Should you create a blog website if you are a writer? That isn’t the question. If you’re a writer (or an entrepreneur of any kind) you must have a website. Many of you have heard you can produce it yourself. Or have someone else construct it. Possibly a hybrid.
What’s driving your decision? Time. Cost. Knowledge. Capability.
Should you create a website yourself?
If you’re considering a do-it-yourself project here’s the ONE thing you need to consider first. Drumroll, please. . .
Do you enjoy puzzles?
That’s it. Yes or no.
If you like puzzles, go for it. Build your site and they may come if you know what you are doing and spend time figuring out design, site structure, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
If you don’t like puzzles, get some help. Here’s my story. I hope it’ll prevent frustration.
Just like you, I knew I needed to have a website. Although I didn’t have anything to sell, I wanted to get my name out there in cyber-world as a writer. I did my research and decided I wanted to go with the WordPress.com platform. I’d own my content (important for any writer), would be able to enhance pages and make changes, and could add blog posts at any time.
A fellow writer encouraged me to make the site myself. She said it was easy, told me about web-based classes and podcasts, blog posts, and cited hundreds of ‘how-to’ YouTube videos. I worked diligently on my site. I spent hours reading the documentation, replayed videos over and over, and cursed like a drunken sailor when I couldn’t make it work. It wasn’t that I couldn’t generate the website or assemble pages. My problem was that it wasn’t WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get.) What I typed into the input generator was simply not what I saw on the output. It was frustrating. The colors and fonts weren’t right. The page wasn’t esthetically pleasing. I gave up trying to make it perfect. I left it alone altogether.
Why you should get help to create a blog website
Fast-forward a couple of years and I needed to spiff it up. I couldn’t remember anything I’d learned when originally establishing the site. I was lamenting my concerns to a friend, neighbor, and book-club enthusiast. She said she’d help me and an audible sigh came from somewhere deep inside my chest. The items I wanted to change were huge to me but tiny to her. Kelley Wilson started blogging seven years ago on her lifestyle blog, Miss Information. She also owns a business to help other bloggers optimize their websites. She enjoys it—go figure.
We got together to go over my short list of items to fix. As we did, she showed me that I could make my site more modern-looking by selecting a different template (aka theme). In a short time, we worked together to establish my core competencies and what I wanted my audience to know about me and my writing. For example, what are the top three words that describe what I do? What are the top three subjects I write about? What tips can I share?
Kelley Wilson of blogupward.com has rejuvenated my website. She taught me the basics of SEO. Although I’m still learning, I find her SEO course straightforward and simple to implement. Beyond that, she not only gave me my sanity but also more time to write. Isn’t that what every writer wants?
Bottom line: I hate puzzles. I’ll listen for the Final Jeopardy answer because I rarely guess it. I’m not interested in crossword puzzles, the Jumble, or heaven forbid, Sudoku. It’s not my thing and that’s okay. I realize that I need others with expertise to guide me. My lessons-learned: I must hire talent to diagnose problems, find quick solutions, and repair my website. If I knew what I know now, I’d hire someone to create my site and keep them on retainer for problems.
I’ll ask again. Do you enjoy puzzles? This one question will help you decide how to move forward to create a writer’s website that is beautiful and useful.
Let me know what works for you.