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Essential Elements for Your First Business Website

Essential Website Elements You’ve finally decided to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality. Congratulations! Now it’s time to build the all-important business website. Of course, you want it to be beautiful, helpful, and most of all a sales magnet. But where do you being?

Whether you’re building your website yourself, or hiring someone to do it, these are a few key elements you should include.

A Clear, Consistent Theme

This goes for both your fonts, colors, imagery as well as your brand messaging, blogging and other written elements. Sites with too many fonts, colors, etc. can be visually jarring. Choosing a few standard fonts — your main text font and one or two accent fonts — keeps your site looking clean and more visually appealing. Keeping your written elements on topic lends to your credibility, and keeps your readers engaged. After all, they wouldn’t have clicked on your website if they weren’t interested in your brand, product, service, niche, etc.

An Engaging “About” Section

What makes you so passionate about what you do? What sets your product/services/company apart from others? How can you/your product solve your clients’ problems? Why should your readers trust you? This is an important opportunity to introduce yourself and your services to potential buyers. Keep it personable, concise, and easy to understand.

An Easy-to-Navigate Menu

People are busy. They don’t want to spend 12 minutes trying to navigate where they want to go on your website. Make your menus easy to find and use. If your menu will have a drop-down list, ensure your category and subcategory groupings make sense.

Your Product or Service Offerings

This one sounds like a no-brainer. However, you’d be surprised at the number of websites that seem to hide their pricing, product, or service information. Again, if someone has clicked on to your business site, it’s pretty safe to assume they may be interested in what you have to offer. Make it obvious them and easy to find. In addition to making it easy to find, make it easy to understand and easy to book or purchase.

A Blog

Why is a blog important to a business website? That’s a great question. My favorite aspect of having a blog for my business is the social sharing element. It gives a continual stream of content to share across my social channels. Regular blog posts also help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In simplest terms it  gives search engines something to “search” for on your site. And lastly, blogging gives you an outlet to establish yourself as an authority in your field.

Social Media Follow & Share Buttons

Social media is the easiest way to keep in touch with your current and potential clients. Make it easy for your readers to connect with you and share your content by adding social media follow and share buttons.

 

 

Over 100 Attention-Getting Words to Spice Up Your Blogging Headlines

Attention Getting Words for Your Headline Are you writing amazing content but having a hard time getting readers’ attention? Headlines are a split-second chance to entice your audience. For many bloggers headlines are an afterthought, but they deserve your attention. Headlines sell your story!

Readers want to know “what’s in it for me?” How will your post solve their problem, answer their question, or entertain them? Let them know in your headline. Use words or terms that build excitement or curiosity (words like unconventional, best, stunning, etc.). If you’re solving a problem for your reader, let them know the relative ease with which they’ll be able to achieve their goal (words like easy, effortless, no-fail, etc.)

Here’s a brief glossary of attention-getting words.

A

  • Absolute
  • Accelerate
  • Action
  • Alarming
  • Amazing
  • Astonishing
  • Awesome

B

  • Beginner
  • Benefits
  • Best
  • Better
  • Bizarre
  • Boost
  • Breakthrough
  • Breathtaking
  • Brilliant
  • Build

C

  • Clean
  • Clever
  • Contemporary
  • Cool
  • Cost-effective/ Cost-cutting
  • Crazy
  • Create/Creative
  • Curious
  • Current

D

  • Dazzling
  • Deal
  • Develop
  • Dream

E

  • Earn
  • Easy
  • Effective
  • Effortless
  • Elegant
  • Enhance
  • Essential
  • Excellent
  • Exciting
  • Expand
  • Extraordinary
  • Extreme/Extremely

F

  • Fabulous
  • Fascinating
  • Fast
  • Free
  • Fun
  • Fundamental

G

  • Gain
  • Gorgeous
  • Go-to
  • Grow/Growth
  • Guide

H

  • Hack
  • Help/Helpful
  • How/How-to
  • Hurry

I

  • Increase
  • Incredible
  • Indispensable
  • Instant
  • Immediate
  • Imperative
  • Important
  • Impressive
  • Improve

J

  • Joy
  • Just

K

  • Killer

L

  • Latest
  • Love
  • Lucrative

M

  • Main
  • Marvelous
  • Massive
  • Modern
  • Must (must-have, must-do, must-try, etc.)

