I have seen countless startups fail because they take too long to launch. Likewise, I have met many professionals or would be bloggers that are paralyzed because they can’t decide on a URL name or their brand positioning.
Yes, it’s important to think hard about a blog name as it will potentially be your blog name for many years to come; however, the name is not everything. Similarly, a blog may start off in one direction and then veer off to a tangent depending on how your audience reacts to your content.
Personal brands don’t succeed because of the right positioning from the beginning; personal brands succeed because of the hard work that an individual puts into it and the ability to listen to the audience and iterate fast.
Inception: Long-term and Short-term goals
Long-term goals: My friend wants to position his brand as a career consultant. To be specific, he wants to carve out a niche in international student career consulting. His goal is to build a curriculum online that allows his students to study and learn without 1-on-1 or personal sessions. This will allow him to maximize his student base and revenue while staying away from the hourly business model.
Short-term goals: He wants 30 paying international students by October 1st, 2012.
Naming your blog/site – purchasing the URL
Here are some principles to live by when choosing a URL:
- Choose URL’s that are 4 syllables or less
- Choose a .com
- Stay away from prefixes such as “the”
- Stay away from hyphens
- Purchase a domain name that is available – don’t spend time pursuing a domain name that is already owned by someone else
The above are of course just principles; there will be times when it makes sense to use your own judgement and purchase a .net or pursue an already owned domain.
Important: It’s important to choose a domain name that you’re completely happy with, but once you make the decision, stick with it. The grass is always greener on the other side; I promise you there will come a time shortly after you purchase your domain that you think of an even better domain name! Refuse the urge to purchase this new domain name and transfer all of your content to the new domain name. Stick with your decision and move forward with execution.
Content and consistency
You’ll notice that I prioritize content over the design of your blog. Just like choosing a domain, I’ve seen professionals spend weeks on designing their blog. These weeks could have been used building content and creating the initial steps to thought-leadership.
Content and consistency must come first. Make it a goal to write 1 new blog post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Publish these posts at 9am EST and stay consistent!
Don’t worry too much about what you’re writing about in the beginning. The early stages is all about getting content on the site and finding your voice. Later you’ll spend time on refining your content, your voice, and your message.
Feedback and iterate
Ask your audience via your blog, Facebook Page, and Twitter profile for their feedback. Ask them what type of posts they find most helpful and what type of posts they want to see on your blog.
Analyze your Google Analytics and find the posts with the most pageviews and the most time on site. Time on site is important because the posts with the most time on site are most likely your most engaging posts and the posts that your audience is most interested in.
Once you have a better understanding of the type of content your audience wants, iterate and focus on writing that type of content.
To succeed, start now and ask questions later. Everyone has great ideas, but only very few have the motivation and dedication to execute properly and succeed.
Jun Loayza is the founder of Tour Woo, the easiest way to book a tour online. In his startup career, Jun has sold 2 startups, raised over $1,000,000 in angel funding, and lead social technology campaigns for LG, Sephora, and Whole Foods Market.