4 Things Content Creators Should Do Before Getting a Logo

I have a lot of friends that are creatives. Many of them are stepping out and creating small businesses. And it makes my heart so happy because I get to chat with them about website ownership and content creation.

But, there’s one thing that constantly comes up with people who are starting a creative business, getting a logo. 

I know people (including myself) who have an idea for a business, and one of their first steps is finding someone to make their logo.

Recently, I had brunch with a friend who is starting a business, and guess what she had? Nope, not a website. She didn’t have merchandise just yet. But she had a logo! Why are we like this?

What is it about the logo y’all? Who told us that we needed one to start a business? Who said this is the first step?

Again, I’ve done this! I’m not throwing shade. I seriously don’t understand why we are doing this!

For my first website, I had a logo before I could communicate the purpose of my business. And guess what? That business didn’t survive a year. So, when I created my other websites, I spent a lot of time building the foundation first, which is why they’ve been more successful and profitable.

And guess what? I don’t have a logo for either website. Honestly, I don’t know when I’ll sit down and get that done. 

If you don’t have an audience having a logo doesn’t matter. If you aren’t creating content that your community wants, having a logo doesn’t matter. If you cannot communicate with your audience off social media or get people to consistently visit your website, having a logo doesn’t matter.

There are so many more important things that should be your focus.

In this blog post, I share four things that can help your brand become recognizable without a logo.

Define Your Audience 

Have you sat down and analyzed who your content will serve? What problems will you help them solve? Do you know your audience’s likes and dislikes? These are just a few questions that you need to answer.

If you want to grow your community, then you have to give them content that benefits them. So, you’ll have to have your audience clearly defined to make that possible.

Properly serving your audience should be your priority. Your community will fall in love with you instantly if you can help them solve their problems or inspire them.  

To learn more about the importance of defining your audience read, WHY CONTENT CREATORS NEED TO KNOW THEIR AUDIENCE.

Define Your Content Pillars

Content pillars are the different topics that fall under your niche. They are large pieces of content that can break down into smaller pieces. Each pillar’s topic can help you create ideas that turn into blog posts, Instagram stories, vlogs, etc. 

For www.melissanikohl.com, I focus on sharing educational tips for educators. Below I included a graphic, so you have a visual of what a few of my pillars are, and you’ll find content ideas under each one.

Melissa Nikohl Content Pillar Example

I recommend having at least three pillars for your niche. Although on the image above you see three, I have five topics that I discuss on my website. 

Content pillars will help you keep your ideas flowing and keep your content on brand because everything that you’ll create will fall under one of those topics. 

Purchase an Email Marketing Service

You’ll want to capture emails as soon as your website is live! You need a way to communicate with the people who are super interested in your content. 

People that visit your website might not be ready to buy from you, but they might want to connect with you. An email list is the best way to make that possible.

Create a Pinterest Business account 

As a creator, you want people to find your work. That’s the goal. Nobody spends hours putting together bomb content so that people can’t find it. You need a way to drive traffic to you. Pinterest is an excellent way for people to find your YouTube channel, blog, Etsy shop, and more. 

If you think posting your content just on social media is an excellent way for people to find your website, you are wrong! When people are on social media, they typically don’t want to leave. And many social media platforms, specifically Instagram, don’t want users to leave their platform.  

Instagram kills 90% (a totally made-up statistic) of your content. Even when you post something that gets tons of views, likes, and shares, very few people go to your link in bio (which absolutely should not be Linktree) to check out more. 

Pinterest will drive interested people, aka your intended audience, directly to your content. These are the people who will want to sign up for your email list. They’ll want to watch your videos or buy your product. You need Pinterest! 

When people find your content, they are looking for answers, ideas, and inspiration. They are looking for help. Nobody is checking for your logo. Seriously, they aren’t. 

