As I am focusing on a branded website for myself, I need to make sure it’s presentable. Unfortunately, I still have a lot to do. And I would like to make sure that it’s at least something I can show off at WordCamp Denver this weekend.
At the moment, it’s severely lacking…especially in content. But that’s to be expected when you consider I have so many other blogs to maintain.
Why Create a Branded Website?
Originally, I was given the idea while at WordCamp Kansas City. The organizer asked what website to visit as she was interested in what I do. My response was, “well, which one, because I have so many?”
She prompted me to build a site that centers around me as a professional.
At first, I was using WriterSanctuary.com to promote myself. However, that particular site doesn’t go into all of the other things I am doing online. The WordCamp organizer was interested more in the health and fitness blog I maintain.
Thus, my domain name was born and this blog was established.
Upcoming Additions and Changes
I am about done wrapping up all of the small add-ons in terms of basic plugins and features. But there is still quite a bit I need to set up if I want to have a branded website that really shines.
But, I cannot forget that I have three other blogs that are semi-established. I don’t want to spend too much of my time sprucing up this one when those three need some love as well.
Luckily, I can work on this blog as I have time. Since a lot of the things I want to do for the near future don’t take a lot of work, I am sure I can have something semi-decent before WordCamp Denver next weekend.
What Kind of Content Will I Make on This Site?
As the bulk of my knowledge and expertise already resides on several other blogs, I suppose this branded website will probably focus more on Journal-like entries.
Perhaps the posts on this site will be more for marketing major changes, published works and other elements surrounding what I do online. As such, I doubt that I will have a superior amount of content.
Is this Branded Website Going to Have Portfolios?
As most of my online presence consists of blogging and YouTube videos, my portfolio is probably going to contain more links than anything.
In fact, one of the things I am adding is a portfolio link to the nav menu. This way, visitors have direct access and more information about what I do.
I’m still deciding on how to design the portfolio pages, though. I want something easy to navigate and understand.
What About Using a New Theme?
I like the ColorMag theme available in the WordPress repository. However, I don’t know if it fits well enough for a branded website to show portfolios. I might take a look to see what’s available.
Keep in mind, I am building this site on a very tight budget. Essentially, I’m trying to make enough from the other three sites to pay for themselves in terms of hosting and domain names every year.
How to Market a Branded Website
For the time being, I am merely marketing this blog as a link on the others. I also plan on adding a link to the default video description when making YouTube content.
As for doing more, well, the site is still in its infancy. Outside of just telling people where to go at WordCamps, I don’t know if I want to push it just yet.
However, I do plan on adding more and building a web of marketing channels for the site.
When I created Writer Sanctuary’s page in Facebook, I labeled it as myself. In the beginning, Writer Sanctuary was me. Now, I need to figure out if I should somehow separate the two and create a page specifically for WriterSanctuary.com.
The bad part about that is I have accumulated nearly 100 fans. If I create a new page now, I’ll have to start all over again.
Hindsight is 20/20…but I wish I would have thought about all of this in the very beginning.
But because Facebook is such an integral part of everyday life for many, even with its issues, a branded website needs to have a home on the platform.
I don’t necessarily have a Twitter handle for me personally. Again, I was using WriterSanctuary.com as a platform for the professional side of “me.” Perhaps I should make one that is more centered around my name.
I kinda had one in the past, but it was a jumble of randomness. Maybe I can clean it up to be more representing of me and what I do online.
Writing More Content
I highly doubt that I will drive a ton of traffic to this branded website. It’s not really niched down to any one particular topic. It’s more of a collection of what I personally do on the Internet.
As such, I probably will write a post here and there throughout any given month. That is, unless I change something major or add something that I think visitors may want to know.
This site is geared more for people who want to know more about what I do. So unless you’re looking for me personally, the chances of the content showing up in Google search are slim to none.
On the other hand, I didn’t think Writer Sanctuary would get more than 200 subscribers on YouTube. I have been wrong before.
I do come across all kinds of things that may benefit this website.
We’ll have to see.
Displaying the Link on Business Cards
One thing I would like to do is make business cards for myself. Something like this is exceptionally useful when visiting WordCamps and other professional meetups. And adding the link to this branded website is beneficial.
This all really depends on whether I am at a WordCamp on behalf of GreenGeeks, though. It’s unethical to market myself in such a fashion if I am there to help the company.
Still, it would be nice to have some business cards on hand for when I am out and about.
Will I Monetize the Blog?
To be honest, I’m not sure about how to monetize a branded website. Things like affiliate marketing and ad sales just don’t seem to fit the purpose of this blog.
After a while, I might add Google Adsense to the content.
I know some may say I should promote myself as a writer. After all, that’s what I do. And I might add a contact form in the event someone is interested in my services. However, Writer Sanctuary already has this aspect covered.
I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to have two areas where potential clients can contact me, though.
I’ll add the form onto my list of things to do on this branded website.
Here’s to the Future
I have my work cut out for me on this one. There’s still a lot that needs to be done before I am comfortable sharing the link. But if I can keep up the momentum, I’m sure it will become presentable in a short amount of time.
That is such a great metaphor for how I live my life.