The ‘Getting Started’ Collection

Tools & Resources, Website Planning

Got a wild idea?

Ready to take that idea + turn it into an online business?

Well then wild one, this is for you!

TAKE ACTION: Before you get started, take a moment now to bookmark this page so you can come back to it as you work through this Guide.

This compendium has been pieced together to put you in touch with some of the best resources to help you get started online, without wasting any more minutes.

This compendium has been pieced together to put you in touch with some of the best resources to help you get started online, without wasting any more minutes.

The other bonus that can’t be overlooked is that within these links you’ll be introduced to other business owners. People who are doing things their way, all while creating little miracles that impact our community in small, yet often profound ways.

But, before we begin I need to warn you : You’re going to come across many conflicting opinions {insert air quotes for full impact of the following statements}

the best way.
the only way.
must do.
must have.
blueprints and maps.

It’s likely you already have and it’s probably all becoming too confusing, stressing you out and keeping you stuck.

My advice : Go with what ‘feels’ right for YOU and this business you’re building.

The most important thing I’ve learned in my 3-4 years of being in business is, if something doesn’t feel good – it’s probably not going to work no matter how hard you try.

However, just vibing with an opinion, idea or concept is not enough. You’ve got to take action to create anything or run the risk of simply having a BIG DREAM.

Take the pieces that feel right and run with them even if it diverts from the advice of the big guys {or even the advice given here}.

You can make this as hard or as simple as you like. That’s really up to you. I’m here to break it all down so you can get out of the starting gates to experience this incredible digital world!

You ready for an adventure?

Dip your toes in right here!

There are 4 essential elements that make up a Website. Branding, Content, Design & Code. IN THAT ORDER.

  • You can’t code a website without a design.
  • You can’t create a design without first knowing what the website will be about.
  • And without a brand, your content will have no substance.

You still with me?

… Great!

In this tutorial we’ll be talking more specifically about Branding & Content.

Let’s get started with Branding

Your brand is the sum total of many qualities and characteristics. It’s about:

  • Strategy
  • The way you talk
  • The messaging you send out
  • Who you are and what’s in your soul
  • How you want to be perceived
  • Your ideal audience
  • How you want them to experience you/your product
  • What sets you apart from the rest
  • Your goals
  • Your mission
  • Your vision and values.

It’s a personality. That ‘thing’ people can’t quite put their finger on, yet it looks and feels so familiar. That’s when you know you’re onto a sweet thing!

It takes time, care and mountains of patience to create and when you’re just starting out, it can (and probably will) keep you stuck. You won’t have all the answers yet, but that’s o.k because you don’t need a ‘full on’ brand to get started.

  • Begin instead with Cerries Hickmott’s Primary Archetype Test. It’s unlike any other profiling test you might have taken. She doesn’t give you a random profile with no guidance about how to use it in your brand.  Instead, you get valuable insights into who your brand is, major awareness around your audience and your brand plus, verbal and visual ques. Like I said, it’s unlike any other profiling test you’ve done. Go get it!
  • You’ll then want to strengthen your verbal muscles with Abby Kerr’s Voice Values Assessment (the opt in form in her header). With this knowledge in your back pocket you’ll be able to focus and hone your brands unique voice to start crafting branded content for your site.
  • And now that you’ve got some branding prowess under your belt, you can bring it all together to create a simple Visual Brand (or visual identity) and work your way out from there.

Creating Content for your Website.

Before you go ahead and start writing your site, take a minute to read (and implement) this article I wrote when I was working under the umbrella of Chic Web Designs. It will help you to find your writing sweet spot which is essential to getting the rest of your website written.

Now. You’re probably wondering what type of content you’ll need to launch your website?

Am-I-right?

Here’s a list of essentials you’ll need to prepare. And don’t forget to keep referring back to your Archetype Profile and Voice Values to keep you focused.

  • Domain Name – If you’re fussing over a domain name for your blog or business, this article is a must read. There’s a nice and easy worksheet and domain name checklist to help you too.
  • Tagline – It’s only been in this incarnation of my business that I’ve really put any effort into writing a tagline so don’t get too caught up in it’s perfection. Just know that your business will change so your tagline is something that will change with it.
  • Work Title – Now, I’m not one to label a person but when I read this article by Bushra Azhar, I realised how important it was to give yourself a knock out title. In other words, how to describe what you do.
  • Bio – Melissa Cassera is definitely someone you’ll love having in your orbit. In her Better Bio Challenge she’s got you covered with not just one…but THREE bio’s (count ’em!)The Baby Bear. The Mama Bear. And the Mac Daddy!
  • Opt In –  Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic is one of the biggest bad asses on the web (he said that!). You can (and totally should!) steal his 52 Headline Hacks to help you write your opt in copy (sign up for it at the top of his website). And to make writing those important few lines easier, you first need to decide what you’re going to give your peeps in exchange for their prized email address. Luckily, I’ve got you covered, right this way sister! A BONUS READ : Melissa Cassera shares a behind the scenes look at how her opt in offer has evolved over the years + the lessons she’s learned along the way. Be sure to check out the comments too as she imparts more of her genius there.
  • Home Page – In this article Abby Kerr uses the Front Porch metaphor to describe the way your home page should feel to your visitors. It’s the best example I’ve ever come across.
  • About Page – Jeff Goins is an author, and truly remarkable blogger who tests his ideas via his blog before they make it to his books. This article was written for his 21-Day Intentional Blogging Challenge and is hugely helpful in crafting ‘the’ most important page of your website – The About Page.
  • Contact Page – And what good is a website if people can’t contact you? Naomi of Itty Biz will give you the low down on what you need to put on it.
  • Work With Me / Services Page – Alex Franzen is the Zen Master of Communication and her script to describe your product/service will help you clearly explain all the important bits so even a 6 year old would understand! Your ‘thing’ will also need a name and she’s got your back there too with this script.
  • Testimonials – Testimonials are little pocket rockets for your business when done right. Jenny Shih has a simple to follow template complete with email scripts + checklist to make sure yours are killer.
  • Blog PostsOh Yes! We’re going there! Lacy Boggs is your girl for all things CONTENT. Her blog is rich, full of information and how to’s. I recommend starting off with this post and this one. You’ll want a minimum of 5 pieces ready to go.

Once you’re done, you’ll be well prepared to move onto the next step of bringing your vision to life on the web. I’ve created a video walk-through to guide you on how to set up WordPress for your business. 

Do you have some resources or know some folks that deserve a mention in this post? Let me know in the comments so we can check them out!

Have you downloaded The Essential Website Planning Checklist yet?

I invite you to go ahead and do than now. 

Discover what it really takes to build a website that actually works to meet your goals.

 

GET THE CHECKLIST!

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