This is dedicated to all the many requests from clients, colleagues, and friends who keep mentioning they want to get their website up and running. They have been talking about their new business for months or years, and just don’t seem to engage their engine. Please use this brief list to kick your own ass and get your website done!
What’s holding you back from writing your website content? It’s not because you don’t want to, but it’s because you don’t schedule it. But more importantly, you don’t honor your own time by sticking to your commitments. There can be a number of reasons and I can help you discover them but that’s not what I’m teaching here today. Let’s get started.
Entrepreneurs start your engines! Okay, it’s not a race, but you do have limited time to meet this goal. I use my time as a race team crew to segment my work week to allow for this deadline. We may not be taking an engine apart, but we are digging into the necessary details to get in the race. There’s no need to worry about how you’ll get it done, just trust in your abilities because they’ve gotten you this far. If after reading this post and you still need help with your goal setting and time management, I can help you. If you’re lying awake one more night thinking about your website, let’s talk about what’s holding you back. This list applies to publishing your text onto your webpage but also helps with social media marketing or blog posts. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 GO!
- Where did I put that note? It’s great to write down your ideas when you’re inspired and you never know when that will spark. I recommend getting a spiral notebook and keep it with you so you can jot down notes for your website. Make sure you date your ideas and circle the topic. If you’re a digital note keeper but still can’t locate your writing, start using Evernote.
- Not sure where to start with writing content, create a Mind Map. Get out your sketchbook and start writing words that resonate with you, your services, the emotions you want to convey, the aspects about your company culture, what you wish to cultivate by putting this business out in the world. Then sit back and review all the items. Draw circles, arrows, add other notes elaborating, just free write to get your pen flowing. What commonalities do the words have? Where are you on point with what atmosphere you wish to cultivate? Use this as a launching point to start being expressive. If you’re still stuck have you thoroughly discovered your ‘core values’?
- Who is your target audience? Write to that one person as if you’re speaking to them in a one to one meeting. This helps with clarity of message. It’s also perfect when you’re not sure what to write, but you can have a conversation with someone about your business.
- Be okay with the process. Don’t worry about getting it right the first time. You will want to begin with a rough draft. It’s best to use a pen/pencil and paper. Then you won’t be worried about spelling, grammar and the temptation to rearrange each item as it’s captured.
- Edit in rounds. You don’t have to do the editing if you don’t want to. You can hire a copy editor on a freelance website like Upwork.com Or you can give it a try by doing these incremental steps. Just imagine it’s a brick of lego, you create the building brick by brick. Editing can be just as playful. It doesn’t have to be hard. This is your baby after all. Give it some editing love, then put it out there in the world.
- Having trouble starting with your content? Begin with your ‘About Me’ or ‘About Us’ page. You start by telling a story of how you got where you are today and most importantly why you do what you do. It’s the most compelling aspect of your business and will be the foundation of your remaining website content. It’s the hardest place to start but it will all be downhill from here. You’ll thank me. Well, you will after you cuss me out first for suggesting you start here.
- Remember it’s not about you, but your writing should be about your customer and clients. What’s in it for them to work with you? What are their pain points and how do you solve them?
- You know your business better than anyone, so how come it’s so hard to write about it? Secretly, deep down we all want to be accepted. When you write and put your name to it, that’s a lot of pressure. But it doesn’t have to be. If you think about your core audience and NOT pleasing everyone, that’s the key. You don’t want to have everything thought out in the very beginning. You want to give yourself time to let it breathe. You can always edit the text as you get feedback and have conversations with your audience. Your writing has a life of its own and it is a creative endeavor.
- This is going to sound woo woo, but please give yourself compassion for the process. Love each and everything you write. Don’t be a perfectionist! That’s the number one reason most entrepreneurs can’t get their website done or even started for that matter. Remember B- or B+ is good enough. If you strive for an A+ you’ll have a huge uphill battle and not ever hit the publish button. Good is always good enough to get customers to act.
- What is it costing you NOT to get this done NOW? Every day your message is not out there then that is another day you’re not helping others with your service or product. Please don’t put off beginning to write your website content.
- Start with an outline of the pages you NEED. Then fill in the pages you want and do those later. Even if you only write three pages, you’ll have a website and can start promoting it on your business card, social media, and networking events. Do you cringe every time someone asks if you have a website? This is where they can learn more about you! Don’t be concerned with why you haven’t done it yet. Let that shit go! Yes, I was there. I feel exactly what you do. It’s not easy to put yourself out there but that is what it takes. Open your calendar and schedule it. Block out 1 hour 3 times this week. You’ll thank yourself when you’ve finally gotten that off your to-do list. [Example outline: Home (brief intro of your business), About (not a bio, not a list of your accomplishments or resume. See #5), Services (here you can use bullet points but be friendly and engaging. Businesses are people working with people), Contact page (you don’t need a form, but please put down your hours and time zone).]
- Don’t forget the Call to Action. What do you want your visitors to do after they read your page? Create a button or write the call to action large and clearly define what are the next steps.
- STOP doing anything else and schedule your writing like it’s an important festive event. Don’t schedule anything else. If you can sign up for a workshop, course, or webinar to learn one more skill, then you have the time and ability to write your website content. You have no business taking any more classes or sitting through one more lecture while your website isn’t done. That’s like going to a university and never graduating. You’ve started a business and your website is key to being an entrepreneur.
- Celebrate when you have your first page written. If it’s a blog post, that’s great! If it’s some more information on your contact form; then high five! Please choose to give yourself a vacation after you’ve finished the whole website. That’s a huge accomplishment! Be grateful that you stuck through the dip. The easy part is having the idea (or many ideas) but the challenge is to focus, make a plan, take action and finish the work. Action is key. Without it, you’ll be wanting to start that side hustle, or launch your new business idea, but will never see it get off the starting line.
- Oh, Lucky number for a race car #13 but this is a great tip. When you think you’re done with the writing, read it out loud. When you speak the words, you’ll hear where it doesn’t flow, is too wordy, or your redundant. Does your copy sound like a real human communicating with another real person?
- Don’t compare your beginning with anyone else’s finished website. Everyone has to start somewhere and you’re being authentic by publishing a work in progress. No one is hovering over your website and critiquing it. You have lived an impressive career, worked with thousands of clients, built projects for everyone else, now it’s time you do this for yourself. Starting where you are is the perfect place to practice self-compassion and acceptance.
- Need help how to operate your machinery? Call me and I can give you FREE 15 minutes of WordPress training customized for your level of ability. I’ve got tons of patience and years of experience teaching. Go ahead get started and when you get stuck just know I’ve got your back.
More motivation for helping you get your content up online.
I’ve had years of producing websites for clients at Lucy Clark Communications, but recently I took a fantastic workshop. That commitment to myself to become a better writer was the catalyst for adding this feature to my services. The women who instructed was funny and incredibly encouraging no matter the level of experience. Sonia Simone is the Creative Coach of Remarkable Writing and also stars as the co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger. This leap in copywriting skill has propelled my Life Designer business and benefits clients who pay me to write their website. The confidence built out of that eight-week series has been invaluable.
After my survival needs were met, what path would lead to my greatest thriving? That was my question before I met Lucy.
Imagine a guide who not only maps out what’s worked for other badass thrivers, but she crawls into your life’s trenches to witness your particular ground zero and best guide your next steps.
That’s Lucy. She’s done the work and she’s still doing the work. She guides from the wisdom of one who’s been there and done that, and can translate an overview of how you can also get to your badass thriving self.