How to plan for a new website – for most beginners it can be a hair-raising, frustrating event
Why? Just because an online newbie hasn’t learned enough about website function, plugins, etc., through trial and error.
That’s how we learn – trial and error. I celebrate mistakes because I wouldn’t be where I am right now planning THIS new blog.
I went CRAZY having more than one website – how could I possibly keep up with them all, writing content, maintaining them, not to mention the cost.
One needs to budget their websites like a checking or savings account because hosting and increasing RAM for your site(depending on your host company) can add up and be quite costly. If you’re a newbie this will hurt your piggy bank.
When you have several websites, it drains your energy. Deciding which one “speaks” to you the most is the one to focus on.
When I fist started blogging several years ago I was interested in Medical Transcription, so I wrote about that – it was boring. So I didn’t keep up with it. Then it was social media – enough people write about that – why contribute to an already saturated topic. But, you can provided you add the single most important element – you.
In any niche, the number one way to turn a reader into a loyal follower is to infuse your blog with your own personality. People tend to follow a blog because they like the blogger behind the blog!
Don’t try to hide who you are! Instead, embrace who you are and share it with your audience! Share your ideas, your opinions, your likes and dislikes, and your sense of humor. When you do, you’ll not only help your blog stand out in even the most saturated blogging niches, you’ll be able to make real connections with your readers. 7 Ways to Stand Out in a Saturated Blogging Niche
So, putting myself out front became the focus. Now I actually found this to be uncomfortable. Because, I am a pretty private person and I really had to look at what stands out to me as heartfelt interests to share with others.
So this is the first step in planning a new blog – who are you really?
- What are you trying to achieve?
- What really interests you and how will you share it?
- Are you sharing a subject or topic that really means something to you? Or are you a “robot” following what everyone else is writing about about with potential to be interesting but boring to read. Because it sounds and reads like everyone else.
For me, human nature is at the top of the list. I’ve been teaching classes for years on childbirth education, meditation, and I’ve always gravitated to making a difference in the lives of others through stirring up the “dust” in one’s mind. To “see” ways to alter, or change, inspire different perceptions in personal lives.
I had to make a decision about one website I’ve had for 20 years devoted to childbirth education. I reviewed all the posts and what literally screamed at me was this ingrained desire to change perceptions about childbirth and empower the ability we all have to trust our instincts.
All you need to do is review your life and see what is that “thing” about you that speaks louder than any other personal trait and focus on it
The second step is to SAVE all your content from your blogs
Now, you may disagree with this, and some do. But this is content that can be edited to reflect your current thoughts and opinions. It’s never a good idea to duplicate content on a blog, but it’s okay to edit it or morph it into a totally new article that was inspired by the old one.
And, save all your content BEFORE you delete a website or else it’s lost forever!
Third, choose a theme that best reflects your personality
What the theme’s features? I happen to LOVE the ability to create different “Sidebars” on my blog because you can use them creatively. For example, I like to create courses on my blog and sidebars help me to do this.
- Does the theme MATCH your skill level in creating a website? How much html code do you know? None? So look for an easy to use, html friendly theme (most themes are user friendly). Some themes have a lot of “Bells and whistles” features built in – do you know or feel comfortable in navigating those features? So be aware of the complexity of the theme. You can always start with an easy one, build your skill level then “grow” into a more complex theme.
- What’s your personal nature? Are you a busy person? Mellow? The theme you choose as well as colors REFLECT your personality. However, you want to keep these in mind: Clarity, easy to read font, less is more, attention span (it’s zero), easy to navigate (find things), not crowded with information, avoid the over use of Ads, content is the focus.
Forth, list your favorite plugins – names and where to find them so you can use them again on your website
Plugins expire, not updated, name changed, or not found.
This can be irritating especially if you really liked one and want to use it again.
If you purchased a plugin, make sure you SAVE the billing receipt to prove you bought it. When you buy a plugin there’s usually an “activation key” you need to use it. Keep track of all of this so you don’t spend time looking for all this information when you need it. Have it handy – save in a word doc.
So. Toss these around in your head. Take your time too. When you have the “Skeleton” in place you can begin to add your content . Enjoy, respect what you’re creating, this is your online home – it’s an asset.