Websites are a dangerous black hole for most aspiring gurus, experts and authors. The amount of time people spend wasting on utter nonsense such as logos, colors, design elements and layouts is truly breathtaking. Hundreds of millions of hours a year are wasted on truly worthless thought exercises. Most aspiring gurus spend way too much time on graphic layout and color design, to the point where many still have no web site up 18 months after they’ve started the process.
Universally, aspiring gurus make three main blunders:
- The waste time on irrelevant things like image, graphics, flash and the “look.”
- They fail to put up simple, easy to understand text explain exactly what it is they do and why anyone should hire them.
- They tell themselves they are a “non-techie” and that they have to hire a web development firm to ‘save them time’ (hint, this will waste you 100 times more hours of your own time than learning to do it yourself)
Here is what I recommend you do when you are starting out.
- Put up a site today (literally today, not next month, next week or soon, but today)
- Learn how to do that damn site yourself using a simple template–no you don’t have to learn complex computer languages like HTML.
- Add, change, refine, and improve your site frequently, preferably daily, starting today.
Here are things you need to have on your web page, most of them can be done in simple text.
- A one-sentence description of what, exactly, you do.
- A paragraph on what your expertise is all about, who you help and how you help them.
- A nice, simple, professional headshot photo of you.
- A list of every professional service you provide.
- A list of any books or products you sell and a way to buy them.
- A list of clients or people who have given you money in the past.
- A way to get a hold of you easily including phone numbers, email, cell phone and mailing list (don’t make people fill out a form just to contact you)
- A list of nice things clients and partners say about you.
This is a simple start, but if you get these up quickly, you will be ahead of 99% of your competition in what they do there first year.
After you get these basic elements up, ask people what they think and make improvements.
If you are going to hire someone to help you, my recommendation is that you hire a search engine optimization company that happens to help people build web sites too. Don’t hire a website development company that promises to do search engine placement too.
Whoever you hire to help you with search engine placement, do you do diligence. It is very easy and quick to find out if someone is good or not. Just ask them for their client’s web sites and what words they were optimized for. Then check to see that the client is in the top ten in Google and that it is for a competitive word phrase.
For example, If I tell you to hire my SEO company because they got TJWalker.com to show up number one when people search for “TJ Walker” on Google, you would know not to hire them because practically nobody search for “TJ Walker.” But, if I said hire my SEO firm Cybermart International www.cybermartint.com because they have made my website www.mediatrainingworldwide.com #1 for the phrase “media training” for the last ten years and this has resulted in millions of dollars of business for me, then that merits your attention. Go to Google and see if I am telling you the truth. If I am then use the company I use.
The message you send out on your website is crucial. Optimizing your site so that people can find you who don’t know you is crucial. Everything else is a minor sideshow when it comes to your websites.