Writing your own website – does the idea of that make you feel itchy?
It’s not that hard if you take it step by step. Join me this year on a jaunt down the flower-lined pathway to developing a wonderfully worded online abode.
I’ve decided to dedicate this year to writing a manual to help people in business develop their wording for their websites. Yep!
I’ll be writing a series of blog posts to motivate myself to reach that goal. The Oh My Word blog readership (that’s you!) and the Ms Monk e-Letter clan (that could be you – sign up here!) will get the first draft, and I will craft it into something saleable by the end of the year.
I finished the All About You eWorkbook last year, so I thought, why not just smash out another? All About You is about writing one’s About page on a website, and that’s 50 odd pages. So this new writing project, about writing a whole website, may become a mammoth product. Who knows? It’s only just begun, and I hope you can come on the journey with me.
Does everyone need a website?
Even with everyone’s research behaviour now being all about online (sorry, hard copy Yellow Pages – you’re still good for art projects!) some people in business still do not have a website. They have Yellow Pages listings online (and many others such as on Yelp and Gumtree), but they don’t have their very own home. For some, this might get them the business they need. Many tradies, for instance, seem to get away with just having these listings as their online presence.
My neighbour, for instance, is a builder and has been working in the area for about 25 years. He’s well respected and still has a few good projects in the pipeline. His phone is called just about every day with enquiries for new jobs, which is excellent. All of these enquiries come from word of mouth and the Yellow pages online listing.
But, the other day he mentioned that he feels like the time is ripe for him to get a website. The reason being is that our area is experiencing a jobs shortage (many people retrenched and job hunting), and he feels that this may result in more and more people entering the building market, potentially undercutting he and other established businesses. He would, therefore, like to develop a website to showcase his 25 years experience and stand out from the growing crowd in that way.
While you can say “25 years experience” in your online listing advertisement, it just does not carry the same weight as proving it with a gallery of photos of his work and also a bit of room to explain the types of projects he’s worked on. An online listing also can’t share with people the YOU in your business, and a website is simply perfect for that. My neighbour is a character, and I think it wins clients over coupled with his experience.
So I’m well chuffed my lovely next door pal (who by the way whipper snipped our front lawn the other day just because “he was doing his and it wasn’t a trouble” – what a superstar!) is now venturing into the land of websites. He doesn’t really ‘do computers’ and he doesn’t know a thing about creating websites, but he’s giving it a go.
As can you!
Do I have to write my own website?
The truth is, you don’t have to. But I wholeheartedly believe that there are immense benefits to the business owner writing in their own content; even if it’s just a draft. Here are a few reasons:
- Writing your website encourages you to reflect and define what you’re in business for. It’s an opportunity to grow.
- It increases your capacity to concisely articulate the work you do, meaning you will have better conversations about your business with others.
- Web sites that are written by other people are often not the voice of the business owner, feeling flat and inauthentic.
- The joy of knowing that you’ve created and written your website is too good to give up!
So, yes, I am going to be writing some posts for the next little while focusing on writing for your online home. This series will have a few technical tips but is more so dedicated to writing and developing the content – words, pictures and how they work together.
Already have a website? Do keep reading!
I have a feeling that what I write about can be used for people starting their website from scratch, but also, for those who have a website and are in need of an overhaul. If you have a website already, you could use the focus of each blog post to run your eyes over that aspect of your established web presence. You never know, you might be inspired to tweak something that has some dramatic or just practical result.
My little call out to you then is – are you ready for a website? Or are you ready for a year to review your online presence? Step by step together we can craft something wonderful AND not in an overbearing – tear your hair out – “I hate this” – crying and sniffling through – way. That was me doing school assignments, by the way. A lovely, graceful, with tea and ginger biscuits kind of way.
Hope you can join me. The first post is about Menus, Sitemaps, Domain names and word matters relating to them.