Okay! You’re ready to just get your website online like yesterday right? Well, would you rather publish your website in excellence or just get it out of the way with losing the ability to capitalize on “first impressions?” It’s very simple to get you started on the right track. Be sure to revisit, Why Your Business Needs a Website and the Misconceptions of Having a Website at a later time. Let’s get to how you can have a clearer focus before you publish your website in order of difficulty.
What can you talk about all day that will add value and help someone figure “it” out? What can you share as you grow into perfecting a thing? Take people along on the journey. Successful businesses, bloggers, and social media entrepreneurs have a very narrow view of information sharing and it works out in their favor. Why is that? They build a community of supporters with a topic they have in common with their audience, including teaching or learning. Please make note, a narrow focus makes it easier for you to connect with a community and to consistently build and create content. A let me figure it out along the way approach doesn’t work, even if you have a lifestyle blogging in mind. Your audience wants to be educated AND connect with you while both of you grow. My advice is to know your topic and focus and that will help you figure it out along the way. Be very specific. I repeat, be very specific. Being specific makes it easier for you create a story.
Social Media will play a crucial role in getting your online presence to be taken seriously. Why? Well, if your focus isn’t cohesive with your social media handle/name, it will be easy to forget your name. On another note, it will be harder to connect with you if they aren’t the same name on all social sites. Before you purchase things regarding your website, it’s A MUST to secure your social media handles/names on the forefront. On every platform, you should have the same name. As you grow, you want to be remembered in whatever endeavor you leap for. If you choose a personal handle and don’t want to use your name only, add The, IAm, or xo in front of your name for an edge. Each social media platform has it’s character limits, I would start with Twitter if I were you because they have the least characters.
People love to call you by a name instead of a business or company name anyway if you were considering a blogger approach. Have you noticed any bloggers that have transitioned from a more creative name to a personal name? I can name a few that have went transitioned that way and it makes perfect sense if blogging is your business. Your audience will engage you using your @ name, but will most likely call you by your name in comments as well.
Here are free tools to help you with toward a name, whether it’s personal or business:
Wordoid for catchy names.
Impossibility for full domain name generator.
The Name App find a name for ideas.
Lean Domain Search search tool to help with domain name.
Naminum is for a business name search.
You may think this is easy……and it very well could be if you take a personal approach. A Domain is a technical term for your website address or the name before a .com, .org, .net, and so on. What I mean by it being easy is this: if your brand is your personal name that is a great start. When you shift your website shifts with you, although the domain name will stay the same.
Keep in mind, establishing your social media handles should be the same or close to your domain name. Make it easy for people to find you. That’s why it’s important to place all of your brainstorming efforts into a name starting with social media handles. To secure your domain name even before your site design, here is the platform that I’ve been using for three years and can be purchased here at a low cost.
Okay! Here is where you will need more research. Once you have a name you will need a “house” that stores the information for your website. There are more than a few free and complimentary options, yet do your research to see what’s best for you if you’d ever want to relocate to a better and paid customized option. With any free options, template websites are free, yet it will be very difficult for you to customize your site or even monetize it. Find at least four website that you like and do your research on what they are using to accomplish your initial site if you are a DIYer.
Most recommended is WordPress. Be mindful, wordpress.com websites is the free, template option while wordpress.org based websites are highly customizable, professional, and can be monetized on a template or not. In order to use the .org version of WordPress AND assign your domain name, you will need a “house” for your website. In technical terms, your domain name will need a host for memory. With that host, the smallest hosting plan will work for you unless you directly upload video instead of using youtube or vimeo. You can snag your hosting with free wordpress, email, and your domain HERE.
Now, next to most recommend is Squarespace. WordPress and Squarespace is the top two website whether it’s free or a self hosted website. Be mindful, if you aren’t making freelance income at the moment, squarespace does have a monthly fee. WordPress.org, is free with hosting and when you renew your domain/hosting once a year or two, wordpress will renew with it. Others have chosen less desired Wix, Weebly, Blogger, or Medium are other options. Wix/Weebly are the most difficult to transition if you would like to change platforms.
Mentioned earlier, take a look at a few sites in your industry. See what you’d like your site to look like. Will it be contemporary, colorful, photos only? Personal or Business. You can try your favorite sites you shop from or people that you admire in your field to give you a clue to an overall look of your website. Even beyond the look, know what colors you will like to add to your branding story. Colors set the tone for your voice. If you’d like to be a mom blogger, green won’t work. If you’d like to have an author website, a lot of white space will do but pink can be too much. Think about it. Pick two primary colors and a possible third complimenting color option. This website may help you with choosing colors from well-known brands and the colors they use. Your look won’t just be for your website, it will also be used for your social media and logos, etc.
Okay! Now that should give you something to think about for now. Every single detail matters. Even when you have the answers to what you want to represent online, have content/blog posts and what you would like to offer ready before the big announcement. To relieve you of progressing toward your site, I am here to help you.
Now if you are looking to launch or modify your website, don’t miss out on web and DIY graphic design tips by clicking HERE.
VA to women entrepreneurs and bloggers