5 Musts Before Launching a Successful Website

Grab your fave cuppa (coffee/tea/smoothie) and let’s get this party started. Photo taken in Nyuh Kuning Bali by mark l chaves.

Here’s my top five I wish every solopreneur knew before starting up a website:

Number 5: Content Content Content

Don’t have a name or title for your website yet? Then I suggest you nail this one down before you do anything else. If you have something already, make sure you have at least one main tagline. I think having 2–3 other taglines is even better. Try writing your mission statement first, then extract or derive taglines from your mission statement.

This is my digital media mission statement:

“I geek-out on your digital investments so that you can focus on your passion.”

Need some motivation? Check out these taglines:

  • Think Different — Apple
  • The Breakfast of Champions — Wheaties
  • Just Do It — Nike
  • Build the world’s next great thing — Atlassian
  • The World Needs That Special Gift That Only You Have — Marie Forleo
  • Music For Everyone — Spotify
  • I get inspired when I provide you a solution — mark l chaves (derived from my mission statement)

Once this is out of the way, make sure you have at least 100 words for each of your pages (or panel sections of your homepage). If you plan to have a blog, try to go for at least three solid blog posts to be published when your site goes live.

Annette Natocho of Natocho Art & Design by mark l chaves using bokeh technique.

Number 4: Use professional looking photographs and images.

This must-do could be shoved into number 5. But, images are so important they deserve their own spot. I can’t say this enough to my clients, “Hire a photographer to take a few fun portraits of you loving life.”

A private photo session is worth the investment. Find out if your photographer has stock images you can purchase or go online to the many stock vendors to get high quality images that match your content and attract your readers.

Tip: If your photographer doesn’t know what ’bokeh’ is, you might want to find another photographer.

Number 3: SEO — Learn effective ways to express your cool content.

There is no denying that SEO is important. If you are passionate about your content, educate yourself on SEO so that you can effectively express and share your content in the digital ecosystem. These are my two go-to SEO resources 1) Google Webmaster Guidelines and 2) CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.

Keywords are key (pun intended). Do your homework. Lock down your target keywords way before your launch. You’ll be glad did.

A closely related topic is using categories and tags. I’ll cover that soon in a follow-up article. Stay tuned.

Number 2: Get all your socials in order.

Pick out the social media outlets your readers and clients are active on and create handles (account names) on them that reflect your brand (or domain name — see below). Grow your followers. Learn posting best practices and best posting times.

Number 1: Create your custom domain and email address.

This one drives me a little batty. If this isn’t done upfront it will hold-up your website and branding. Be aware that free accounts are discouraged by some of the big players in web apps and tools. MailChimp is an example. If you want to look legit, this is a must do. You gotta look legit.

Heads-up, not all domain name and email providers are created equal. Go with the most reputable ones so your email and website (your two most vital digital media tools) don’t get blacklisted. There are several domain blacklists out there. Here is one domain blacklist uribl.com. It’s a good thing if you are NOT on this list.

This article is based on a Quora reply by mark l chaves.