I started writing this post about keeping readers around and converting them to customers, the answer was the ‘Start Here‘ page, but as I read about them and researched more it’s become very clear this page does so much more! So lets get started…
ManageWP has a great post on the topic, on one of their tests readers completed 3 times more actions and remained on the site 3 times as long, just by adding a Start Here page!
To get started we want to be thinking about where does your customer have to be before you can sell to them? To answer this we need to go backwards, to go forwards
So, let’s start at the end – what does your ideal customer have? what are they able to do? What do they understand very well? What sort of position are they in? These are the must haves and must be able to’s
For me a customer must have:
- a site (a domain address and hosting package,
- wordpress installed on said site
- a business idea
- business name or trading name
- Use a mac
- Want to push boundaries
- Question the status quo
- Are willing to take risks
- Know what they like and what they don’t like
- Can afford to invest heavily in my services! :P
Now your turn, fill this in:
My customer must have:
My customer must be able to:
Ideally my customer has:
So now we know where our people should be, before our services are of any use to them, next we need to get them there.
With each of your points, write a possible post title, write 3 if you can. If it’s more suitable maybe you can make a video, a tutorial – maybe a audio file will do, or an episode to go on your podcast.
Whatever you can do to get your customer to where they need to be, is great use of your time. The sooner they get there, the sooner you can help them.
Another approach is the Popular Posts route. You can use a widget but that quite arbitrarily chooses posts on views or comments, and this isn’t usually the best because they may well not be the most useful to a new starter.
When you’ve created some content (even just one bit), create a Start Here page for your visitors.
How to structure your about page
Best way to structure it I reckon is to think of it as a slippery slope, start of with some posts that will give people immediate results and then as you go down the page they get a little more time consuming and might not pay off as fast. The further people go down your slope though the more likely they will start to see the need for your service or product. Can’t help to slip in the odd ‘Buy this to get X result’ which is a pure sell move.
WPMUDev recommends to go about it like this:
Think of your reader turning up, two questions they are going to be asking in their head are:
- Is this blog for me?
- If it is, where is the content that is of most interest to me
How to get people to come to the Start Here page
Make it very prominent, some make it the only thing you can do… Some even make it their homepage!
People should start on your Start Here page and by the end of it be in prime position to make the best use of your services.
Some great examples of Start Here pages are:
Pat Flynn and Smart Passive Income
Pat is a great leader in the passive income industry and I have no doubts you will come across his path continually! This is an excellent example of a home page, the colours, branding, imagery is all spot on. For our interests we want to look at the Start Here stuff – Home page, right there green, a complementary colour the red that is predominantly all over the site makes it really stand out. The blurb before hand primes you, and then the big button makes it super easy to get to that start up page, which looks like this:
I’ve sliced it up a bit to get it all in here, but you can see there is a Getting Started; what it is, what it isn’t, what to expect and a free book. All this information is exactly what someone would need to be where Pat needs you to start benefiting from his blog and podcast.
Additionally, Pat includes some videos which makes for a very digestible method for readers to get on board.
I love this Start Here page, I’d personally swap the order, but they have chosen to start with telling you about themselves, getting on their email list and then some good reads you consume to really know what they are about. It then leads into a series of headlines with posts to help and expand your knowledge of the topics. I absolutely loved going these posts, I saw what I wanted and just absorbed everything, opened up 100million tabs and just got stuck in!
Kenzie and Hello Neverland
A nice little blog called Hello Neverland goes with the popular posts approach, you read those and once through you have a feel for her blog, her ability and then her consulting package will make sense to you. On first look I thought maybe the page is posigned badly on the site. It’s not immediately visible BUT it is once you go to click on the About page (Which is the second most visite page on your site) so in a way, Kenzie catches you if you don’t want the about page quite yet or are more interested in taking some steps forward.
Katie and WellnessMama
Katie is another great example, similar to The Minimalists she uses headings and her most popular posts to guide you through the site and make the most amount of impact on your life. You’ll see the page is in the primary navigation and the page is actually called ‘Wellness 101’ which is cool, I like that!
Leo Babauta and ZenHabits
Leo runs one of the most popular blogs in the world. So you have to expect every page is going to be absolutley on point. and it is. Interesting to see his start here page is just popular posts but its that introductory couple of paragraphs I want to bring your attention to.
It does a really good job of instilling everything Leo preaches on his site. Taking a breath, starting, taking small steps. you start with his most popular posts, he recommends you pick what interests you most first. After that leo guides you over to the archvies and and then over to an About Leo. You can find out about him and how he works somethings that are very important to him and further down the page, finally you come across the pitch, to buy some books.
Last of all, if you liked all that, sign up to the newslater. Leo’s site is super minimalist so these pitches really dont set off your PITCH ALERT alarms or anything like that. They are very soft, humble pitches. It’s a nice slope into beneficial living and techniques, an option to support Leo and then to join the readership.
*inhale and slow breath out* Mmmmmm, zen!
Combined with a great homepage and about page, the start here page is critical in making your website profitable. Drop yours in the comments below and I’ll have a lil butchers at what you’ve got and maybe give you some things to think about (if your open to it). Let me know, drop a comment.
Mentioned earlier but ManageWP has a great post on the topic.
Example mentioned in the above post; Leaving Work Behind
PaidToExist have a very good start here page. Similar to the above examples, its uses the Introduce, and Most Useful Categorised approach.
Pat Flynn runs a post similar to this here. Worth a read too!