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And the blog pound....

A website is a media platform that allows you to publish information, and the defining characteristic of a good website is the information—or content—it publishes. A static website that isn't continuously updated or expanded to include new or more valuable information is dead on the vine. If you want to compete on the internet and convert visitors into customers, you need to recognize that your website is a media platform, and treat it like one.

Let's start with a basic publishing example. You print a stack of business cards. You hand them out at a conference. Your cards contain information, like your name, your phone number, your business logo, and so on. By passing out the cards, you're distributing the information to an audience. You're publishing content—you're walking around the conference and physically handing cards to people, and the content is the cards themselves.

But that's the end of it. You lose your publishing power the moment you leave the conference. You no longer have any way to connect with your audience, and the information your audience can access is restricted to whatever information you printed on the cards. You can't go back and edit it. You can't add to it. The information is isolated, cut off from the platform that allowed you to distribute it—namely, your physical presence at the conference.

Your website is nothing like this.

If you're a small business owner, your website allows you to continuously interact with your audience, to communicate with the world in new and interesting ways. Your website is a point of connection and engagement.

Let's look at another publishing example. You create a website. Your website contains information, like your name, your phone number, your business logo, and so on. Your audience is continuously present—there are about 2,095,006,005 internet users in the world, and some statistics claim that 4.5 million people access the internet each minute. That beats any conference by a long shot. But most importantly, the information on your website isn't isolated from the platform that distributes it.

You can change the information if you need to. You can add more information, more pages, new products. You can publish information in all its most compelling forms, including images, videos, articles, polls, infographics, and more. And your audience can respond. They can engage. They can purchase your products, comment on your articles, or share your research with coworkers.

We know all of this is possible with the internet. But many small business owners still treat their websites like business cards.

Many website designers, unfortunately, don't allow business owners to easily make changes or edits to their own websites and often charge extra fees to incorporate new pages or updates. This is a major reason for the stagnation of many small business websites—more on this in a moment. But the main reason so many websites are dead in the water is that their owners don't recognize the powerful capabilities of the platform they're using.

What Your Website Design Company Should Do For You

If you're working with a website design company and paying them to build or maintain your website, make sure you're able to do the following two things.

  • Edit existing pages at your discretion.

  • Add new pages, content, or media as desired.

The simplest way to accomplish the first task is through an intuitive content management system (CMS). Different web design companies prefer different content management systems. At Blazonco, we use our own custom CMS designed specifically to meet the needs of business websites.  Learn more.

The simplest way to accomplish the second task is with a blog. Some content management systems allow automatic blog integration. Others don't. Make sure to tell your web design company that you want a blog included on your website. It's essential.

What You Should Do With Your Website

If you control your website, start publishing. Think about the content your audience will engage with. What types of articles or videos or research studies will your visitors find valuable? What questions do they need to have answered? What fears do they need to have relieved? A deep understanding of your audience will lead you to the content you need to publish.

How often do you look through the business cards you get at the conferences you attend? Do you ever feel compelled to sift through them, examining each one? No? Don't resign your website to the same fate. Make it interesting. Make it inviting. Make it valuable. Publish content and engage your audience.