Alternate Titles: The Latest Redesign Isn’t Much of a Redesign At All; The Bullshit Stories I Tell Myself; Flying Unicorns do NOT drop Glitter Sparkle Magic Dust on Your Business; The Power of a Profitable Website; Make Your Blog Get Back to Work.
I know, those don’t make any sense yet. They will.
I have a confession: I set myself up to fail some days. I mean, this is never an intentional decision – I do not LIKE to fail – but I still self-sabotage a bit some days. You know what I mean?
I’ve been trying to be more mindful when it happens, so that I can then analyze if what I think is a problem in my business really is one, or if I’m just blocking myself.
My most recent blockade that I set up for myself? Thinking I had to completely redesign my website.
My website, as it was, was perfectly fine. It looked good, and it functioned great. No problems there. My problem was it didn’t look JUST RIGHT.
I’ve been down this road before. Matter of fact, I recently read one of my first blog posts back in May, 2000 and I mentioned in the post that I needed to merge sites, and it really needed a different design. 15+ years later, and the story is still the same.
Owning a website is a lot like being a homeowner. I didn’t like the color on the walls in the living room, but instead of going and buying a can of paint? I was ready to tear it all down and build a completely new house.
This is not a realistic response.
I have never caught before that I do this to myself. This time? I had to make myself stop and think about it. Dig in. What was really happening here?
What is the Pattern when I Create this Block for Myself?
Every time I use this excuse to block myself from moving forward in my business, I do the exact same thing — I start to hunt for a new website theme. I spend hours pouring over options. Making lists. I then end up messaging my (very patient) friends to get their feedback on them. After that, I sometimes even ask on Facebook for feedback from more people.
The reality? I’m scared sometimes, and when that happens I’m operating from a place of fear. I’m afraid to be seen, to be heard. I’m afraid that no one will notice me. I’m looking for someone to just tell me what to do.
I want to make it easier on myself. To make it so that I do not have to decide. I hate making decisions. Simultaneously, I insist on controlling the decision. Yeah, it is a little confusing for me too.
Processing Through My Block
One thing I know about myself is that I work things out by talking through them. So I end up weighing things; voicing my opinions on what is not good for me, or offering up alternatives that are good for me. All help me to articulate what I’m looking for in reality. This time, my husband Mike suggested that I draw out what I wanted. That helped me start to get focused; it gave me a super clear direction to go.
At that point, I gave myself two days to find a theme I liked. I narrowed it down to three, and then wrote to the support teams about them to ask if certain features existed.
Moving Forward with My Website
I finally narrowed it down to a new theme! YAY!!! I installed the theme and I jumped right in to make changes.
Then it hit me – finding images and writing copy was going to take me a lot of time. Logical as can be, but something I had not thought of until that very moment. Pictures and words don’t magically appear on your website, after all.
I realized I did NOT have time for that. It was not serving my business or myself. What the HELL was I doing?
I looked back at the sketch I had made. An idea finally started to come together, and I realized that just spending an hour or two on my current website would allow me create something quite close to my original vision – close enough – without that much of a time investment.
There was one more thing that was even more important though: changing my website design was not going to impact the bottom line of my business profits. NOT ONE BIT.
This is the lie that we tell ourselves! We say that if only our website design was perfect, or if our copy on our site was dreamy, THEN our businesses could be great.
Know what makes your business great? Getting it OUT THERE and in front of your ideal people.
Your ideal clients? They don’t give a crap about which theme you are using! They don’t care if your copy is perfectly tweaked and super dreamy! They do not care if unicorns fly overhead and drop glitter sparkle dust all over everything. That is not why they choose to work with you!
7 Easy Tips to Make Sure you Have a Profitable Website
So no more flying unicorns with glitter sparkle. No more bullshit stories about how if your site looks perfect, or just like your competition’s site, then and only then will your business finally take off.
Here is what REALLY matters when it comes to your website:
- Is your site functional? Do the graphics load, is it fast, are the links working? Fix anything that is broken. Hire someone to help if needed, you don’t have to DIY. There are only so many hours in the day. Once you have these essentials fixed, move on down the list.
- Can your clients find what they are looking for easily? If I start on your home page, can I find out more about you? Can I find what programs or products you are offering? Do you use terms that are familiar to me for your navigation, or are you using phrases that you felt were charming and creative, but leave me hunting all over just for your product or services? Yeah. Don’t make it hard for me. Think about the path you want me to take, and then set your navigation on your site up to match it. Use dropdowns where needed to keep it from being too cluttered. Ditch pages that are not truly essential.
- Are your offerings clearly worded and easy me to understand? If you want me to hire you, I need to know what you’re selling, especially the benefits of why I should have it. Give me all the information I need to make a decision! Don’t spend too much time on making the words all perfectly fancy and optimized to the hilt at first; once you are making some money, you can hire an expert to do these things for you. Just get me to where I know what you have, how much it costs (if you want to share that), and how I can get it. Which brings me to…
- Is there a way to contact you if I want to know more? If you’re putting all sorts of great stuff on your website, awesome. Do I have to hunt you down to talk to you though? If it isn’t easy, I’ll just move on to the next website on my list. Keep it simple!
- Are you providing valuable content that entices me to come back for more? Are you sharing your stories? Your wisdom? Your knowledge? WRITE A BLOG POST ALREADY! You are the expert here! You need to tell me that. You can have the most basic, minimalist website in the world, and if the content is GREAT, I will return over and over again. Content is Queen! (I know some people say Content is King, but women use thousands more words in a day than men according to research, so that makes Content the Queen in my book!)
- Do you have a way for me to get on your email list so that you can reach me in the future? You may say that pop-ups are annoying, but I grew my email list by 600 people the first month I had a pop-up and a great offer. SIX HUNDRED people. People that were engaged, and kept coming back for more. Even if you don’t have a pop-up on your website, have links to a list somewhere. Give them a chance to stay in touch.
- Are you actually telling people that you have a business and that they can work with you? This is a really, really big one. Are you telling me that I can hire you? Are there calls to action throughout your site? Get on that. Start speaking up and actually telling me why I should work with you. I can’t hear what you don’t say!
Your Profit Margin and Your Website
Now if your website totally sucks and you wouldn’t ever want anyone to see it or to know it belongs to you? Yes. Then you should redesign it. That was not the case for me. My website was solidly in a state of “Good Enough.”
It makes more sense for my business to start making money with what I have and then down the road hire a designer to make my perfect dream a reality. I am NOT generating income for my business when I am working on my website. That does not serve me or my business.
I’ve pulled out the website block in my own business. Yes, I spent 2-3 hours moving some things around the other day, changing out my header, adding things to my sidebar. I have a few more changes I would like to make still, but they will happen when they happen – my business is not going to wait on them. I’m going to move forward. I’m going to focus more on sending people here, on working with them, on providing solutions to their problems, and on making money.
Your blog WILL help you dominate your market. It is the content on your site that helps you do that, not the design. Focus where it matters first.
What Are Your Road Blocks? Why Did You Put Them There?
Do you have something standing in your way? Keeping you from moving forward? Is it a flying unicorn with glitter sparkles excuse of what you need to have … and if only you had THAT thing then surely you would be successful?
What is that unicorn really hiding from you? What is the bullshit excuses you are telling yourself?