Design & Content Creation

You may have already brainstormed, or dreamed of this day, you are finally ready to design your website and bring your vision to life. This is always my favorite part of starting a new website. If I’m being truly honest, this portion of your journey is never-ending, I am constantly finding new things to add to my websites whether it is a design element, content or a feature that will help me to connect with my potential customers and readers.

There are numerous layout options available, which can seem overwhelming when it comes to sifting through the thousands of templates that are found online. Some like to start out with a free template just to get them going, but in my opinion, first impressions last forever and in some cases, a person may find your website and never return simply because the layout didn’t look professional. You could go about choosing your site’s design a few different ways; here is a look at some of the options.

If you have a logo professionally created, chances are you’re pretty proud of it. Some will go as far as designing their website around the logo that was created. This means pulling colors from the design and taking the overall approach that was used in making the logo. Some logos are minimalist in nature, so a minimal theme would flow quite nicely. On one of my websites, I have a watercolor themed logo, and so you can see watercolor accents throughout the website with splashes of paint and textured paper.

Choosing the site design and then designing your logo based off of that

I do find this option to be a little bit easier, I like to look at color palettes on Pinterest, from there I can figure out what colors I’d like to use and that helps me to decide on an overall theme. Are you going for a clean look? A moody look? Maybe something bright and colorful. No matter how you do it, you’ll want to be sure that your site flows nicely from page to page.

I use Elegant Themes –

I discovered Elegant Themes many years ago, long before they had the theme that I use now. One of the things that I appreciate about their themes is that I can fully customize the website on my own. I liked how their theme colors and fonts seem to compliment each other nicely. I currently use Divi for all of my site designs and that is due to one major detail: Divi allows you to create just about any site on the internet. Sometimes, I go to pinterest and pull elements from websites that I like, and create them for myself on my own pages. Divi is now the main theme offered by Elegant Themes, but if you aren’t all that familiar with web design, you might find it challenging to figure out. I suggest starting with one of their other options and learn how themes work and make small customization's to reflect your brand.

And Sometimes Ghost –

Another option I recommend is the Ghost blogging platform, Ghost lets you as the creator focus on creating content, while they manage the rest. This blog for example is hosted on the Ghost blogging platform at the moment.

Creating your first post

This will be your very first post, and after your site has been alive for some time, it won’t be the main entry that people see when arriving on your site. But, what happens next is going to make this page very important. You’ll first share your website with those who are close to you, your friends and family. So making sure that your first post is perfect is important. Here are some tips on how to do that;

Make sure that the layout you’ve chosen is mobile and desktop friendly. Some themes are one or the other and aren’t responsive across all devices. Be sure to check out your site on a computer, tablet and smartphone since a lot of us can be found using any of those devices at any given time.

Spell check your work, I’ve come across some pretty unintentionally funny websites where the spelling errors are distracting (but hilarious) make sure the use something like grammarly or similar to make sure that you are speaking clearly and correctly to your audience.

Make sure to write a short bio and include a photo, this will help your readers to connect with you on a personal level. Show them who is speaking to them, and put a friendly face to a name.

Use Images – a picture is worth 1,000 words! Images that reflect the topic of your article are pretty important. You want to make sure that the image selected goes along with your overall theme, if your theme is bright and poppy, then find an image (with free usage rights) that goes along with your theme. You can always take a photo of your own, any smartphone will do at first, but you just might find yourself investing in a DSLR at some point.

Write a lengthy article – I know, you’ve seen articles with one paragraph written by “journalists” for news sites – you wonder how that article even made it to your feed right? That happens when the main news website has built up their rankings and trust, they can pretty much write whatever they’d like and it will still be pushed out to everyone. You won’t be so lucky, so writing good healthy long articles is the way to go. Another thing, don’t assume that your reader knows what you’re talking about, some people might need a little more explaining than others so it is better to explain your article in great detail so that everyone is on the same page. After your first page is live, write a few more to show that you have things to say – and want to share it with the world!