Monday, March 26, 2007

Your website needs a star… and that star is YOU!

This posting has taken a while to prepare. Why? Simply, because a website is technically pretty easy to create but immensely difficult to make interesting.

How do you make your website interesting? It’s important.

Think about this… You want to create your own successful website about something that interests you. It could be a website concentrating on your hobby or pastime. It could be a site that promotes your beliefs. The focus of your website could be a famous or influential person.

All this is reasonable for you but will it interest anyone else (Yes, I do ask this question all the time)

Maybe the website has wonderful facts and information that could be incredibly valuable to hundreds and thousands of people. Who knows, this might be enough to succeed.

What is evident is that any website you see on the internet is conceived, created and run by somebody… somebody with thoughts and ideas… and the enthusiasm and desire to share.

Whatever your website is about the main interest must be YOU…

Now, imagine, it’s been a long hard day’s work. You know that you are tired and your body is telling you to relax. But, you have been invited to a movie premier. You were invited months ago.

Today is the day and you’ve waited a long time to see the featured film.

Inside you are excited but your energy levels are low. You feel worn out, you have been working so hard but… there’s no way you are going to miss the night of a lifetime because you know that…

Your favorite star is going to be there… he is the hero of the film.

Hmm! I wonder who might be your hero.

A whole lot of people are depending upon your work… there’s so much to do… and there’s so little time.

Can you afford the time to go?

Yes! There is nothing on earth going to stop you. You know you will be there!

And there’s something else driving you… You want to meet your hero, personally. You want to hold his hand. You want to say “Hi!” and tell him how great you think he is. And you want to let him know how wonderful his performance in the film was.

Will you meet your star?

There’s more… you want to tell him what he means to you and how he has changed your life. You want let him know the film roles you liked best. You want to praise the qualities he brought out, along with the strengths and human frailties.

Of course, you know there’s so much more you’ll want to say. You want to make intimate contact with and personally communicate…

This is a love affair… is it a one-sided love affair?

What can you do to get close to your film star? Or, are you going to stand in the background, content to catch a glimpse as they walk past, each footstep silenced by the red carpet.

What is your choice? Is there a choice?

Who cares? Obviously, you care… but you know that your favorite star hasn’t heard of you.

How could they? At best, you are just another face in the crowd… an unknown!

But, you are not a complete unknown. You have family. You have friends. At work, you have colleagues and associates.

You are loved and respected. You are admired and worshipped…
  • Aren’t you worth it?
  • Aren’t you worthy?
  • Aren’t you a star?

Know this… With your own website YOU ARE THE STAR… your website needs you to be the star.

See you soon


Sunday, March 18, 2007

First Step To Writing Your Successful Web Page For Your Website

Okay, I’ve spent the last 4 posts talking about web hosting for your website. Have I said all there is to say? No, there’s far more to say…

The same applies to your writing. It is going to take more than 1 article to tell you what you need to know. If you think you are being shortchanged consider this…
  • There’s far more to know about the technicalities of web page design than I know.
  • There is too much to learn about HTML script than I want to know.
  • The coding behind PEARL, ASP and PHP baffles me beyond reason.

The truth is that I don’t want to know about the in depth working of computer programming, computer systems or how the computer works… it just doesn’t interest me. It is a foreign language that is far beyond my capacities to learn. And, before you try preaching to me that I must learn… don’t waste your time because…

There is no way I’m going to waste my time when there are experts out there in the world that already do it for you. There are thousands of computer experts and programmers around the world.

I’ve just watched a video of a Gary Halbert seminar (his free newsletter website is a fantastic resource) and was struck by the sense of what he said…

“Don’t worry about the things like “Where do I get this done… and who do I ask to do it?”… Concentrate upon your sales message”

Sounds pretty good advice to me… it doesn’t what your subject is, whatever ideas you are trying to present… you are going to have to sell them to your visitor. So, why not concentrate your efforts on what is important to you?

I don’t know about you but I’ll concentrate on trying to find and work with the word tools that will WIN.

Yes, there’s no disputing that you do need to know the simple HTML stuff. By this, I mean the kind of visible coding you see behind every web page when you click the ‘View’ & ‘Source’ buttons in the web browser.

Also, it does help to know a little about how to make your web pages work more efficiently so that your visitors can find them and access them.

If you want or need anything more learn let Louis Alport’s training videos give you all you need to know at

Why am I saying what I’ve just said?

