🌐 3 Website Strategy Mistakes I Made
(and How You Can Avoid Them)
PLUS: Your quick website checklist
Hi there, Solopreneur! Wherever you read this newsletter — in your home office, at the kitchen table, or on your phone while drinking your favorite morning brew —I appreciate you making this read a part of your day. Have a terrific Wednesday.
Your website is one of the most valuable pieces of your portfolio. It tells the world what you represent, who you help, and how you help them.
And it needs to share this information in a simple, compelling way.
This week’s issue is a 4-minute read.
I made 3 big mistakes when I built my site. Each stalled my progress and cost me dollars.
🌎 Picked the wrong domain name
🔎 Failed to research web hosting companies
✏️ Wrote my web copy
Here’s what I learned and how you can avoid my mistakes.
🌎 Picked the Wrong Domain Name
My first domain name was the same as my company name.
This was a marketing and branding mistake on two levels.
First, no one knew this name. It had no brand equity in the marketplace.
Second, the name created a barrier between me and my audience.
I thought if I used my business name for my site’s url, it would convey that I had a legitimate organization.
It turns out that many successful solopreneurs use their personal names for their website domains, which builds rapport and helps their audience easily locate their site.
Consider choosing a domain name that your audience instantly recognizes and that builds on your brand equity (i.e., your personal name).
Consider purchasing a few domain names; this way, you can secure the name while you continue to build your brand and site.
🔎 Failed to Research Web Hosting Companies
I purchased my domain name and web hosting from the same company, which was smart.
I assumed all web hosting companies were the same, and I gave no consideration to the bells and whistles web hosting companies offer.
When my site launched in July, it was slow.
It turns out my site was sharing server space with many other sites and did not have the secret server sauce necessary for fast loading.
Nothing frustrates Google or site visitors more than a site that takes 6 seconds to launch.
Research web hosting companies and compare their features. While you can move your domain name and site from one hosting company to another, it takes time and is a stressful experience.
Choose a web hosting company that excels in the support and services your business requires (blogging, e-commerce, SaaS, etc.) Use the chat feature to talk with reps. Gauge their response-support time BEFORE you purchase their services.
✏️ Wrote My Web Copy
I wrote the original web copy for my site for two reasons.
First, I wanted to improve my writing skills and believed writing the web copy was a worthy challenge.
Second, I wanted to save time and thought collaborating with a professional copywriter would take months.
I quickly learned that writing web copy is 100% different from writing social media posts and articles.
Web copy has to compel visitors to take action. Every word matters.
My attempts were noble, yet the output was weak and largely ineffective.
😕It’s tough to write original and compelling web copy about your own products and services.
When I reached out to a professional with years of web copy experience, I had to check my writing ego at the door. I feared the professional would take months to write the new copy and delay new sales.
😀Instead, I discovered that collaborating with a professional copywriter was fun, simple, and highly effective.
A professional copywriter has NO emotional attachment to your site, products, or business. Their neutral approach helps them create a powerful customer journey that engages and drives action.
Investing in a professional copywriter may feel like a luxury for you at this time. It’s difficult to quantify the opportunity cost of a poor website, yet I assure you it’s higher than you think.
🔥Also Worth Noting
Your website is a 365-day sales rep for your business and is often the first point of contact with your audience.
Visitors who have a tough first visit may never return.
✅ Here is your quick 3-point website checklist to use as you build your first site or refresh a site that underperforms.
🔎 Research 3 or 4 web hosting companies to ensure they offer site speed and support for your business products and services. Compare pricing for year 1 vs. year 2 and beyond. Monthly and annual web hosting services might include a 1-year trial rate.
💵 Purchase your domain name and your web hosting services from the same company. Keeping all services with one company is easier for your web developer and for seeking support. If your site uses WordPress, ask the sales rep about WordPress support and site speed.
📊 Develop a working knowledge of SEO (search engine optimization) and watch a few videos on Google Analytics and Google Search Console. When you understand the basics, you can collaborate with your web developer to better gauge which pages are performing and where you need to make changes.
I wish you tremendous success on your new site or the refresh of your current one.
Send me an email, and we can compare website stories! firstname.lastname@example.org
🔑Stay curious and keep opening doors.
Chief Strategy Fixer