A while back I made a video blog post about how to eat your website elephant (I love to talk about this post because it’s one of my favs and it’s super helpful.) So, if you haven’t seen it yet, it kind of goes hand in hand with today’s post click here to see how to eat your website elephant.
Today, I’m feeling like it’s time to open up a big old can of worms.
A little website whoop a** so here we go and I promise if you hang in and read all of this you’re going to find a unicorn and rainbow feeling of relief in here.
Your website is never going to be perfect.
I’ve made it big and bold so you can see it. Pop it on a post note. Tack it to your fridge. I know I feel some serious relief over here just typing that sentence. But, how about you – how do you feel?
I’m guessing that you feel about the same as you did ten seconds ago and you’re really just wondering if I’m going to get to the point already. You see rambling like this is why I usually make videos because I talk a whole lot faster than you can read me.
When you get right down to it, cupcakes to frosting and all.
Your website has to be up and running if you’re the owner of an online business with a goal of making money (and helping people.)
So this is where your website starts to go a little fuzzy. A little rough around the edges. You know you need your website like yesterday, but you have no idea how to take action to execute on what you know you need.
Somewhere along the way you made a decision that you needed a website, but then stuff happened and you didn’t take that website to launch. And, now it’s a tumbleweed blowing in the wind.
Your website wasn’t perfect so you …
- Tweaked it.
- Poked at it.
- Swapped out colors and fonts a gazillion times.
- Slaved over it.
- Didn’t share it.
- Felt ashamed of it.
- Wanted to toss your laptop out a window.
- Ignored it.
- Spent days trying not to ignore it.
- Peeked around at a ton of other websites for inspiration.
- Hoped it would just magically get better when you had more time to work on it.
Did you know that it only takes four steps + a huge amount of courage to launch your site and start making money online (and helping people!)
I call this the Texas two step, nah just kidding. It’s The 4 Step Website Recipe.
I feel like we’re about to go hopping down the bunny trail right now. Merrily skipping our way to your website.
I should warn you here because I’m eating a Cadbury Creme Egg right now so this could be a total sugar rush maybe I’m high on the fake yellow egg yoke in the middle of my chocolate covered dream come Easter true. What’s that yoke made out of anyway? Ummmm, 100% sugar. Wheeeeeee.
The best website gift you can ever give yourself is the gift of an uncomplicated website that launches in a short amount of time and gives you a place to start earning cold hard cash for what you do (because you are trying to make a living here!)
A website that you’re invested in, but not held prisoner to.
Your first site doesn’t have to have everything under the sun. It just needs to look nice, function well, and give you a spot all of your own to share how you’re helping people and what you’re doing for a living.
This 4 step website recipe version of your business shouldn’t cost you a bazillion trajilion dollars, or require hiring a pro, AND it should launch within a week or two at the most, time waits for no one and websites like ideas have a shelf life.
Your website will go stale without action.
Let’s talk about your 4 Step Website Recipe.
This is 100% for you if you don’t have a site that has launched with an offer and a buy button on it. Meaning you’ve made ZERO to not nearly enough money in your business. That’s a highly technical and very specific amount of dollar bills.
Step 1: Buy the stuff you need and use the heck out of it.
Here’s what you’ll need for the 4 Step Website Recipe. Spoiler alert – these are non-negotiable. They are the costs of doing business online and if you’re not ready for the things on this list or you want to “cheap out” on them – well, results can be unpredictable.
- A domain name – I use GoDaddy for buying up domain names (they’re like potato chips.)
- Hosting for your site – me likey WPEngine, but I’ve also used GoDaddy with not a single problem too!
- A theme to run your site – Headway Themes makes me want to hug my computer screen daily.
- A mailing list service perfect for starting out and growing with – like Mailchimp, Aweber, or Convert Kit – I personally feel no love for Aweber even though I know many peeps (maybe you?!?) do.
That’s all the stuff you have to buy to get started. There are a few optional goodies below that make things faster and easier, but they are optional.
Step 2: Create your branding and stick to it.
