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Imagine you’re one of your new readers that discovers your blog. You have found one of your blog posts about running a marathon through Google or social media and then were directed to the site to read the post. You absolutely love the content because you want to run a marathon next year, and want to know more about the blog. Either you go to the homepage or the about page. Let’s focus on the homepage here.
You access the homepage, expecting to see an experienced runner sharing all her advice. Instead, you see a page with all the latest posts, about running, healthy food, meditation, activewear and fitness.
Your immediate reaction would probably be “I don’t want to know all this, let me check Google again.”
So you lost a potential new reader.
You might think my point in this story is that you should have only one topic to blog about. NO. That’s not it. It’s OKAY to blog about several things, as long as there’s a common thread in all of your content.
And in this case, it’s all good! This was, in fact, an experienced runner sharing all her tips to improve your running skills. Because experienced runners know it’s not just in the legs. You need to prepare mentally, you need to get your diet straight and you need to strengthen the necessary muscles through fitness exercises for runners.
1. THE SOLUTION
There is one simple solution to avoid the confusion and to never lose potential readers like this anymore. Instead of setting up your homepage with all of your latest posts, create a static homepage that showcases YOU.
You want your readers to immediately get a feel for what you’re all about. You’ve probably spent days trying to come up with your niche, now you want people to see and understand that!
The goal of having a static homepage is to be able to guide your readers and control their first impression, which you do a lot less with your latest posts. Your recent posts change every week, and you’re not putting out your best content every time. So your content will not always relate very specifically to your niche.
Controlling this first impression is of a huge importance. Nowadays, brands or customers pay so much attention to the way you serve your content, because everyone is getting better at creating gorgeous and unique websites. Get this first impression right, and they’ll be able to connect whatever type of content you create to your main focus and there will be no confusion.
So you want people to know who you are if they’re in the right place and a call-to-action. Those are the basics, everything else is up to you. You can add a widget with a couple of your recent posts, which I recommend because you still want to be seen as a blogger. But don’t make the entire page about that.
2. YOUR HOMEPAGE SHOULD SHOW WHO YOU ARE
First, knowing who you are requires a high-quality photo of yourself. This will determine if people see you as a professional. On my page I used a photo of my wedding when my make up designer friend had just put on my make up. Since I usually don’t wear make up, I look freakin’ good.
And I wasn’t wearing my wedding dress yet so no one knows it’s a wedding photo! Except for you guys now, obviously. I’m saying this because you can get these professional photos any kind of way you can. I’m not forcing you to do a complete photoshoot for your business. You can be a little creative like me.Why a static homepage for your blog? Your visitor's first impression! Show them who you are & how you can help THEM.Click To Tweet
Make sure to add some sentences of what you’re all about and what the goal is of your website. On my page I ask bloggers if they’re ready to get down to business and I tell them I can help turn their passion into an online business.
3. CONNECT WITH YOUR READER
Then I continue with a part that take a guess at how the reader feels or his/her desires. The goal here is to create a connection with my target audience so they can relate to me and they know that this is the place to be for them.
This will get your target to stay even longer on your site, because they feel like they can find content tailored to their needs. Don’t worry if you’ll lose other readers who don’t feel like you’ve just described. If they’re not in your target, they’ll leave, but no worries! They wouldn’t have bought anything you created or recommended anyways.
4. DON’T FORGET YOUR CALL-TO-ACTION
A call-to-action is simply calling someone to take action. This can be subscribing to your mailing list, to your youtube channel, your podcast, getting them to join your Facebook group, whatever.
You don’t want to lose any opportunities to grab one more subscriber, and your homepage is a great place to do this. The call-to-action in itself is simply a button or an image that links to whatever you want them to do.
Creating a static homepage is extremely important in order to control the first impression of the reader. They need to know right away who you are, what your focus is and if you can help THEM (if they’re your target). Just adding your latest posts will create confusion as to what you’re all about, and might make them leave your site, even though they were your ideal reader. On a static homepage, you include who you are, your focus, a part about your target (what their goals are, how they feel, if they’re in the right place) and a call-to-action. Afterwards, I would definitely recommend you to add a widget with a couple of your recent posts, since you want to come across as a blogger, but don’t make this the main focus of your homepage.
If you have trouble setting up your homepage in WordPress, because your theme has another pre-set homepage in place, you can use the plugin called Visual Composer. I’ve used it for almost all my blogs, and it gets the job done. Of course, it’s a lot better to have a theme that has this feature (most themes like that already have Visual Composer in place), like my theme Jupiter for example, but you can always install Visual Composer yourself as an addon to your theme.
How does your homepage look? Do you have a static homepage or not?