I just wanted to express my own surprise and wisdom gleamed from my recent experience with this new blog.
I’ve had my website, www.ThomasConsultation.com for over a year. While the domain name isn’t zippy, it is STABLE. As I continue to grow, learn, and change what I offer, it stays generic. But my website has been neglected and is not very thrilling. It isn’t marketing friendly because the name is too generic. It doesn’t excite me to update content (though I did a few months ago with some good articles worth reading!) The only audience I had was people who know I exist. And I don’t know THAT many people!
So the beginning of my story starts with a massive surgery three months ago. It was so big it left my always-active brain dead for 2.5 full weeks. I wasn’t even that brain dead with newborns! I sat in front of the television and did nothing else (physical restrictions as well as no interest in anything.) Finally my father joked that I must be feeling better when my conversations moved from the latest ache and next doctor follow up visit to more exciting things like marketing, therapy, the world. I had several more weeks of full on restrictions, which got me a little bit buggier since my mind was more active but my body was still wiped.
Then, a few days before I was going to be “released” to living my life again, I got VERY, VERY STRESSED OUT. I had two websites that I had neglected. I had consulting gigs that had gone badly and more people wanting my services. Having gone from no worries, no stress, to that level of reality within seconds was my eye opener. I could not sustain that life again. I’m a stay at home mom for one month out of each quarter while my husband does a corporate job AND therapy at night. The other two months he’s around so I can work (but he still does therapy at night.) My time can not be spread that much.
I just had too much on my plate and it was not worth it. Sometimes making money is a bad thing. And the reality was the money wasn’t “fun” for me. I was stuck dealing with crappy websites built by designers who had no idea about search engines. I was updating content for people which is time consuming and took me away from the stuff I wanted to do. I was stressed. I wasn’t feeling like people knew as much as they could to do more for themselves.
And then I had the lightbulb moment. What if, instead of consulting with people, I refocused back to EDUCATING them! What if I used my own life story as a “do it yourself”er to help OTHERS do this web stuff themselves. What if I used my limited time to empower as many people as possible to build amazing websites, to attract and help more people? It’s like the ultimate “help the helper” pyramid scheme! The more you know, the more you can share with your colleagues, and the more the web will better reflect your unique passions, experiences, and contributions to this world.
But to do this, I had to recognize there is competition out there. And I am a zero-budget expert, known only in two circles, and do NOT WANT TO BUILD A FULL TIME CONSULTING GIG! Wow. Could I really continue being the website guru on my two main sites and help others?
Short answer is YES. I have an extremely unique, fun brand. You will not find anyone else who both works directly on their own websites, with proven results, and who can teach for teaching sake. I know what I’m talking about because I EXPERIENCE It myself. I don’t just “know of others” who have had something go awry or go well. I have countless stories, aha moments, stories of massive mistakes, of things I still beat myself up for doing (or not doing), and I am with you on your journey. This blog is new. If I get ONE visitor a day I’m excited (8 and I’m jumping with joy!) On The First Dance website, if I get less than 300 people a day I’m very disappointed. Two extremes and I get the joy and frustration from both! I am also not married to one thing, like Google Adwords. Nor will I EVER send you to places I think are crappy (Godaddy free website templates, as one example.) And I run the three types of websites that you may run: a therapy website (my husbands MN couples Counseling website), a marriage therapy directory (you may be listed on one or more), and a marriage advice website (The First Dance.)
Sometimes I stop and listen to my own teachings. (You know, the cobblers children have no shoes.) And guess what? When I take the time to do what I tell others to do, it works! I spent 8 hours back in May on search engine stuff, writing, reorganizing, etc. And for that work I was seeing 100 new visitors A DAY (I still have a huge range because it’s busy wedding season so when the fall picks up my web traffic will pick up even more.) And you may be wondering how do I know it was that work and not something else? Because I did keyword research and the pages people “entered” on my website were articles I had specifically written for search engine traffic!
But back to this blog and the point of this rambling. 🙂
Notice how I got reinspired, re-focused, and re-thought my brand? I am a lot less stressed and a lot more enthused. And it was finally time to get a website that had great website traffic potential, to “organically” find new clients beyond the two sources I currently have. The phrase “psychotherapy private practice” gets very decent traffic every month, so voila! The .com version is already taken. So I chose a WordPress blog. And what a blessing. Now I feel like I can share those small thoughts that don’t fit on a website. I feel like I’m growing an audience because unlike a website, a blog is something you bookmark and return to. I now have a “home” for my thoughts, experiences, and advice. And I have a place to “launch” my CD trainings which are being made this Thursday night by a professional sound friend. I’m psyched.