Over my 35-year entrepreneurial and business career and now in my capacity as a coach and mentor, there is one thing that I see over and over — whether it is an individual who is interviewing for a job or a company who is designing its website and marketing materials:
The lack of a simple, concise message that clearly articulates the value of the person or company.
I speak from personal experience here as well, because in the early days of my very first blog and in building, my companies, I struggled intensely with getting the message right and it cost me many man-hours of agonizing discussions, writing copy and all because I approached the whole process from the wrong perspective.
I was “selling to myself” and without the right consideration for my audience
You are because you have an interest in starting a blog, or maybe you have one and people are not visiting or leaving your site without buying or engaging with you in the way you want them to.
A blog, whether it is a person or a company is still a business in its own right and must be treated as such.
I am going to help you create and deliver your own message in this article and make sure you have the best chances for success.
Let’s start with the fact that maybe you have just thought about starting a blog and you are not even sure that you want to go forward with that thought.
I understand where you are and I have been there myself.
I can tell you that starting my blog was the best decision I made in my life and I know it will be the same for you.
You can read about why I started my blog right here.
So why should you start a blog?
If you start at the most basic level (the one I recommend by the way), you will at least, get your story out of your head and into a very important place and that place will be where the world is heading — a place where everything will be online and we may even have a situation where newborns are given an Internet Protocol (IP) address at birth.
You may today think of the term “real estate,” simply as property, but it is the definition of the word “property” that is important.
In my opinion, the most important real estate will be the real estate of “you,” your online presence and the value that you give to others and this world in general.
Your blog would be the “anchor point” of that real estate and allow you to showcase yourself to the world — your achievements, your beliefs, values, passions, and everything that defines you.
At its most basic level, a blog should be your online ‘C.V./Resume.
Just take a look at life as we know it — we are born, go to school, get an education and in any event, do something to give us an income to keep us alive.
To get that income, we need to interact with people, articulate who we are and what we have to offer and then negotiate the terms to make it palatable for the relevant parties to move forward.
By 2030, it is estimated that 90 percent of the population will be online and that is the reason why you absolutely must generate your very own online presence right now.
And aside from the technicalities, you need to make sure your blog is read right?
That is why you must spend a great deal of time and focus on creating your message.
Getting your blog out of your head and launching your site
I am going to leave this section to the experts and I will now introduce you to the man who inspired me to get my blog started and at the tender age of 55.
There are a few steps to be taken here and you just have to work through the process, but it is something you absolutely must do in order for you to retain control of your destiny.
Take Social Media for example — almost everyone is on it and has no problems in sharing a large part of their lives through the medium.
The only problem with any Social Media site is that you have no control of the “rules.”
Anything and everything can change in a heartbeat and if you are going to build some real and physical real estate, you would want to make sure that you have control over the property you have invested in and built.
It is no different than having your own online and “virtual real estate.”
Now let’s be real here — the world governments can shut down the Internet tomorrow and we are all potentially finished, but it is about how much you can actually manage your risk.
Talk to Fernando and ask him how you can minimize your own risk and get as much control as you can.
Connect with Nicole and ask her about her own personal journey.
But more importantly, if you have got to this stage then you need to congratulate yourself on taking the first step on what can be a very rewarding and profitable journey.
Creating the structure for the perfect message
You will have built your “home” page for the blog, which is going to have the key message of your site so that everyone can see instantly what you do and what value you bring your audience.
This is a critical page and one that will prove the most difficult (in my experience) of all — it will anchor your entire site and with an average time spent on a page of 8 seconds, you need to grab the attention of your reader very quickly.
The key aspect of this and for any page that you write in the future is the headline.
It’s funny that in today’s extremely high-tech society, we still need to go back in time to get the best answers to certain questions and if we are talking about questions in the advertising world, we can go back and study the thinking of one of the advertising greats and also a man known as the “Father of Advertising,” David Ogilvy.
It would be a very productive idea for you to research Mr. Ogilvy in detail as you have absolutely everything to gain.
But much as I am a fan of learning from everyone and anyone, I am much more of a believer in growing myself and you should be too.
I will explain using my two Sons who are desperate to become professional soccer players and my job is to help make that dream a reality, no matter what their chances of success.
Part of their learning involves picking players who they like in terms of technique, speed, and overall conduct so they can use them as role models.
I will give you one of their role models here — the great Ronaldinho.
Now they will watch his videos over and over and then try to copy his skills relentlessly, which is exactly what I would expect, but the key here is also to use those skills as a framework for developing their own ideas.
I don’t want either of them to be the next Ronaldinho, but to be the first Sam and Louis Franklin!
It is essential to use the ideas out there and pick the best…but you must develop your own ideas and that can only come from getting out there and “doing it”, whatever “it” is and then refine your techniques. After all, Ronaldinho got his ideas from someone or something.
So be creative with your headline and message on your first page, but also, don’t overthink it — you need a simple, clear and concise message that will compel your readers to stay on the page and the site.
If you need help with this or any page then contact me and I will work with you, as this is one of my core specialties.
On the subject of a contact, then you need to obviously have a “Contact Us/Me” or simply the word “Contact” as I have and that leads us to the next two, extremely important pages that will appear to be the same, if you name them in the traditional way but have a very subtle difference.
This page has to be about your audience — existing or targeted and so many people use this page to ramble on about who they are and how successful they are, etc.
Let’s begin the blogging journey
Now that you are all set up, there is nothing to think about at this stage other than doing the preparation — nobody is aware of your site yet, unless of course you did what I did and got a few trusted people to follow the progression — for me the key critic was my dog and the feedback was great!
My Sharpei is a wonderful critic and I can tell from her simple looks and shrugs that she totally has my interests at heart!
This is not my dog by the way because she is camera shy and will not have her photos taken unless she is paid handsomely.
I refused, so a stock image in the only way unless she relents and maybe by the end of this post she will!