About the Blog

Its about anything and everything. I, Steven Hancock started this blog for a variety of reasons. I want to start documenting my life and sharing that with others, whether that's family, friends, strangers or my future self. I also want to start sharing my experiences with others in hopes that others can learn from me. Perhaps I can help someone set up an Ubuntu server, write a Django Web Application, or setup a Phonegap Mobile App.

That's it. I'm hear to share. Nothing more, nothing less. I will be covering a wide variety of topics so feel free to browse for the blog entries that interest you most.

Designing Your Personal Website [Part 4-B] - My Content

February 26, 2015

This is the second half of the 4th instalment of a series of blog posts on Designing Your Personal Website. The copy of your site will be what you base your design on, what attracts visitors, as well as what influences visitors to take action. It is not overly hard to write adequate copy, all you have to do is have a rough idea of what the purpose of your site is and do some proofreading. In order to write strong copy, you have to do a lot more. The first half of this blog post explained what you need to do, this later half demonstrates what I did.

Persona

My website will have three main characteristics to it's personality: professional, data focused, and knowledgable. To accomplish this I'm going to have to get away a little bit from my normal, playful, sarcastic self. I will have to play up what I have focused on for the last three years, my career. I'll make the icons, images, and special effects all mimic data visualization techniques, with charts & tables. My content will be focused on spreading knowledge, so I'll be making my Twitter feed and blog prominent.

Goals

What's the point of having a shiny new website if you aren't going to use it to accomplish some goals? In order to achieve the goals that I set out in Part 2 I have to do two things:

  • write good content full of SEO optimized keywords and phrases
  • create effective call to actions for people to contact me and/or read my blog

To discover great keywords and phrases I leveraged Google AdWords Keyword Planner. You can choose some common key words and quickly gain insight on which phrases are better than others. With this knowledge I compiled a list of phrases that I want to use throughout my site:

  • Data Scientists
  • LinkedIn Data Scientists
  • Data Analyst
  • Business Intelligence
  • Data Analytics
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Big Data Companies
  • Big Data analyst
  • Business Data analyst
  • Business Systems
  • Data analyst responsibilities
  • Data management
  • Data mining
  • Statistics

What about the call to actions? I want people to contact me, and I want them to read my blog. How am I going to create an effective call to action? I'll show value, create urgency, make it easy, and provide specific actionables.

For getting people to contact me, I'll have to demonstrate that I have some expertise, through the content of the site, blog, and Twitter. I'll also guarantee a response. I'll allow for easy contact by having prefilled Tweets, a contact form, and all other forms of social media available with just a click. I'll provide specifics on what to contact me about with prefilled Tweets to lower the barrier for action. Urgency is hard to create. It's not like I can say "Only the first five emails will get answered". However, I think if I hammer away at acting now, instead of procrastinating, I can create a sense of urgency.

Getting people to my blog will be easier than getting people to contact me because it is already simple (click a button) and doesn't take a large commitment. I'll create urgency by making the user feel like they are missing out on valuable information. Like the contacting call to action, the blog call to action value will have to show through the website's content. If I look knowledgeable there, users will infer that the blog is full of useful information. I'm going to use the blog's RSS feed to provide specific topics that users can read about if they click through to the blog.

Structure

I came up with a rough content structure for my website. The plan is to have a header that will contain the navigation and call to actions. I plan on having an expanded version of the header that will would show on the main page and maybe appear just above the footer on other pages that will allow me to add descriptive content to the header. Of course I'll have some main content, this content will not be overly beefy. Lastly I'll have a footer that will contain a sitemap as well as social media content. The social media container will have a Twitter stream, blog stream, links to my LinkedIn, Facebook, GitHub profiles as well as a quick link to my contact form.

YES, the content outline is done! I'm so excited that I've already started work on a wireframe. I may actually start coding next month!