This week on Copyblogger, we’ve been talking with writer, designer, and entrepreneur Paul Jarvis about mindful growth for our business…
The post A Plan for Mindful Growth and Bringing Fun Back to Your Writing Process appeared first on Copyblogger.
This week on Copyblogger, we’ve been talking with writer, designer, and entrepreneur Paul Jarvis about mindful growth for our business…
The post A Plan for Mindful Growth and Bringing Fun Back to Your Writing Process appeared first on Copyblogger.
Every business needs a website. But for those of you who have never created a website before, this can seem a bit intimidating.
It doesn’t matter if you’re just launching a new startup company, if you’ve been in business for a decade, or fall somewhere in between. You need to have a website to increase your reach and establish a digital presence.
Ultimately, your website will serve as the center or hub of everything that you do.
It’s a place people can find basic information about your company, such as your location, phone number, and email address. All of your campaigns should be driving traffic to your website. If you’re going to sell products and services online, your website will facilitate those transactions.
But before we get ahead of ourselves and into all that, it’s time to get back to the basics: How do you build your own website?
I like Wix because it’s very easy to use. Someone who has never created a website before can get a site up and running in no time at all. Even if you have some experience building websites, you can use Wix as an alternative option to simplify what you’ve done in the past.
Plus, Wix gives you hundreds of templates, pages, and web hosting services for free. You’ll eventually want to upgrade to one of their premium plans, which are very affordable, but we’ll talk about that in greater detail later on.
Even though it’s easy to make a Wix website, you can still cut some of the trial and error out by using this step-by-step guide as a reference.
Let’s dive right in.
Like almost anything else you do online, the first thing you need to do is set up your account. It’s really simple, and should only take you a few seconds.
From the Wix homepage, just click on the “get started” CTA in the center of the screen.
If you’ve been doing research and find yourself on another one of the Wix pages, you can still get started without having to navigate back to the homepage. Just look for the CTA, which might be worded slightly differently depending on the content that you’re looking at. For example, from the “Explore” page you’ll want to click “Create Yours Today” to move forward.
It should be pretty self-explanatory, but if you’re struggling, you can always go back to the homepage, or just click here to create your account.
Unlike other platforms that ask for nearly everything but a blood sample to sign up, Wix asks for just two things.
It’s optional, but they’ll ask you some follow up questions as well to help you create exactly what site you’re looking for. Answering these questions will help Wix’s ADI builder help you create a site you like faster.
Who are you creating a Wix site for?
What type of site Wix site are you building?
What is your level of expertise building websites?
Here’s an example of what this might look like for you, depending on the options that you’ve selected above.
From here you’ll have two options.
You can allow the Wix ADI to create a website for you. All you need to do is answer some questions, and it’ll make a site for you in just a few minutes, complete with custom text and images. It’s almost magical how good it is — you should definitely try it out.
Alternatively, you can use the Wix Editor to make a website on your own. For our learning purposes today, this is the route that I’ll go with.
Wix offers hundreds of standard templates at no charge. You can search for a template based on category. For example, let’s say you want to create a Wix business website. Some popular categories include:
All of the template options are located on the left side of the dashboard. Take some time to scroll through and find one that fits best for the type of website you want to build.
Check out the first template on this page. It’s a “Coming Soon” landing page. Even if your website isn’t built just yet, it’s important to least start off with this type of landing page. For startup companies, creating a website may be the first thing you do, even before you actually register your business name or create an LLC. Wix understands this, which is why they give you this option.
Alternatively, you can select a blank template and build your own from scratch. While this is definitely something you can consider, I recommend going with one of the pre-designed templates. This will make your life much easier in the long run, especially if you’ve never built a Wix website before. If you’re up for a challenge and want to be a bit more unique, go ahead and give the blank template a try.
When you hover your cursor over each template, it will tell you if it’s free or if you have to pay. Once you find a template that you like, just click “edit” to continue.
It’s not a huge deal, but unfortunately, Wix’s autosave feature doesn’t turn on until you manually save for the first time. So before we make any changes at all, let’s manually save the page.
The “save” button is located at the top right corner of the screen.
Be forewarned: If you leave the Wix Editor and make changes in Wix Code, which is more advanced and not recommended for beginners, there is no autosave function. There’s also no autosave function for contributors.
After you select a template, you’ll be brought to the Wix Editor.
Basically, this is what your website will look like if you decide to publish it right now. It’s up to you to make the necessary changes to make the website your own.
Here’s a basic look at what you’ll see when you’re editing the content on your future site:
Anything can be changed just by clicking on it. Start with the basics, like replacing the template company with the name of your actual business.
