This is a guest post from Carrie Lauth.
Last week, I had conversations with two coaching clients who had the same question for me:
“My site is being built by a designer, what should I be doing while I wait?!”
It’s a great question so I thought I would share with you what I suggested to these two people, both of whom had chosen to outsource the geeky, tech aspects of owning a website to someone else but who would be managing the content once it was done.
Once you decide to launch, it can feel like an eternity to wait for a designer to finish your site. You’re excited about your topic and are eager to share what you know, start promoting great products you’ve found, and gain a following of happy readers and customers. You’re also eager to start making money! The good news is there is plenty of homework that can keep you busy in the meantime. Here are a few suggestions.
Sign up for Google alerts in a few of your main keywords. For example, if your site is about knitting clothing for babies, have Google email you every week (or day if you’re ambitious) and let you know when the phrase “knitting baby clothes” shows up in the news and on blogs. Go here and follow the instructions: http://www.google.com/alerts
This accomplishes several things. For one, it gives you an idea of who’s talking about your topic. This is important to know, because these people are your competition/best friends. Why do I say that? Because I don’t really believe in the idea of competition online per se. Your “competition” are also potentially your affiliates, joint venture partners, guest bloggers. They’re where you find great products to promote as an affiliate, mentors to copy, etc. Finding blogs that are talking about your pet topic shows you which blogs to visit, read and where to link to and leave comments.
Google alerts will also spark ideas for content and blog posts.
Work the Press
Are you going to be sending out a press release to announce your new site? Local media especially will eat this stuff up. Reporters in smaller papers love it when you send them story ideas, it makes their job so much easier! Since working the press will be an ongoing part of your marketing efforts, start early by crafting a press release (or hiring someone to do this for you) announcing your new site. Be sure to make it newsworthy by relating it to something going on in the world currently or by creating an event so the release doesn’t read like an ad.
Keyword research is a part of doing market research before launching your business, but it’s an ongoing task. Ideally you should have a file on your computer with hundreds, or even thousands, of keyword phrases. Dig deep. This list will serve you well and save you time later. It will be the first place you go to when you login to your blog to post, when you add a page to your site, and when you are stuck for ideas.
I like Google’s keyword tool best: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
While you’re waiting for your virtual assistant to put the finishing touches on your blog, start writing your first blog posts. Save them on your computer so you can copy and paste them in right away – scheduling them to post once a day or according to some other schedule.
Most people launch a website or blog on a topic they know a lot about. Given that, you’ve probably already written content on your topic, so craft this content into blog post length articles (350 words) and some into longer articles (500 words). The shorter articles can go directly into your blog, and the longer ones you will use to distribute at article directories and other sites that will accept your content (some of these you will have found through Google alerts – see how it works?).
Well there you have it. That’s enough to keep you busy for a couple of weeks. And guess what?
I just gave you a recipe for working your business for the first several months, maybe longer. Internet marketing is not rocket science. Once you know the basics, the rest of it is lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually it will get boring and look like work!
Carrie Lauth is a mom of 4 who lives in the metro Atlanta area. She is the host of Natural Moms Talk Radio and blogs about her online business journey at CarrieLauth.com, which was recently awarded one of the Top Ten Wahm blogs by Wahm 2.0.