Ummmm, yes – I don’t always follow my own advice here! But, it’s great advice and if you take me up on it and do a better job at this than me this advice will be worth thousands of bucks in terms of time wasted on stuff that really doesn’t matter much to your bottom line.
But, what branding do you neeeeeeeed?!? I can almost feel you saying it. The only branding you need is:
- A logo in some colors you like for right now (Etsy or Creative Market!)
- A way to figure out what the colors are in the logo you picked so you can use those colors on your site.
- A styled stock pic to use in your website header. (Haute Chocolate!)
- A fun, free video mini course on Branding – not so shameless promo of my FREE Brand Frosting training.
- Your best five minute selfie.
Step 3: One page on your domain.
OK – contrary to popular (oh so popular belief) it doesn’t take gobs of pages to have a website. If you’re just starting out and you haven’t ever sold anything online before you don’t need tons of pages because you’re going to get stuck writing copy on all of ’em. You don’t even need a blog to launch a site. GASP – I know, but I promise it’ll all be OK.
The only page you need to launch your site is ahem a HOME PAGE.
Yup, just one home page. That’s it. That’s all. That’s the whole page enchilada.
The goal of this one page on your domain is to give you a quick website victory so you can start sharing your site with other humans that want to do business with you. You can and should add in more pages later on AFTER you’ve finished up your home page like a blog, about, or work with me page – but, in the beginning your one home page will have elements of all of those pages wrapped up into one dreamy and uncomplicated page.
Have mercy. I think I just squealed with delight.
Step 4: Convert and connect.
This step is crucial to the process of your 4 Step Website Recipe. Miss this step and it’ll still work, but you’ll never know what it “could have been.” Your site has to convert and connect. They go together like cupcakes and frosting to set you up for success now and forever forward.
Convert – this means that your site has an offer on it for something that people can buy from you. In the early phase this is the only “metric” that matters. It’s the lunch money metric. Can someone visit your site, see this one page and have the ability to actually buy something from you.
Only if you put an offer and a buy button on it.
You must craft something that is going to at the very minimum pay for everything you’re on the hook for in Step 1 above. Your website has to start making you money from the get go or it’s just blowing up your bank account every month and becoming a chore versus a joy. Chore websites are stuff that you don’t want to deal with because they’re harshing your mellow, but money takes your site to the joy spot which means you’re happy to do stuff with it because it’s brought you money!
“Rarely does a money making website get ignored, pushed aside, or left to blow like a tumbleweed in the wind.” – Kimberly Gosney
Connect – your site has to give people a spot to connect with you. A place where you can serve up stuff to help your peeps (even if you haven’t started your blog yet.) That place, that special spot is via your email subscriber list and dollars to doughnuts if you’ve got one and you start sharing your site with everyone you know, you’ll start getting people that hop on your list.
Connecting with people and having them say I’d love to hear from you on the regular feels like you are making headway towards your dream while hopping down the bunny trail with a whole basket of those delicious Cadbury Creme Eggs.
Phew. I swear I’m flat out numb in the fingers from typing all of this out and it’s almost Kathryn Hope’s bedtime so I’m going to take this one home.
Here’s the big impression that I want to leave you with in the longest blog post I’ve ever written. It’s even been edited twice now and it’s still pretty dang long.
Your first website needs to launch and it needs to launch soon. It won’t be perfect because it never will and that shouldn’t stop you. The only thing holding your website back is you.
Because you’re wanting it to be way more than you need it to be right out of the oven.
And, if that stops you from taking action it makes me sad.
I’m usually not big into writing posts, but I’m challenging myself to write something every single day. I’m calling myself out on my desire to always squash the parts of me that could write something that could help someone else because I have weird perfection issues with spelling and punctuation, run on sentences, and that gosh darn apostrophe.
We are all a work in progress and not seeking perfection so if you loved this post shoot me an email and I’ll write something special on a topic you’d like to know more about. Hit my inbox basket at [email protected]
P.S. I’ll be sharing more with you in the upcoming weeks about The 4 Step Website Recipe so keep your eyes peeled.