Archive for Websites

Ten Simple Ways to Promote Your Website

Once you setup your website, your next major goal should be attracting readers of your site. This can be hard but, here are 10 ways that I reccommend.

1.Twitter
2. Search Engine Optimization
3. Spread the URL to Friends
4. Put links on All Social Profiles
5. Give Away Something
6. Wear clothing with You Site Name and URL on It
7. Business Cards
8. Google Adwords
9. Web Rings
10. Cover Popular Subject-matter

What You Gain From Having A Website

I previously wrote about Why Everyone Should Have Theier Own Website and how it helps people learn more and have a appearance online. I want to focus this article on the skills that you gain from running your own website because they are all very important skills and they help you become more marketable to future employers. I truely believe that websites not only benifit the user with potential ad revenue but, also  gives them all the leg up on the competitition in the job market by gaining exteremly valuable skills.

1. Writing

Obviously all websites have some written content whether it is just a about me page or a daily blog. You not only how to write properly from having a website, but you also develop your own writing style which is very important for many jobs. You also are able to recieve feedback from readers and get critics about your writing style and can change your style accordingly and learn from the changes.

2. Marketing

When running your own website, your mission should not be just to create a website and put good content on it, but you should also intend tio get people to view and use your website and interact with your content. This cause people to research methods of promoting your content and developing a method of promoting even a simple personal website and drive more content to your site.

3. Web Development

Obviously when you create a website you learn web development skills, such as coding, management and many others that can help you in the future. Even if you use a CMS, setting up and managing a CMS is a skill especially when you have a large volume of traffic. This can be very benifical to your future careers and paychecks!

4. Design

Design is an extremely important skill not only on websites but for anything because if you want to make something like a flyer, that gets people’s attention, you want to design it well so it attracts peoples’ attention and gives them a good first impression otherwsie, people will ignore it and you wasted your time. When you have a website, you learn quickly that a site with yellow text on a green background does not look good, no matter how much you try and it will look horrible. You want the website to look good and attract viewers and you should take those skills and apply them to your offline life.

5. Organization

Web development is a naturally organized process because if you want to do the simplest thing like making a link to another page, you need to know the exact location of the file and the exact file name, for example, if you want to link to “about.html” and you make the link to About.html, then the link will not work and that is why organization is so important. Besides just organizing the files on the server, you need to organize yourself and your content because you will not be sucessful if you are not organized, and if you are unorganized, running a website will make you learn to be organized.

6. Journalistic Integerty and Ethics

Although everyone has the right to freedom of speech and press , as a webmaster you should look at and evaluate both sides of the issue to give a fair accessment. As a webmaster, you need to understantand Journalistic Integerty and ethics because it is your duty to be fair and ethical otherwise, viewers of your site will question your integrety and could ruin the image of your website.

I hope that this article helped anyone who was on the fence about starting their own website because it gives you many skills and can be very benificial and although I listed the most important you gain so much. Websites help people market themselves and can earn more money with their new skills.

Bookmooch, Trading Books You Don’t Want For books You Want

Imagine trading all the books taking up space on your bookshelf that you no longer want or need, a trading them in for books you want or need now. You could achieve this by selling your books and buying the ones you want, however there is a simpler way by using Bookmooch. With Bookmooch there is no money exchange; only points and all books are equal in value so you could trade a novel that is only worth $5 for a computer book that is worth $20 without having to pay the difference!

Here is how Bookmooch works: once you sign up for an account, you can post books by entering their ISBN or by searching for them, for every book you list, you get 1/10 of a point, you must specify the condition of the book. When someone wants your book or “mooches it” then you get another point. You then have to ship it at your “moocher” at your expense and when delivery is confirmed, you get another 2/10 of a point. Now that you have points just search the title of the book you want and request it, if you request is approved then the owner will ship the book will be sent to you for just one point.

Bookmooch let’s you get rid of books that you no longer want and let you trade them for books you are interested in for very little cost. I have gotten many books from Bookmooch and am very happy with the service and my great new books!

