3 Tips to Create Website Resolutions that Stick

I'm back...finally! This fall was all about wrapping up some of our biggest client projects ever. It was a very rewarding and fruitful period, but now that I'm coming back up for air it's time to start a brand new batch of Kate's Tech Talks. This week, I've got a very timely vid for you: 3 Tips to Create Website Resolutions that Stick.

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Here's the thing ladies and gents...

Website resolutions are a lot like real-life resolutions. If you bog yourself down with too many goals and aspirations, you will probably give up before you even really get started.

Whether you've got small hopes or big dreams for your website in 2014, the tips I share in this video are applicable to you.

P.S. Sorry for the dreary lighting in this week's video. It's cold and gray here in Florence this winter. I miss the videos recorded in summer, like Why Every Homepage Needs Just One Goal.

Kate's Tech Talks: Blogs and Websites -- What's the Difference These Days?

Welcome back to another week of Kate's Tech Talks. For this week's episode I'm taking a reader question. I was super excited when this question from Jenny came in because I know it's a topic that a lot of multi-passionate small business owners and bloggers struggle with. Jenny's question actually has a few different layers. The three primary questions are:

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  1. What's the big darn difference between a blog and website these days?
  2. How do you decide between a blog and a website?
  3. How do you know when to build a blog/site off of a certain site as opposed to starting fresh?

Told you...lots of layers to this question! Here's why I loved answering it:

Because my personal/business situation is a perfect case study for what you can and can't predict and do.

As I answer Jenny's question with general digital strategy, I also share a behind-the-scenes look at how my websites came to be where they are. How they grew. How they thrived. AND, why some have remained static while others are more dynamic.

Tons of juicy behinds the scenes details this week!

The video is a bit long (it clocks in at 9 minutes!) but I think it's worth it because there are some smart tips for how to think strategically about how your business can grow and how your URLs and tech will need to grow with it.

Kate's Tech Talks: The Art of the Outsource

Welcome back to another week of tech talks. This week we are talking about my top three strategies for mastering the art of the outsource. Whether you need to outsource design, copywriting, development, administrative tasks or other business functions, this tech talk has three general -- but insanely smart -- strategies that will help you get the most out of your outsource experience.

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The most important thing I want you to take away from this tech talk?

The point of outsourcing is to make your life easier -- not harder.

If you find outsourcing exhausting, disappointing and generally unhelpful I strongly suggest (re)watching this video and making sure that you are following these strategies:

  • Be clear about expectations and goals
  • Test out multiple contractors
  • Keep extra hours available for perfecting work

The #1 way I see people goofing up the outsource process is by accepting unfinished or unpolished work. They think, "Oh I can just finish it myself." Unless you specifically request work delivered in that condition, stop accepting work that doesn't meet your standards. The point of outsourcing is to save you time and streamline your processes -- if you just need to spend more time on the work anyway, there's no point in paying someone else!

And, to keep it real about outsourcing... Anyone that has outsourced regularly in their business can share stories of both amazing successes and total failures. I can name two in the past month: an adorable and just-what-I-asked-for icon of the Duomo for a redesign of my personal blog from a great illustrator on ODesk. A failure? Paying another ODesker to customize some CSS, having them tell me after 3 hours it's "not possible," and then doing it myself in an hour. I tell you these two anecdotes because even after years of outsourcing and following my own strategies to a T, there are still hits and misses. By following the strategy workflow in this week's tech talk, however, I've been able to keep the misses relatively low.

P.S. I hope you'll excuse the "bare bones" look of this and next week's videos. I'm setting up a pretty recording area in my new apartment and need a few weeks of transition time to get things just right.

What I learned from my most popular Tech Talk yet.

Wowza. Tuesday's video on How to Create a Web Show the DIY Way was insanely popular. I love that you all enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at how I create video for my business. I loved sharing my process.

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It's funny how popularity and social buzz works. There have been vids in the past where I've thought "This is going to be huge" and the response has just been so-so. The popularity of the latest video caught me by surprise. Why? Confession: I almost didn't publish this latest video on web shows! No joke. Even though it was based off inquiries from fans, I still felt like it wasn't that interesting. Me? My process? Who cares? Well, apparently someone does!

There are a few BIG lessons that I've learned over the past few days that I want to share:

  • When creating content for your site -- text, audio or video -- you have to experiment. You can never assume that you know what your audience truly wants. You can only learn through experimentation. 
  • People want to know how you make your business run. I make this show on a shoestring budget. It's second nature to me and seems terrible uninteresting. But, for someone just getting started that wants to create a show, it's INSANELY helpful advice. The everyday nuts and bolts of your business will be helpful, interesting and educational for other small biz owners.
  • Share, share, share your best tips, tricks and ideas. Since I started putting my expertise out into the world for FREE I've had nothing but positivity, new business and email subscribers come my way. Abundance produces abundance.
  • Sharing is caring. A huge portion of my traffic came from recommendations in a few different groups that I belong to. Social proof, my friends. Once one person watched it and loved it and raved about it, more traffic came rolling in. Testimonials + praise are amazing that way.

Next week we'll be talking about The Art of the Outsource and I can't wait to share that video with you. I share some insider tips for how I've had success with outsourcing in the past and how to get the most bang for your outsourcing buck.

In the meantime, I'm off to brainstorm other behind-the-scenes-esque Tech Talks that I can create for you all to help you grow and expand your businesses.