Creating your first website is huge! I still remember that feeling after I launched my first website. Think a cross between being able to get into a headstand for the first time and a dog eating ice cream. Giddy with excitement. Soooo proud. It’s the best thing ever.
My first website isn’t online anymore unfortunately, so I can’t show it to you (not like the first website that went live in 1991 and that you can check out here).
But it’s for the best, as I made some serious mistakes with it. Since then I’ve designed many more websites and improved and relaunched them. I’ve learned a ton and today I want to share my mistakes with you, so you don’t have to make them too.
#1 No photos of ME on the homepage
I didn’t have any good photos of me (or so I thought), so I used a stock image for my header and only had a (small) image of me on my about page.
This was a really bad idea! If you want your website visitors to hire you, refer you or just to like your content, you need to give them a chance to get to know you.
When your visitors have a face to put with your name, you become much easier for them to remember. That, combined with some well-written content, starts to help them feel like they know you. It’ll also look way more professional right away.
Since then I invested in a few professional photo shoots and this is one of the most important steps I recommend you take when you start your own yoga business. Click here to learn how to prepare for a yoga photo shoot so you get the most out of it.
#2 No blog and no content to share
I thought I didn’t have the time to start a blog. And that nobody would be interested in reading about what I had to say anyway. Ah, hello fear, there you are!
Fact is, a blog does take some time and effort. And it can be a scary thing to share your voice with the world. But it’s also the best free tool to grow your business!
This is why:
A blog will help you build a relationship with your existing clients. Through your blog, you give your students a chance to learn more about yoga and get to know you a bit more.
Raise your hand if you want more website visitors. Yeah, me too. Every blog post is a chance for people to find you on Google and through social sharing. And now that you have traffic coming to your website through your blog, you have an opportunity to convert that traffic into new clients.
A blog helps establish authority. If you’re consistently creating content that’s helpful for your target customers, it’ll help establish you as an authority in their eyes.
Finally, a blog drives long-term results. Each blog post can continue to generate new traffic for days, weeks, months, and years to come.
For best results, narrow your focus and only blog about a certain topic and not a bunch of different things. For example, if you are known for pre-natal yoga, don’t blog about vegan recipes but choose topics related to your niche. You get the chance to stand out as an expert in YOUR topic and become the go-to site for information on this topic.
#3 Adding too much stuff
One of the biggest mistakes I made with my first website was adding too much stuff. What I ended up with was an endless list of things I needed to do and things I needed to pay for. Pretty soon I was overwhelmed and ended up doing nothing right.
Does this sound familiar?
I’ve learned that it’s best to just get started with the bare basics on your website and add more features later.
It’s like packing for a vacation. Half of the stuff you bring you probably never wear. After you’ve done this a few times, you learn how to pack smarter and leave space in your luggage to bring home some amazing souvenirs.
When you plan your first website with all the bells and whistles, there’s a real danger that you waste time and money on tools and features you won’t end up using.
But how do you know what features and tools you will actually need for your very first website?
I recommend that you start with these pages: Home, About, Services or Offerings, Blog and Contact. Once you know what your audience is interested in and what works, you can then invest smartly on your website and add things like a shop or a booking tool.
There is always room to improve. Just like how people never stop learning, websites are never finished. But if you avoid these mistakes on your first website, you’re on your way to website success.