The List Post

A list post. It’s just what it sounds like. A blog post with a list in it. Think table of contents. The kind with hyperlinks.

Your table of contents. With a list of blog article topics or a series of posts. Written on a specific topic, within your domain of special knowledge. Your gifts or talent. Whatever you plan on sharing with the world.

When I first created a blog, I was asked to answer one simple question. And do it in the form of a blog post.

It’s one of the top struggles I see women challenged with when they’re getting ready to launch a web presence.

What to write about. Basically, where to start. Where to begin. Because we know so much about what we know.

So here it is, that question to help you focus & pick a place to start.

What are the top three questions you’re asked or answer frequently about what you do?

For me, it looked like this.

What do I do? I’m a web designer. I create web sites.

What are the 3 most important things someone needs to create a web site? Well, you can’t have a website without these three things: 1) a domain name, 2) web hosting & 3) content (words & other stuff to put onto the web pages.)

Blog post #1: What is a domain name & 7 tips for choosing one
Blog post #2: What is web hosting & why do I need it?
Blog post #3: Content Creation

And this was how “3 Essentials for Creating A Website” (or a title something like it) was born. A free PDF download that visitors received when they subscribed to my email list.

After these first three post topics were answered & published, I simply kept adding on to the List Post.

Using my client’s questions during their webification process, I’d choose a topic and write about it.

What did your last client bring forward as their personal challenge or obstacle? How did you help them with it?

One client question or challenge. Answered in written form. Once a week.

dominos: one after anotherOver time, this small series of just 3 posts became this List Post. Which eventually became my ebook Web Presence Essentials.

Well the foundation for it. Once I decided to take it from List Post to ebook, it took on a life of its own.

I became more focused on creating it. And how I’d feel when I got it done. And then, like a band of wild horses, the book literally wrote itself.

I talk about the importance of telling “your A+ story” or feeling into your desired outcome in Chapter 1 (another free download). Seeing things go the way you want them to before doing any work at all. And how this is vital to the creation process because experience has taught me it is the deciding factor for getting launched. Or writing a book. Getting any form of dream-to-reality to manifest.

It worked for me. I’ve seen it work for my clients. It’s how I wrote the ebook every woman should read if she’s thinking about creating an authentic & soulful web presence.

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Creating Content

Continuing from my last post, I’ve been talking about the three critical ingredients that are needed to create a web page, web site or web presence. No matter where you are on the map… small business owner just starting out or big business generating hundreds of clicks per day, each part is essential and needs to be addressed or there can be no web *anything.*

Ingredient #3: Creating Content

In all my years of creating e-commerce web sites for big corporatey places, the number one overlooked issue and where time was consistently underestimated was developing content.

Most of the time, people were huffing and puffing at trying to understand the technical pieces and since I was almost always a liaison between the technical teams, the marketing or business teams and the an advocate for the end user of the product/web site, I constantly got to ask “What’s this web page gonna say or do?”

This is why when I teach an online workshops or if you web presence with me, I don’t even start with the technology how-to part. I figure, you’re already scared outta your mind about it, feeling like a major “estupido” (even though you may have a college degree).

So we warm up to technology by focusing on content and the place we get started with is helping you define You, via core values; so that once we get rockin’ & rollin’ with the techno-how-to part, you have actual stuff to put ON your web pages.

The Who-What-Why’s Of Content Creation

There are three steps in content creation: 1) writing the content itself, 2) designing the layout and function of the content 3) translating the layout into a technical language so it can be used on the Web. The biggest mistake you can make when you set out to create a web presence is to overlook what it is you are going to say, in writing. Who are you? What is your product or service? How do you work? Etc.

More On Content

Once you have prepared content, your options for getting that content published on the Web include 1) working with an experienced web designer and/or web developer (sometimes called Web programmer) or 2) learning how to do it yourself.

Working with an experienced Web designer will help you to create an aesthetically pleasing (use of colors, fonts, imagery) website. A good Web designer should have some basic understanding of the concepts of Usability. Usability is the study of how humans interact with Web pages. How easy was it to complete a task? How easy was it for them to find what they were looking for? A web page can be beautiful, but does it serve a purpose? A good Web designer will take into consideration the overall strategy for the web page and/or web site, be familiar with Usability practices and be able to create interesting designs that help connect our product or service with our audience.

Even after your web pages are designed, many times you may also work with a developer or programmer. The Web programmer will translate that look and feel (the colors, images, and how things are laid out on the page) into a technical language so that the web browser can read it and display it. This is where the actual HTML code comes into play. There are many different types programming languages, HTML is the popular backbone for most web pages today.

These two roles, Web Designer and Web Programmer, can be two different people, or they can be one person. It just depends on that individual’s experience.

Pros & Cons Of Hiring A Professional

Pros

  • Don’t have to learn Web Design or Usability skills.
  • Don’t have to learn software or any special programming languages.

Cons

  • It gets expensive quickly.
  • You’ve got to shop for and hire a Web Designer and/or Web Programmer.
  • You have to stand in line behind your Web people’s other clients in order to get new content created or changed and eventually implemented on your web pages.

Doing It Yourself

Pros

  • Saves money.
  • You can create content changes immediately.
  • Your business or personal web site can grow with you, as you and your business grow.

Cons

  • Requires time investment up front to learn tools & skills
  • Requires ongoing time investment for you to complete your own updates

3 Essentials Ingredients

Combine your domain name (Essential #1) with your web host (Essential #2) and add your content (Essential #3), and you now have all three critical ingredients to a web presence. Anybody can become a content creator or a web publisher! It’s in your hands.

Next up, one of my most frequently asked questions…  Exactly what *is* the difference between a blog and a website? and how WordPress & the Thesis theme can do both!