I knew that I wanted to redesign the Liz King Events blog for some time now, but I did not have the concept fully laid out in my mind. I wasn't sure what the new site would be called and I did not have a clear picture of the resources we would offer or how it would make sense for our brand as a whole. I kept bringing the idea up in team meetings and with colleagues and tried to collect as much feedback as I could, but it wasn't until the right moment when inspiration finally struck. You have to know very clearly what you want to achieve with your website before you can begin the process. If you aren't there yet, don't worry. But don't rush it either. Give yourself the time to think out your plan fully and to lay out all of the features you would like to have once your site is up and running.
Brands that are engaging their audience these days have a huge focus on fresh content. Whether you have a blog, portfolio or other way of sharing information, it's critical that your brand puts out relevant information. Make sure that you have a content plan in place prior to creating your site so that you can figure out how to integrate it well and use it to market the site overall.
This is something that we didn't do nearly enough of, but thankfully didn't run into any huge issues (yet!). Invite your friends and family to help you test the site. Everything from user interface to speed to content navigation. If you can launch your site in beta at least a month before you go public, you'll catch a lot of issues. The more tweaks you can make before you go live, the better.
As your building your site, make sure you stick to the goals and vision of your brand. For example, we just recently launched ads. It was something that I never wanted to do, but I knew that there were people who would benefit from it and certainly we could use an extra stream of revenue. However, rather than just putting a bunch of logos on the site, we took some time and thought about what we wanted the ads to accomplish and we worked with brands to provide value for our readers. Rather than seeing just a logo, you will see links to free resources like white papers, e-books, and more. It was very important to us that we considered our goals and kept in line with what we felt was the best for our audience. It's easy to get lost in the money, but it's more important to stay true to your values.