For our purposes, let’s just say I am redesigning the Quick Sprout homepage with Wix.
In less than one minute, look at what I was able to accomplish.
I replaced the Axis Group with Quick Sprout on the center of the page, as well as the in the top left corner of the menu bar. I also swapped out the dash on a red background with the letter “Q” on a green background in the left corner of the menu bar.
The financial consulting texted was changed to “Grow your business, faster.” You can also see that I changed the red “get started” CTA to a green “contact us” CTA.
Look at the menu options at the top of the screen as well. The original template had a “news and updates” page. I clicked on that and changed it to “blog” because that makes more sense for the site that I’m building.
Again, I made all of these changes in less than a minute. All you have to do is click on what you want to change, and follow the instructions on the screen. It’s that simple.
You can replace images when any custom photos you’ve taken for your website. Or you can refer to our guide on the best places to get website images (paid and free).
It’s easy to drag and resize any of the content on each page, too. The Wix Editor allows complete customization based on your personal preferences.
The mobile version of your website should not look the same as the desktop version. Part of having a good website means that it needs to be easily accessible from smartphones and tablets.
If you don’t have a good mobile site, you could lose more than half your customers: more than 52% of all Internet traffic comes from mobile devices.
Fortunately, Wix makes it easy to optimize your web design for mobile users. Just click on the mobile icon at the top of the screen to switch between desktop view and mobile editing.
Wix does a great job of changing the content for you, so it’s automatically optimized. However, you may want to manually make some changes on your own. The changes you make here won’t impact the desktop version of your site.
Before your site goes live, make sure you go through the mobile version of each page to ensure that’s it’s properly optimized to your liking.
Before you can publish your site and have it go live, you’ll need to connect your domain name.
The easiest way to do this is from the dashboard. Just click “Connect Domain” to proceed.
By default, your website domain will be: yourusername.wixsite.com/mysite
You’ll have the option to change the “my site” portion of that domain for free. But, that’s definitely not how you want your site domain to look.
When was the last time you went to a legitimate and credible site that had all of that extra stuff, including the website builder in the domain name? It’s not a good look for your business.
Wix gives you the option to buy a domain name directly from their platform or connect a domain name that you already own. I recommend not buying your domain from Wix, but at a place that specializes in domain names, and putting a lot of thought into get the right domain. If you haven’t done this yet, refer to our recent guide on how to buy a domain name.
Wix lets you create a website for free, but you’ll eventually want to upgrade to a premium account. This is when (and why) you want to do that. Without paying for a premium account, you’ll be stuck with the “wixsite” in your domain name.
Packages start at $11 per month, but if you’re using this site for business purposes, you’ll want to pay more than that. Even Wix’s most expensive business plan is just $35 per month. It comes with features such as:
So review all of the premium plans to find the one that’s best for you. Depending on what you select, it will only cost you between $132 and $420 per year. That’s pennies considering how much money you can make with a website.
It’s that simple. You’ve learned how to make a Wix website.
There’s not much to it — just six easy steps.
Once you go through everything outlined above, all you need to do is publish your Wix website, and it will be live on the Internet for everyone to see.
To recap, create a Wix website for the first time by following these simple instructions:
Once you complete the steps, you can publish your site and start generating leads, driving traffic, and selling products online. Your opportunities are endless.
What type of business or brand page are you going to build on a Wix website?
It’s time for our first book club selection of the new year! Over in Copyblogger’s Killers and Poets Facebook Group,…
The post Our Book Club Selection for January: ‘Company of One’ by Paul Jarvis appeared first on Copyblogger.
Save yourself a lot of time and headache: before you dive into building your new website, think through a high-level website plan.
This planning process doesn’t need to be complicated or time intensive. It’s more or less about taking the time to answer some important questions that will help ensure you build your website with the right foundation to accomplish your goals.
For example, creating a website to sell products is very different than creating a website for your personal brand. Thinking through what you’ll need to accomplish one or the other is essential to building a successful website. (If you don’t make the right choices now, you may have to tear down everything you’ve built and start over from square one.)
In fact, this planning process is as much about deciding what you do not need for your website, as it is to figure out what you do need. Less is definitely more here. Don’t fall into the trap of adding a bunch of stuff to your website just because it seems like something you should or because it’s what other websites do. I recommend using MindMeister or some other mind-mapping tool to drive this process.
The purpose of this guide is to prepare you to create your website.
In order to best illustrate the process, I’ll walk you through how I did it for one of my undeveloped websites, SelfTeach.com. This is a content-driven website, so there is a heavy emphasis on written content.
