[Hey there–before we start, have you followed 10 new people yet?]
Bringing it home
Welcome to Day 5! Today we are going to apply your brand to your website. We’ll start with your homepage. Let’s tidy up the house so we are proud when company comes over. We’re first looking at your home page because you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Open your website. View it with fresh eyes, as if you were someone that doesn’t know you, and is there for the first time. As far as the big picture, do you see an author brand? Would a stranger see it? Is your site a visual mess, or is it a place someone would want to stay and linger? Take notes on what needs to change.
Take closer inventory. What is the first specific thing people see and feel? Take notes on the following:
- When someone sees it, do they get an immediate sense of who you are—but more importantly, is it welcoming?
- Does it represent the current you, and your brand?
- Are the colors right? Is font readable? Is there enough whitespace?
- Is it current? As in when was your last post or update? How would they know?
- How old is your bio pic?
- Is every subheading correct, necessary, and relevant?
- Do you have clearly marked Contact info and links to social media?
RIGHT AWAY, get working on anything that needs fixing. Make notes in that new notebook or document on any work you still need done. Give yourself a deadline to complete it. Even if you end up needing to push the deadline out, give yourself one. Trust me (and science!), it is more likely to happen when you hold yourself accountable by being SMART (remember–Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.) If you don’t have time to add the icons and links to all your social media platforms today, write down you’ll figure out how to do it by Friday the 5th and complete it by Saturday May 6th.
If editing a website is above your pay grade and it’s not something you can immediately start on, contact someone today with SPECIFICS on what you would like them to do for you. Not “help me with my homepage” but “change the colors on the homepage, update my contact info, and remove this image.” Give them a (reasonable) deadline too – or at least a timeframe.
I just got done assessing my homepage, and FWIW this is what I realized:
- My colors were too juvenile so I changed them
- I hate the random, ugly ads that are generated in the free version of WordPress that I use, so did what I’ve been thinking about doing for years: upgraded to the no-ad version. Not saying you need to! Just something I’ve wanted to do and finally did, whew
- My “Upcoming Events” list was waaay too long so I shortened it and put stuff from 2020 on a diff page
- The “long version” of my bio was, well, too long so I pared it down (it’s still too long, but progress…)
- My tagline, held over from when I spent more time marketing than writing, feels dated, so I edited it
- My formatting skills are horrendous but I cleaned up a little bit at the bottom (it’s still terrible but it’s good enough for now. I added it to my To Do list to fix later.
- I added a “subscribe” button in the top right column — please sign up so you get emails on each daily task! (it’s now on the top right of every page)
I was able to handle all of it within about an hour.
Now it’s your turn.
Recap: Take a birds-eye view of your homepage. What needs updating, changing revising? Take note (literally) of larger things To Do and change what you can right now.
Let me know how it shakes out! Leave a comment below.