I believe it’s the first automated email I’ve read from start to finish. Simple email wrapped in a simple design with a simple and clear message. It’s from Medium.
And it resonated. Not only am I going to start writing on Medium, but I’m also writing this post inspired solely by their email pitch.
Medium is deliberately simple. There’s nothing to set up or customize.
Having many options seems compelling, reassuring. If you don’t like how something looks or works, you can alter it. You have all the power. The power to make and break. Having many options also means you are not going to be focused, you’re going to be distracted by them, constantly thinking how you can make it better, without actually doing so.
The truth is, we don’t need much to excel, but only few are confident enough to try. And marketers know that. They know of our insecurities, of our fragile self-esteem, so they introduce all these “fail-safe systems” (for example: hundreds of WordPress theme options) which only make you feel secure.
Are you secure?
Too many options is why something didn’t get done, why you were not inspired to produce and deliver, why your website didn’t convert, why you didn’t finish writing your post (guilty of that one). Too many options is why something breaks, why one thing is not compatible with another.
Being in front of my laptop gives me many options. I can easily hit “Save Draft” button and see what’s new on Facebook, my movies are within two clicks. But I’m aware of this side of me, of all of us.
That’s why my WordPress editor looks like this –
It’s the fullscreen mode of a standard WordPress editor. It’s simple and it allows me to be undistracted and use my potential to the fullest.
“Hey, how does this relate to my website?”
Same thing happens when your readers or customers browse your website. If they’re distracted by too many things, sliders, parallax effects, moving or flashing images, they’ll be overwhelmed (opposite of focused) and you’ll not get the chance to convey your message.
The designer of your website thought of usability and accessibility, color options, contrast and fonts, so the website is readable, focused, optimized for conversions. The developer thought of responsiveness, future use of high-resolution (c-retina) screens, best possible code implementation and ease of use.
Two things you can do. Focus on:
- What you’re good at:
- What you’re not good at:
blogging, conveying unique business proposals, ideas, messages, solving people’s problems…
tweaking, adjusting, correcting, playing designer or even worse – developer.
Which of the two sounds better?
Always start with the lowest number of options. It’s the best way for you and your users. Add more only once you’re sure you need more. If you’re using WordPress, go for WordPress theme that uses best practices and focuses on clean and secure code with little options to fiddle with.
Product (eg. WordPress theme) that gives you “unlimited” options exist only because the developer was too lazy to think and placed burden of decision making on your shoulders.
Use plugins to extend your website’s functionality. Often times, free themes and plugins are coded better than the premium ones, because they go through WordPress.org review process.
Running your online business the simplest way possible gives you room to be creative, to manage things easily, to focus on the idea that reaches out to people. And idea is what resonates with people the longest. Like “Medium” resonated with me.
Your online presence says a lot about your business and a lot about you. Don’t spend too much time putting on makeup. Focus on your message.