When I became a mom, I thought I would just naturally know what to do. The nurses nicknamed my oldest the barracuda because she came at my chest to nurse, like one of those crazed fish! I was terrified to let her latch on, it was so painful and I didn't know what to do. I kept repeating, "I thought this was natural!" "Why didn't other moms tell me about this?" I was kinda mad!
I feel like the same thing happened to me with my website. I thought people just came to it! I had a ghost town of a placeholder. I tried so hard. It just never felt right! I didn't even have enough people visit to bounce off my site in 10 seconds flat. That would have been great!
Now that those days are behind me, I know better. You can know better too! These steps are tried and true. However, I didn't make them up, I got help from the blogs of experts and used other sights that I loved, as models. Below, is a collection of what I found and used to create this very site. You don't have to recreate the wheel, just take the wheel!
What Your Site Needs | The Basics
1. Ask a Question To Uncover Your Audience's Frustration
This shows your audience that you understand their pain points and that they are in the right place. To start, look at my homepage to see how I did it. Research your competitors, especially the ones that have a good following and are looking like a professional, trustworthy biz. Look for their calls to action and how they do it. Some are very bold and have their question about your pain point, front and center. Others are more feminine and soft, like my style. Your research will help you narrow down what you want, the pain point question that fits you best, what your call to action is, and what the main goal of your calls to action are.
> Give three choices in the form of prettily designed buttons, with a description of what each button will take them to.
2. Create a Beautiful Hero Image.
Your hero image is an image that grabs the viewer and creates reactions. What are some reactions you want to shoot for, you ask? Think about what would appeal to your perfect client. Pretty flat lay images are popular now and if you head over to creative market, you can find a wide selection. Women like pretty things, organized things, fresh and clean images with a lot of white space. Professional photos like these, are perfect for those of us on a budget that don't have room to hire a photographer.
3. Brand It
Brand your buttons by using the same patterns or style of patterns. Some mom-bosses choose to use pretty flat lay images with white boxes overlaid on top, with the button title. Others just use blocks or circles of color, with the title. Choose what works best for you and the vibe of your website.
4. Opt-In Freebie
I just adore these little nuggets of email currency. I even have two blog posts dealing with the how and why of these goodies. Read them here and here. Put your Opt-In Freebie near the top of your website. This would link to a free worksheet, workbook or digital resource library. I started a resource library in exchange for email addresses and learned from the master, Melyssa Griffin. Here is the blog post that I learned from. You can also sprinkle it on every page. Give your audience variety and offer different opt-ins.
Keep 4 page titles at the top, for navigation. These are the main pages of your website. These usually are Home, About, Services + Contact. For links to other pages, use the custom button designs, like we talked about above, to direct the audience to take action in so way. This encourages engagement and builds trust when you offer hand holding and direction from the very beginning.
Content done right, is important because it helps you sell your products and/or services. Your two choices when developing content for your website are learning how to do it right, or to hire a good content developer. I talk about who I recommend in the last blog post. Why hire an expert? Because you need to write for sales (sales page), SEO (keywords that get you found on Google and other search engines), for Blog Posts (Great Titles + Content), and an effective Contact page. There is a right way to do all of these and it will pay off with paying clients!
Starting a blog can be overwhelming, I sooooo know! I really didn't want to have to commit to this. I am not a writer by trade, but I am a storyteller and do have a lot to share, so I gave it a go. I recommend finding an editorial calendar and scheduling out 1 post a week, to start. Blogging will help drive traffic to your website through social media channels. The most effective channels for my blog, have been Pinterest and Instagram. To really set your blog up for success, use BoardBooster. By creating pins that go with your blog posts, (like the one above...if you click "Pin"...you will see how it works.) you create a road that leads your target audience to your website. At the top of every post, I have a branded pin that I designed months ago and I just change the images and titles with each new post. These get pinned to Pinterest, with a link in the description that leads back to my website. Writing a description that uses keywords that your target will Google, is an incredible boost for your SEO and will get you found! Don't forget that description below the pin! That is GOLD!
QUICK TWEETABLE TIP: Place related articles at the bottom of your blog posts. This gets people to click around your website and find out how helpful and valuable you are.
8. Passive Income
Set up passive income and provide digital products that will educate your audience. Focus on your strengths and keep it simple. Set up everything else first. I set up my design shoppe as passive income, but I am working on my first e-course to add to the collection. If you don't have a clue about what your passive income would be, no problem. Get a journal that is for your business ideas and start working it out there. Get the above items set up first, then focus on this area so you can work smarter, not harder. Although, at the beginning, it can seem harder because set up takes time. Keep going, if you give up, you never know how close to the finish line you were! (I am speaking from experience, I almost quit last week, and the week before that...and the week before that. LOL.
9. Connect your social media accounts and create a sidebar on your blog that has these things:
- Search Bar
- Your Picture + a Brief Introduction
- Newsletter Sign up Box With What They Get If They Sign Up. Be Specific.
- Connect Your Blog to Bloglovin + Display the logo here
- Archives of your Blog Posts
- Social Media Platforms like Instagram
The best way to create a successful online business, is to detail each step and work out your wants and your definite "Don't Wants". Below is a selection of more FREE worksheets, for the beginning hand holding that you need. Click below to continue the process!
For the last four blog posts in the 12 Days of Business, Click the December Archive in the blog sidebar to the right. Don't miss a post!