Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Although I consider myself as something of an artist, I’m going to say to you now…
“Don’t do it!”
You don’t need to have loads of distracting gimmicks… Leave the fancy graphics alone and stick with using words to interest your website visitors. You could use a ‘letter’ approach, like Gary Halbert does at his site www.thegaryhalbertletter.com
Alternatively, take a look at www.your-first-website.com as an example of how you might like to present your own first website… it is the new website that inspired ‘How To Design Your First Website’ blog.
The main thing about the website is that it maintains simplicity. There is nothing clever happening here and it certainly isn’t a perfect example of a website. What www.your-first-website.com does show you is an easy to create style of website that you are easily capable of creating.
Yes, you will point out that it does include pictures. However, it only uses images where they are relevant and offer value to the web page reader. Most importantly, from website performance perspective, they are images that have been edited to load quickly so that the web page loads fast.
Otherwise, the look of the website is very crisp, clean and simple…
“Do you think you could design a simple website like this?”
I reckon you can.
In the next blog I‘ll show you where you can get a really good free web page editing tool unless you have already found it at www.your-first-website.com
p.s. Please excuse the reference to my website but if I don't refer to it I can't show you how simple it is for you to produce a successful website of your own.
Monday, January 29, 2007
It might be called the ‘common cold’ but for me it is getting too common for my liking… this is the second this winter. There have been sniffles, sneezes, tickly coughs, catarrh, stomach cramps, aching, headaches, tiredness, dizziness and shivering. It’s been a head cold, chest cold and chill.
This is one free gift I could have done without receiving. It is a viral gift that has been quickly shared between lots of people I know.
And, trying to work through it has been like thinking through fog and talking through treacle (have I got that right?).
Whatever… with thanks to the medical aid of paracetamol that is enough of talk about sickness and illness for now.
I’m sure you have, at some time, been scared by the thought of writing. You might be thinking “It’s a big thing… too big for me”. There might be thoughts going through your head like: -
“I don’t know who it is I am writing to”
“I don’t know what they want to know”
“Will they like me?”
“Should I change what I’ve written?"
Yes, it is a big thing… and don’t forget it. And the thing to remember most is that it is the start that is the biggest threat of all. If you don’t begin with the first letter of the first word…
“Your story is dead”
This is a shame because you know what you want to say but, perhaps, you can’t quite figure out the best way of saying it.
So, rather than try to let you wade through thick slimy mud, like I feel I‘m struggling through with this cold, I’m going to give you a free boost. It is a gift from a distinguished copywriting expert that could teach quite a few writers a trick or two.
Here’s where the sound of a fanfare should sound, as I present to you the one and only Gary Halbert and his incredible online resource at www.thegaryhalbertletter.com
I’m not going to say much more for the moment… I’ll let a real expert speak.
If you are worried about what to write and how you to write, Gary Halbert’s FREE archive gives you more than enough ideas to get your pen moving and help get your words flowing.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
- Words that speak your message to your visitors
- Words that describe
- Words that inspire
- Words that create interest
- Words that convince words that asks questions
- Words that command
- Words of action
I listed the seven secrets for your web page words in an earlier posting, “How to start your first web page”. I don’t suppose they looked too important to you as you read through.
Well, it might surprise you more when I let you into an even greater secret… I made the list up as I wrote the blog.
There you go… the list didn’t strike me as being so important.
Strange really, that I hadn’t thought more deeply about a simple made up list. Yet, a few days later I’m not so sure that I wasn’t closer to the heart of the truth than I had realized. Like you, I’ve read so many lists of ‘power’ words and ‘secret’ strategies for this and that.
However, some of the writing about the so called ‘magic’ in the words is beautiful in itself. Often, as much as I try to resist, some of the words do have influence upon the way I think, feel and act. I know that my response as an intelligent person should be negative but, try as I can, the words do have strength and control. Occasionally, when I know I should resist, I am hooked by the best writing.
There you have it, “I admit that I’m a sucker for a good story”
Now, take another look at the list. Each line describes elements of the best stories, news articles and books ever written.
I don’t know about you… “I think I’ll consider this list a little more seriously now and begin to look for the secrets I‘m now certain it contains”
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
You wouldn’t expect me to say otherwise, would you?
Yet, it is true. At the beginning you really don’t need fancy or expensive software. You don’t even need to worry about the internet at all.
