After working for many years in the areas of website design, web development, and web content creation, I've realized why many website owners aren't keen on doing this one key task. Yet arguably, this single routine - that no-one else can do in quite the same way - is the "jewel in the crown" for each of us.
Taking the decision not to perform this one simple ongoing process - one that with a little practice, we can begin to find easy - almost always results in a condition I've come to refer to as TGA paralysis.
TGA refers to a website circumstance that I like to relate back to occasionally. In fact TGA can be considered as a kind of digital illness or affliction that can affect any website provider. The great news is, if your website suffers from TGA: as a website owner, key manager or content supplier, you can fix the problem in minutes.
The InternetTiPS.com 3-Legged Stool Website Success Foundation
Before we explore TGA, let's recap on the InternetTIPS.com 3-Legged Stool plan designed to build a successful website, that I've mentioned in other articles throughout www.InternetTIPS.com:
- Leg 1: website Design / look and feel (for people, search engines, and the mobile web).
- Leg 2: Search Engine Optimization (mostly for search engines, and the mobile web).
- Leg 3: your message: what you say (mostly for people).
In the same way that a 3-legged stool needs all three legs to be in place in order for the stool to stand up, your website too needs those key components above in place to ensure your site has a firm foundation on which to build a thriving web prospect.
So let's now explore how our 3-legged stool method relates to TGA?
So Just What is TGA?
Consider the question: what makes one website different from another? You may reasonably suggest, website design, look and feel, the quality and nature of images used, content, writing; whether a website includes videos, audios, podcasts and so on; or indeed, all of those beneficial components. In one sense, such building blocks can add remarkable quality and astonishing "stickiness" or attractiveness to a website, yet what I am referring to is something far more basic.
TGA is an acronym I use to describe "The Great Average" - that is, everything that goes into a website which results in a site that is arguably unremarkable; no personality, no soul. Most websites arguably succumb to "The Great Average". Pick any website niche area, and often, you can find that Site A is much like Site B, which is also similar to Site C, and so on.
Large organizations with deep pockets and lots of money reserves and resources to waste can afford to be bland, making mistake after mistake after mistake, and still perhaps achieve sufficient business to keep things moving adequately. Yet small businesses don't have that luxury: we have to make all of our assets work for us in record time.
Maybe occasionally, we'll perhaps discover a website that seems to have that something extra. Perhaps at first, we can't quite determine what the "extra factor" is; but we sense that there's something deeper going on, that seems to connect or resonate with our consciousness.
So what is so essential that makes us choose one site over another? We could have a range of different answers. Yet, I suggest to you dear reader that such a website has found a way to over the TGA: the great defeater of websites. Moreover, in almost every instance, winning websites do something that only they can do and others can't. So just what is the magic alchemy? Answer: they find their own voice and use it effectively.
Without doubt, to create a winning site, we must:
- Speak with our own "sound"; communicate in our style, our way. You can do that in your writing and website content creation.
- Use heart, emotion, sincerity and a host other positive traits. In a world embattled with negativity, your website dear reader, should you decide to accept the challenge, can become a kind of oasis for your chosen niche. For people who feel they live in the desert of mediocrity, you can provide a remedy.
- Promote our uniqueness. Explain why you are different to everyone else. If you don't know the answer to that question, strive to find the solution: you must identify and understand your Unique Service Proposition (USP).
- Create and tell our own "human interest stories" in text, audio, video.
- Create benefits that only your site can provide, and then ...
... promote all of these qualities continually, using text, audio, video.
We all learn expository writing, and if we're ever to become anything except scholars, we have to forget it almost completely. There is no formula to real writing that hits home at the heart of your audience. The best is almost free-form ... it comes in moments of inspiration that we have to capture. A marketing piece that brings in tens of millions of dollars can come from an idea jotted down on a napkin, because the idea captures the core emotional appeal of the product. Don Mahoney
How to Overcome TGA
Arguably, we have only one true challenge to overcome in order to break through the barriers that hold our websites back. Overcome this hurdle and all others fall like a child's tower of building blocks cascading down with gentlest touch of small fingers.
The challenge has nothing to do with any other websites, competitors, or indeed anyone else. It's about realizing that in order to do business on an impersonal web, you can benefit much if you can find a way to personalize your message to each and every visitor who comes to your site. It's about letting the color of the real you shine through and overwhelm the grayness of life that is often experienced by so many.
Sometimes, corporate strength can work agains us. That's why, the most successful corporations are also finding ways to master the art of seeming smaller, being friendlier, promoting their products and services using real people, with real names and real personalities; individuals who have memorable, likable, admirable, believable traits, rather than just default, impersonal email addresses.
To some who may prefer to maintain an air of detachment, taking the decision to share more of yourself can at first seem like dancing with demons. Yet "talking" through text on a page, or scripting a podcast, or as producing a video need not be unimaginably difficult.
We "talk" in our minds all the time; we talk with our spouses, family, friends. With just a little more work, we can create unique, helpful, website content that holds the promise of enriching the lives of tens of thousands around the world - with all the benefits that often follow.
You can do that too.
An interesting paradox of repetition is that if you practice something slowly, you'll actually learn it more quickly. Robert Ringer, Author.
Most everyone can learn how to communicate using:
- Simple sentences.
- Words and phrases that engage and enthrall recipients, visitors, listeners, viewers, customers, and clients.
Arguably, connecting with others using uncomplicated text like this is the easiest option - you're most likely not surprised that words are my preference. Others may opt for the more spontaneous approach of speaking using audio and video. If you provide audio files, remember, you'll need to also consider other aspects as well as your text script, like voice tone, spacing, mood, and so on. And where video is concerned, visual components bring in even more considerations to the mix.
Without doubt, you can have fun with all this. Were you to start today, in 6 months, you'll perhaps go back over your earlier attempts, and wonder why did what you did. Buy hey, that's life; growth: we get better as we practice whatever we have chosen to do.
People are often more perceptive than we may at first imagine. How often can we sense someone smile when talking using a simple voice phone even though we can't see their face? When we write, we're communicating on one level. Add audio and we engage another of the 5 main senses. Work with video and we at least combine text, sound, pictures, movement, animation, character, emotions.
Yet, whatever is your preference, all of these "communication channels" can be learned, practiced, rehearsed and perfected. When starting something new, almost always, progress can seem slow at first, yet with a little familiar routine and that all important preparation, we can find that creating unique content becomes a faster, simpler and a more natural prospect. Familiarization is another name for "short-cut". Getting started is the biggest challenge.
So why not simply make a new start today? Choose your preferred main communications channel to start with: text, audio, video - and simply begin. Then in time, try another, then another, then all three. I'll see you on YouTube.com.