Focus on serving your audience with content they want, find a way to connect with your people after they’ve visited your website, and have a plan to drive traffic to your website. A logo is not the key to success; having a solid foundation ie

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Things to Know Before Creating a Website

Congratulations! You’re ready to own some internet real estate! But, before you plan out your fonts, color scheme, and domain name, there are some questions you should answer first. Understanding what you’re getting into will save you a lot of time and money. 

In SIX MISTAKES WEBSITE OWNERS MAKE, I share the mistakes I made and the ones I see all the time doing website audits. Being able to answer the questions below will help ensure you don’t make those costly mistakes.

Just an FYI, this post contains affiliate links, so if you decide to use the links below, I do get a commission.❤️

What is Your Budget?

Starting a website can be pricey. The most obvious cost is purchasing your website’s domain, but there are additional tools that you’ll need, and that adds up. 

I have paid subscriptions for Canva (graphic design), Tailwind (Pinterest scheduler), Screencast-O-Matic (screen recorder and video editor), and ConvertKit (email marketing), Grammarly (writing tool) to help run my website. 

But, I didn’t start with the paid versions; I grew into them. 

Creating a budget for your website will help you control your spending. There are so many shiny tools out there; I recommend using the free versions of as many resources as you can in the beginning. Otherwise, you’ll have a lot of money coming out and not much coming in.

 

Who Is Your Audience?

Who do you want coming to your website? Who are you helping? Websites should be user-centered, so knowing your community’s wants and needs is essential. If you create a website before knowing your audience, you’re taking a significant risk, and you could end up wasting a lot of time and money developing content that your intended audience doesn’t need.

 

What is Your Level of Technical Skills?

Will you be able to create the website on your own, or will you need help? The answer to this question can help you create a better budget and timeline. 

If you are unfamiliar with designing a website, you may need to invest in tools or purchase services to help you get it done.

 When I first started, I used LeadPages, for my landing pages because I couldn’t figure out how to make them. The more I learned about web design; I eventually figured out how to create landing pages. Ultimately, I canceled my subscription because I learned new skills.  

Being honest about your abilities can also help you make reasonable deadlines and set an attainable launch date. You may not think this is not a big deal, but it is easy to quit something when it gets hard. So, analyzing what you can do is essential, and remember, you can learn anything from YouTube.

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What Are Your Goals?

Are you looking only to blog, or do you want to sell products? Why does this matter? Because the answer will help you determine what platform you should use. 

When I first created www.melissanikohl.com, I was not selling products, but I knew I would eventually. So, I made sure I picked a platform that had the capability of hosting an online store. 

If you plan on hosting videos or courses, you’ll want a website that can handle larger content. 

So, think about your long-term goals; what will your website look like in 3-5 years?

 

How Do You Plan on Monetizing Your Website?

Some people only have a website as a portfolio of their work; others want to share content and make a profit. Before you buy a website, you should have a few ideas on how you can monetize your site. 

You can sell digital products, courses, do affiliate marketing, and so much more. But, you’ll want to have some idea of what you want to do before you you get started. 

My experience with owning a website has been so much fun. But, the start-up sometimes was a little rough. Thinking about these questions will guide you to create a website that will provide long-lasting value to your community. 

If you’ve used my tips to help create your website, drop your link below! I’d love to check it out. 

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3 Reasons Why Teachers Pay Teachers Sellers Need A Website

Playing around in the teacher influencer world, I’ve learned that a popular teacher side hustle is selling products on Teachers Pay Teachers. TPT was created so that educators have a place to share resources that they’ve created. I’m sure when Teachers Pay Teachers became a host for educational content, it wasn’t as easy as it is now to create an online shop. Now, creating a website with an online shop is a relatively simple process. You can make a simple website in just a few days.

Once you start selling your products on your website, you control how much money you make, you can optimize your content so people can find you, and you can build a community that loves your products.

You’ll Make More Money

So you became a TPT seller to make some extra cash. But TPT takes a lot of your money… a lot. With a website, you don’t have to mark up your products to see a profit. As a basic seller, Teachers Pay Teachers only lets you keep 55% of your sales, and if you PAY to be a premium seller, you get to keep 80%.