You don’t believe me? I don’t blame you.
All I am going to say to you here is that ‘It is the words you use that are important’
Words that speak your message to your visitors…
- Words that describe
- Words that inspire
- Words that create interest
- Words that convince words that asks questions
- Words that command
- Words of action
There, it is simple. All you really have to worry about at the beginning of making a web page is ‘words’.
By recognizing that your words are going to be the key to the power and success of your website is an advantage to you. It is an advantage because you can write down your words using pen and paper, if you wish. Alternatively, almost all computers will be installed with a basic word processing package.
A basic word processing package of any description can be used by anyone to write. Your story can be written without any restriction. You don’t have to worry about grammar or spelling as you write your first thoughts. You don’t have to concern yourself with anything other than getting your ideas for your website recorded.
You don’t need me to remind you of spelling and grammar checker tools that come with modern word processors, so I won’t.
Another way of recording your ideas is to use a memo recorder. I have found that a low cost MP3 player with an inbuilt microphone is great for capturing ideas. It is small and portable and surprisingly effective, allowing you to record ideas at the moment they come to mind.
Mobile telephones seem to be equally useful.
Don’t get frantic with worry about the detail of website construction and design… it isn’t worth the heartache. Just get down your website ideas, whichever way you want to.
I guess that is why I am finding writing a ‘blog’ so interesting. Rather than having to concern myself with the precision I think is required of a website the words can flow along with my thoughts… pretty good practice for writing a website, in fact.
See, it is simple to start work on the first webpage of your website.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Very simply, because your mind could be seeing a website consisting of tens, if not hundreds of inter-related web pages you will quickly be overwhelmed by difficulties.
Why overload yourself with unknown difficulties when you can take an easier path “One step at a time”?
By thinking as a spider, about to construct one of the miracles of natural world engineering, a spider’s web, the first strand is most important of all. Without that first strand there can be no web.
Oh, yes, I can hear all of the experts saying that you should be planning the structure and layout for your website on scraps of paper, to make absolutely certain that nothing can go wrong. Well, that is great for them. No doubt they have been creating webpages and working on websites for years.
They might be lucky to think with a fixed logical mind that structures every move they make. But, we aren’t all made like that, are we?
In truth, like the rest of the human race, they can physically concentrate upon doing only one thing at a time. Their advantage is that they have already gained the experience you seek and can anticipate the stages that you aren‘t aware of. This doesn’t mean that it is difficult or beyond your future capability when you find a way to take pressure from yourself.
So, what does this ‘One Web Page Website’ approach give you?
- It allows you to concentrate on what you want your website to do.
- It allows you to find out what your visitors want to know.
- It allows you to concentrate upon what you want to say.
- It allows you to concentrate upon how you want to say it.
- It allows you to make mistakes.
- It doesn’t cost a huge amount.
I’ve found that it is much easier to start a website when I haven’t tried to do too much. I haven’t had to worry about covering all the angles. There hasn’t been unnecessary detail to get in the way of achieving a result.
The main advantage of using this approach to website design is that it allows your web site to grow naturally. Yes, there is a major disadvantage. As the experts will continue to tell you, the site will need redesigning in the future, to handle some of the changes required. However, when your future website becomes so successful and profitable, it will warrant and justify the expense of the giving experts the job of making it work better.
For the moment, a successful single web page is a great first ambition. Think about it, you won’t need to worry about the next web page design until your first web page tells you that it needs the help of another webpage. There’s no need to worry about links to ‘order’ pages and ‘special offer’ pages.
Your single web page will soon tell you that it needs another page to handle new instructions or offer your visitors extra information.
Finally, if you still think that a ‘One Web Page Website’ isn’t a good way to produce a successful website then just type into any search engine ‘minisite’. I’m sure that you’ll find hundreds of references. (Today Google gave 1,740,000 references)
A ‘minisite’ is a small website consisting of just a few web pages, with the main index web page giving all the details, information and actions required. The only function for the other webpages of the site will be to provide direct support for the main page, such as ‘privacy’ and ‘order’ pages.
Minisites offer a simple and direct way to contact with your visitors. A minisite gives you the advantage that you don’t have to spend massive amounts of time to test your website ideas.
“You will eliminate your own confusion and reduce the chance of confusing your website visitors”
Does this sound good to you?
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Or, is it me?
Often, the old film quotation, “Quite frankly… I don’t give a damn!” comes to mind.
