Welcome to the new site! The Work Blog is where you’ll find my thoughts about marketing, content, writing, and other professional tangents.
But before kicking off the first series(!) of blog posts, I want to address two questions I’ve fielded several times over the last year from friends and clients.
- Why are you rebranding and building a new site?
- Why is it taking so long? (D’oh!)
“Why?” is one of my favorite questions. So, I get it.
I planned to overhaul my website. Then I moved.
In mid-2019, I started planning an overdue facelift of my longtime portfolio site. Its URL was a remnant from the days I focused solely on public relations and media relations.
With that in mind, my priorities were to:
- Move the site over to AlisonLRoberts.com — which I’d owned for well over a decade; and
- Update its responsive design and visuals from 2016 standards to present-day standards.
Not such a big deal.
So, I upgraded to a hosting service that included non-public development and staging areas. (More room to experiment!)
I threw up a simple splash page. Started testing theme designs. And began teaching myself how to use WordPress’s new block editor, which was super buggy at that point.
Then I moved into a new apartment, which gave me enough room to pull all my things out of storage. (Awesome!) The rest of 2019 — outside of client work — was spent unpacking, cleaning, and deodorizing the aforementioned items.
Then 2020 happened. And things started shutting down because of COVID-19.
Many of my new business leads came from attending in-person events, so this was a problem.
I wasn’t prepared to see my non-referral new business opportunities disappear overnight. And I wasn’t the only person in this situation.
While I couldn’t affect a worldwide pandemic, I was sure I could (eventually) figure out a way to attract more non-referral new clients online.
Being remote isn’t a big deal for me. My work over the past two decades has regularly involved collaborating with people thousands of miles away, often in different time zones.
On to AlisonLRoberts.com Plan B…
My plans for the site changed. Soon, it became clear I also needed to update my personal brand.
“Isn’t that part of what you do?”
Yes. Yes, it is.
My business is always evolving and shifting. However, working out the details of my new-and-improved website brought home how much my business and I have changed in five years. I’m in a very different place.
What I want out of life and work has changed, too.
One of the things I enjoy most about my career: What I did for employers and do for clients genuinely works.
It helps their great work go further. It makes them part of the conversation. The first names mentioned when opportunities arise.
Who doesn’t want that?
I want that for my clients.
For the first time — in a long while — I want that for myself, too.
(I’m also my own best and worst client, but that’s a post of its own.)
The site’s plans changed. Again.
This is where I rebuilt the entire site from the ground up.
With a solid idea of what I now wanted and needed to do, I scrapped everything (again) in Spring 2021. Here’s the gist and why.
Going forward, all my work will live on AlisonLRoberts.com.
1. Too many people know me as “Alison with [insert client or employer name].”
Nice but not optimal.
2. Apparently, more clients than I realized hire me because of my personal blog.
They view it as a companion to my portfolio site. (I asked.) Let’s make it easier for them to find everything in one place.
As a result, this site will soon feature two separate and distinct blogs.
For example: If you only want to check out marketing and writing posts, you won’t also have to see my Mostly Play blog posts featuring Keigo Higashino’s latest mystery novel, K-pop, or cat photos.
3. Let’s also make it easier for people to find me via the search engines.
With multiple sites, I was competing against myself. Merging the sites will give me a better shot to rank on the search results pages.
4. “Let’s make it easier,” part 3: Ongoing maintenance, future upgrades, and more content.
It takes less money and time to build and maintain a single site.
Over the long run, I’ll also have more resources to invest into future projects, infrastructure upgrades, plugins, and tools to improve and promote the site. (Some of these, like the ability to schedule calls online, are already live. More are in the works.)
It will also allow me to spend more time writing. I’m psyched!
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes — even if you can’t see it, yet.
So please take a look around the new digs. Also, reach out if you have any suggestions or questions. I want to hear from you.
Until next post!