This is part 2 of 3 in of the It’s Time to Launch Your Blog Series. If you would rather watch this series, then click here to access the video course.Click here to download the It’s Time to Launch Your Blog Workbook.
This is part 2 of 3 in of the It’s Time to Launch Your Blog Series.If you would rather watch this series, then click here to access the video course.Click here to download the It’s Time to Launch Your Blog Workbook.
Phase 2: DRIVE
Quick NavigationIt’s time to build your house (aka your website)!Where will you live?What does your house look like?Managed WordPress vs. Regular HostingInstall WordPress and upload your Premium ThemeConsistent creative evergreen content is your goal.Make sure your website is optimized for search engines.How else can I attract my audience?What is a lead magnet and why do I need one?Create your marketing campaignJust checking in…
In the first part of this series, we created the blueprint for our business. Now it’s time to put those plans into action. Enough rambling from me, let’s get to work!
It’s time to build your house (aka your website)!
If you’re launching your online business on a shoestring budget, one of the best ways you can reduce your operating costs is by creating your own website with a killer blog. Now before you start saying, “I don’t know how, “or “That sounds too hard,” you need to kick that negative mindset to the curb.
You got this! You can and you will create your own website. Just stay calm and carry on to following the below steps.
Where will you live?
Think of your website as your house. Where do you want to place your website? It’s important to decide where you want your website to be hosted. I would seriously think twice about moving into any “EIG neighborhoods.”
Check out the articles below and you will see my cause for concern.
In case you are experiencing difficulties choosing your hosting company, below are some non EIG recommendations:
- Siteground **(They are fantastic!)
What does your house look like?
Think of your website as your house. It’s important to build your house on a strong foundation. This same principle applies to choosing your website platform. The platform that you choose must be responsive (the website looks great regardless of what device it’s being viewed), user-friendly and affordable.
There are several types of platforms to choose from, but if you are looking for the two best options that meet the aforementioned criteria, then consider the below options:
- WordPress: It’s a powerful content management system that many people use to develop their websites or blogs. Plus, you will be in good company because 26% of the web is powered by WordPress. I always use WordPress when I build my websites because it’s powerful and user-friendly.
- Squarespace: In the event you do not want to use WordPress, this is the only worthwhile user-friendly alternative. Please note that maintaining a Squarespace site is more expensive than WordPress.
Managed WordPress vs. Regular Hosting
If you couldn’t already tell, I’m #TeamWordPress all the way. So please note that even though the rest of this series will be centered on WordPress, there are still components that may help you should you decide not to use WordPress.
Even though you chose to build your website using WordPress, you need to determine how much you are willing to pay to customize and maintain your site. You need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is cost an issue?
- How much maintenance are you willing to perform by yourself? Do you want to “outsource” some of your responsibilities?
- Do you want to have complete control over your capability of how you customize your website (i.e. which plugins you can install on your site)?
- Do you want to have access to EVERY part of your website so you can manually make coding adjustments?
- Do you want to assume responsibility for the technical aspects of your website (maintaining WordPress updates, security, backing up your site, etc.)?
If cost isn’t an issue and you truly have no desire to make extensive “renovations” (i.e. customizations) nor wish to maintain it, then a Managed WordPress is the way to go.
If cost is a concern, but you’re willing to do most of the heavy lifting to get your house to look exactly the way you want it complete with your ability to choose your own appliances (plugins, edit your theme, etc.), then purchase regular hosting. I have used both options and highly recommend going the regular WordPress hosting route.
Install WordPress and upload your Premium Theme
Now that you know where your house will be located and what type of house you want to create, it’s time to start building. Regardless of whether you chose managed or regular WordPress, you will need to install WordPress (each method takes about 5 minutes). Once this is complete, you need to “paint” the exterior of your house. You want to make sure that you pick the right colors, decorations, etc.
The way to do this for your website is by purchasing a premium theme. Yes, there are tons of free WordPress themes available online but you don’t want to use these. Spend the extra cash and purchase a premium theme. I’ve seen some as low as $15. Obviously, you need to shop around and purchase the one that best suits your needs. Free WordPress themes can turn out to be an extremely expensive mistake for a variety of reasons (i.e. failure to keep up with WordPress updates).
There are a variety of sites that you can use to purchase your Premium WordPress Theme, but I highly recommend the following themes:
I have built sites using both of these themes. If you’re a visual learner like me, check out the below video tutorial that is apart of our Slay with WordPress course demonstrating how to purchase a domain and install WordPress.
Consistent creative evergreen content is your goal.
You mastered crafting your brand’s identity and created your WordPress website so now it’s time to start creating content that will engage your audience. The struggle is real when it comes to producing high quality content. There are way too many folks regurgitating the same common sense information.
Obviously, you don’t want to be that person. Even though there’s nothing new under the sun, if you want to be viewed as unique, then you will need to find a different angle to approach your subject.
In order to keep your audience engaged, you need to G.R.A.B their attention. This is an acronym I created to help me organize my content regardless of the format of your content (blog post, video, etc.).