Because, even a numbskull like me can see that it isn’t how the website is made that will sell your ideas and products…
  • Your words sell
  • What you have to say sells
  • How you interest your website visitors sells

As a designer and semi-professional Fine Artist, I am used to working with the principle of “A picture says a 1000 words”… RUBBISH.

If it were true, then answer me this…

“Why are there so many experts saying so much about the Old Master’s paintings?”

It doesn’t matter who the artist was. It could be Picasso or Dali. It could be Rembrandt or Van Gogh… it doesn’t matter.

There have been more words spoken and written about art than you could imagine. Here’s the truth about pictures…

“A single picture without an explanation asks nothing but questions”

And, for your website…

“A picture without words to explain what it is about makes the picture useless…”

It has to be made relevant with your words. It has to become part of the story you are telling.

For example, I used various pictures throughout . Has a single picture convinced you to buy?

Is your answer “NO!”

Yet, when I ask a similar question…

“Have the words convinced you to buy?”

Your answer might just be “YES!”

Now we are getting somewhere…
  • Have I managed to interest you?
  • Have I opened a wound and made you feel the pain of not knowing how…?
  • Have I teased you?
  • Have I tormented and hurt you?
  • Have I offered you the sight of a solution to your problems?
  • Have I offered you the promise that you can solve your problems with the help I am offering to give you?
  • Are you persuaded that I am worth you taking a chance with?
  • Have I shown you that you can afford to take a risk?

Only you can truly answer these questions. When I have been successful, you will buy and it will show with a long order list. If you aren’t convinced and you aren’t emotionally committed then I’ll have to try again… it’s as simple as that… WIN or LOSE.

Is there more? Of course there’s more… don‘t doubt it, the help you need is on its way…

See you soon


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Where do I host my website… and how much does it cost? Part 4

This is where it gets serious…
  • You have your ideas for your website.
  • You know what you want to share.
  • You have decided what you want to say.
  • You have planned the website content and layout.
  • You have written out your webpage sales letter, personal detail page, order page, and etc.

And, rather than use limited free resources, you are going to pay for professional quality web hosting…

If you’re in any doubt about yourself or the website you want to create consider this question…

“Are You A Professional?”

To be fair I took this question from the newsletter Internet Marketing Review, by Neil Stafford and Neil Trafford…

Consider this “Do you want someone else advertising what they want on your website?”


No more patronizing questions. I said that I would tell you where I hosted

Out of the millions of different web host advertisements I decided upon


The simple answer was that they offer a range of hosting options that start low (with low costs) but can be expanded to full business hosting. Even if your website idea flops it doesn’t have to cost the earth to try.

You don’t need to be told about exactly what they offer. It’s just that they provide you with a massive range of add-ons.

Have I used all of their extras?

No, you don’t think I’m that clever do you… I wanted to show how a simple website was easily creatable using simple word processor type tools that you would be already familiar with. I wanted you to see that you can easily learn all you need to take control and keep it.

However, when the hard work has already been done for you why take the hard options. When you are comfortable with the meanings of PHP, PERL, ASP and the rest, you can look for the free programs that are available.

You don’t have to spend massive amounts on web hosting to begin with. Just take a leap of faith in what you want to do… and “Do it! It‘s almost risk free”

Yes, of course you’ll get things wrong and make mistakes… Goodness, I’m making a fair few mistakes now but I’ve started now and the mistakes I’ve been making are giving me new ideas that I can use later.

That’s enough about web hosting for now. It’s time to think about what to write. Your website needs to use words. So, what words should you use…?

See you soon


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Where do I host my website… and how much does it cost? Part 3

In many ways this is an extra part that came about because of an error in my last posting. However, it is an unexpected bonus...

Remember, in Part 2, I told you about my artist friend, Peter Woolley, who managed his art website using free web hosting? Well, this was old news and here I offer him apologies for the errors and mistakes (I should have checked before printing).

However, when he started, he did use free hosting from Virgin (not Yahoo, as previously stated) for his early website but as the website grew he found that he needed more. I think Peter’s words explain far better…

“Unfortunately, I have to tell you that some of your facts are wrong - I haven't hosted my website on the free web space for a very long time - I did initially, of course, but as the site grew, I had to change to a virtual web-space package hosted by

So, I’m pleased to hear that Peter’s art website grew way beyond the facilities that free hosting could give. The ‘free’ lessons he learned along the way contribute to the strength of … Go on, take a look (if you are interested in watercolor painting… I can confidently say, “He is a master“)

Peter goes on to say…

“Actually, I have two web-spaces… to accommodate both my regular site and the online workshop pages I provide for registered visitors”

Because Virgin only provides 50MB of free space, Peter’s successful website needs far outstrip the free web hosting facilities. Apparently, 500MB of web space is closer to what he now needs…

This is 10 times what he started with.

