Website 101

Having a website is arguably imperative these days. It’s like a calling card, or like a portfolio of your work from the “old” days. For decades I got too much work to handle without either, but as you can see because you’re reading this on mine, I still got a website of my own.

If you are in any kind of business, especially where you promote yourself – as an artist, independent contractor, musician, actor, poet, small business –  GET ONE IMMEDIATELY.

Think about it: whether we’re looking up a fact, reading an article, ordering something, or searching for love, almost all of us go online. And when we do, if we don’t see clear info and fast, we go to the next option, right?

Use that to your advantage by applying that to how you set up your own home page!

Because we all click away too fast, you want ALL of your important info front and center  – and at the top, so no one has to scroll down to find it.

Plus, over half of those looking for you are going to view it on a small screen – their phone. Keep that in mind when picking fonts, background art or colors and where your email and phone number are placed.

Getting a website doesn’t need to be complicated. To start, you don’t have to hire someone with mad skills to do it, or go to a web company. It is a great thing to do depending on your needs, but UNTIL you do it, get something up right away, even thought sites like About.me or the multi-purpose Word Press.

A website will be the hub for all your SM material  – your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account, your blog, Your YouTube/Vimeo channel, etc – as well as the basic info about you and your product or services (You can also set it up to sell items but that is another post).

If it’s only a homepage to start, it should at least have the following:

Your headshot or a nice, clear photo of you from the shoulders up.

Your contact info, front and center. Do not sacrifice easy readability for the style of some font or wacky color combo. Color can identify you (as in being part of your brand) but it does no goods if people can’t sign on and find your EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER in seconds.

Connect all your social media through clickable icons for Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIN, Twitter, etc… They can click and see you everywhere. Just that you have all those makes you seem established.

You can add your credits, accomplishments , photos and videos, articles about you, blog posts you’ve written etc.. on other pages or below the rest but keep that first view, top of your homepage clearly offering the info I suggested.

Claim your domaine name right now by visiting sites like Go Daddy. If your name is taken as a .com, one ago for .org if you will be a non profit, or .net if you intend to eventually sell something. Instead, play with putting your profession in or an initial or number. Like RochelleJosephImage or RochelleJoseph1.

A word of caution: Don’t make it too long, as it will now fit on your business card and in your email under your signature – and you want it to be easy for you and others to manually type in.

Lastly, I suggest you get a dedicated email just for your professional work that comes to you through this page. You can get it through the URL server, or simply get one with the same title as your web url as a gmail.  Set it up with an auto-fill signature that does list your cell phone and now your website URL.

Doing the website and having a dedicated email will communicate you mean business, even if you’re just beginning. And that first impression counts!

 

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