If you take a look at my initial plan here, you’ll see it isn’t very extensive. It doesn’t need to be! This was just a quick brainstorm of what I think I’ll need for the website. It took me 20 minutes to think through.
Remember, you do not need to get this perfect. The point here is not to develop a perfect plan, but rather to equip yourself to get started building your website. Once you get into the weeds, the plan will evolve with you.
You need to have a good idea of what kinds of content you will create — but, of course, it isn’t realistic to think you’ll have your content created before you build the website. The website will have to come first.
Again, you don’t need to have a full list of all the content you’ll need forever. Instead, I recommend coming up with 1–2 content ideas for each type of content you want on your site. This will give you a good sense of what your content will look like, which will influence which WordPress theme you’ll use.
For SelfTeach.com, these are the content types and ideas that I need to plan for when creating the website:
When all is said and done, the website will have thousands of pages. However, the design that I choose for this website really just needs to be able to handle what’s in this mind map. If I make sure I have these content types covered, the rest of the pages will be covered because they are simply more of the same types I’ve already planned out.
There will be a number of assets outside of your core content you’ll want to consider from the start.
Here is an example of what this might look like:
The biggest ones here are your brand assets and social media accounts.
Your brand assets don’t need to be anything spectacular. I put together a quick guide on how to develop your first brand identity.
A list of assets you might need to think about
The point of this list is to inspire ideas. You might not need any of the things on it, or only a few of them. Some of them might come later. It’s up to you to decide what you’ll need now, and what you’ll need to prepare for when it’s time.
Features are probably the most important part of your website foundation. You really want to nail this.
In many cases you can get the features you need from your WordPress theme. You can also get features from WordPress plugins.
Generally speaking, you want to have the fewest WordPress plugins possible, and you don’t want to rely too heavily on theme features either. Too many WordPress Plugins will slow your website down and lead to higher security risks. Too many features built into your WordPress theme, and you’ll rely too heavily on that theme making it hard to move to a new theme down the road.
The goal is to find the perfect balance of theme features and plugin features.
But first, you’ll need to determine which features are required to accomplish your website goals. The list of potential features is endless. Here are some I outlined for SelfTeach.com:
Here are some common features you might consider:
To get more ideas, check out 25 Most Useful WordPress Widgets for Your Site from WPBeginner and Website Features Checklist from MarTech.
Knowing everything that you need to have on the website will help determine which WordPress theme to choose and which plugins to install. You’ll also want to factor in the look and feel.
You’ll need a theme that supports the features you need and has the look and feel you are going for. They’re both important. Taking the time to figure out what you do and do not like will make the process of selecting a theme much smoother.
Resources for finding inspiration
Best Website Gallery — Curated web design by David Hellmann. This is a great place to start to see some high quality designs. Pick out what you like, and use that to attempt to match it with your WordPress theme.
50+ Best WordPress Themes by codeinwp — Here is one of the many lists of best WordPress themes. It’s not time to pick a theme yet, but you can use this list for inspiration, focusing specifically on the look and feel.
Webdesign Inspiration — Similar to Best Website Gallery, this is a gallery of website designs you can use for inspiration.
You don’t need a detailed plan. This process should take you less than an hour. It can be done on a scrap piece of paper with your phone browser for research. It’s just enough planning to get your mind prepared to create a website with a strong foundation to build on.
Digital marketing is going to change drastically in 2019. And sadly, you aren’t going to like a lot of the changes.
And no, I don’t mean change from a competition standpoint. You already know that each year marketing gets more expensive and more competitive. That’s just a given.
Just look at the graph above: that’s Google’s annual revenue. As you can see, during the last recession, Google made more and more money. They didn’t even have a down year.
One of the big reasons we are seeing digital marketing change so much is because of the adoption of new technologies. But also because the web is getting saturated… there are 1,805,260,010 websites on the web.
That means there is 1 website for every 4 people in this world. That’s crazy!
So, let’s dive into it… here’s how digital marketing is going to change this year.
I’m starting with this one because I know you are going to hate this. SEO is moving to voice search.
In 2018, 2 out of every 5 adults used voice search once per day. But in 2020, 50% of all searches will be done through voice search according to ComScore.
And it won’t just be people speaking into their microphone on their cell phone or laptop, 30% of web browsing won’t even take place on a device with a screen. That means more people will be searching through devices like Google Home or Alexa.
I know you don’t like this because every time I blog about voice search, no one really reads the article. It’s one of those topics that SEOs just wish didn’t exist.
Well, being on page 1 doesn’t matter when it comes to voice search. Either Google pulls from your website or they don’t.
And secondly, conversions from voice search will be lower because people won’t be going to your website. Google will just be giving them the answer. At least, until we can figure out how to solve this as marketers.
