As we’ve been talking I’ve been filling out this plan for what the minimum necessary is for you to set up your website. And this plan categorizes what the content will be, how the site is to be organized, what you need to do for SEO, what kind of functionality you need to integrate into the site, what kinds of things you need to do in order to set up your marketing and then there’s a learning plan.
The Learning Plan
The learning plan has the things you need to learn and the order you need to learn them in. This learning plan actually does not follow any course on my site. The courses on the site follow a different system but this is in terms of what it’s going to take for you in order to get the minimum necessary done.
By the time we’re done today we’re going to have this plan fleshed out so that you have a good sense of what it is you need to learn and then what things you need to actually do in order to have the site ready to launch at its minimum setup.
Rick: This is the first time I’ve ever used this tool so it’ll be interesting to see how it works. I was trying to figure out a way for you to be able to visualize what we’re talking about rather than just having slides or a document to look at while we’re talking through building your website. But really, the very first thing you have to be focused on is the creation of your content, right?
Steve: Exactly, yes.
Rick: And so you’ve got this basic content. Really, your About and your Contact page. There’s a Contact page because you are going to want some mechanisms for people to contact you.
Steve: Exactly, yeah.
Rick: So, About, Services, Testimonials and Contact. Now, this makes your menu and your page hierarchy very simple at this point.
Rick: Most people are going to have a more complex page hierarchy than this. Essentially what it means is you don’t have a page hierarchy. You just have 5 elements on your menu and that’s it and perhaps down the road this will develop further but in terms of the minimum necessary to start off this is going to be actually pretty simple.
Content and Keywords for Your Ideal Customer
That brings us to site organization. We can just use this page hierarchy as the basis for the menu and we’ve already talked quite a bit about the targeted content and by targeted content what I really mean is content that is targeted toward your ideal customer. That’s what this whole thing is about. Before you can sell anything to anybody you have to attract your ideal customer to your website.
Rick: Really the primary way you’re going to attract people to your website first, is just going to be through organic search so that means that your content has to be focused on the kinds of things your ideal customer is searching for and to focus on the solution to the problem that they’re trying to solve, right?
So if they want to learn something about alkaline diet and if that’s what you want them to find you for then you have to produce content that’s based on that. That’s why the keyword list exists and that’s why we did those first set of post titles to make sure that there is continuity between what you plan on posting and what you imagine the key words are that people are going to search you for.
Rick: Now ultimately people are really going to find you for the long tail keywords.
Rick: And so that means a long expression not just alkaline diet but how an alkaline diet can improve your performance while running or how an alkaline diet can improve the growth of muscle mass during weight lifting.
Steve: Right. I have a program called “Market Samurai” that I just bought. I’m just learning to use and I was actually doing a long tail keyword research and I think that’s what will build my site is picking those long tail keywords where there isn’t tons and tons of competition but yet it’s focused on what I’m talking about.
Rick: Yes and I don’t really know if it really matters if there’s tons of competition or not. What really matters is, are you providing quality information that your ideal customer is looking for, that’s what’s really the most critical thing here.
I have had members who used products like Market Samurai imagining that they could write articles about some of these keywords that they thought would drive traffic to their site. I think that’s actually going about it backwards because what you’re really trying to do is provide information to your ideal customer in the format in which they are looking for it. For example, if I made the title of this video “How to Eat an Elephant”, nobody is going to find this video based on that title because “How to Eat an Elephant” is just a funny little joke.
Rick: What’s critical is how to organize your site, how to think about organizing your site at the beginning, how to create a plan of action while you’re going through the process of brainstorming your site. What kinds of things I want people to find me for, what I want people to find this seminar series for and so we’re going to use the terms they’re going to use to look for rather than my “How to eat an elephant”. That terminology, while funny, is not useful because they’re not looking for this content that way.
Rick: My point here is that you are looking for a specific ideal customer, they are looking for you for some specific reasons and you want to have that content on the site so that they find you in the way that they’re looking for you which is often by searching. As opposed to the Market Samurai approach which is find some competitive keywords, write some stuff using the competitive keywords and watch the traffic flow in.
Steve: No, that’s not how I was going to use Market Samurai. What I would do is figure out my own keywords and then go figure out what that pertain to my content and then go test to see what combinations make the most sense for me to use.
Rick: And that’s fine.
Steve: Yeah. I don’t want to just put out junk just to get people to a site and try to trigger for them to buy something and that’s pointless to me.
Documentation, Social Proof and Sales
Rick: At the moment we don’t have any sales content really to have a conversation about so it doesn’t really matter but the potential for case studies I think is really intriguing. It also provides you with a great deal of opportunity for differentiating yourself, right? For actually being unique because to the extent that you can actually make a claim you’ll be able to sell based on that. There’s no guarantee but you can be like Joe Smith runner who I helped get 2 minutes off of his mile.
Steve: That’s interesting as we’re talking about this is kind of came through my legal mind, I wonder if any of this stuff would have the FDA sending me a nasty letter saying, “Hey, you can’t say that.”
Rick: It’s a free country, what are you talking about? All you have to do is look around the rest of the health and wellness information society and you’ll see that everybody can say whatever they like, right? You’re not claiming to be a doctor and things like that so you can tell people what you think.
Steve: No. Yeah.
Rick: You may be completely wrong but you can tell people what you think, it doesn’t matter.
Rick: I wouldn’t worry about that but I do think that case studies are going to be a critical aspect of this to you. Another very critical aspect is going to be social proof and I don’t think you can overstate this.