Teachers Pay Teachers Seller Fees
TPT Seller Fees & Payout Rates as of February 19, 2021.

Y’all! If I spent my time creating products, there’s no way I would want to give someone else money for what I’ve done. For the amount of money TPT Premium sellers spend just to earn more money, they can own a website. And if TPT creators don’t have a website, they are probably also paying for landing pages for a link in their bio. All that adds up…to the price of owning a website. Some TPT sellers are spending a lot of money, and they own nothing.

I use WooCommerce as my shop on my websites, and I use Stripe and PayPal for my payment methods. To use Stripe & PayPal, there is a 2.9% base rate +.30 transaction fee. So for a $12 product, I get $11.35 deposited in my bank account.

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You Can Grow Your Audience Organically

Search engine optimization (SEO) is when you make your content searchable for your audience. SEO is how people can find you organically. Using SEO strategies, you’ll have people searching for you! This is where you will have the advantage over those selling solely on TPT. If someone is searching for main idea activities, if you optimize your content, it is possible that you can show up in Google as a search result.

From what I’ve seen, it takes a while to build your business on Teachers Pay Teachers, and many sellers promote their products on social media. The thing with social media is, most people aren’t searching for solutions when they are on Instagram. They are just scrolling. So your ideal customer may or may not see your post about your new product.

When you have a website, your audience can find your products through a simple search on Google or Pinterest if you use SEO.

You’ll Own Your Customer List

When you buy products from sellers on TPT, they don’t share the seller’s contact information or social media handles. They share a link for you to follow them on TPT, but that is it. Teachers Pay Teachers does not make it easy to connect with the sellers off of their platform. And those followers, aren’t yours, they belong to TPT.

But, if you sell your products on your website, you’re able to connect with your customers in various ways. If you have an email list (which you should), you’re able to talk to your audience directly. You can send them emails that show your personality, you can share some behind-the-scenes action, and you can let them know about your latest product/freebie.

Customers who have previously bought your products are the best people to reach out to when you’ve created more. They are your hottest leads! When you own a website and email list, you’re able to communicate with them more efficiently, which leads to more sales.

I’m not saying that teachers shouldn’t use Teachers Pay Teachers. I don’t believe that TPT should be the only place where they are selling your products. Selling digital products can be profitable, but you have to use platforms that will help you make money, not take from you. Owning a website is one way to have more control over your business.

References

“Seller Fees and Payout Rates.” Teachers Pay Teachers, 2021, help.teacherspayteachers.com/hc/en-us/articles/360044219891-Seller-Fees-and-Payout-Rates.

 

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Why Website Owners Should Not Use Linktree

Website owners should not use Linktree or any other landing page service. As a website owner, one of your goals is to drive as much traffic to your website as you can. Using your website as a link in bio is an easy way help your audience find you off of social media.

Everything you can do with Linktree, you can do better with your website. Check out my IG Live where I discuss why it is important for website owners to use their own website as their link in bio.

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Why Content Creators Should Create Evergreen Content

Most content creators need evergreen content. If you know your audiences’ wants and needs, this fresh content can quickly become your brand’s backbone. Using evergreen content as part of your marketing strategy will make your content searchable all year, help you build an online community, and help you climb up search result rankings. 

If you’re not sure what evergreen  means, you’ll want to read, WHAT IS EVERGREEN CONTENT? first.

It will keep you relevant all year round

Since you’re creating timeless content that people are always searching for, people will come to your website looking for it anytime. You want to have several pieces of evergreen content on your website to keep traffic flowing year-round. When I started blogging, I thought I was aligned with my audience, but it turned out I wasn’t.

After several months of blogging, I analyzed my analytics to see if I had any traffic search patterns. I found out I was unintentionally making a lot of seasonal content. On www.melissanikohl.com, I share tips for teachers, content that I thought was evergreen. It turns out most teachers are only looking for advice at the beginning of the school year, which makes many of my blog posts seasonal.  

