I’m currently setting up a new website. For writers, whether we’re Web writers or not, knowing how to set up a website which does what you want it to do is an essential skill.
The operative words are: does what you want it to do. I work with companies every day. Most are disappointed with their websites. Perhaps you’ve set up a site, and you’re disappointed it in too. Anyone can set up a website within a minute or two on site-builders like WordPress.com, Squarespace.com, and the rest… but does the site work? Does it make money?
That’s something else again, and your results from any site depend on:
- Your goals;
- Your planning;
- Your organization.
You could write a book about each one of these topics, so we can’t cover them in an article. This post is an introduction to the topic; we’ll cover it further in future posts.
Let’s start at the beginning with your goals.
Your Goals: What’s Your Primary Goal for Your Website?
It occurred to me that it’s been a while since I set up a site for myself, and that the process: goals, planning and organization, would be a good topic for a series of articles. Today, anyone, no matter how inexperienced, can set up a site. However, if you don’t know what your goals are, your website won’t achieve what you want it to do.
Goal-setting can be a challenge, so keep your primary goal simple. Just complete this sentence: “I want this website to____________ (fill in the blank.)”
You might want your website to:
- Sell your ebooks on Amazon;
- Promote your new book;
- Sell your services: get writing jobs, or blogging gigs;
- Be an introduction to you and what you offer.
If your site is your “name” website – as mine is angelabooth.com – you want the website to be an introduction to you, and what you offer. Of course, it can do other things for you, but that’s your primary goal for your “name” website.
Other things you want the website to do: sell your writing services etc, need goals of their own. Make a list of further goals for your website.
Please, I beg you, DO THIS. Don’t think: “of course I know what my goals are, I can keep in it my head.”
You can. However, a goal is useless without a plan with a deadline to achieve it. So write down your goals. Each goal needs its own plan.
Your Goals: How Will You Achieve Your Goal(s)? By When?
Believe it or not, your goals for your new website – whether you’re creating one for yourself, or for a client – are the most important work you’ll do in building a site.
If you’re thinking: “yes, but I need to set up the site NOW, I’ll decide all that other stuff later”, go ahead and set up the site. A few short weeks from now, you’ll realize that your website is a waste of time.
Goals, planning, and organization are vital. You can cobble them in later, but why would you? In many ways, this is a sore topic for me, because clients come to me after they’ve had a company design and develop their website. Then they want content to make the site sell. To me, that’s like building a house without a blueprint.
It presents all sort of problems, and those problems would never have arisen if they had set goals and done some planning first.
We’ll cover website creation in further articles. If you’ve got a challenge with a website, let me know, and I’ll cover it in those articles.
In the meantime: remember, set goals first.
If You Need Help to Make Your Website Work for You…
We cover creating a selling website, and much more, in Your Creative Business: Coaching to Turn Your Creativity into Profits. Your website is an essential part of your creative business; it’s your PR company, your online store, and your 24×7 sales person.
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