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Building a Website

This week our focus was on getting our website up and running with our own domain name, host, and site builder. On top of that we needed to figure out what business structure we wanted to follow and the licenses and taxes that we needed to worry about. It’s been a long week 😛 But I’ve got to tell you, I love this class!

I’ve been learning so much. Apparently there are different requirements in each state concerning licensing and all that, but if you’re focusing on a Sole Proprietorship, there are fewer things that you need to worry about. Since that’s what my business will become, it was definitely nice to see 🙂

Taxes always kind of give me a headache, but for the most part, I only need to worry about adding my own personal income tax. The other major thing that I need to worry about is getting a fictitious name for my business, as well as a P.O. Box. But that’ll come later.

The best resource for all of that stuff was just looking on the IRS homepage. It still gave me a headache, but it wasn’t too difficult to follow!

I’ve got to tell you though, it is so much fun creating and building a website. I love writing articles and posting them online. I love being able to create the look and feel of the site. I love the feeling of being able to say that it’s mine. And if it goes anywhere, I could be earning money in my sleep!

How cool is that?

You know, the best part about this is that when I was sixteen years old and tired of going to my same job day in and day out, I had a moment where I just got so angry and started an internet search. I felt like I was wasting my time selling smoothies. I discovered the idea of earning a passive income.

That sparked my interest.

There was such a thing as earning money online through websites? I didn’t have to go to a nine to five job? I wanted to find a way, but I had no idea how! I was scared, and worried that I would fail.

Well, now, several years later, I’m finally making it happen. I’m taking steps forward in the right direction and it feels so nice.

Sure, there are things that I still need to learn. Like SEO and advertising and I still need to write a bunch more pages… but I’m taking the right steps forward. And that’s the best feeling of all 🙂 I’m finally building my own website!

If you ever wanted to build your own website, what would you create? What would you want your focus to be on? You don’t have to wait you know. You can create your site. You can make it happen! Make your dreams a reality!!

 

 

Site Design

Week Four

Alright! This week I’m getting into the nitty gritty of designing a website! It’s been lots of fun being able to learn so many things about site design. It’s a lot different than writing a story or an essay.

What I’ve Learned:

1. Do Your Research

  • Know your budget and know what hosting sites are out there.
  • Check out review sites like whoishostingthis.com and others.
  • After doing a little bit of digging, I discovered the host Siteground. It’s not perfect, but it had some of the best customer reviews!

2. Know your Limits

  • If you’re on a time crunch know what you can and can’t do.

3. Make Those Mistakes

  • It’s going to happen. You’re going to screw up. So get down and get dirty! Learn! Have some fun 😀
  • I learned the hard way that I’m not a fan of WordPress.org. It was incredibly frustrating and annoying, but I’m grateful for that process because now I know I like to use Joomla.

Key Notes

From the discussions in class there have been several running themes revolving around site design. Here are just a few of the ones I noticed.

Color. You’ve got to keep the color scheme simple with two maybe three different colors that work together. More often than not, websites focus on having a neutral or white background with a darker text. It’s what most people are familiar with and it preserves your eyes.

Content. This is repeated over and over and over again. Content is king. You’ve got to have good content if you want to have a good website. Nobody is going to want to read what you’ve got unless you’ve got quality, useful information.

Layout. I had never heard this before, but it applies. Try to have your site in an F format. Translation: Keep the larger and longer paragraphs at the top and then get shorter and simpler as you go down.Most people like reading content that’s two to four sentences in length.

Also, a good rule of thumb is to keep the site a minimum of four hundred words. That’s about the length of a full page and helps you to focus on providing enough content to be useful.

Search Engines. These are fantastic in a site. Sometimes when I’m looking for an article and I can’t remember the exact name, I love being able to look for the article with a simple search.

These are just a few of the things that my classmates talked about, but there are definitely a lot of resources out there to help you create a quality website.

