When someone sets up a web site, blog or online business, meeting the Web for the first time can be perplexing. How do we go from face to face interaction to techno-keyboard, static image, wordsmith-dueling communicators?
Lately I’ve had a group of folks coming to me for web site rebirth help. Their old web sites have grown old, grumpy and forgotten. A few have chosen to add blogs, sign up for Facebook and try out Twitter. Each of them had the same question:
“What do I say”?
Between the line of that one line is the real question, which is, “How can I get noticed or making money REALLY fast?” Related to this are concerns for linking, popularity, how to get conversations going, where to find friends, where to find discussions on a topic, and how to look like they know what they’re doing, when they really don’t.
First off, don’t whine. If this is you, don’t be you. Unless your web site is about being miserable, in which case, have at it. Misery loves your company and I’m fine if you keep it all in your corner of the planet.
Next, let people see you. A video is great for showing site visitors what you look like. I know first hand how incredibly difficult this is to do, which is why I don’t use Skype or have a web cam. My best suggestion, unless you’re convinced you’re perfectly perfect and the world can’t possibly exist without seeing your face, is to get completely smackered first and blame the slurred words on your computer equipment or their bandwidth.
Add quotes to your blog, Twitter or social networking sites you belong to. This offers an idea on where your head is at. If you only quote from movies, this is a nice clue about you. God love ya for having so much time on your hands.
Twitter is this finicky little thing that will drive you crazy and you’ll scream for more. Or, you will feel completely overwhelmed because everyone is talking so much and you can’t possibly get in a word edgewise. Or, you tried to get in a word and everyone ignored you, which really feels blechy. You can Twitter your latest blog posts, but leave a teaser too. Even movies have trailers created to try and get you to go to see it. Same thing with Twitter links. Include the love scene or part where the cell phone turns into a gigantic transformer. Grab attention. Get them at the “AH COOL!” moment.
Ask questions on Twitter and your blog. Be sure to respond to those who answer, even if it is just one person. If you treat that one person with respect, they will remember you. Suggest on your blog, Twitter homepage or social networking site that you’re happy to meet folks. Make is easy to find and contact you. An authentic blog is one where the person writing in it is accessible via email, phone or address and NOT a contact form as the only possible way of making contact. Forms are not friendly. They are a task. Making new friends and web contacts should never feel like a task.
What do you talk about? Begin with what you know really, really well. If you’re going to fake it, you’re only robbing yourself of real experiences. Link to books, products and sites that backup your niche in a positive way. Describe why you linked to these sites, especially if the links are affiliate links. Links don’t sell themselves. They’re powerless little things until put them into the right delivery mechanism, such as persuasive call to action button or expertly crafted landing page.
And finally, if you are anti-social in real life, chances are good you may find yourself singing in your own web site bathroom as well. I was just telling someone today on the phone, to be patient. Be consistent. Always be dependable. Write when you have something to say and if what you have to say is not that great, fine.
You are growing and learning.
We will wait.