Whew, I understand that branding myself is essential if I want my book to reach my target audience. I created a website and a blog a few years ago, but was anyone actually reading them? I’m a designer and writer, I can paint and take pretty good photographs––so I’m creative, but up until now I haven’t been very techno-savvy! Every step I took was like trying to understand a completely new language. Even though I had my website and blog up and working, I was far from actually utilizing them to publicize and promote my book or my brand.
A web site and blog are worthless if no one knows they exist, so I had to re-start from the beginning. I had originally looked for site names that would focus around my topics and attract people interested in my content. That required a domain search. For me, GoDaddy.com was easy to use and their staff was amazingly helpful. My MAC computer’s iweb was simple to use with templates to build and attractive website. Building my blog was a bit more difficult, but Hollis Gillespie’s blog class answered most of my questions and before long I was out on the world wide internet. The good news was if I Googled Casi McLean, I actually came up on the first page, but the reality was I had an unusual name. If no one knew Casi McLean, they would never Google me in the first place, would they?
Now, a few years later, a Google search pulls up 4 pages, so I’ve added a lot of content to my name, but if people don’t know me, those 4 pages still don’t help me. With my book release only a month away, I needed to understand how to pull people into my existing sites (Search Engine Optimization or SEO) and to monitor what was working and what wasn’t (analytics). I also needed to link my sites together and make them engaging (involving my targeting audience and drawing them into my content), dynamic (a site that is interesting and compelling), and asset building (a store or link to promote and sell my book). I’ll also need a call to action (which is actually asking my audience to buy my book).
I’m getting there. On Friday, I went back to website basics and this time I actually understand them.
Here they are:
- A domain name is like an address.
- Hosting is like the property or lot I would build on. It’s who provides the storage needed for my content.
- The website is the structure and the software I use to create the pages and content of my site.
When I understood those concepts, it was easier to get a grip on what I doing. Now GoDaddy renews my domain names and hosts all my sites. That makes them my one stop site organizer.
I still use iweb to build content on this web site and wordpress.org for my blog. Both work differently, but once I got the hang of them, they were both easy to maintain. I’m adding analytics and SEO tags to both sites now, so I’ll let you know how that goes in another blog post. My new website will be launched in May, and that site will include a PayPal page to sell my book among other more dynamic features. So keep checking my blog for more information about promoting, publicizing and branding.