Conclusion:

I am now proud to say that I have designed a running website! http://www.spookdragon.com/.

Is the design simple? Yes. Do I wish I had a different template? Sure, but I only have a few weeks to get my site up and running in order to get a good grade for my class, so I can’t really be picky 😛 Besides, I’m still proud of it ;D

I hope this helps you in your own site design!


 

If you’d like to learn more check out these sites:

https://www.webwiz.co.uk/kb/website-design/

http://www.cyberindian.com/web-designing/8-tips-for-great-website.php

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/articles/ecommerce-site-s1p1.htm

 

Choosing a Site Builder

Week 3


Can I just tell you how amazed I am by all of the options out there for creating a website? It’s mind-blowing! And a little overwhelming.

There’s the drag and drop options like Wix and Weebly. Or if you like having a little more versatility you can try your hand at a Content Management system like WordPress.org or Squarespace.  And then of course with the more tech savvy crew we’ve got the WYSIWYG (aka What you see is what you get)/ html editors like Dreamweaver or KompoZer.

There’s a lot! And that doesn’t even cover hosting. So… where do you begin?

Well, let’s look at the options!

The Drag and Drop:

  • Start with a free version
  • No coding required
  • Simple
  • Usually offers a domain name (www.yoursite.com)
  • A small selection of available templates

The Drag and Drop was made for people who just want to get their site up and running and have no technical experience. There are some great options out there for site builders and you’ll have your site up in no time. However, there’s little room for creativity once your template is in place. Also, these sites seemed to be more focused on smaller businesses or personal websites. Not too great for any major projects.

Content Management System:

  • More of a learning curve
  • Need to find a hosting provider
  • The builder itself is usually free, but host costs a monthly fee
  • More powerful and flexible
  • The middle Ground

The Content Management System takes a little more time to learn and is a little more expensive. However, they provide a lot of versatility in creating your website! They have more template options and there are many great hosts out there who support them. Awesome for those people who have a little web experience and want to get their hands more into the nitty gritty details.

WYSIWYG/html editors:

  • You design your site=complete freedom
  • Need coding experience
  • Steeper learning curve than all other options
  • No little logo at the bottom 🙂

If I knew how to code, I would go for this option. It takes far more time than the other options, but you have so much more freedom in what you want to do with your site. You can think up the themes and colors. The style is yours to do whatever you want with. Your website becomes your baby, and you don’t have to have anyone’s logo on it.

So there are your options! I’ll list some different providers so you’ll have some ideas to start with, but I’d definitely recommend doing some homework and figuring out what works best for you! Good luck!

Drag and Drop:

  • Weebly.com
  • Wix.com
  • Webstarts.com
  • Google Sites
  • Yola
  • Homestead.com

Content Management Systems:

  • WordPress.org
  • Squarespace
  • Joomla
  • Drupal

WYSIWYG/html editors:

  • Trellion Webpage
  • KompoZer
  • Myfreewebsitebuilder
  • Dreamweaver

These are only a few of the many options out there. Have fun and thanks for visiting!


If you’d like to read more about some website builders check out this site.

Here’s an article on About.com that shares some more information about building a website.

 

 

Lessons Learned in my Business Class

Week 2


This week for our business class we focused on suppliers! Thankfully our teacher narrowed down our search (because there’s a ridiculous amount of people selling stuff online!) and brought up three marketplaces:

Alibaba.com

Globalsources.com

SmallVolume.com

Each reliable site brings suppliers who want to help your business succeed! Whether from across the world, or in the USA, they provide great service 🙂

I enjoyed learning about these suppliers and their products; however, for my web business, I’m thinking of embarking on a different route:

The Affiliate Program

Now, I mentioned the Affiliate program in a previous post, but this week we learned a lot more about it! And the more I learn, the more I enjoy it because I can focus on writing content. I don’t have to worry about shipping and I don’t have to stress about inventory. No bad sells, damaged goods, or extra fees (or boxes of products collecting dust in my closet). I can focus on researching and writing about my business. Things I love to do!

