Take the First Step: Why You Should Just Publish Your Website or Blog

  •    Celeste Altus is a business and technology writer and editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has lead San Francisco bureaus of Adweek and PRWeek magazines.

If you are bursting with ideas, but have not published your website or blog, stop and consider what it would take for you to hit “publish."

There are many common fears that stand between great ideas and finished work. Fortunately, all can be overcome.

Some entrepreneurs balk at the technical aspects of website building or blogging, but a truly elegant design and function can be had in less than an hour. You do not have to be an IT expert, know coding or have a ton of money.

Without an online presence, consider how much of your audience you are missing. Nearly 80% shop online, according to Pew Research Center, so without your eCommerce website or blog, you are invisible to them.

Other artists hold back from publishing because they aren't comfortable writing yet. There is also no reason to doubt your writing skills. No one can become Hemingway without practice. As you write more, your writing improves, so publish now and keep writing on a regular schedule.

Blogging drives traffic to your website, because with each new post, search engines index more pages from your domain. To drum up ideas regularly, think from your customers' point of view. You can address a problem, ask a question that sparks discussion or simply provide unique information. Informative blog posts keep working long after you write them, because they become excellent sales tools, too.

Consistent blog posting builds trust with customers and increases sales. A static website with only basic information can raise doubts about your business. Customers will wonder how old it is, and if the business is trustworthy.

It is also important to remember you are a subject matter expert, so be confident that your knowledge is valuable to others. This is your passion, and your work, so who better to share it with the world than you?

Presenting your knowledge on a subject, whether it be in the form of a portfolio, a blog, or an online store, creates business credibility. Verisign found in a 2015 study that 84% of consumers believed a business with a website is more credible than one with only a social media page.

Everyone knows that time is money, so a website is like having your business open 24/7. With your site up, you are showcasing your creations around the clock. Make sure you are maximizing your inbound marketing by researching and using SEO terms within your writing. Google Keyword Planner is an example of a tool that will show what potential customers are searching and help you plan how to reach them.