But instead of looking at voice search as a bad thing, just think of it this way, no one cares to read articles about it, which means most SEOs won’t be prepared for it.
This is your chance to get ahead of your competition and gobble up that traffic before the market shifts into using voice.
Here are some articles that will teach you how to maximize your voice search traffic:
According to the Moz algorithm changelog, there were 12 updates in 2018.
Although it sounds like a lot, it isn’t. In 2017 there were 13 updates and in 2016 there were 11. In other words, Google has been averaging 12 updates per year if you combined the confirmed updates with the “unconfirmed” ones.
But let’s look at the older updates…
On July 17, 2015, Google released Panda 4.2. I know you may have hated the Panda update, but it wasn’t too bad. All Google did doing was get rid of spammy sites with low-quality content.
They didn’t want to rank sites that had thousands of 300-word blog posts with duplicate content.
Could you blame them for that?
And what about the change Google made on September 27, 2016, the Penguin 4.0 update?
If you built spammy links, they no longer would just penalize you, in most cases, they would devalue those links instead.
That means if you did something shady like buy a ton of backlinks and get caught, those links would just be de-valued instead of causing your whole site to get banned.
Now if you look at the latest algorithm updates, they are getting more complex and harder to beat. And it’s because technology is evolving so fast.
Google no longer has to just look at metrics like content and backlink count to figure out if a site ranks well. They can look at user metrics, such as:
If you want to beat Google, you have to shift your mindset. It’s not about understanding Google, it’s about understanding users.
Google has one goal: to rank sites that users love the most at the top. That causes people to come back, keep using Google, and increase their overall revenue.
If you can put yourself in your users’ shoes, you’ll be better suited to do that.
The first step in doing this is to realize that when someone performs a search for any keyword, they aren’t just “performing a search,” they are looking for a solution to their problem.
By understanding the intent of their search, you’ll be more likely and able to solve their problems. You can use tools like Ubersuggest to help you with it as it will show you long tail phrases (problems people are trying to solve for).
Once you do that, you’ll be able to create the best experience, the best product, or even service that people deserve.
This is how you make your site continually rank well in the long run even as they make their algorithm more complex.
You familiar with Dropbox?
Of course, you are, it’s a multi-billion-dollar company… and you probably have it installed on your computer.
When they first came out, they tried to acquire users through Google AdWords. Can you guess how much it cost them to acquire a customer?
It ranged between $200 and $300.
Do you know how much Dropbox costs?
$60 a year.
The math doesn’t work out. Why would you spend $200 to acquire a user who only pays $60?
Even when someone pays you $60, it’s not all profit. Because of that, Dropbox had to grow using growth hacking.
Dropbox gives you more free space the more users you invite. That’s a great example of growth hacking. And it’s how they grew into a multi-billion-dollar company.
Nowadays, if you created a similar invite flow within your company, it won’t work that well. You can no longer build a company using one channel like how Dropbox grew.
And do you remember how Facebook grew?
When you signed up, they would tap into your email address book and send out an email to every single one of your contacts inviting them to use Facebook, even if you didn’t want them to.
That one channel helped Facebook grow into the multi-hundred-billion-dollar company that we know today.
Nowadays, if you get an email saying your friend is inviting you to join a new site or social network, you’ll probably just ignore it.
Again, you no longer can build a big business leveraging only one marketing channel.
So, what does that mean for you?
First of all, popular marketing channels that are profitable get saturated fast and you are going to have a lot of competitors.
Due to that, you have to leverage all channels. From content marketing and paid ads to social media marketing and SEO to email marketing… you have to leverage all channels out there.
It’s your only option to doing well in the long run.
One channel won’t make your business anymore. But if you combine them all, you can still grow your business.
And hey, if something happens to one channel like an algorithm change, at least your business won’t go down too much because you are diversified.
No matter how much you love one form of marketing, never rely on it. Adopt an omnichannel approach.
I got into this a little bit at the top… the web is saturated. There are just way too many sites.
Sure, most of those 1.8 billion sites aren’t being updated and a lot are dormant.
Now out of those 1.8 billion sites, roughly 1 billion of them are blogs. That’s roughly 1 blog for every 7 people out there.
When I started my first blog in 2005, there weren’t as many people online creating sites or producing content. There also weren’t as many people using Google.
Nevertheless, Google loved content. Everyone was saying how content is king because if you produce high-quality articles Google would rank them due to one simple fact… they lacked content in their index.
But as time went by, Google no longer had a shortage of content. I would even go as far to say that there is too much content for them to choose from.
For that reason, they can be pickier if they want to rank your website or not. It’s not just about backlinks or optimizing your on-page code, it’s about providing what’s best for the end user.