Websites are Similar to Real Estate

Although most people wouldn’t think of it, websites are like the digital equivalent of  real estate. If you really think about it, both websites and real estate are both investments that almost always increase in value. Although location is not a factor for websites, a domain name that is memorable, and availible is very important for the survival of a website. The final similarity is that improvements that cost very little to do, but, increase the value of the website exponentially.

Websites, as I have stated many,many times cost very little to start and can with skill, hard work and a little luck, the website could be worth millions of dollars. Digg.com is a great example of this because Kevin Rose initally used $10,000 of his money to get Digg started and  now the site is worth around $100,000,000!This shows that with a good plan, talented people and some money from some venture capital firms you can build a valuable, triving business.

Since websites exist online and not in the real physical world, the golden rule of “Location, Location, Location”  does not apply however, you need to get fomain name that is available and is memorable so people can come back to your site. Domain names are crucial and can be fatal if you choose the wrong one. The whole domain purchasing process sounds easy but, it can be very tedious because the domain may already be claimed or could be “squatted”. My method is to list all my name ideas then look them up to see if the domains are available and eliminate domains that are claimed or not good enough. From their eliminate the less desirable domains down until you are left with the domain you plan on using.

Building and adding value to websites is also inexpensive, websites start only with the value of the domain and from there, anything added to the site adds value and like in real estate where a $50 can of paint jumps the value, little new features that cosr you little money can increase the site value signifigantly. If you are the only developer and you are not paying yourself, then you are only using time but, if you are developing even if you are paying $1,000 for developing the service, you still are able to make money because that service may add more than $1,000 of value.

In conclusion, websites are the internet equivalent of real estate because they increase in value exponentially, they have a crucial factor to their success or failure, and in expensive improvements can increase the site value exponentially. The vast majority of people can afford to build a website and it is a great investment just like real estate.

The Art of Domain Squatting

Domain squatting is when someone buys a domain name just to hold on to it or to put ads on it, as apposed to using  the domain to host a real website. These people are the  enemy of webmasters and web designers everywhere, however, they are really smart, investors who try and predict future trends and can make a lot of money. These people risk their investment, although only about $10/year, and they are several methods of monetizing a domain with very limited work. The first method is putting ads on a landing page where people would be presented with ads, these advertisements give money to the domain owner everything someone clicks on it. This revenue can be used to cover the annual cost of the domain and since domains are only $10/year,  depending on the domain name, there is a good chance of making a profit. An other option is if you can find someone who is interested in buying the domain name, then you could make a lot of money off of something that cost you very little to buy. For example, Digg bought the domain name for $1000 and made the original owner a lot of money just because they put a little bit of money up and took the risk and in the end, they reaped a great profit. Even if your domain does not sell, then you just have to pay another $10 for another year and you could even make more money on advertisements over time than you would selling the domain.

So, this sounds like a good idea so, I will now explain how you can do this and how you can make money by squatting domain names. First, see what is a growing trend, but not extremely popular so that the domain may still be available. The next stop is to buy the domain, just sign up with a web host and buy the domain. From there, you just need to setup ads, many hosts have a parking feature where you can select a domain and automatically add advertisements to the domain names. If for some reason your host does not have it, then just create a HTML document and save it as index.html. Then, just sign up for Google Adsense and copy the ad code into the page. Once you have your squatted domain setup, then you just let the ad revenue roll in and maybe even a potential buyer will  make a great offer to buy your domain name.

Although domain squatting is not a guaranteed  investment, that will make you rich, however, if you have some money bring a hole in your pocket, you may want to look into domain squatting  because if you can find the right domain, you can find the right domain, then you could make a lot of money.

Websites: The Best Investment Even In A Down Economy

Although the economy is currently in  a horrible recession, the likes of which we have not seen since the great depression, this is still a good time for entreprnuers who are smart, to start a new business. Even in a down market, one of the best investments is a website, because it is easy to start, easy to monotize and because web traffic does not go down during a economic slow period.

