You have numerous and diverse opportunities for an online presence that can reach potential consumers, connections or followers. If you are showcasing your business or expertise, two of the strongest professional “attractions” are websites and blogs.
Before jumping in, start thinking strategically about two critical issues: your content management system (CMS) and your actual content. That is, how will you set up, design, maintain, and troubleshoot a blog, for example? Then, what is your subject focus and how – through “content richness” – will you actively engage your target markets…an ongoing challenge (let me tell you!).
“You can hire a pro to help you establish an online site, or you can do it yourself,” explains Christopher Merrill, Christopher Merrill Web Design. “Several CMS systems enable you to set up and maintain your own website or blog. WordPress seems to be the easiest for most people. Its tried, true and tested templates are easy to adapt to your tastes. You can update the design and add photos, video, other audio/visuals, plug-ins, apps, and links any time you want…changing the look and feel within a wink of an eye.”
You can install a WordPress website or blog on your own server, but Christopher suggests that you include an app to address malware or viruses, a universal issue, especially if you encourage comments from visitors. WordPress makes it easy to check opportunities for SEO, monitor your follower stats, display your other social media icons, and maximize your platform’s sharing options. And, Christopher adds, “Today, when so many of us use mobile devices to explore sites, your content and design should also allow scrolling down more than across for reader ease.”
“Build it, and they will come.” Well, maybe, but probably not. When you establish your website or blog or both, remember that the content will ultimately be the reason your potential followers return. They/you want targeted, rich, useful, relatable, compelling, responsive content! (You think this is easy?!)
So, yes, your content begins with your site design and its SEO friendliness: your site/company name and its tagline (5 or 6 words about what you do). If your platform is a blog, then remember that SEO includes your headline and opening words. If your online presence is a website, the same rules generally apply: grab them on the home page with content and design that offers potential for their success.
What is rich content (“I can’t wait to read the next post”) content? Usable information that a visitor relates to, wants or needs. Conversations with and quotes from experts. Stories and case studies that illustrate your points. Inviting writing style for your target consumers – informative and reflective of your expertise. Video, links and other inserts that add to the substance of your post (Yes, I should include more of these?!). Avoid sales and marketing pitches and, instead, give away solid, usable information that continually reinforces your online presence.
Websites, blogs and other online platforms offer lots of opportunities to open new doors, meet new people and explore new interests as our 1st Person PR continually evolves. We would be delighted to share your stories, experiences and comments.
Happy New Year!