I pondered the pros and cons:
Pros of a new global content marketing website:
- Optimize for SEO benefits
- Establish Thought Leadership
- Create Consistent customer experience online and offline
Cons of having a brand new site:
- Incur costs on website design and content creation
- Time-consuming to maintain two sites
- Potential conflicts on call-to-action: Pam Didner vs. Global Content Marketing
In addition, it’s hard to quantify the benefits listed under pros, yet it’s pretty clear how much money and time I need to spend on website design and content creation as well as monthly maintenance and updates for two sites.
In the end, I decided to create a new site and migrate the global content marketing blog to it. I also made a strategic choice to create useful content on pdidner.wpengine.com and keep pdidner.wpengine.com as a static site with fewer updates.
Here are the steps I took to build the site:
- Learn from other authors: I went to Ann Handley, David Meerman Scott, Joe Pulizzi, Chip/Dan Heath and other authors’ websites to understand what they do well. It’s interesting to note that none of them created a separate website for their books. Oh, well…
- Select a website template: Although I picked a WordPress template without copy and content, I had clear communications objectives in mind.
- Create copy and layout: In addition to understanding what I want to accomplish on the new site, I focused on what my audience wants to know when they come to the site. Some people want to know who I am. Others want to check out some of the book content. And still others just want to know what global content marketing is all about. I designed the pages based on who I am, what I offer, what global content marketing is, and what content the readers might want to access.
- Determine consistent design style: I made sure the color, font and look-and-feel are similar to my personal website. There are some differences, but no dramatic creative change between pamdidner.com and pdidner.wpengine.com.
- Rewrite copy to align with content: Copy was rewritten and moved around frequently while I was developing content for the website.
- Work with web designer: Although I probably could have used WordPress to create the website myself, I don’t understand the nuts and bolts of coding and migration of old blog posts. It’s important for me to work with someone who can code.
- Post launch touch-ups: The site went live on 9/8, but I continuously worked with my programmer to add/delete/change content, copy and design layout until mid-October.
Launching a website is like building a new house from scratch. For me, creation of this site took about two months from the selection of the template through launch. Even though the site is live, there is always something that can be refined and improved, and I constantly need to add new content.
Honestly, I don’t know if launching a new website just for the book is the best thing to do. It’s certainly not very cost-effective, if I decide to write a second or third book. However, when I type “Global Content Marketing”, my site and my content are ranked very high. Only time will tell if this is a good decision.