Last year I created a resources page on my website, filled with recommendations for the tools I used every day in my business.
Why did I create my Toolbox aka resources page? Because people would ask me, “what did you use to create that post?” Or, “where did you learn how to do that?”
I figured my experiences could help other entrepreneurs who are growing their brands, writing blogs, or developing a new website. (I put all of my resources for authors in a separate, downloadable guide.)
What I didn’t expect was the interest my little Toolbox page would generate from other vendors of competitive apps and products! I received several offers for free trials and discounted subscriptions if I would recommend their app, too. Wow!
Note: I didn’t really set out to “optimize” the page for Google … it just sort of happened.
I’ve wanted to share my resources page with you for awhile, and in researching this post, I’m now inspired to revisit my own resources page and add even more helpful content and maybe even change up the layout. #alwaysimproving
I hope you’ll be inspired, too! Especially if you don’t already have a resources page on your website.
Why you need a resources page
So you may be asking, what is a resources page and why do I need one?
Think of a resources page like a carefully curated collection of the very best information and tools about a particular business or topic. Any business can use a resources page on their website! Here’s why:
1. A resources page helps your readers and clients. It makes helpful information easy to find.
2. People love free stuff. And, when they see a curated collection of relevant and helpful links and tools, they’re more likely to bookmark your page.
3. A resources page can drive web traffic back to your page. You can create clickable posts for Pinterest, tweet about it, or post to social media: “20 Tools I Used to DIY My Website” or whatever purpose your page serves.
4. It builds authority and credibility. You’re seen as the hub of valuable information. The clearinghouse and curator. The teacher. The expert. How cool would it be for someone to ask themselves, “I wonder how I would do X. Oh, I bet Sue can tell me.” And here they come, right back to Sue’s resources page to find their answer.
5. You can support other businesses. A resources page isn’t just for your content (although you can certainly make it so). If you do choose to put other people’s content (links, books, courses, posts) on your page, make sure to let the other person know and send them a link to your resources page.
6. You can post affiliate links. If you’re an affiliate for products or services that make sense for your resources page, by all means post your affiliate link! Just make sure you make a proper disclosure at the top of the page.
And, the biggest reason of all: a resources page can help your Google ranking. According to the Content Marketing Institute, a resources page “increases the stickiness of your website.” Unlike gum on your shoe, stickiness on the Internet is a good thing. Meaning, visitors are more likely to stay and browse a resources page, to link to it and to share it, and to come back to it. Sticky, see?
How to organize your resources page
Are you convinced yet? Creating a resources page is surprisingly easy. But before we get to the 8 ideas for what to put on your resources page, let’s talk about how to organize it.
There are two basic ways to organize the content on your Resources page:
- by type of content; or
- by topic.
Organizing by content means you put all of your e-books together, all infographics together, all podcasts together.
Organizing by topic means just that—regardless of the format of the content, if it relates to topic Y, it goes under the Topic Y heading. My Toolbox page is organized by these topics:
- Website design
- Creating graphics
- Styled stock photos
- Social media
- Making videos
- People I follow
No matter which method you use, keep these rules of thumb in mind:
- Use images where possible;
- Create a live link to the resource;
- Keep your page looking neat and organized;
- Verify the links are good every quarter or so (schedule this on your calendar).
Now that you have a framework for organizing your resources page, let’s talk about what to put there.
8 things you can put on your resources page
To help you organize your thoughts on the contents of your resources page, I created a worksheet for you that goes through each of these 8 ideas. Download it by clicking on the image below.
As you read through these ideas, some may resonate more than others. You don’t have to do them all! Use the ideas that make the most sense for your business and your readers and clients.
1. Your freebies.
Putting all of your free downloads in one place is the easiest way to create a resources page. You already have everything you need at your fingertips to make this happen … like, tonight.
Adding your freebies on a resources page is a great option if you have more awesome freebies than the one you’re currently highlighting and featuring on your site.
Think about past freebies—both signature lead magnets (the ones you featured on your homepage or blog sidebar, for example) and content upgrades (a freebie you wrote for a blog post). What earned you the most sign-ups? What did your clients rave about? Start with those.
There are a couple ways you can list your freebies:
- If your freebies are just one aspect of your resources page, simply put an image of your freebie; a brief description of what your reader will learn, or the instant result they’ll have; and then a link or button to your opt-in form where they can enter their email address to receive the free download.
- If your resources page will be only populated by your freebies—such as all of your content upgrades—consider making your resources page password-protected. This is what Melyssa Griffin does on her website. While “FREE RESOURCES” appears in the top navigation bar on her homepage, clicking on it brings up an opt-in box. Once you opt in there (or indeed on any of her blog content upgrades), you’re “in” to the resource library where you have access to all her upgrades—no need to keep opting in. You’ll receive an email with the password to enter the library. (I’m so digging this; it’s on my website expansion plan!) And Emily Ley makes her library of printables accessible right after you enter your email address.
2. Links to other people’s freebies.
Remember the original Miracle on 34th Street movie with Natalie Wood? There was a scene where Santa directed a customer to a rival department store to find what the customer was looking for. The store owner was furious … until he received more than 500 messages from parents thanking the store for their help in finding what their children wanted. Sending people elsewhere can ensure they come back to you.
Sure, one of the reasons to create a resources page is to add to your audience and your email list. Sometimes, though, referring your potential clients to other people’s freebies (and therefore to their email lists) just makes sense. Remember, you want to be known as the person with the best insights and information—the authority.
Be sure to let the freebie owner know that you’re recommending their work! Chances are, they will reciprocate in some way either now or in the future. #collaborationovercompetition
3. Links to apps or tools you use.
No matter what business or industry you’re in, there’s probably an app, a piece of software, or some kind of tool that you find helpful in running your business. Others will find it helpful, too, and will thank you for leading them to it.
4. Links to courses you’ve taken and recommend.
Sharing with people how you got to where you are is a great way to build a relationship, to show transparency and authenticity. You’re saying, “I’ve been where you are, and this helped me. Maybe it can help you, too.” Hello, guru.
By now you’re probably having some ideas about what you can put on your resources page. Keep track of it all on the worksheet I created for you. Click below to get your copy and print it out.
5. Answers to frequently asked questions.
An FAQ page adds so much value to your website! If you’re a service-based business, an FAQ page can let potential clients know what to expect working with you.
If you’re a product-based business, an FAQ page can answer your customer’s questions 24/7—especially helpful if your live chat is only during business hours.
One of my clients came to me after learning that 90 percent of their mortgage customers start their applications on a Sunday night when their bank is closed. We’re writing up an FAQ page to directly address those potential clients’ needs.
If this sounds ideal for your website, take a deeper dive on FAQ pages here.
6. Links to books you’ve used in your business or life.
You’ve probably read a book or two on the recommendation of a friend (or a stranger) that changed your life. Be that person for someone else!
7. Links to people you follow, admire and learn from.
I’m a firm believer in passing on great information, and I’m happy to refer people to my teachers and mentors.
8. Links to articles you find helpful, entertaining or informative.
Maybe the only thing people like more than free stuff is a shortcut. There are millions of blogs and billions of articles online. Curating a collection of the best that you’ve come across on your business, topic, or industry is a surefire way to build your credibility.
Are you inspired? Swimming with ideas? Overwhelmed? Make sense of everything you just read by downloading the companion worksheet.
I hope you’ll use these tips to create an amazing resources page that works for you and your clients. Leave me a comment below if you have any questions about this topic or suggestions for future posts.