Of course, if you never want your site to grow beyond 50 MB then follow the free web hosting. Alternatively, you could take Peter’s lead and look at (I haven’t heard of them before, so I can’t give you my thoughts)

What Peter Woolley’s experience shows is that it isn’t difficult to make your website grow beyond what you are given with free web hosting. And, now that the costs of commercial, professional web hosting are so low… you can afford to start with a basic home web-hosting package.

More about that in Part 4...

See you soon


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Where do I host my website… and how much does it cost? Part 2

Okay, you want something more than a blog.

Fine… that’s great.

So, where are you going to go to get a web host?

Well, there are plenty of places on the internet where you can get free website hosting. I have an artist friend who has used nothing other than the free space that comes with his ISP (Internet Service Provider).

He has his own unique domain name and is more than happy selling his watercolor artwork, books and painting courses with his active, dynamic and successful website.

As I recall he used the free web space that comes with his Yahoo account.

Another way to get free web hosting is to use a group hosting. Here, you are just one of many other people using a single website host. “How To Design Your First Website” uses exactly this kind of hosting with ‘Blogger’ at

As I’ve said before ‘Blogger’ is great. It is well managed by Google. It is well designed and featured. It has almost everything you could want. It has only one fault. Just look at the path name…

Blogs created with Blogger have ‘’ in their address.

Do you want your main website to have somebody else’s name in your web address?

I’m comfortable with this for “How To Design Your First Website” because I don’t want to use it for direct selling.

Also, I’m relaxed about having the website provider identity in the address because I have another domain http://www.your-first-website/… this is a unique domain name that no one else can use it… while it is registered to me.

I use each of the 2 websites alongside each other. Each website has its own individuality.

Each website could easily stand alone. It was a deliberate decision to introduce a blog that could happily run with my serious website.

It is your choice what you want from your website. Largely the subject will dictate the format. How you want to involve your website visitors will also influence what your website will need.

Best still… look at other websites that cover your subject and analyze them, break them down and simplify. When you know what you want to do for your own website you will easily cope with the webpage features you choose.

However, I still recommend that you learn starting your own free blog to get the feel with how to set up a basic but expandable single webpage website…

But, that is your choice.

In the next post, I shall tell you where http://www.your-first-website/ is hosted.

See you soon


Saturday, March 3, 2007

Where do I host my website… and how much does it cost? Part 1

Here, I am going to be blunt… “I don’t know where you should host your website”

Why? “Because I haven’t a clue about who you are or what your website is about”

“What’s more is that I don’t know what you want from your website”

Sorry about the bluntness… but it is a fact that cannot be denied.

Okay, understanding that you are starting from the complete unknown, let’s get a little more focused about what is available. First, you need to quickly ask yourself some questions…

Do you want to create a website that is purely about yourself?
Do you want to create a web site about subjects that interest you… like art, sport, health?
Do you want to sell something?

If so, I can’t really recommend you do anything more than get a web log started… IT’S AS SIMPLE AS THAT… START YOUR OWN BLOG!

I you’ve read my earlier postings you will already know that I am a fan of ‘blogging’. I’ve only recently found the freedom that it gives you…

You can talk about what you like whenever you like. And, providing you aren’t criminal or abusive in what you say and are careful about how you say it… YOU CAN SAY WHAT YOU LIKE!

What you can’t do… is SELL. (Well, not directly)

As a follower of “How To Design Your First Website” you will also know that it was created and hosted with ‘Blogger’ at … it cost nothing… it was FREE.

What better opportunity can you ask for?

You want to talk about yourself and what is happening in your life… You’ve got it!
You want to share your thoughts and interests about subjects that you are excited about… You can do it!

And, if you are careful…

You can, indirectly, sell stuff by letting people share your knowledge about the benefits of what you market… what to use… how to use… where to use… and how often…

I enjoy writing a web log. What I like about a blog is… “It is friendly” You are talking to like-minded friends about things that interest you… you have the chance to talk with many friends who share your interests… and share what you know.

“Can you ask for more?”

What are you waiting for? It is easy to set up a Blogger account. Within an hour you really could have the bones of your first website and be fleshing it out with your enthusiasm, energy and ideas in little more time than that.

See you soon,