Before I even bought a computer, my intentions were to build a website, to work for me, all the way into retirement and beyond. Having said that, I will share with you the strategies I laid out for myself, as I started to build my website.
The Kiss Principle:
Whether it be coaching a Little League baseball team, or carving a piece of wood. I've always subscribed to the Kiss Principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid).
So, being a novice and a dummy on the big WWW, it was important for me keep it simple, and not get tangled up in all the "techie stuff," that could prove to be my downfall. I'm not in any hurry to fail. So, I built my website with a simple goal and simple tools, and I still do not have any fancy stuff; no additional software; no special lettering; no music or spotlights; no animation, etc. I've kept it simple for now, until I acquire more knowledge and experience.
Entertainment site: Since I knew nothing about business world, and since the Internet was new to most of us, and unsecure for financial transactions, I decided to build an
entertainment website FIRST, and, as I learned about the WWW, the business site would follow. I think the failure of the dot.com's, told us all, that there is no easy way to put up a successful website, and I don't care how much money a person puts into it!
One of the most important things in publishing and at the movies, is something called the "hook." A title of an article or book; the title of a movie...to get the attention of the reader or viewer. The "hook," for me, was one of my top priorities as I started out. I composed a list of ten words, that I wanted to use for my email address and url. I got humordoctor.and, humordoctormd for my website, which I now own. And it's paid off for me, because they're easy to remember, and they raise curiousity.
When I first started out, I composed a one page summary or "overview" of what my site would be about, and I was off to the races! I created my Learning and Getting Acquainted Expedition, and I started marketing my website right away. I visited hundreds of websites, leaving my "business card" behind and staying away from spam, etc. My top priority at the time, and still stands today, is to build my online/offline resume. Because I want to sell my screenplay; book, consulting practice etc., I want to attract producers; agents;publishers; fat cats, and eventually corporate sponsors to my site. So, building my resume has been one of my top priorities.
Website building is "publishing," and to make a professional presentation, the website builder must have good writing skills. This is crucial. In my 40's, I completed three writing courses to try to improve my writing skills. Writer's Digest correspondence course; the National Writers Club course and a creative writing class at the University of New Mexico. This has given me the confidence it takes to put my work out in front of the world. There's no free lunch, and these courses cost me a few hundred dollars at the time, and is one of the best things I've done for myself!
I've been in the humor business since I was eleven years old, so I knew my website would be of a humorous nature, so style and theme were never an issue.
Along with peace; love; honor; freedom; humor; trust...I think one of the most important words in the world is courage! It takes courage to start a family; move away from your family, or build a website, to show your "stuff" to the world. Because I take so many risks with my work, I've needed courage every step of the way. Some decisions have paid off...others have not, but it all comes with the territory! One thing is certain about building a website. Whether I compose a sentence; a paragraph; or an entire page...it takes courage to open it up to the publc...and let the wold see...for better or worse!
The Future: (2007 and beyond)
The strategy for the future of my website remains the same...keep it simple, stupid! As I learn, and gain experience, changes will be made to my website in an appropriate manner. I'm not interested in keeping up with the Jones' or anybody else. And, right now, my website is flourishing...my dream has come true, and I couldn't be happier!
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In the fall of 2003, this writing piece you are now reading, was published in the Women at Work Newsletter. A few days later I got this email from one of its readers.
"Hi Jer...just wanted to thank you for your article, Building My Website...
One Brick at a Time. I came across it in the Women At Work Ezine.
It was exactly what I needed at this moment in time. I have created a simple
website (almost finished). I've learned the basics of what I have to learn, but
nothing fancy. Because I surf so much, I see a lot of fancy nice pages.
I had begun to compare mine to all that I was seeing, and was starting to
think that mine was not fancy enough, and was lacking. I was stressing at
the thought of 'learning more' before I could go forward...delaying it even
longer. I've been steadily working on my site for about 7 months and
working on the ideas for over a year now.
The relief I felt as I read your article, has put me back on track, working on
my simple but quality site. I will stick to my plans to learn more, as I am able,
and only make changes, if there is good reason to do so.
You made your point in a simple, straightforward way, and I thank you for
your encouraging article...Darlene."
Thank you, Darlene...Jer
This website is being constructed with simple tools and a simple mind...one brick at a time.