I have years of experience in writing for websites. Writing engaging web copy really is my bag. It’s my happy place (along with sitting on a beautiful beach with a good book in my hand). But writing copy for my own website was a very different experience to writing web copy for a business. Here are some of the things I learnt from creating my own website.
1. It’s harder to write about yourself than others
I have written about myriad topics during my 20 years of working in digital content. A biography of Dot Cotton – tick. Simple supper recipes to try tonight – tick. The history of Rugby (the sport and the place) – tick. How to achieve Cheryl Tweedy’s latest look – tick. Postcards from Erinsborough – tick. Build resilience in your business – tick. Inside Mulberry: a brand insight – tick. Get the idea?
But writing pippajackson.co.uk was a totally different experience. Being Pippa Jackson, I’m well-equipped to write it, but I’m also an introvert, so shouting about my achievements doesn’t come naturally. It took me a long time to overcome that hurdle and find the words with which I’m comfortable to promote myself and my offering.
I’m proud of myself for doing it and I’m happy with the outcome. However, I still feel happier writing about other people and their fabulous stuff than myself.
2. Recognise which areas to outsource
As I’ve mentioned, websites are my area of expertise. I’ve worked on websites big and small. I know what I like and what works well. I know when a design grabs my attention or reflects the brand well and when it doesn’t. Knowing all that, doesn’t make me a web designer or builder though. I do words more than pictures and code.
I started out thinking that I would build my website myself, and then I procrastinated and procrastinated and did nothing. That’s when I realised that I should collaborate with someone who is skilled in the areas that I am not. I devised a good, detailed plan. I researched keywords. I pulled together a mood board of styles that I liked and reflected my values and brand. Then, I passed it over to somebody else to work with me on creating my website. So, I have to thank Andrew Sharratt for his design and build skills (and his patience and attention to detail).
3. Defining your offering focuses your mind
Obviously I know what I can do, but listing out the services and ways in which I can help potential new clients was trickier than I anticipated.
It was during a motivational session with the marvellous Tanya at Coastal Coaching, that I actually defined my services for the first time. She encouraged me to write down everything that I could offer and then work through them, prioritising and refining them. It was a seemingly obvious exercise in hindsight, but writing that list really helped me to focus on my offering and how to promote them.
4. Plan your work and work your plan
Turns out, I’m a bit of a planner. I write lists and I love ticking off items as I complete them. Ok, so I generally add new items at the same rate as I tick them off, but I do get a sense of achievement with the physical act of striking through a task on my notepad.
I write content strategies for businesses and I genuinely love to compile an editorial calendar detailing the blogs, social posts and other content to publish on specific days. Writing a plan for my own business was very different, but nonetheless, it was useful and necessary. Working through the stages that I’d thought through in advance, definitely helped the process to flow better.
I was also creating my website during lockdown whilst my son was at home. My plan made it more manageable to juggle home schooling and child entertainment with working on my business. I defined manageable chunks of work to complete which meant that I avoided feeling overwhelmed and paralysed with fear.
5. An old dog can learn new tricks
The experience of creating my own website and promoting my business in a new way has been a real learning curve. You know what, learning is good for the mind and the soul. Working through processes that seem mind-boggling initially, and finding solutions, is empowering. Achieving a goal is a real confidence boost.
Helping others to achieve their goals and give their businesses a boost is real motivation for me. Plus, I’m always keen to keep on learning and developing.
I can help you to create great content that fits your brand. Please get in touch to find out more.