Call me odd but I find that being robotic in my approach to work seems to have the best results when faced with repetitive tasks or the need to replicate results across the board.
From the very beginning of planning a website to its creation – I believe you can streamline the process to cut out wasted time, ensure you’re working on content that sells, and creating a step-by-step blueprint (for your own records) that allows you to knock down websites in a single swoop.
This is how you can blitz your way into a new website this afternoon.
Blitz Task #1: Website Planning
A basic website, these days, will have the same common elements:
- Home Page
- Money Posts (Reviews)
- Value Posts (Tutorials)
- Filler Posts (Opinions)
- Product Pages (Optional)
- Contact Us
- About Me
Here, your goal is to either share your latest information or reveal the purpose of a website; ideally, it’s the later. Your home page needs to have common design elements such as an introduction to the website, links to your blog/services/products/whatever, some various media elements, and other copy that will get the visitor digging deeper.
In my planning, I aim to have a simple-to-understand reason for why people should dig deeper into my website. Here, you’re sharing who you are, what you do, and why people should listen. Try to keep it short and sweet – let the rest of the website do the talking.
Your source for content marketing; here you’ll be sharing the information and converting readers through your posts and articles. You’ll want a variety of posts from tutorials to interviews; if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas than check out this list of blog post ideas.
In terms of planning, I find it very important to have a content strategy so you can see where your blog will be growing after each successful post.
Product Pages (Optional)
Look, we’re getting to the point where everyone has a product to offer so put it on its own page rather than burying it deep within your blog posts or some resource page. Make this a huge offer, optimize the hell out of the page, and continually link to the product pages within your content pieces.
ProBlogger does this quite well; sure, the main draw is the blog but the fact that there is a main page just for the products really makes it stand out and gives people a reason to inquire.
Simple – need not of explanation. Use free tools to put together your contact page or just buy a website theme that has them included.
Don’t make it difficult – keep it to just the name, email and comment or just give ‘em your email and let them do the rest.
Your time to shine but still, try to give people a reason to connect with you without just showboating and fluffing your ego.
Modesty goes a long way; you’re average – just like me and everyone else – don’t try to make yourself look like some super important rock star – be authentic.
Get these out of the way by using free generators; you’ll need them if you’re promoting affiliate products, collecting information, and so on. It’s legal, it’s boring, and it’s required.
Website Planning: Wrap Up
I’ve always found that drawing out your website plan on a whiteboard or sketching it on a piece of paper to be the most effective. Break everything down to the core features; keep it simple.
If you’re stumped than I recommend you take a look at these existing, profitable website ideas.
In terms of streamlining the process of planning: you always know you’ll need certain pages for each website; you can pretty much follow the same format in terms of what you’ll say on your about me, how a contact form is setup, the look/feel/copy of your product pages, your blog topics, and even the structure of your home page.
Remember, you’ll be creating websites in different niches. Most people won’t stumble on your other work so it doesn’t really matter if the flow and experience is somewhat similar – they’re looking for the content, after all.
Blitz Task #2: Website Setup
Website setup is, perhaps, the easiest part of the entire process. For the non-techies, this can be a bit challenging and confusing at first but once you’ve knocked down one website – the process gets repeated for each additional project.
I’ve detailed the entire process of setting up a website previously but it’s still worth mentioning the basic details of each step of the way.
- Purchase a brand-able domain name
- Purchase website hosting (not linked to your domain name registrar)
- Purchase a flexible, attractive theme for your website
- Install or code your website platform (WordPress, HTML/CSS/JS, Drupal, Etc)
- Setup the user experiences (navigation, design, copy, etc)
In this list, the domain name should be the greatest asset to focus on. Your domain name can directly reflect your website focus (such as using a keyword) but I recommend you go for something brand-able in the event your website takes off, changes direction, or eventually sells.
The web hosting will run you about $120 – $180 a year if you’re using a host like HostGator; this is a small price to pay considering you can have multiple websites on your hosting. Refer to this guide to setting up website hosting if you’re not sure where to begin.
Next, you’ll be getting the design setup. You could get your website designed from scratch but since we’re trying to get things rolling immediately – I would recommend you just use the combination of WordPress and a great looking WordPress theme.
Lastly, create the pages and format that I mentioned above (home, blog, contact, etc). You don’t necessarily need to fill in everything – I’ve found just creating the pages and getting them interlinked to be a great way to avoid continually adding little features that makes the project far too large for our quick website.
Website Setup: Wrap Up
There’s a lot of great information on this blog and others that go into these details more thoroughly; refer to them when you’re stuck on the individual steps.
Overall, this part of the process mainly comes down to ensuring you’re starting with a great domain name and then robotically throwing together the basic website. No need to focus on the content at this moment (that’s the next section); instead, get the format down.