Websites are very inexpensive to start especially if you are not paying anyone to develop the site. Buying a webhosting package that has everything you need to build a great website starts at only $4 per month from my host 1and1. For that small fee you get storage, bandwidth, email addresses and a domain name. Then, one of the most important things involved in starting a business is the idea. The idea should be an original service or some type of improvement over an already exsisting service. Blogs are a great example, is blogs there are numerous blogs all over the web but, they are all unique because each writer has their own opinions and writing style. The idea is very important and I reccommend having a very developede idea before investing money and time on developing the site, so that you can make sure that the idea is worthwhile and worth the time and money.

Monetizing websites have been made very easy  by Ad services like Google Adsense , Double clik and many other services that let you simply sign up for an account and paste some code on the website. Once running thoses ads you will make money everytime people click on your ads, this is known as pay-per-click. Also, if you would like would like to make more money off of your website you can sell ads on your own to people and choose how you charge. This method usually grosses more money because the fact that you are dealing directly with the sponsors. This process is more work, however, if you site is getting a large amount of traffic, it is worth it because you can make much more money.

Advertising is not nessesary for running a website, as long as you do not mind paying for your web hosting and other fees involved with running your site. In fact, I ran Gdovin.net ad-free for a long time, and i just added ads recently just because I wanted to try and make a little bit of money although I do not expect it to cover all my costs. Ads are your choice it is all a matter of if you can afford to host the website.

As I have said earlir, our economy is not in a very strong place right now, and this causes people to be more thrifty with their money and cut back on frvilous expenses. However, the internet is a major productivity tool and because people use it to get work done, it is not one of the expenses people cutback. In fact, I would say because more people are trying to spend less money so they will start getting more entertainment over the internet because it is usually free or very inexepnsive.

No matter how poor the economy becomes websites are an amazing investment ,l because of the low overhead, and the very large increase in value. I would like to leave you all with a statistic, it has been said that each user of a website is worth $20 of the site’s value, which means you could develop a site that costs you $500 to build. Then. the site grows to  have 1 million users and it is worth $20 Million which is a 40,00 percent increase in value. Making money off your websiute is not hard at all and Google adsense makes it easy to setup and track. The internet has become a great way to get information and of getting entertainmment and you never know what idea could be the next Google or Microsoft and can make you a billionaire! Starting a business when many are shutting down  is a challenge, I am not saying that it is easy but, with the right idea it can be worth millions of dollars. As Jason Calicasnis of Mahalo says “In Economic Down times, the best investment is investing in yourself” and I believe the best way to do that is through a website.

General-Purpose Forums are No Longer Viable

In the early days of the computer and the internet, before the emergance of instant messaging, blogs and socail networks there were fourms, where people could discuss  anything the want with anyone in the world. It was a great consept because people could help each other,  share ideas and have a discussions with people around the world! However in this new web 2.0 world these general-use, are no longer the best method of communicating with people on the internet.

In these modern times,  people use social networks to communicate and micoblogging. For example, if I wanted to know what program I should use for Twitter on my Mac, I could just put it out on my Twitter feed and then assign a hash tag #twitterappmac and then search and find everyone’s results. This is much better than having an additional web account, and  having to go through a confusing forum interface. People now live on social networks that allow you to do many things and make them think forums are no longer worthwhile.

The only type of forum that I believe still has some merit is a forum with a very specific purpose, like a specific piece of technology or a specirfic operating system. This is in fact how the Linux community communicates because development of Linux is very community driven and it also serves as community-driven support because they allow users to help each other troubleshoot. One of the best forums is Internet Tablet Talk which is a forum all about the Maemo Internet Tablets made by Nokia. This is a thriving community of Maemo users and still keeps itself viable.

The forums that let you talk about what ever you want are now a thing of the past and the only type of forum that will be able to become sucessful is one that focuses on a single product and because of that has a very focused topic and has more potential of getting a dedicated user-base because they are using it to learn not just for simple entertainment.  Forums for the most part are no longer valid and are better replaced by social networks.

Web Services I Cannot Live Without!

With all the amazing web services available now there are some that I do not think I can function without now and these are the services that I need to continue to remain productive online:

Gmail:

Gmail is probably my primary web tool because I live in my email and gmail makes it very easy to check all my various email accounts with ease!

