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for actors websites

One of my most popular requests is setting up websites for actors, comedians, and improvisers. The process to do so is usually pretty quick (assuming the person has the copy for each page, I can turn it around in a day or two) and is mostly painless.

If you’re an actor looking to set up your own site, here’s what you should look to include:

1) Static Home Page

Unless you plan on updating your site daily or weekly, you should have a static homepage that has a picture of your beautiful face, a welcome message, and links to the other pertinent stuff on your site.

2) Bio Page

People searching for you want to know a little bit about you. What’s your story? Where are from? What have you done? What are you doing now? The bio is a chance to tell the world about yourself in a more personal, and humorous, manner.

3) Resume Page

In addition to the Bio, you should let people know about the awesome work you’ve done in the form of a Resume page. Include both an webpage and a downloadable PDF version so people can print out your resume if they need to.

Note: Do not include your home address on your resume; your home city / state is good enough.

4) Media Page(s)

Visitors want to see you in action, so it show them in the form of images and video. If acting is your thing, they want to see you act. If comedy is it, show a clip of you making people laugh. You can choose to have all of your media on one page or separated into images and video if you like. Either way, make sure people can see what you have to offer.

5) News Page

A simple News section of your site (done via a blog) gives you a chance to update the world on current / recent projects you’ve been working on. This shows you are a working professional and can also be great to send out to casting directors to keep them posted on the awesomeness you are creating.

6) Contact Page

After a visitor realizes how great you are, you want them to be able to get a hold of you. Your contact page does just that. You can either include your email (or embed an email form), or post the contact info for your representation.

Note: If you post your email, I recommend creating an email account (with your domain name) specifically for these inquiries.

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Why Optimize a Personal Blog?

There are a number of different sites and services that offer ways to build a website; there are hundreds of ebooks available describing the best “online marketing” strategies; there are thousands of techniques that are supposedly guaranteed to get you traffic and generate sales.  That’s all fine and dandy, but what if you just want to create a personal blog?  A blog where you aren’t concerned with selling a product, or even creating sales pages for other people’s products?

This is the current state of my website, drewtarvin.com.  I’m not trying to sell a product or generate sales for someone else- I’m just sharing my ideas, writing articles to improve my writing skills and sharing what I’ve learned, and providing a place to find out more information about some of the other stuff I do (like stand-up).  That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t love to optimize my site.  I love seeing new visitors come to the site, I like seeing what search terms people are clicking in Google to get here (recently someone searched for “heterokini” … why?).  In short, I want to increase the traffic to my site.  Maybe it’s narcissistic to think that what I write is worthy of being shared with family, friends, and strangers alike, but if I didn’t believe that, why even write publicly?

A Little Background

With that being said, I am creating a few other sites with the intention of generating income.  As a result, I’ve done a lot of research on ways to organically drive search engine traffic simply by making some simple changes.  What follows below is the steps I took during last week’s project – “Optimize My Blog.”  Many of the steps come from a couple of different online marketing guides.  While the guides themselves are great resources in and of themselves, they are all focused on making money.  The steps below are specific just to optimizing your blog, and they leave out anything related to generating sales or affiliates or more involved promotional techniques.

Note: Most of the steps are links to external resources that explain in greater detail how to do what I describe.

How to Optimize Your Personal WordPress Blog

1) Set Up Your WordPress Blog

NOTES:

2) Tweak the Navigation

NOTES:

  • Where John Cow mentions “Non-money” and “Money” pages, think in terms of “Non unique content” and “content” pages respectively.
  • Hold off on creating the robots.txt file (Part 3) for right now.
  • When linking to pages within your site, remember to “anchor” your links: http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2004/04/08/anchor-text-optimization

3) Create your Sitemap.xml file

NOTES:

  • Don’t turn on “Ping” yet.

4) Create your Robots.txt file

 

NOTES:

  • In addition to the example provided on the site, add a sitemap.xml link in your robots.txt file.
  • To create the file, just open a Notepad, copy the code from the site, save as “robots.txt” and upload to the root directory of your website.

5) Submit your Sitemap.xml and Robots.txt files

NOTES:

  • To do this, create an account http://www.google.com/webmasters/.
  • Follow the guides in Webmasters to see guides on how to submit each file.
  • Make sure you “verify” the site.

6) Test Your Site

NOTES:

7) Set Up Feedburner and All-in-One SEO

NOTES:

  • Fill out the All-in-One SEO information for the posts you want to drive more traffic to.
  • You can skip the steps related to Aweber (Steps 7-20).
  • You can sign up for feedburner at http://www.feedburner.com.
  • Once you have everything setup, make sure you add “http://ping.feedburner.com” under Update Services in “Settings -> Writing” in your WordPress blog.

What To Do Next

Once you’ve made the above changes, you’re well on your way to improving your blog for increased traffic.  The next step is to make sure you have good content and take a look at optimizing your actual articles for different keywords.  To learn more about promoting your site, or if you are interested in monetizing your site, I’ve listed the resources I’ve been using below.

A note of warning about “online marketing” sites in general.  Many sites out there will offer a free video or article talking about the next great way to make money online.  All of these sites will require an email address which they then use to try to sell you stuff through.  While you can learn a good deal for free from many of the sites, there’s a lot of garbage and spam-like email you’ll have to go through.  The links below are some of the best sites I’ve found that also don’t drown you in trying to sell you products.

  • How to Build a Business, NOT Just a Blog” – An entire ebook about optimizing your blog.  The full version of all of the John Cow articles I linked to above- definitely worth looking at for promotion strategies and if you are interested in monetizing your site.
  • The 30 Day Challenge – A “challenge” held every August to try to create a website that you earn at least $1 from within 30 days.  You can check out the site any time of year and get access to the resources from the last 30 day challenge.
  • Connected Internet – Various blog posts about how to optimize or improve your blog.

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