Could your personal website use some work? Follow these six tips, all of which you can start (and probably complete, save for #1 and #3) this week.
1. Get in a Writing Groove
Your website won’t be successful without regular updates. Fresh content is key to drawing new visitors to your digital domain and sparking conversations that burnish your thought leadership credentials.
Fresh content isn’t rocket science: it’s one of those 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration things. Carve out a few hours each week for writing, or (if resources allow) farm out content creation to reliable freelancers. Avoid deadline crunches by scheduling posts in advance.
2. Put Together a Winning Bio
This serial entrepreneur’s website includes a bio that runs just three sentences. Each has a discrete theme: respectively, his educational background, his employment history, and his current personal and professional interests.
Work on crafting a bio that’s similarly succinct and direct. You don’t need to overwhelm readers with detail or bog the content down with corny personality. People don’t care that much — all they want to know is who you are and what, if anything, you can do for them.
3. Seek Links from Sites With High Domain Authority
This won’t happen overnight, so it’s important to get started as soon as practically possible. (It also relies on a steady stream of fresh content — all the more reason to get cracking on that.)
In a nutshell, domain authority is a measure of a site’s attractiveness to search engines, specifically Google. While it’s not the only metric worth considering as you seek backlinks to your site, it’s as good a proxy for quality as any.
Note: Some SEOs prefer to use Ahrefs’ domain rating over Moz’s domain authority. It’s a good idea to consider a variety of metrics and other quality factors when evaluating a site.
4. Cross-Post Original Content First Published Elsewhere
If you have an active LinkedIn profile or Medium page, you don’t have to abandon it entirely in favor of your personal website. In fact, you can leverage external properties in your own website’s service. Cross-posting content originally posted elsewhere, with attribution and a backlink, is a great way to boost its visibility and guarantee as many unique readers as possible. Early on, your external properties will likely be more visible than your personal website, so you’ll drive valuable traffic to your new domain too.
5. Make Sure Readers Know How to Get in Touch
List as many contact methods as you feel comfortable sharing with the wider world, and make sure they’re visible to even the shortest attention spans. Hook your domain-specific email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and your site’s contact form to your primary email address (email@example.com, or whatever) to ensure that no emails fall through the cracks.
6. Add a Portfolio or Past Work Section
Show off your stuff! If you’re a creative, put a representative slice of pride-inducing work in a homepage slider or other prominent feature. If you work behind the scenes, include an abbreviated resume with awards, achievements, and other confidence-boosters. A little self-promotion never hurt anyone — and it’s your website, after all.
What Else Does Your Personal Website Need?
Every personal website is different. Only you — and, perhaps, close friends and colleagues who know their way around a back end — can say with certainty what it is your site needs to shine. Here’s to good ideas!