It’s at times like these when you think “There really is just too much to learn and too much to do”.
And the truth of it is that there are times when this is exactly correct. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you know about computers or the Internet, you hit a barrier. It feels like a form of physical exhaustion. It’s like a bad dream where you find yourself standing stock still, knowing that you should be moving but, in your nightmare, you are frozen.
I’ve heard a lady friend say that she can’t get her ideas for a website up and running… She is not stupid. Equally, my computer design friend feels that he has every reason to shrink away from the website design task in front of him… and, he’s not so dumb!
They recognize their limitations but they don’t seem to see their strengths.
If you find yourself feeling at a standstill with your website creation, stand back for a moment and try to take a clear view. You may have tried and failed with web page construction many times during the last few years (I have). It might seem too high a mountain to climb.
You feel fed up with trying to find the elusive treasure promised at the end of the rainbow…
And here, the rainbow is the limitless information about “how to build a website”. Everyone is telling you that you should use ‘this format’ for your web page, or design it using certain ‘magic’ webpage creation software.
Then you are bombarded with “You aren’t managing your internet presence with…” All of this junk wastes your time and distracts you from your real website goals. There is so much good advice available but too much advice is an intrusion, whether or not it is good advice that will save you time.
It doesn’t matter what the reason for intrusion… You and I cannot achieve our aims to produce a good clean website presence on the internet when there are too many distractions.
To a large extent, the only advice you need is “To ignore advice and just get down to the basics with the skills and enthusiasm you already have” In other words, “Just Get Started…”
It can be difficult to get started when all you see are your apparent website design limitations.
This is why I like the principle of ‘blogging’. Although I am surprised at my response the simple directness of a weblog is something I am sure will become increasingly more important.
So, don’t worry about your limitations. Take one step at a time and…
“I’ll soon see you there”
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
How about that for lofty ambitions?
Well, here I am sitting in my armchair, after a long tedious day in the office, ready to begin the next new phase in my Internet education… to become a ‘blogger’
The cat has announced that she is ready to come in from the winter’s cold icy winds and join me, after first taking a light snack of her fresh chicken flavored biscuits. Although she tries to help, purring and crawling all over me, I must admit it is rather difficult to get started with my first steps as a blogger. I hope she settles soon.
There is a reason why I’m struggling to get started. In truth, I suspect that the cat and I are both working at a similar level of ignorance, so we make a good partnership in that neither of us realized that a blog could make an easy start into website design.
To begin with, I am taking my time so that I can record the stages, so that anyone who takes the time to read blogs but feels uncertain about writing their own thoughts can reassure themselves that it isn’t really so difficult. I reckon that I am just about convinced now.
I’ve just begun by filling in the necessary details: name, number and shoe size. This stage seems pretty simple and follows the details I’ve read in my “easy guide to blogging” (I‘m sure you have read your own versions of tutorials and guides). Likewise, I’ve used the settings suggested in the guide. However, the Blogger.com version has been upgraded and I can’t find the ‘Time Zone’ setting for America/New York. Otherwise, there don’t seem to be any settings that don’t correspond and I reckon I can live with things as they are.
Like you, I am keen on becoming a huge name on the web. Great as the ambition might be, I haven’t reached the lofty heights yet. However, also like you, I don’t intend to let this top me from trying. I am not going to let ignorance or lack of expertise get in the way.
Creating a web page surely isn’t so hard to do provided it is kept simple.
Also, if kept simple, designing a website isn’t beyond the wit of any intelligent person, such as you and I.
Finally, now the basics are understood, I’m sure you’ll agree that managing your website is going to be equally within our capabilities.
Look, I am no great website design expert or Internet wizard and I‘ve spent a great deal of time failing to achieve the standards expected. Perhaps I was wrong to try to compete by starting my first website as an art gallery showing a range of paintings, along with a watercolor painting course and exhibition news. It was too ambitious, too large and it died.
I wish I had seen the simplicity that a weblog offers when I first started, around 8 years ago.
So, if you want to create a simple, effective and successful website to promote your interests, hobbies or business and agree that you want to learn how to make your own web pages that are tailored to what you want to say… lets try to work together and surely we’ll succeed.
Let us try to hunt for the knowledge we need and find the generous experts who can help us achieve our dreams. Are you interested?
It is time to go now, the cat is sleeping comfortably and so must I. See you soon.