Four Things a Personal Website Can Do for You
Have you been thinking about creating a personal website but not quite sure if it’s necessary? Or worth it? Maybe you feel you aren’t tech savvy or creative enough to make one.
At the most basic level, a website is a great and affordable way to broadcast content to a wide audience. If you are looking to spread a specific message about something that interests you, or showcase your own personal content, in the digital age we live in a website is an ideal way to broadcast content.
If you are intimidated at the thought of building your own site, there is good news! Lucky for you there are many user-friendly web editors and affordable hosting options out there to choose from. Setting up a website with great content no longer requires coding expertise or complicated web design software. Many website builders use a drag-and-drop function, allowing you to easily place different elements—like images or text—onto your web pages. You can also customize colors and fonts, giving your website a unique feel.
Now that we’ve established why you should set up a personal website AND that the process can be relatively painless, let’s take a look at some different ways to use your personal website.
Promote Your Hobby
Are you thinking about building a website to showcase your personal hobby or project? A website is a great way to do this and attract an audience that shares your same interests. For example, let’s say you are a rock climber and you travel around, climbing different mountains. You probably take some pretty cool pictures. And you probably follow several different rock climbing forums online. A personal website would be a great way to show off the pictures you take during your adventures beyond just posting to your social media channels. If you had your own personal website, you can send your friends and family to your site to view your photos.
Start a Blog
Personal websites are also very useful to establish yourself as an expert on your hobby or a particular skillset. Many people do this by writing a blog. Blogs are a great way to put your thoughts, knowledge, and experiences out on the web for others to follow and learn from. They also enable people to get to know you better. In the rock climbing example, you could use your blog to provide reviews on different climbs you have done, tell stories from your travels, and even share climbing and safety techniques to others. Also unlike social media channels like Facebook, where the rule of thumb is to post content in short snippets, blogs are a great way to share more detailed information.
Beyond being able to post content you care about, a blog can also help you boost SEO of your site on search engines like Google. It is also a great way to gain followers. If you are looking to promote yourself, by putting out interesting and helpful content that provides value to your audience, people will subscribe to your blog to follow future content you publish. Some bloggers take it as far as monetizing their blog by making money from advertisements and affiliate links to products. Does this idea appeal to you? Check out this article on how to monetize your blog.
Gain More Followers on Social Media
This builds a bit on the idea of a personal blog. A personal website provides an opportunity to grow your audience or network on social media too. You can provide links to your social networks on your website. Want to grow your Twitter followers? Place a Twitter icon on your page so when people click it, they can find and follow your Twitter handle. Also if you have regular news you want to share with your audience through a newsletter, you can place a form for people to opt in and receive your newsletter in their inbox.
Market Yourself Professionally
Looking for a job? A personal website that showcases you and your professional experience really adds a “Wow!” factor to your application. Also, a personal website with your resume, professional headshot, and an engaging About Me page shows potential employers that you took the extra step to build a website. This can really set you apart from other job candidates. Apparently, 56% of hiring managers say a personal website is more impressive than any other tool.
Ever heard the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words”? There are some professions, like photography or graphic design, where a personal website is an absolute MUST. Other professionals like marketers, writers, and artists can also benefit by posting their portfolio online for potential employers to review. When you apply for a job, kill two birds with one stone: showcase your work by simply sending them to your site and make a big impression.
Things to Consider
Now that we have discussed some different ways a personal website can help you, there are a couple of basic things to do to get started.
Choose a company to host your site
Besides building your website, you need to choose a company to also host your website on the internet. Not sure what the difference is? Check out this article on the difference between website hosting and a website builder. Some web builders, like the iPage WebsiteBuilder, not only provide the ability to drag-and-drop content, they also provide hosting and pre-designed templates, making it easy to design, launch, and manage your site all in one place. Make sure to do some research on cost and design options before settling on a web builder prior to building your site. Having your site with one provider that can both host the site and provide a user-friendly website builder makes it easy to manage because everything is in one place.
Figure out a website structure
Once you’ve selected a website builder, before you jump right into creating your site, map out a basic website structure. This should be based on how you want to use the site. What items do you want on your main menu? What other pages do you need off your main menu items? Mapping out a basic structure for your website can be a significant time saver.
Choose a Design
We’ve already discussed the numerous user-friendly website builders available. A website builder that includes a broad selection of attractive and sophisticated pre-designed templates that are customizable is the easiest way to create a great looking site. Pre designed templates are basically web sites that are pre built with a basic structure and a consistent color scheme and design elements throughout. They remove the guesswork from the design part of website creation by providing something for you that already looks super professional. You just need to add your content and decide on a basic site structure. The heavy lifting is done for you!
Hopefully this article has inspired you to get started building your own personal website. iPage provides web hosting and a user-friendly website builder, making it easy for you to create and manage your own site. Contact us today for more info.
About the Author
Susie Yuill is a freelance copywriter and marketing strategy consultant, specializing in creating product marketing strategy & content that helps technology companies grow product sales and engagement. To learn more about Susie, visit her website at www.stellartechmarketing.co