure it is updated regularly and engage with the people that take the time to comment.
Look and Feel: What do you want the feel of the site to convey to your visitors? It should look and feel welcoming, encouraging the visitors to stay a while. Most importantly, keep the navigation simple, easy to use, and inviting. Keep mobile marketing in mind when having your site designed, meaning simply, ensure that it also renders well on smartphones.
Twitter, Facebook, and More: This one is important–contact, contact, and more contact will keep people coming back to your site. It will keep them engaged and they will remember you. A Facebook page and a Twitter account that are updated frequently can go a long way to creating long-lasting visitors and fans. As important as Facebook and Twitter are, the rising popularity of Pinterest and the staple for business that LinkedIn is make them just as important.
Getting Started: If you are new to websites and blogs, a domain name, host, and the right business software is all you need to get started! Sites like Clicknewz, and of course our own Woman Tribune are filled with information to make the process of starting a website or blog less confusing and stressful.
This is a guest post by Laura, a book nerd who is obsessed with her Kindle and Amazon. You can visit her at BookAddictReviews.
Photo by kpwerker/Flickr