“ Help me get really clear on what I want, please Emma!
Which style should I go for?“
You’ve made such great progress through this “How to set up your website” series… you’ve already:
- decided on your business name, and checked to see if your URL is available
- decided on the kind of website you should have, and who will whip it up for you
… and in this article, we get to get clear on who you are planning this website for, and the kind of look and feel you should go for!
Let’s first pick up where we left off!
So you have a “Hello World” Post.
and it looks like nothing.
Before you go choosing themes and plugins, it helps to get really clear about what this site will do for you.
That way… all your style, colour, font and writing decisions will become a lot easier!
What is the purpose of the website?
Why are you wanting this website, What will it do for you, what are the kinds of things you want to share…
If it’s a blog, are you going to use it to tell people what you’ve been up to, the products and services you’ve created, maybe share information with peeps on how to do stuff?
Who is your Audience?
Who are you writing to?
This is a pretty critical one… when I got clear on who I was talking to [and I knew that I was talking to creative entrepreneurs who want to build a successful dream business that they love, so that they can make their brand of difference], it became REALLY easy to focus my writing, and really serve and help them.
The minute I started diverting my attention, and writing to other peeps too… my writing became so diluted, and I found things really hard.
Make your writing easy for you by focusing on your Mr/Mrs Dreamy.
What do you want to achieve?
What will your website be about, why are they coming to your site, what are they looking for?
What is the outcome you want them to have, what will you achieve through having this website?
If you plan on having a blog:
To Start, commit.
Make sure that what you commit to, is doable for you.
If you write weekly, people will expect to see something each week… daily, then it’s a commitment you’ll need to keep.
The structure / layout of a post:
Here are some critical things that will help you with your blog:
1. Your heading is CRITICAL, it will be the deciding factor between whether someone reads your post or not [for a long time, I didn’t get this, and I wrote very disguised post titles]. Think of it like the cover of a magazine… if it isn’t clear or enticing, they won’t buy it [or open the blog post]. I use CoSchedule’s Headline analyzer tool!
2. We have become a nation of scan readers… give me the headlights, and I will decide just which section I feel like reading. So if you want people to stay engaged, break your writing up into sections, and create subheadings, check this post for more
3. How should I write posts… what do I say? This is where the questions you answered earlier about audience and focus and purpose will help you. Before each post I write, I follow Alexandra’s approach to writing, and I ask myself: “What do I want my dreamy audience to Feel, Know and Do?”
4. Creating a tone of voice. Once I’m clear on what my focus is, I write the post as though I was chatting or emailing a friend. That’s my style, it’s who I am. Because I write in a way that is true to me, people love what I write!
5. Having focus. I’m also pretty clear on what I should write when, I have a list of topics that I want to share with you, and I write articles that fit in with that theme or monthly message.
Creating a consistent look: Create a Style Guide
What is a style guide, you ask?
Well, if you start playing on canva for a few hours, and you’ll be swirling around in a sea of branding opportunity.
I once spent an afternoon “playing” with different looks and concepts.
Because I didn’t go in with a clear vision and guide… I found myself at the end of that afternoon, with a selection of imagery that looked more like a fruit salad and miss mash of design styles, than a coherent brand.
Why do you want a brand? Well, you want someone to spot your imagery amongst the sea of stuff out there, and instantly recognise it as you. If you are using too many different looks and styles… it becomes confusing to the person who is on your site!
You need to get clear on your brand.
So, when you’re putting together your style guide for your website, make sure you get clear on the following:
- The kind of images you want to use [Hint: don’t just grab someone’s images, make sure you are allowed to take them – unless you’re into being sued]. Just like a good headline, your images will help people click on the “Yip, I want to know more” button.
- The colours that are right for your brand [hint: write the codes down],
- The kinds of fonts that you’ll use [Hint: limit it to 2 or 3]
Now that you’re clear on the style you want to project… let’s make your site pretty… shall we?