You’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve walked into a bit of a different world on my Unashamedly Creative website of late. Almost two thirds of the old content is gone, photos have been replaced with drawings, and now an events calendar has appeared.
Are things changing? Quite frankly, yes they are. But as they say, a change is as good as a holiday. Let me explain what is happening.
Bye, bye old content
It was extremely flattering to find out Unashamedly Creative have been popped on a few blog lists as a great marketing resource for freelancers, small businesses and startups. I went back through my old content checking out what was useful.
I personally wasn’t pleased with the result.
Being the little greenie I am, I went through and repurposed and upcycled my content as much as I could. But there were a significant amount of posts that felt a little obsolete, dated or otherwise irrelevant. So despite the shock and dismay from Google loving copywriters and fellow word nerds, I deleted what I felt no longer added value.
My main aim with writing blog posts on the Unashamedly Creative site is to help people understand more of the world of marketing, content, copywriting and social media. I know how frustrating it is to go to a site and read a post that is super helpful, only to go and read a recommended post only to find it’s completely irrelevant. So yes, despite all the keywords, fresh content, volume of posts and so forth, I’ve shed a lot of my old blog posts.
The downside is it looks like I don’t blog regularly when in fact I do. Another downside is I am having trouble finding a suitable redirect for old links that no longer exist (which is probably worse than the old content hanging about).
On the upside, my traffic has increased by 20%, the amount of pages people read and length they spend on the site has tripled, and my abandon rate is lower than 15% for the 2nd month running.
So despite being nervous, this risk appears to have paid off. It’s certainly helping me gain clarity on planning future content, too.
Say no to the stock photo
Anyone who’s tuned into Unashamedly Creative blog posts on a regular basis will probably notice I am not a fan of the standard stock photo. I started by using my own photographs, I then replaced these with things found on the web. Now I have started doing photographs of what I doodle when planning out ideas.
I figure scooping out the inner workings of my brains and thought process may actually assist with the process of understanding how I have come to some conclusions and why I do the things I do.
The downside is I probably don’t look as professional as everyone else out there. And I understand that may not appeal to some people.
But just like holding firm on not using my own name, having creative in the title despite not offering design, or not chasing Google rankings like a dog with a bone, sharing that little piece of my brain is important to me.
As a visual person, I can’t stand reading what could be cracking blog posts with arrow graphs and teams of actors in suits. It cheapens the message a little, makes it a little ‘paint by numbers’. I’m not saying mine are brilliant by any stretch, but at least I can recognise my website in a crowd!
An upside to using your own process photos is that if Google does start cracking down on photos that have no image credits, I won’t have to worry. It also means I can experiment with using my drawings, photos and see if other people like that approach.
I’m still experimenting in the visual side of things, but again, I think the change is a necessary one.
There are two things that terrify me in real life- needles and public speaking.
In 1998, I got my nose pierced so that I could prove to myself that the needle didn’t have much control over me. I ended up having to leave a big tip for taking up a chilled out Maori guy’s entire afternoon as he talked me through the process. And for picking me off the floor after I fainted. Ahem.
But I wore that reminder of my bravery for 8 or so proud years before we had a ring cutting ceremony at a local pub with a huge crowd of friends cheering me on.
In 2013, I won’t be piercing anything, but it’s time I move from behind the scenes of marketing and start doing events and training.
It’s ironic because I am a qualified events producer who began their big kid’s adventure studying acting. The standing up in front of people sharing myself (without a character, or without a run sheet) makes me drop fruit in my loom.
However I need to do this because my business is changing. Being involved in events and offering additional services to help with businesses, startups and freelancers understanding marketing and content. I want to help people, so this seems like the next logical step.
Marketing, content and beyond
The long awaited content eBook is ready (I’m wrestling with plugins currently). I have also charted out a bunch of podcasts I want to share as Unashamedly Creative, as well as maybe another name (oooh, secret squirrel!). And you’ll see a few more additions to the mix over the next few months.
I also need to work out when to take a decent amount of time off. Considering I have had 10 days off in two years and I work weekends, I think I’m probably due. Of course my version of a holiday will still be doing work (it is my personal crack after all!), but just not for other people. It’ll be for me.
I think it’s a smart move for any freelancer to come back to their own goals from time to time to avoid being swallowed whole by client’s needs. I love my clients, but I do have to think about my marketing, my content and my business needs, too.
This is all for you, too.
I would love to hear your input on what you would or wouldn’t participate in. I am happy to experiment with events, podcasts and eBooks. The ultimate goal is to ensure I help people, and of course have a steady flow of clients.
So what would you join in on? What would you expect for free? What would you pay for? What things do you think “if only I could find someone who could…”?
Share them below.