Google Calendar:

Google Calendar is not only what I use to organize my life but, also what I use to organize my blog posts and I have it sync to my Nokia N800 because it keeps my busy schedule organized.

Facebook:

Although Facebook is much more of a fun network, I find it to be very userful to communicate with friends and kep in touch with people far away!

AIM:

AIM is a great instant messenger and makes chatting great and a major communication asset.

Flickr:

Since I have been taking so many pictures recently and I want to share them with my friends and family Flickr is the best site to share pictures over the internet and Flickr Pro is an even better service!

Google Docs/Spreadsheet:

Google Docs is a great basic Wordprocessor, Spreadsheet and Presnetation tool all based in the clouds and lets you collaborate with other users. Although it is as not as powerful as Microsoft Word, which I use for more formal purposes, it is great for planning with people and planning out projects.

Google Reader:

Google Reader is my favorite way to read all my RSS feeds and get news. It provides a nice “River  of News” that makes reading news anytime easy and elegant.

Twitter:

Twitter is a great social tool that I use not only to keep my friends up-to-date with what I am doing but, I also use it to market website I am workingon and it is an extremly valuable marketing tool.

If any of these services went down I would have to make major augmentations to make web life and adapt to live without them but it will certainly not be easy.

WYSIWYG is NOT Web Design

Building a website can be a very beneficial experience, as I mentioned in Why Everyone Should have a Website.  Websites create good reputations online and can help in finding a job. However, many people take the easy way out by using What You See Is What You Get, better known as WYSIWYG editing, WYSIWYG allows users to use a graphic user interface to layout and design a website and not use a single line of HTML or CSS code. Some of the most popular applications that design WYSIWYG websites are: Dreamweaver, Microsoft Frontpage and Microsoft Word. I find it to be extremely ridiculous that anyone who has Microsoft Word could layout a couple pages in Word and export them as .html files, upload them to a web server and call it a website.

I truly believe that everyone should have a website, however I believe it should be a real website and not a poorly done 5-minute WYSIWYG website. WYSIWYG does not produce professional web sites.  It creates sloppy code that does not look the same or even work on every computer, platform, or web browser. The best way to ensure that your site will work with the most systems possible is to use web standards and code cleanly and flexibly.   WYSIWYG can only do very low level functions like display text, images and links while, if you code your site can do many different things, because coding gives you more control.

Some WYSISYG editors like Dreamweaver do not create layouts on a grid, which makes them look sloppy since elements do not line up. This is the reason that some websites look different in different Web browser or on different operating systems. The looks poorly on both the designer and the person or people that the website intends to represent.

It is very important that it  creates a good first impression. WYSIWYG websites give poor first impression because they do not take any effort, skill or time and they may not even display correctly.  This conveys a message that the owner does not care enough to put the effort of building a good website and tells the viewer to look somewhere else for their information.

The only place for WYSIWYG in webdesign is for use in producing content with in a website, because it allows people to write their content as if they are in Microsoft Word which makes it much easier. However, this will not affect the way the page is displayed or how it appears across different platforms because this would be used only for the content of the site. I use that type of editing for my blog posts of Gdovin.net because the site is a valid site that works across platforms but, writing articles does not require me to use code inorder to write a simple post. although WordPress does that option.

In conclusion, WYSIWYG does not educate anyone in how to be a better web designer and does not create professional websites. I also believe that people who design WYSIWYG websites are not professional webdesigners or webdesigers at all!  Websites are meant to be a major asset but, when they are designed using WYSIWYG they are a libaility and hurt who they represent. Schools should not teach WYSIWYG in classes but, teach the future generation how to design a real website. WYSIWYG sites look juvinile, are unfunctional and unprofessional. If you are considering buiding a website do yourself a favor eithe learn how to code or use a content management system like WordPress or Google Sites, because WYSIWYG is not real webdesign, and people who use WYSIWYG tools are noit Professional Webdesigners at all!

A Special Thanks to Michael Plasmeier for asisting me working on this Article.

Bad Behavior has blocked 300 access attempts in the last 7 days.