Your personal website is not the most-visited corner of the Internet devoted to you and your interests or career. That honor most likely goes to one of your social media profiles, probably Facebook or LinkedIn (or perhaps Twitter if you’re into that sort of thing).
It’s safe to ignore your personal website, then? To let it lapse into disuse, to “forget” to renew the domain license and allow someone else to claim it as their own?
Absolutely not. Quite to the contrary, in fact. Your personal website is every bit as important as your most-visited web property, perhaps more so. After all, it’s yours.
Treat it as such. Add these five ideas to your digital to-do list and look forward to the day when your personal website is worthy of the name on the masthead.
Work hard enough and that day might come within the week.
1. Rewrite Your “About” Content to Reflect Who You Really Are
Your website’s “about” page should be an accurate depiction of who you are. Professionally, at least, and maybe with less emphasis on the unflattering bits. But accurate nonetheless. Honesty is a virtue, now more than ever.
2. Use a Bold, Authentic Cover Photo
Your website imagery should accurately depict you as well. Use bold, authentic media that showcase exactly who you are and what you represent. The cover photo on the personal website for Paul Esterhuizen, a South African philanthropist and entrepreneur, certainly doesn’t pull any punches — and yet Mr. Esterhuizen comes off as warm, genuine, relatable.
3. Add a Contact Page and Social Sharing Buttons
Remove any and all excuses for website visitors moved to reach out to you not to take that step. That’s right — your website needs a contact page and social sharing buttons, and the more visible the better.
4. Post a “Welcome” Video That’s Short and Sweet
On your homepage, if possible, but not so high that it blocks out any textual value statements. Your website visitors have no problem scanning a three-sentence “hello” and then watching a minute-long video that gives the tl;dr on your life and times. They don’t want to drown in prose, at least not on the front page.
5. Add a Secure Certificate (SSL)
SSL is all about managing risk — and expectations. It doesn’t cost as much as you’d imagine either: less than $100 per year in all likelihood. A small price to pay for peace of mind, to be sure.
You Should Be Proud of Your Personal Website
Your personal website is your love letter to the world. You should be proud of it, but only if it’s worthy of your pride. And only you can make it so.
Turning these five website-enhancing tips from idea to reality won’t take years or even months. You can do them all in the space of a week if you put your mind to it. The sooner you finish, the sooner you’ll have a really amazing web presence to direct your followers too — and, just maybe, the sooner those followers will spread the good news through their networks too.