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Finding the Motivation

So, I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but sometimes I feel like my motivation is a fickle creature. Sometimes it will rage inside my chest and beat its drum with all the power of an elephant. Other times it changes into a mouse and disappears into a dark corner. No matter how I try to coax, it won’t budge.

All my desire to finish a project I’ve started vanishes and it feels impossible to move forward.the-cat-toy-1515154

 

While creating a website in my class, I found a page where we can post our URL so that our classmates can check and critique them. Well, I decided to investigate some of my classmate’s work.

I was blown away by what everyone had done and when I looked back at my own website, I sighed. So much work to do… I felt so behind. And my motivation shriveled and scurried away.

What do you do when your motivation dies?

Well… after working on this post, here are some of the ideas I’ve come up with.

Looking at pictures:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Looking at peaceful pictures helps me to calm down and relax. I love reading motivational quotes that get me pumped to try something new or keeping moving forward on my projects.

Listening to Good Music:

music-1516123

Music inspires me. “Where words fail, music speaks” Hans Christian Anderson. I couldn’t agree more 🙂

Looking at something silly:

more-phone-girl-4-1465204

And then I realize that everything will work out. I can laugh off my frustrations and continue moving forward.

My website may not be as good as the others, but that’s okay. I’m doing the best that I can and that’s all that matters!

I think that this quote can fit my situation well 🙂

“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others” Ayn Rand.

If all that motivates me circles around beating others, than what’s the point? There’s always going to be someone who’s better than I am and worse than I am. I can’t compare myself like that. I wanted to build my website in order to work at home. If I stop now, that dream will die! I can’t give up now! I’ve only just begun.

I think so long as I’m doing my best, the rest will come in time. My website may not look as modern and up to date as others, but that will come in time. The one thing that I need to focus on right now is building content. That’s all that matters.

Anyways, thanks for letting me ramble. I hope that this post might help motivate you to go out and accomplish something great! Good luck to you on all of your dreams and endeavors! You can do it!

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Thanks for stopping by!

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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.

 

 

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!

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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/