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How I planned, wrote and created my website (excerpt)

In June this year, I launched my new website offering editing and writing services and mentorships. It was quite a significant change from the previous edition of my website, which was more of a portfolio, created in 2015 shortly after this iteration of my blog. 

As with everything new, I learned a whole lot over the weeks that I dedicated to this project, and I thought I would share my 6-step process in detail in case it might help others think through and create their own websites. Here is an excerpt.

Earlier this year, I set aside a few weeks solely to focus on planning and building my website, and it was essentially a full-time job. Every website is different and needs to highlight what we want to draw attention to, and spending time thinking about what goes in and how it flows is important. 

I upgraded mine from an existing portfolio website I've had since 2015, and I had to think carefully about what I wanted to say and offer, and which parts were no longer relevant to the new direction I was taking with my work. I'm sure there are many resources offering guidance, but I wanted to feel my way through the process. It takes time, and can be quite confusing, so I thought I would share the various steps I took along the way. 

1. Exploring similar websites

I spent a good while looking at websites I've grown to love over the years, mostly those created by small businesses. I soon realised that I needed more, however, so I searched for websites offering services similar to mine (podcasts are a great place to learn about businesses that resonate). 

When I say "similar" websites, I mean this broadly; they don't have to be about exactly the same line of work. For instance, I looked at websites by photographers and designers as well as writers and editors, especially because the former usually have a great sense for aesthetics. And when I say "explore", I mean I closely studied the websites – observing how and where text, images and design elements are placed, the colours and tone, and which elements I might want to include. 

This exercise gave me ideas I might have otherwise overlooked, and helped me understand what I wanted – and didn't want – from my own website. I believe this is an important step, which is why I include it in the questionnaires for my Website Content Services and Brainstorming Sessions.

2. Post-it(s) on a blank wall 

I came across this technique in a UX design course, and found it incredibly useful to visualise the structure of my website before I could get anywhere close to creating a wireframe (i.e. the blueprint or layout of the website accounting for each element).

Read the full article to learn more about this method and for tips on finalising written and visual content, building your website, and reviewing your brand story. 

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