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ysabetwordsmith in crowdfunding

How to Make a Landing Page

Recently, flutterbychild asked what a landing page is and what should go on one.  The discussion turned up several other folks who have built landing pages inspired by mine for the Poetry Fishbowl, or at my recommendation.  I figured that this topic deserved a post of its own, so that more people can see it and talk about it.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is the go-to place for your project, the page where you want outside links to point.  For new viewers, it provides a comfortable starting point.  For regular fans, it's a reference for navigating through favorite material.  For people who might want to review your project or nominate it for an award, such as the Rose and Bay Award, it presents key information in a concise format.  This way people don't just get dumped into the middle of an ongoing project with no idea what it's about or where to begin.

What should be on a landing page?

Landing page composition varies somewhat from one project to another, depending on the crowdfunding model, the medium, and other factors.  Some essentials are discussed in "5 Steps to Crowdfunding Success," and then there are additional options.

Every landing page should feature:
*  The project's name
*  The creator's name
*  A clear, concise summary of the project with a pointer to its core content
*  Description and/or pointers to audience interaction options
*  A donation button and/or other crowdfunding income options
* A way for people to contact you (courtesy of eseme

You may also want to include:
* A calendar or other indication of upcoming activities, updates, appearances, etc.
*  Links to the project's pages on outside sites such as Facebook, Top Web Comics, Web Fiction Guide, etc.
*  Links to reviews, interviews, or other outside materials relating to the project
*  Links to places where people can buy related projects such as art prints, hardcopy books, etc.
*  Tags, hashtags, and other data management labels associated with your project
*  A table of contents for installments, sessions, or other parts of the main project content
*  A guide to supplemental materials such as fan art or perk posts
*  A list of the donor or participant perks offered as part of the project
*  An honor roll of donors and/or other supporters

What are some other considerations for designing a good landing page?

The quality of your landing page can determine whether or not a casual visitor bothers to look at your project's core content.  So a good landing page needs to be as user-friendly and sticky as possible.

Accessibility -- Make sure that the information on your landing page is legible, including for people with disabilities.  Remember that folks can't support your project if they can't perceive it easily.  Read some accessibility guidelines and use an accessibility checker for help with this aspect of web design.

Polish -- Present clean, accurate information on your landing page.  Do your proofreading, fact-checking, link-verifying, and other homework before publishing and promoting the page.  Crowdfunding involves money, so display good professional bearing.  A sloppy project is unlikely to attract much support, whereas a sleek one has a much better chance of success.

Clarity -- A good landing page provides all the basic information that viewers typically want, in a manner that is easy for people to find and use.  The most important items (see the list of what should be on every landing page) should be visible at a glance.  Additional material should be neatly labeled and logically organized.  Put key concepts first, with details underneath.

Charm -- Aesthetic appeal helps a landing page attract and hold viewer attention.  This can include aspects of website design and layout, images, color choice, font selection, phrasing, and so forth.  A garish page may drive people away while an elegant page makes them want to stick around.  Each element on the page should work with the others to create a harmonious whole, smoothly directing viewer attention to the important points without jerking people around.  The overall experience of visiting the page should be enjoyable so that people want to bookmark your landing page for future reference and then explore your project in depth.

Over to you...

Creators: Do you have a landing page for your project(s)?  If so, what do you have on it?
Supporters: What makes a landing page useful to you?  Does it make a difference whether you are new to a project, or a regular?
What else do folks think is important about landing page design and content?


Add to the must-have list:

A method to contact you, the creator.

Having had to contact a number of creators or the Rose and Bay Awards, this is something that everyone needs, and it is not always there. You want this to be clear and easy to find.

People may need to contact you for all sorts of reasons, awards are just one. Please make it easy!

Good point!

I've added this above.