Even though most Affiliate Programs give you a small commission, it’s still a free set up and keep up system (Great for any beginning business I’d say :D).

Once you place the affiliate on your site, it’s done! No worries. Also, some sites (like Amazon) allow you to check on your ad and see if you need to make any changes. If something doesn’t sell, trade it with something else! It’s that simple.

Also, I’m finding quite a few people can make a profit by using the affiliate program. On this site, Laurie explains how her different Affiliates helped her income. Sometimes upwards of $350 a month. Now, that may not seem like a lot, but that consisted only of her Amazon sales. That doesn’t even cover Google ad sense or click bank. And for a college student like me, that’s nice little paycheck to add to my pocket!

One of the biggest downsides involves time. It takes time to build up a business site, time to learn how to utilize the best words for search engines, and time to attract your customers. On Affiliate Newbies there’s a short 16 minute video explaining some of the steps involved in creating a brand new affiliate website. Time and patience happened to be a big topic of conversation.

Building a business website won’t happen overnight and you’re not going to get rich quick. It takes time and content, content, content 🙂 But… just imagine. How wonderful would it be to not have to go to the same old building, same old office, and same old desk every. Single. Day. You’re the master of your business. You decide what your next adventure will be! I don’t know about you, but I find that idea thrilling!

So, a toast to you and your business adventures! May we both find profitable income streams and freedom on our journeys!

Thanks for visiting!


 

If you liked what you read, check out: A New Adventure

If you’d like to learn more about Affiliates check out this site!

A New Adventure

“It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. It’s a new life for me and I’m feelin’ good!” (“Feeling Good” by Michael Bublé).

Have you ever heard that song before? (If not, you definitely should check it out!) I think it applies really well to the new year. I think 2016 is going to be the start of a grand adventure and I’m excited for it!

Being my senior year at college, I decided to try something a little different for my last semester at school. I decided to take (drum roll please…)

a business class. most-bored-1480087

Now why I decided to take a business class my final semester of college, I don’t know. Math has been the bane of my existence since preschool (I’m the kid who grabbed Harry Potter at recess not Algebra 101). And I’m already taking twelve credits this semester. Do I really want to add three more credits to a full schedule? Not particularly… but for some strange reason I’ve always wanted to start my own business website and I heard that this class focused entirely on that endeavor.

Well, I figured, why not?

And you know what? It’s been great!

nansen-the-dog-1560665

We’ve dived into Business Models, Demand and Competition, and Idea Generation. Some pretty neat stuff! Apparently, we’re going to have six projects for the course all leading up to creating a successful website which, hopefully, will build traffic and revenue. Which is great because I don’t know any of this stuff, but it seems pretty important for building a successful business.

Anyways, some personal thoughts: what I’m thinking will be the best business model for my time and sanity focuses on the Affiliate program. I don’t exactly have the space for a huge inventory in my college apartment nor the means to afford such a thing. I’m not much of a salesman, nor a business woman, but I Am an English major 😛 So, I hope that means I can write at least SOME decent content… maybe… 😉

Which targets another problem. Building Traffic.

We haven’t talked about this yet in our class, but I’m assuming it’s going to be the biggest problem I’ll face in this little adventure of mine 🙂 Since building a website has been my dream since forever, I’ve already done a little bit of research on the topic. One of the websites that I’ve found with some useful tips was stevepavlina.com. I’ll post the url at the bottom of the page. He gives ten tips on building high traffic and drives the point of creating content, content, and more content. So, I’m hoping with a little practice and research, I’ll be able to build valuable content for you (because who wants to read crappy content anyways?)

Well, it’s time for this Arizona girl to get back to the arctic tundra of Northern Idaho! (Boy, I can’t wait to graduate.) Take care and thanks for visiting!

URL: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/01/how-to-build-a-high-traffic-web-site-or-blog/