That means Google is going to rank fresh content that isn’t regurgitated.
If you want to take the route of just writing dozens of articles each way and trying to rank for everything under the sun, you can. It’s still possible, but it will take more time and it will be harder as there is more competition.
More so, the way content marketing is changing in 2019, and we saw a little of this in 2018, is that you need to update your content.
No longer can your strategy be to write a lot of content. You are going to have to plan on updating your content on a regular basis.
For example, I have one person who works for me full time going through my old blog posts to update them. Also, I now only have time to write once piece of content each week. There is no way I can go through my blog and update over a thousand blog posts.
You’re going to have to do the same if you want to maintain your search traffic. If you are established and have an old blog, spend half your time updating your old content. If you are a new blog, you don’t really need to spend more than 5% of your time updating your old content.
We can all agree that text-based content is saturated.
If you don’t agree with me, just scroll back up to Drastic Change #4 😉
We all know it takes forever to rank on Google. If you aren’t willing to give it a year, you shouldn’t spend much time doing traditional SEO.
What if I told you there was another form of SEO in which you can see results very, very fast?
So fast, that within 30 days (or even a few days!) you can rank at the top. And, better yet, those rankings mean you will get traffic.
Just look at my search traffic from this different kind of search engine:
Can you guess that what search engine this is?
I generate 198,380 views every month from YouTube search. And those people watch my content for an average of 559,237 minutes a month.
I’m generating over 388 days of watch time each month just from YouTube search. That’s crazy!
YouTube isn’t nearly as competitive as Google. Nor is optimizing for the iTunes store if you have a podcast.
Don’t just focus your efforts on Google.
Focus your efforts on less-saturated forms of content like video and audio while optimizing for less common search engines like YouTube and iTunes.
Plus, these new channels have a very lucrative audience as they are engaged. Did you know that 45% of podcast listeners have a household income of $75,000 or more?
Here are some articles that’ll help you out:
If you don’t have a big marketing budget no worries. These channels aren’t as expensive or competitive yet. You also don’t need a studio to film or record. You can just bust out your iPhone and start recording yourself.
Believe it or not, a lot of people prefer that over studio quality content as it is more authentic.
At the beginning of this post, I broke down Google’s yearly revenue.
As you can see it has continually increased even during recessionary periods.
Sure, some of it has to do with more people coming online. But also, the cost per click is rising.
Same with Facebook Ads. I literally know hundreds of affiliates who used to make over a million dollars a year in income because Facebook Ads were so affordable.
But in June/July 2017, Facebook crossed a point where they had more advertisers than inventory… at least in the United States.
Over time, that trend continued into other countries, which mean Facebook Ad costs drastically increased.
Just look at the graph below. As you can see, companies spend the majority of their budget on Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.
Now let’s look at what channel produces the highest ROI. Can you guess what it is?
Although the chart shows SEO produces the biggest ROI, in reality, it is the second runner up.
What’s hard to see because it is classified as “other” in the chart and it is grouped with other marketing channels, is conversion rate optimization. And that channel produced the biggest ROI by far. It beat SEO by leaps and bounds.
It was just hard to see that because not enough companies spend money on conversion rate optimization. And when they do, it is a very small portion of their budget.
In 2019, start running A/B tests. Whether you use Crazy Egg or any other solution out there, don’t forget to include it in your marketing arsenal.
You may have heard of marketing funnels or sales funnels, but I bet you aren’t using them.
And no, a funnel isn’t something as simple an email sequence.
Because ads are getting more expensive, you’ll find yourself doing things like running more A/B tests (as I mentioned above), but it will only help so much.
As your competition also starts running A/B tests, you’ll find that ad prices will go up again.
So, what should you do?
You are going to have to upsell and downsell your visitors. I learned this tactic from Ryan Deiss years ago and he was spot on.
The best way to generate revenue isn’t to get more customers, it’s to get more money out of your existing customers.
Sure, your customer base is only going to spend so much. But if you offer upsells and downsells you can see increases in revenue from 10% to 30%. And some cases you’ll even double your revenue.
The key points with upselling and downselling are as follows:
At this point you are probably wondering how to do all of this upselling or downselling, right?
They are easy to use, and you can get started in minutes.
Expect 2019 to be a crazy year. What worked once, won’t work in 2019.
Technology is more sophisticated and with things like machine learning and artificial intelligence knocking at the door, we are going to be on a crazy rollercoaster.
Don’t be afraid, though!
If you take the concepts above and start working on them now, you are going to be in for a much smoother ride with fewer downs and more ups.
So what do you think is going to change in 2019?