Day 3 of Launch a Bestseller: Website Planning

My first task in implementing Tim Grahl's Launch a Bestseller course is getting my website redone. However, I'm not one of those people that can just sit down and start constructing, writing, building anything. Just like my writing,

I have to PLAN!

This is the Circle Map technique I teach my students when brainstorming. I have to practice what I preach, right?

This is the Circle Map technique I teach my students when brainstorming. I have to practice what I preach, right?

Step One: Write down all of the ideas jam-packed in your head.

Using the information I received from Tim Grahl's Ultimate Author Website list and from studying other authors' websites, I brainstormed all the ideas that I liked. I wrote down things I thought would work and quickly abandoned ideas that I knew was pushing it. 

For example, near the top of the brainstorm list, a light bulb is next to words that say: "Find catchy names for headers. Maybe people will be more inclined to read/click. Sometimes 'blog' is boring." 

Uh, no it's not. I quickly nixed the idea. Why? Well, if someone's coming to your site, it's obvious that something brought them there that makes them want to read. You don't have to trick your readers with fancy names because they're going to explore the contents anyway. Keeping them on the site is the real goal. 

I'll transition from this step by leaving you with a highlight from the brainstorm: "Ask yourself, how can I add value? Don't do this [email list sign up form] simply because you want 'followers' but because you truly want to give and help people." I love that.

After putting all of your ideas down, move to

Step Two: Organize thoughts and ideas into a working sketch.

The working sketch of the new site.

The working sketch of the new site.

After using my sketch pad to organize my thoughts and ideas, I ended up with this drawing of the homepage. This gives me a foundation when rebuilding my site. I've concluded that I want to have the following in the header:

  • Home

  • Blog

  • Debut Novel (this will eventually change to Books)

  • Bio + Contact

Well, that's it for now. It may take me awhile to get this together, seeing as though I not only have to create the individual pages but redo this blog. It's okay; that's what a journey is all about.

The first step to my success -- effective planning.