Sunday, July 15, 2012

Creating Websites or Blogs - Plan First

You would think that creating websites and blogs wouldn't have any consequences, but if they're not properly thought out, they may.

I have to admit that I do everything fast. Well, not like I use to when young and healthy, but old habits die hard.

What I mean is I get an idea and instead of taking my time and thoroughly thinking it through . . . carefully planning and thinking of future endeavors and how this decision will factor into all aspects of my writing, I jump in. I quickly choose a domain name and throw up a website or blog.

Now, you may say, “So what's the big deal.” Well, in the visibility and marketing world it's a HUGE deal.

Suppose you start out with one book, or write in one specific genre. You know you have to create a website to get your visibility started so you go to Blogger or WordPress and create a free site. Or, maybe, you go to BlueHost or GoDaddy and pay for hosting.

Whichever you choose you’ll need a domain name. You’re in a rush, so without thinking of any possible consequences to this seemingly innocent move, you choose a domain name.

Maybe you chose: I'm Learning to Write, or Jane Doe Writes for Children. Or, maybe your first writing venture has you teamed up with a co-author or contributor, and you create a joint site.

See where this is heading?

You decide on the domain name "Ann and Jill Just for Children." You’re starting out so this seems reasonable. But, a year or two later, Jill has nothing to do with your current writing life. And, you've authored another children's book along with a couple of writing and marketing e-books. Not only that, but you’ve diversified and write articles in multiple genres.

Now what do you do? Your traffic and subscribers are all connected with Ann and Jill Just for Children.

A light goes off . . . you'll simply create another site. And, you’ll create a third site because you now offer writing services and ecourses.

But, what about the traffic you’ve built up that’s going to the Ann and Jill site?

Not a problem, or so you think.  You cleverly decide to link all your sites together.

This is an option, but before you know it, you’ll end up stretching yourself thin trying to add content to all your sites. Not to mention working to drive traffic to multiple sites. This will end up limiting the time and effort you can put into your own publication goals, following your groups and social networks, and doing research. And, it will cause a dilution in focused traffic.

Ah, the 'webs' we weave...

So, the moral of the story is don’t box yourself in. THINK BIG from the get-go and take possible future endeavors into consideration when choosing a domain name and creating your website and blog. A 'safe bet' domain name for your first site is Your

Rule 1 in writing and marketing is to create a writing and marketing plan.

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  1. I totally agree here. I'm in the middle of trying to figure out what I should do with one of my blogs because I've changed my focus and the original title and domain don't work any longer. Wish I had thought it through more first.

  2. Karen,
    I hope you'll share more of these rules this way. This would be very helpful. It seems you not only think BIG, you think general/broad/all inclusive such as with your name. It carries you wherever you go. What about bloggers who create sites for each specific book published?

  3. LOL Cheryl, I hear you! I wish I had thought things through when I began. It would have saved a lot of work.

  4. Linda, do you mean teaching through my mistakes. :) There's plenty of them!

    That's the great thing about the internet, we get the benefit of those who were already there.

    Yes, you think as broad as you can, but there will still be occasion when you need to create more than one site, such as having specific sites for each published book. But, this is not the same as a central 'you' focused site where you want to draw traffic to build your subscriber list and so on.

    The specific sites for books are needed tools. They're in place to have information and details about the book, possibly to help motivate a visitor to buy it, or to send those interested in learning more about your book. These sites though are usually NOT traffic generating sites. They have a different purpose.

    Although, you can write a post or two on the book's topic, with effective titles, and those posts might draw specific keyword searched traffic.

    I read an article (read so much can't remember who or where) that said the author posted once in a great while to his book's site (on a book related topic) and it brought in tons of targeted traffic. I think I'll actually write an article about this. :)

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