Last weekend I spent five hours building my first landing page from scratch. I’m not a very good coder and in the past I’ve always used a designer to help me out so it was a real baptism of fire.
Despite my many, many missteps I made it out of the end with the highest converting landing page I’ve ever worked on, including those with other designers (here’s the page).
In this guide I’m going to walk you past all of the pitfalls that ate away at my time so you can go straight to the things that worked. There’s even a few options that will help you make a landing page in less than 30 minutes.
I don’t very often rise to blog posts but today’s bait was too rage-inducing, too nonsensical that it didn’t seem right to let it pass by unchecked, lest it taint people’s minds with unreasoned biased ramblings.
The blog post that caught my attention was “The Death of the Digital Marketing Agency” by Logan Hall.
The first rule of any “X is dead” blog post is that the person writing it always has an agenda. In Logan’s case his entire argument is formed around the concept that growth hacking is a superior model and lo and behold he works for a growth hacking agency.
For the past few months I’ve been working hard on a marketing bundle that represents exceptional value. It includes videos, guides and a detailed breakdown of the marketing tools that changed my life all for the low low price of absolutely free.
The single greatest fear I have with the agencies and freelancers that I work with is that they’ll leave.
Of the many companies I’ve worked with over the years I think I could name every single person who worked on my projects but I doubt I could name every agency. These were people I worked with day-in day-out for years and when they went it was hard to build up that same bond with their successors.
Sadly agencies often don’t make this easy for themselves.
When I was back in agency land I’d hear the phrase “just ship it” mentioned all the time, in presentations, blog posts and conversations with other specialists. It felt like a battle cry, a valiant call to complete projects against all odds.
But now I see things differently.
Since moving client-side I’ve come to appreciate that “just ship it” is not realistic for the way the majority of businesses work. Worst of all, it can serve as a form of marketing hara-kiri completely derailing the potential of projects or increasing the risk of a critical mess that can’t be easily cleaned up.
One of the first jobs I ever had was a temp job inputting data from paper files into a digital system. It wasn’t the most stimulating job so I made a game out of how quickly I could input the data whilst getting no errors.
Being young and eager to please I also thought that completing the work quickly would please my superiors. So I rattled through the files as quick as I could, finishing the work a couple of days early.
It turns out my superiors were pleased but not for the reason I wanted. The work was completed early so there was no longer anything for us to do. They let us all go early without pay. My haste to do an efficient job had cost me a few days of work.
It’s easy to write Inbox Zero off as a gimmick.
I did for years, seeing the cries of “Inbox Zero” from people who had successfully whittled their emails down to nothingness as the strangest of achievements to be proud of.
After all, having no emails in your inbox doesn’t mean you have no work to do. It just means that you’ve moved things around in a way that gives your brain a satisfying rush of knowing something is off your too do list. Out of sight, out of mind.
But then what happens? With every email squirrelled away you’ve no idea what you’re waiting on, what you need to do next or where projects are, without traipsing through all of your email folders.
Not every piece of content will go viral and not every piece of work will become an instant bestseller. Even the best writers create content that fall flat or that doesn’t really get the traction they were hoping for.
But that’s ok.
Writing can be tricky to get right and audiences can be fickle. Not to mention that reaching your audience is never as easy as just pressing ‘publish’ and waiting for your millions.
So when that feeling of failure comes give this list a read and remember there are thousands of other writers feeling the exact same way as you do right now.
In the past year I’ve spent more of my budget on the companies that cold emailed me than those who spent hours crafting targeted messages.
Every bit of my marketing training tells me that’s impossible and yet I can’t deny the fact that cold emails and calls do work. This week alone I’ve spent thousands on a company as a result of one email out of the blue and I spent nothing on companies I already knew.
It’s safe to say I have some element of pride for my University. After all it’s the place I spent four years of my life and racked up tens of thousands of pounds worth of student loan debts. Sure they fell down the league tables in the years I was there and never recovered (not my fault, honest) but they pad out on my CV at least.
Through presents over the years I’ve accumulated an Aston University tie, cufflinks, pens and even a teddy bear. I’m almost on my way to start my own branded merchandise Generation Game. So when I saw an Aston University hoody advertised on Facebook I figured it was worth a look.
Everything looked great until I actually read the text: