I am a believer in taking action. As I discussed in my mini-life story, I jumped into my field head first and never looked back.
I was guided by the belief that if I cared enough and was smart enough, the little things would fix themselves. Years later, I am still reeling off of some of those mistakes I decided to “fix later“ and so is my brand. I am more successful than ever, but I make sure to take my steps more carefully. I now guide by the idea of “Plan, Act, Improve.”
How Taking Action (The Wrong Way) Can Hurt Business
There is plenty of corporate examples of companies releasing products or applications before they are ready. At times, it can be responsible for taking down the whole company due to killing it’s brand. While to you (a budding entrepreneur) it may not seem there is a connection between Google Buzz (the “failed” Google social media service) and your new blog – there is.
In the online world, you get few chances to make a first impression. The first impression you make on your visitor is the most influential one you can ever make. It doesn’t matter if your website is an affiliate based shopping cart or a blog about vegan cookies; you need to make the right impression.
A Personal Example
I know my job remarkably well. I communicate with professors at the best colleges, coaches in the field, and researchers in the labs. When it comes to body composition and fat loss, I have no problem saying that I am one of the best in the business – period.
What about my writing/speaking skills? To say they are a struggle is putting it nicely. Granted, I am leagues above where I used to be, but it is still a daily struggle.
Do you know how confusing it is to read a person’s summary of a 100-page scientific study, only to find they have the writing skills of a 4th grader? That was the experience for a lot of my readers. While there are some who could care less, I have a target of readers who (when surveyed) are 35% college graduates. I learned quickly to take a closer look at my writing skills and make more of an effort to self-educate.
What most don’t know is I deal with Dysgraphia. As a kid, I never did well in Technical English or writing and still can’t understand how to spell or pronounce things well. My written work is practically unreadable and can only be done for short periods of time. I see words where there are not, leave out letters, etc. The problem is I can’t explain to every person who visits my site that I have mild learning disability. They aren’t there to hear about my problems; they are there for me to help solve their problems.
Since my online job is to relay my information through writing, I have to take extra effort to focus on quality control. It means more patience and utilizing tools where others may not need to. It means learning (and re-learning) how to fix my problems. The result leads to people taking my work more serious and getting the right impression, the first time.
Common Mistakes You Can Fix
1. Poor Grammar and Editing
I am not suggesting you expect yourself to be a Pulitzer Prize winner. If you apply these 3 things alone it will make a big difference.
- Double-check your sales copy.
- Read over your blog posts and make extra edits.
- Learn about writing as a craft.
A powerful tool I found recently (and am in love with) is called Grammarly. You can use it to input your writing and run it through to check spelling, grammar and style. It is an excellent teaching tool because it gives you reasons on why your writing is incorrect. Quick tip: Unless you are using it for an essay or college work, you can use the “creative review” setting.
2. Poor site design or incomplete website coding
In the day and age of wordpress and blog themes, there should be little excuse for poor site coding. I have a rule of design thumb: If you can’t do bold and unique in a successful manner, stick to clean and tested. It is better to display a clean site, than one which is full of personality, but all over the place. If you want to express more of your personality, try to do it with pictures in posts or in your sidebar (if you can’t pull it off with your site design).
3. Not understanding the information
If you aren’t an expert in making money, than a making money blog may not be for you. The more you know about a topic, the easier it is to write about it. Since I know the topics I write about, I have little writers block about my industry. The same can be said about this new gig here on Yaro’s blog. Relaying my information becomes easy because I know the topics inside and out.
4. Poor navigation
This is true for blogging or shopping sites. Let me provide for you a recent example of how poor navigation affected my own purchasing experience.
In my country, (United States) Christmas is a pretty big deal regardless of religious affiliation. A friend of mine is extremely invested in Christmas, so much that she started looking online for items in October for decorations. She told me she had a heck of a time finding a site with Christmas products she wanted. I found this hard to believe, but sure enough when I went online I did not enjoy the navigation and site layouts. You could tell the sites were so caught up in landing keywords, they forgot to deliver on easy navigation for their customer. A lot of money was not spent that day and our experience was not enjoyable.
Plan, Act, Improve
I am not a proponent of paralysis by analysis. I am a proponent of quality control and functionality.
All of the things above I have been guilty of (and still am) on small levels. The goal is not to strive for perfection, but to plan properly and then improve where needed. A few basic steps can separate you from others and land a sizeable payoff. Don’t get so busy trying to take action, that you forgot to do it right.