Generate a thought provoking headline
Relevant topic that addresses the problems your audience is facing
Actions that your audience should take to resolve their problems
Be empowered to put those actions into practice
We go into much further detail in our Master Your Niche course about creating content because it truly does play an integral role in your business. Creating valuable content can be time consuming. One of the main ways you can tackle this feat is by creating an editorial calendar.
The main purpose of a content calendar is to plan out your content and social media activities. Don’t let the thought of creating a content calendar scare you. It will save you from hours of sitting in front of the computer trying to figure out what to write or share. It definitely keeps me from going insane and I’m confident you will find it to be beneficial.
Make sure your website is optimized for search engines.
Your content deserves to be seen, so we need to make sure that it is optimized. If you’re operating on a shoestring budget, search engine optimization (SEO) is going to be extremely important for you. In order for your website to receive the attention it deserves, you have to make sure that it appears in the search engines. This is where the marketing research that you conducted back in Lesson 1 is really going to get a chance to shine. You will need to think like your customers.
If you want to gain free (aka organic) traffic to your website, then it needs to be optimized with the keywords relating to the topic of your website. When people type those words or phrases into the search engine the goal is to have your website appear within the search results. If your customers were in need of XYZ, what terms would they use to help them get their answer?
Now, this is NOT an easy feat. Especially when it seems like Google changes their algorithm every five minutes…However, I don’t want you to throw in the towel. There are still things that you can do to help improve your SEO. The top three things I want you to right now are:
- Get your blogging game on: This is why every website needs to have a blog (if you’re using Word Press this can easily be configured into your site). Blogs not only allow you to establish your expertise but the additional content will help increase your chances to getting recognized by search engines.
- Download Google Analytics: This is the main tool companies use to measure their traffic, conversions, etc.)
- Install the free WordPress YOAST SEO plugin: This plugin will help you make sure your target key words are being addressed in your content.
You can’t just rely on Google to bring traffic to your website. Therefore, we need to explore other additional alternatives to entice your audience to your website.
Are there other ways I can attract my audience?
If you build it, they will come,” is advice that only works in the movies. In the real world, savvy business owners are all too familiar with the fact that customers aren’t going to “magically” appear.
If you want your business to grow, you have to find them. Easier said than done, right? This kind of pressure can be extremely overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.
There are a variety of tactics that you can do to make this happen, but below are some of my favorites:
- Lead Magnet
- An awesome marketing campaign
What is a lead magnet and why do I need one?
A lead magnet is amazing content (guide, cheat sheet, video, etc.) that you offer in exchange for that person’s contact information. This is where the magic happens! You need a lead magnet so you can build up your email list. The degree of success that you can expect to attain will depend on the engagement of your list. Just because you have a small list does NOT mean that you can’t make any money.
If you have a small list of folks that you took time to cultivate a relationship with is definitely going to increase your chances of having those people purchase from you. Your goal should be to have a large list of engaged customers that will be more susceptible to purchasing from you.
One of the main ways to do this is to offer your audience a “taste” of what you have to offer. Your lead magnet should be FREE and address a problem that your audience is experiencing that your lead magnet will help resolve. In case you couldn’t tell, this course is a lead magnet. 😉
There are people struggling to launch their online business because they don’t know where to start. I created this course to help resolve that issue while allowing my audience the opportunity to get to know me.
People don’t purchase products or services. They purchase from people that they trust will provide value and are more likely to help them grow in their endeavors. If your lead magnet sucks, then it really shouldn’t be a surprise when you don’t see any sales.
Times are hard. People don’t have money or the time to waste on products that they don’t envision will help them reach their goals. Please understand I’m not saying you have to give away everything away for free. That’s definitely not what I’m advocating. I believe that you should get paid for your knowledge. However, you will need to determine the balance that will allow you to showcase your expertise and ability to help them while encouraging them to explore your paid product offerings.
Once you find that “sweet spot” you are good to go!
Create your marketing campaign
In order to promote your company, you need to create a marketing campaign. Based on your buyer persona and marketing research you need to choose the appropriate content format (i.e. a great lead magnet) and platforms (i.e. social networks, forums, etc.) to share your content. Depending on the industry that your company belongs to your marketing campaign will benefit from having a mix of online and offline activities.
Regardless of whether your company is new or established, gaining exposure for your business can be a daunting task. The amount of noise in the marketplace may leave you feeling defeated before you even started your marketing campaign.
In case you’re looking for ideas, be sure to check out our Over 125 Amazing Online and Offline Marketing Ideas Checklist. While everyone else is shouting, the marketing ideas contained in this document are going to help you get heard.
Just checking in…
Kudos to you for getting through the DRIVE phase of your online journey! How are you feeling? I don’t want you feeling overwhelmed, so if you have any questions feel free to contact me. Don’t forget to download the It’s Time to Launch Your Business Workbook.
Click here to download the It’s Time to Launch Your Blog Workbook.