Blitz Task #3: Content Production
All website content boils down to applying best practices and principles; the message of your content may differ from everyone else but the format is the same.
Your content production method will be unique to your own style of workflow.
However, content can be broken down into a three step process:
- Developing an idea
- Researching and compiling information
- Creating the content
In my opinion, your articles should take at least an hour of proper production to make the most impact. You can bang out some quick posts but the larger, long-form content takes time but will have the greatest reward because they are the pieces that get you noticed.
Developing the Idea
Ideas for content is all around you – you just need to look.
When looking for inspirational ways to develop article ideas; keep it simple:
- Browse through your favorite blogs and see what they’re doing
- Keep a spreadsheet or list of topics that interest you
- Ask your readers what they want
- Use comments as a way to focus on a subject you may have skipped over
- Hold an interview with your favorite bloggers
- Write about a recent project
- A review of a product (or products) that define the website
- About 2 – 3 tutorials that help the user gain a better grasp about said product
- A few comparative articles to show different options
The online research is easy as pie but you can’t just take everything you read for granted.
Usually, if I’m doing research, I will pull up the competition and take a look at what topics they cover pertaining to a subject. Next, I’ll see if I can find any literature or new stories that could have updated information about the topic. Finally, I’ll generally try to put the topic into effect so I can get my own feedback.
In product reviews and tutorials, the best approach is to do what you say. If you’re writing about how to use a new camera than go out, buy the camera, give it a field test, and then write about it. Don’t just use some PR copy or condense what others have to say; give your own opinion and take on what you’re writing about.
Finally, production time.
You need to be completely focused on knocking down your article or blog post in one fell swoop. Yes, you can break up your work into bit-sized chunks but placing a large gap in your production will generally pull you out of the mindset of when you first started.
Set aside about 3 – 5 hours of pure content writing. It will be hell, pumping out the articles but focus on quality over quantity.
For a new website, 5 – 10 articles is more than enough to get everything up and running.
In time, you can add new blog posts but the main items to focus on are the reviews, tutorials, and some kind of comparison. Plan to funnel people to the review or feature post, use the tutorials as support, and add a human element of comparison to show that you’re not just bombarding them with a sales pitch.
Content Production: Wrap Up
Outside of the actual content production process – it’s also important to remember that you need to create some kind of editorial schedule.
Your content schedule will reveal which pieces need to be published, in order, to maximize your efforts and allow you to easily inter relate content for your readers.
Bouncing between subjects can be confusing for regular readers which is why it’s best to create a schedule that goes A, B, C, 1, 2, 3.
Blitz Task #4: Marketing
By this point, you’re probably about 7 – 10 hours into the website setup process.
So far, you’ve planned out your website, put it all together, created some content. But we’re missing a piece here, hrmmm.
Marketing! Yup, every website needs marketing; every website, luckily, can benefit from the same type of strategies but with little twists depending on your audience.
You want lists? I’ll give you a list …
- Submit and share your posts to blog directories like BlogEngage
- Shop around and try to do guest posting with MyBlogGuest
- Interview people and have them share your article after publication
- Share your content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Etc, Etc, Etc
- Put social media buttons all over your site so visitors can easily share content
- Ping other blogs for easy trackbacks in your articles
- Create and submit a video to YouTube (with your link)
- Record a podcast and get it listed in iTunes
- Work on SEO to get your pages ranked
- Email the creator of the product and have them share it on their social feed
- Spark up discussions in forums about your topic (then, link over)
- Email local businesses with your information as a friendly tip
- Buy some advertising
- Write and share your manifesto
- Add a link to each of your emails
The topic of blog marketing and traffic generation has been done to death which is why I’ll leave it to others to fill you in on the other details:
- 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic
- 21 Little Known Ways to Get Traffic to your Blog
- How to Get 40,000 Readers without Guest Blogging
More you say? Okay, check this out:
Marketing: Wrap Up
Reality: You don’t really need to be marketing your new website just this moment. I would recommend, instead, to take some time to see how people interact with your new site before you start pushing it hard. Give it a bit of time for traction.
~ whew ~
That was a mouthful.
It seems like a lot of information to digest and put into play but the reality is that once you find your process for building one website (along with understanding what you’ll need) – you can begin banging down new sites in an afternoon.
I would say, once you get a hang of it, you can setup a website in about 10 – 15 hours of good work. In time, you’ll be able to knock them down faster and faster depending on how effectively you can setup your site and create new articles.
Of course, you won’t see dramatic results that same day but you’ll have your projects closer to completion by leaps and bounds rather than diddling with one element at a time.
So, what did you think of this process? How would you improve it?