N

  • Necessary
  • Need
  • New
  • No-fail
  • Noteworthy
  • Now

O

  • Odd
  • Offbeat
  • Original
  • Outstanding
  • Overwhelming

P

  • Painless
  • Perfect
  • Plan
  • Phenomenal
  • Power
  • Practical
  • Productive/Productivity
  • Profit/Profitable
  • Progress
  • Promote
  • Pronto

Q

  • Quick

R

  • Rapid
  • Rare
  • Ready-made
  • Recent
  • Relevant
  • Remarkable
  • Revamp
  • Rewarding
  • Risk (or Risk-free)

S

  • Save
  • Secret
  • Sensational
  • Simple
  • Special
  • Stop
  • Strange
  • Striking
  • Stunning
  • Success/Successful
  • Sudden
  • Super
  • Superb
  • Surprise/Suprising

T

  • Terrific
  • Thrilling
  • Thriving
  • Today

U

  • Ultimate
  • Unbelievable
  • Uncommon
  • Unconventional
  • Unexpected
  • Unique
  • Unusual
  • Update
  • Upgrade
  • Urgent
  • Useful

V

  • Value/Valuable
  • Vital

W

  • Weird
  • Where
  • Why
  • Wonderful
  • Worthwhile

Y

  • You/Your

Z

  • Zero
  • Zest

As you’re brainstorming headlines, keep your readers in mind. How will you communicate what’s in it for them? Also consider what it is that inspires you to click on a blog post or article. Try writing four or five variations of your headlines to see which you find most compelling. If you’re not certain, run the titles past someone you trust. Track your analytics to see which headlines are performing best. Over time you’ll be able to develop a formula that works brilliantly for your audience.

The Three Pieces of Advice that Transformed My Marriage

Marriage Heart

When I first got married, nothing was the way I expected to be. Ironically, since I am a wedding coordinator, I felt I had very realistic expectations of life after marriage. I’d seen so many people assume life would be all moonlight and roses only to wake up to the hard realization that marriage was a lot of work. I’m sad to say, I’ve seen more than one of my couples get divorced over the past nine years.

Anyway, like I said, since I had seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of weddings and married life, I felt I had a good grip on the whole “marriage” thing. I couldn’t have been more wrong. New town, new job, new marriage, financial concerns, a run down fixer-upper in dire need of fixing up. All the change and stress crashed over me; I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. The result? I was cold and nasty. Who did I take it out on? My husband.

I can only imagine how my husband must have felt. There he was expecting to start a beautiful new journey with the woman he loved, and he got bitterness, resentment, and criticism instead.

It’s hard to admit, but if it weren’t for a few sound pieces of advice, my marriage would have ended before it had a chance to start.

Practice Love

Once upon a time, before I was married, I had to take a marriage class in school. I honestly don’t recall anything from the course. However, as I was unpacking some boxes, I came across my school notebook. In it I found a note that said,

Practice Love. Loving well is a skill. And like any other skill, the more you practice it, the better you get at it.

In that moment, I realized I wasn’t very good at loving my husband. I certainly hadn’t “practiced” it. It struck me that we train for marathons, practice athletics, art, music, and so many other things to become better at them. Why not give loving well a try?

What “practicing love” looked like for me was encouraging my husband rather than criticizing him. Communicating with him in a way he related to. Having fun with him. Showing an interest in the things he’s passionate about.

The more I did it, the easier it got. I started to enjoy my marriage for the first time.

Look for the Positive

One day as I was thinking about my marriage, a scene from the movie Pollyanna came to mind. For those who have seen it, it’s the part where Pollyanna happens upon the local minister practicing his preaching for Sunday. It was a real hell fire type of sermon. Pollyanna engaged the minister in a conversation about why he was so hard on the congregation. She shared this quote with him,

If you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will.

As I pondered that quote, I realized I had only focused on the bad things about my new life. I’d never considered what I had to be thankful for. From then on I started taking time out of every day to list the things I loved about my husband, our life, our little fixer-upper, etc. I married the kindest, funniest, most generous person I’ve ever met. How had I not stopped to think about that?

The more I accentuated the positive, the more I loved our life together. I only wish I had done it sooner.

We’re Teammates, Not Enemies

The last bit of marriage-altering advice actually came from my husband. One night I was being particularly harsh. My husband sat there taking my barrage of nastiness. When I finally stopped, he said this,

I wish you saw us as teammates rather than enemies. That’s why I married you. So we could do life together.

Tears flowed down my cheeks. He was right. The person who loved me more than anything in this world was sitting right in front of me. We promised to be on each other’s team until death do us part. It was time I started acting like it.

As I started acting on those bits of advice, things got better. And it still gets better every day. I continue to practice love, meditate on what I have to be thankful for, and approach life as my husband’s teammate. It didn’t just transform my marriage, it transformed me. For that, I am truly grateful.

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