When it comes to redesigning my website, I put the “pro” in procrastination.
In June of 2017, I booked a brand photo shoot with a super-talented Birmingham-based photographer so I could revamp my website with new images. The photos were perfect. To be honest, the pictures from that shoot are some of my favorite photos ever. I look back at some of them and think, “Damn! I look good!”
Related Reading: How to Get Confident for Your Photo Shoot
But that website redesign? Never happened.
I told myself that since See Jane Write isn’t all about me but is about the community I’m building I needed to do another photo shoot – this time with some See Jane Write Collective members.
So, in August of 2018, I did just that. Once again, the photos were fantastic. But once again the website redesign didn’t happen.
In 2019, I did another brand shoot as I was preparing to quit my teaching job to be a full-time writerpreneur.
In early 2020 before COVID-19 ended life and the world as we knew it, I did two more photo shoots.
But you know what I didn’t do? Redesign my effing website!!!
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always put these photos to get use, pairing them with blog posts and sharing them on my Instagram. But I kept putting on the redesign.
I’m happy to announce I have FINALLY redesigned the See Jane Write website.
And I plan to redesign my portfolio site, Javacia.com, too. Let’s hope that doesn’t take three years.
Why Your Blog Design Matters
You may be wondering why I felt a redesign was necessary in the first place.
Well, this is a lesson I learned back in 2014, the first time I redesigned my site.
After I decided to take myself seriously as a blogger and businesswoman the first item on my to-do list was to revamp the See Jane Write website. Before the redesign, people often referred to See Jane Write as a blog, which obviously wasn’t inaccurate, but I wanted the See Jane Write brand to be seen as much more.
See Jane Write is a network and it’s a business and I wanted the website to reflect that. So I moved SeeJaneWriteBham.com from Blogger to WordPress and purchased a customized BluChic theme so my site would have a more professional look.
So, did this makeover work?
Shortly after revamping my site, an acquaintance I hadn’t spoken with in nearly a year contacted me. She knew about my blogging and about See Jane Write and wanted to meet for coffee or dinner to discuss how she might use blogging to help promote a business she’d just started. I agreed to help her out and we set a date. (This was back before I learned that letting people “pick my brain” was actually called consulting and that people got paid for this.)
About a week before we were planning to meet, she sent me another email apologizing profusely for taking up my time and stating that if I needed to cancel our appointment she’d completely understand. She said she had just visited the See Jane Write website and saw that See Jane Write had become “a really big deal.” She imagined I must be sacrificing something important to make time to meet with her because I had so much going on.
A similar scenario happened with two other people soon after. At the time not much had actually changed about See Jane Write, but because my website looked more professional people assumed I was now on another level.
So, yes, the way your blog looks matters.
And I’ve been wanting to redesign my blog for the past three years because I need my site to do a better job of highlighting all that See Jane Write has to offer.
I needed a home page that included a clear call to action (such as “join our free Facebook group” and “sign up for our email list”) and one that made clear who we are, what we do, and how we can help the reader.
Why I Put Off Redesigning My Website for THREE YEARS!
So, why did I put off redesigning my blog for so long?
Emily Dickinson dwelled in possibility. I dwelled in excuses, excuses like I need new photos and a new logo. And my friend who’s a web designer says my site looks fine the way it is.
But here’s the thing – excuses are just the lies your fears have sold you. That’s a quote I came across recently on Instagram and I was butt hurt after reading it.
I feared that I wouldn’t be able to make my site look the way I wanted to look or that I’d make a horrible mistake and completely crash my site. And I feared it would just be too damn hard. I remember the redesign I did back in 2014 taking ALL DAY LONG.
But I put my big girl panties on and decided to get to work.
How I FINALLY Redesigned My Website
First, I knew I needed a good theme. Well, I already had one – that I purchased two years ago! The Maggie theme by BluChic was exactly what I needed.
Next, I gathered all of the photos and images I needed for the redesign. This wasn’t hard considering all those photo shoots. Plus, I also subscribe to two membership sites that give me access to beautiful stock images — HauteStock and CreateHerStock.
Then, I opened a Word document and wrote out all of the text I would need on my new home page.
My goal was to make my site look like the Maggie theme demo only with my images. To make this happen, I followed the tutorials offered by BluChic.
Thanks to the time I spent beforehand gathering images and writing copy, and thanks to the fact that I understand WordPress a lot more than I did in 2014, the actual redesign only took about three hours.
That’s right, I put off something for THREE YEARS that only took me THREE HOURS to do!
Please remember this the next time you find yourself procrastinating on something that you need to do for your writing or blogging life.
Just sit down and do the work, babe!
My e-course See Jane Blog offers tips on designing your blog and so much more!
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