You are ready to create your own business or side-gig, to upgrade your life and have decided to create your own website. Welcome to this series of post where I give you all my tips on how to do so, in the most efficient way. This article is part 4 of a series of post on how to create a Website and this one is about content creation. Ready? Here are my very special recommendations!
Following How to create a Website – Part 1 you choose your business name and made a commitment to it by buying the corresponding domain name.
With How to create a Website – Part 2 you designed, on paper, the ideal website that will not just be pretty but will ensure your potential customers are happy to find exactly what they want on your site.
With How to create a Website – part 3, you did the set up work. You choose the tools you will be using, you created the frame-work.
Now, you probably realized one thing: you haven’t written anything yet! You have in front of you an almost blank canvas, a pretty one but a blank one.
Well it is time to create content!!
The 4 things you need first and foremost
What do you need first and foremost when starting to create your content? Time, inspiration, motivation & kindness!
This may sound weird because you probably expected me to say a computer & a plan or something like that, but let me explain.
Starting your own business / website is fun but it takes time.
Surely, you have read countless articles telling you that you can create a website in 10 minutes.
Most likely, you have read thousand of stories of entrepreneurs who make it seems like they became rich overnight.
You may even have read books or blogs of people who recommend you to delegate everything so you can go to the beach and enjoy life.
Those are mostly misrepresentation.
Sure you could set up the basic of your site under 10 minutes if you know what you are doing, but it will be empty. Sure you could delegate such task but you still would need to give precise instructions to the person doing it, to ensure it looks the way you want it to look and then supervise the result.
In reality, if you are just starting out your business, chances are that you are alone and will have to do it all, mostly by yourself, and this will take you time and it is completely normal.
You will need inspiration!
Your site is probably not going to be like a Michelangelo piece of art but still, you need to have some inspiration to create content, whichever form it might be.
Chances are that at the beginning of your journey, you will have all the inspiration you need. So we’re not yet going to discuss tips and tricks to keep the inspiration flowing, we can do that later.
But I do think that channeling our inspiration at the best time of the day is important. Organizing a schedule which help us to achieve our goals rather than one that puts us down is paramount.
On my side, I always feel more inspired to write in the morning and I’m more ‘artsy oriented’ in the afternoon and evening.
Knowing this enables me to create a work schedule which fits my needs and my muse. You need to find what works for you.
But and this is a big but….
Sometimes you won’t have much inspiration and you’ll still need to get things done!
This leads to the next point:
You will need motivation
You are super motivated… for now. If you’ve read the 3 previous post I wrote and did everything needed to be here, I have no doubts and I congratulate you for starting on this path!
Your motivation is tight to your goals. Your goal is to create a business because X, Y, Z reasons and those X, Y, Z reasons are paramount to you. You know that if you just remind yourself of your goals everyday, you’ll have no problem being motivated.
Well, well… how to break the news to you?
You might be one of a happy few for whom this will work. Unfortunately for the rest of us, some days this tactic will just not be enough.
Some days you might have a cold, a hangover, a headache… some days, you’ll prefer to go shopping and will convince you that it is what you need. Other days you’ll lose yourself reading another blog post, and another one and another one, on how to do this or that. And maybe some days the sun will be shining too bright to not just go out and enjoy!
You have to know that motivation comes and goes. It can be elusive. It can vary and no matter how important your goals are to you, the motivation required to achieve them will vary, rocketing to sky hight some days and plunging to the depth of the deepest ocean, on others. We are all just humans and it is part of life to go through this.
Yes, there are different techniques to stay motivated and this is also something we can discuss another time. Right now, what I want to tell you is that you need motivation, a lot of it but the road is a long one, so you need one more thing…
You will need kindness
Yes, you will need to be kind to yourself for every time you stray from your path.
You will need to be kind to yourself for every time you fall.
No matter how organized you are, no matter how inspired and motivated you are, there will be days where you can’t get things done. Sometimes there will be a reason, like too much sunshine, sometimes there won’t even be any.
Repeat after me: I’m only human after all!
Be kind to yourself. Acknowledge the bumps in the road. Identify any issue. Take action if needed. But be kind.
Time, inspiration, motivation & kindness are the 4 things you need most
Since you are still here, let me give you a few more recommendations.
There are currently 4 types of content you can create for your website:
No matter what you choose to fill your website with, you need to start creating such content.
In this post, I’m not going to tell you how to write or how to take pictures. I’m not going to tell you how to shoot your videos and surely not going o talk about podcasts as I don’t know how to do those.
Let’s just dig in, you’ll understand what I mean.
The usual recommendations
Find your voice, write from the heart, be sincere, post original content, use beautiful pictures… you already know all that.
1 – First keep in mind that if you post once a week, you will ‘only’ have 52 posts by the end of the year. It’s a lot and yet it’s very little compare to big blogs out there. Get creating!!
2 – Think of your blog structure before you start. Pages are static. Your “about page”, your “contact page” will be displayed in the top menu. Your post will be in your blogroll if you chose to blog, which is recommended but not a requirement for all business.
So decide before starting what your website will look like and what will be in your pages and what will be in your posts.
You might not create all your pages at once, but you should know what will be up there.
3 – Decide what your categories and tags structure will be. That’s kind of a tough one actually so start with very few and build up from there if needed. You really don’t want to have to delete a huge bunch of them and deal with what this does to your site map and Google…
4 – When you are just starting, keep your website private (or off-line or inactivated, depending on your blogging platform). You just wrote your first few lines and your brilliant about page and want to share it with the world right away? I know it’s tempting. But right now, you probably should work on your other pages, your menus and all your setting to make your blog really personal and good-looking.
The reason is that, apparently, you have 10 seconds to convince people, your website is worth their time. If you publish your first post and there is nothing else on your site, there is a chance that people who land there, will never ever come back.
By keeping it private for a while, it gives you a chance to work on it, built it a little and make it right. However, I’m not saying you should work on it for a year!
The alternative, if you really want to publish something right away, is to create a really good-looking and enticing landing page which will provide just enough information about your coming business including the date of the launch.
5 – Test, Test and Test again! Test all the functionalities of your platform, the various formatting options. Test on your laptop, on your mobile. How are your pictures displayed on the home page, in your blogroll, in your posts?… define what is the optimum size to fit most or all. Same for your videos or podcasts.
6 – Yes of course you should create original content with beautiful pictures or videos!
No you don’t need Smurfs to help!
Creating content for your website is a challenge I know you are ready to tackle.
Remember it will take time, no matter what you have read before.
First and foremost, you will need inspiration & motivation to create and to keep creating great content.
You will figure out all the technical aspects, you will manage all the plugin issues, all the great settings available to you.
Sometimes, you will create content you find fantastic one day, only to trash it the next one.
You will change your mind, you will have ups and downs and that is part of the process.
So the last key to succeed is to be kind to yourself. We are only humans after all.
What the H… is this article doing on a blog about Road Trips?
Check out this section of RTatW to understand a bit better.