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The personal website is dead. Long live the personal website.
In the era of LinkedIn and Medium, the concept of a website about one individual seems inefficient. Why bother creating and maintaining yet another web property for yourself when others can do it better?
Because your personal website still offers a rare chance for you to set the terms of the conversation around your brand and showcase your value entirely on your own terms. You can’t say that about any other facet of your online presence. And as an entrepreneur, you know how valuable the ability to drive conversations can be.
Still need convincing? Read on to learn how to create a personal website that makes you proud.
1. Introduce Yourself Right Away
Your personal website is all about you. And that’s okay. It’s one of the few places online where you’re expected to talk mostly about yourself and engage in some reasonable self-promotion.
This personal website is a good example of how this is done. The homepage features a long summary of the person’s background and career. Every visitor comes away with a clear understanding of who he is and what he stands for.
2. Show Your Visitors Why They Should Care
As we’ve seen, introducing yourself isn’t enough. You need to show your visitors why they should care, whether that’s through a long career summary like Nikou’s or a more succinct list of your achievements in your field.
You know your audience better than most, so you have some flexibility here. Think about how your followers would want this information presented and what might resonate with them most.
3. Use An Attention-Grabbing Headshot And Background Photo
Your personal website deserves top-flight graphics. The most important of these are your personal headshot and your website’s background photo. There’s no rule against combining these, though it’s not a bad idea to choose a background photo that’s relevant in some way to the work you do.
4. Include Links To Your Social Media Profiles
Use social sharing buttons to direct website visitors to your most important social media profiles. It’s likely that many visitors will reach your website from your social channels, but this is an important nod to search-generated traffic. Depending on your professional prominence, you might get quite a bit of that.
5. Carve Out A Space For News And Views
Your personal website is one of the few places where you’re accountable to basically no one but yourself (and your hosting company). Use that freedom to share news and views related to your industry — and maybe general-audience-appropriate musings on other matters as well. There’s no downside to being seen as interesting, after all.
Stand Out From The Crowd
No matter what industry you’re in, your market is crowded already. And it’s only going to get more so in the months and years to come.
It’s up to you to stand out from the crowd. One easy way to do this is to build a high-quality personal website that introduces you to the world — and people searching for you on Google — on your own terms