I didn’t do it on purpose. So, I had to figure out a way to create content that would drive traffic to my website all year. This was when I started creating booklists. Many of my booklists are evergreen, and they draw traffic to my website throughout the year. 

Take a look at your analytics. Are you unknowingly providing your audience with only seasonal content? What can you create that will draw traffic to your website all year round. 

It Can Help You Build Your audience

Since your evergreen content is probably answering commonly asked questions, your content will help visitors learn a skill or help them solve a problem. When they learn something of high value, and they like you, they’ll keep coming back. They will want to connect with you.

People who like you and find your content useful and relevant are more likely to invest in your business and refer you to their family and friends!

It Helps Your SEO

If you’ve researched your audience, then you know their needs and wants. Your evergreen content will help you solve their problems, answer their questions, and give advice on what to do next. 

When you make content around highly searched topics in your niche, you are optimizing your content for search engines, and as more people find your website relevant, you will climb search results rankings.

Evergreen content is extremely valuable for content creators. It is a great way to establish yourself as a leader in your niche. It is what can set you apart from other content creators within your niche. 

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Six Mistakes Website Owners Make

Growing a website is hard.⁣⁣
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And sometimes we are responsible for slowing our growth. ⁣⁣
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I started doing website audits in the summer of 2020, and I found that most people make the same mistakes.⁣⁣

In this blog post, you’ll learn the top six mistakes I’ve seen website owners make and⁣⁣ what to do instead.

Spending Too Much Money Starting Out

⁣⁣When I first started (2018), I wanted my website to be perfect. I wanted to have everything, which led me to spend way too much money! And yall, there were days when NOBODY visited my website. I had a website that had everything except visitors.🤣⁣⁣
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I was using programs and systems that I didn’t need just yet.

Here is a list of things I bought that I didn’t need before I was making money:

-email marketing
-stock photo licenses
-graphic design website
-landing pages

There was a way I could have used all these things for free. Don’t be like me. Save your coins. Wait until you start making a profit to invest heavily in your website.

Not Repurposing Content

I learned the art of repurposing content from podcast host Monique Malcolm. She taught me very early to reuse content in multiple ways.

For example, this blog post is pretty much the script for my IG Live, which you can find below. But, I made all my talking points headings and turned it into a blog post.

One piece of content can go a long way. Spread the love.

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Not Knowing Your Audience

Who do you want coming to your website? What kind of problems do they have? How are you solving their problems? What are their interests?

Answers to those questions will help you better understand how to optimize and create content for your ideal customer.

If you don’t know your audience, you will have a hard time creating content that they want and need.

Not Telling Your Visitors What to Do When They Find Your Website

This is the BIGGEST and MOST costly mistake I see doing audits.

When people come to your website, they are looking to you for direction. Think of yourself as a tour guide, show them where they can find similar content.
Make it easy for them to contact you.
Don’t make people work hard to stay connected with you.
You want people to stay on your website as long as possible because the longer people stay on your website, the lower your bounce rate will be.

Your bounce rate (the percentage of people who leave your website after viewing one thing) plays a role in your search engine ranking. You want search engines to see that your content is relevant to your audience, and if people are hanging out, this shows search engines that your website is the place to be.

Not Being Patient

It took me about a year to see a consistent flow of traffic to my website. There were many days when NO ONE showed up.

Enjoy having little to no traffic when you first start your website. Use that time to perfect your writing or content creation. The more you create, the better you’ll get, and by the time you start growing your audience, your work will be a million times better than when you started.
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Not Consistently Creating Content

One thing that helps your search results ranking is if your website is regularly updated. Search engines like Google are only going to recommend active websites.

You might have good content, but if you aren’t consistently adding more, it can hurt your ranking.

Sit down with a planner and create realistic content creation goals. You may have busier seasons than others, so batching content may be a good idea, especially if you know you won’t have time.

Remember, building your audience from nothing is hard, and it takes time. Making these mistakes will only make it harder to see the growth you deserve.
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Check out my IG Live, where I discuss these six mistakes in more detail!

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