Steve: No, I don’t either. I think you’re absolutely right.
Rick: It’s going to be essential and I would start right off the bat with friends of yours or people you know who will say I think what he has to say is really valuable and when I start putting it in practice in my own exercise I really found a significant performance gains, right? That’s the kind of thing that you’re looking for. It can be your daughter, it can be your next door neighbour, it doesn’t necessarily have to be somebody who’s anonymous or somebody who doesn’t know you, at least to start right?
You have to start some place and you can give higher priority to testimonials from people who you’ve never met or from testimonials of your customers or testimonials of your case studies when you’ve got that in hand but before you have that in hand you need to have some kind of social proof and the best kind in your situation is going to be a testimonial. Okay?
Steve: Agreed, yes.
Planning for the Graphic Side of the Site
Rick: You’re also going to need to have a a set of graphic assets. I’m sure you’ve got your own personal photos that’s no big deal but at a minimum you’re going to want a personal photo to go in your About page. There is going to be some kind of a logo that goes on in the header and it would be best to have some kind of testimonial images to go along with those testimonials.
Steve: You mean a picture of the person?
Rick: Yes, a picture of the person, picture of them playing their sport or doing their thing or a little head shot, an avatar whatever.
Steve: Gotcha, okay.
Rick: Also, you’re going to want some post images. Now in your case, what you’re doing is videos so a post image is going to be a screenshot of the video that looks like it’s a Youtube video when somebody clicks on it’s going to play, right? You’re going to want one of those for every video that you post on your blog and they should look different, right?
This is a mistake I made early on and have not been able to get out of it. If your introductory clip of every video looks the same they starts blending in, it doesn’t have very much visual interest anymore. So you may want to vary where you shoot your videos so that there are different scenes in the background. I mean the whole video doesn’t have to be different but for your thumbnails, there should be some visual interest in differentiating one video from the next on your blog posts.
Steve: So don’t shoot in front of your bookshelves everyday, go out in the side maybe shoot in different places and different locations.
Rick: Well, if you do shoot in front of your bookshelves everyday then make sure you have big titles on your featured image that differentiate from video to video.
Steve: Okay, so you mean like the title of what the video is about?
Rick: But make it big enough that it looks different so when you see the image you can see the continuity, the similarity of the bookshelf in the background but the writing is big enough that it’s clearly a different video.
Steve: Do you have a website that you could point to where you know someone does a really good job with that that I could just kind of see how they did their titling?
Rick: Well, I can point you to a website of my buddy Pete Bennett. Here are Pete’s videos, right? He does his videos walking to his coffee shop everyday and he does it with his iPhone. And actually, if you go to watch one of his videos then you find that you get a little bit of a different perspective on he starts off and that sort of thing. So that was his little starting point right, it was this little splash screen. He’s deliberate about not using this splash screen as his thumbnail image because that would become visually monotonous.
Steve: Yes. What do you think about a splash screen for my videos, is that important too?
Rick: Well, I personally don’t think it’s important but…
Rick: I mean we do a splash screen on our videos too. You’ve seen them, right? We did the little splash screen at the beginning but it’s primarily there to tell people what video they’re watching and where they are in the series.
Rick: I hate training videos that start off with 5 seconds or 15 seconds of logo and music before it gets to the next part of the video.
Steve: Yeah, I do too.
Rick: They’re just wasting my time, I don’t care about your music so we don’t do that.
Steve: Can I ask you a question about your site?
Steve: Your beginning one with the mafia guy, someone to do Christopher Walken invitation talking about the mafia.
Steve: Did you hire someone to do that or was that you doing that?
Rick: No, I got that guy on Fiverr.
Steve: Did you really?
Rick: Yeah, I got that guy in Fiverr, it cost me 25 bucks to get him to do that script.
Steve: Oh my God and who did all the cartoons?
Rick: Oh I did that.
Steve: They’re really funny.
Rick: Now I didn’t draw the cartoons right, I bought the cartoons off of Dreamstime images but…
Steve: That’s really great stuff.
Rick: Thanks. I wrote the script and then I hired the Walken guy on Fiverr.
Steve: And Fiverr is what, a site for talent?
Rick: Oh no, Fiverr is a place you can outsource stuff for $5.
Steve: Oh, Fiverr okay. Did you go and say I need someone to do Chris Walken?
Rick: Well, actually what I did was I looked around for funny stuff and that’s what I did. They have a Fun & Bizarre section in here some place and then there are their celebrity impersonators. I just went looking for a celebrity impersonator and then when I found what I liked I wrote a script around it and hired him.
Steve: That was a great stuff, I really like that a lot. It was one of the things that convinced me to join your site.
Rick: Well good, that’s good.
Steve: Yeah, it worked.
Steve: Yeah, I like someone with a sense of humour and I thought those were really funny and a Walken is pretty good to do that.
Rick: Well and I’ve got one that I haven’t published yet with Chris Rock and the guy who does Chris Rock is just hilarious.
Steve: Oh, I love Chris Rock.
Rick: Absolutely hilarious. I don’t know if you saw Chris Rock’s message to white people in America but it was essentially the pro-Obama ad, it was called “The Message to White People in America”. We did a spoof on that and anyway, it’s not posted though because I didn’t get it finished.
Anyway, I think we’ve pretty well hammered out the content that you need to create and that’s fundamentally the most important thing.