Simple Lessons in starting a website 

Lesson 1
Get a note book or some loose sheets of paper to start a journal in a binder. It does not need to be fancy. This is where you will keep all info you gather about making your site, including these lesson plans and any newspaper or magazine clippings.

Just a simple ring binder with loose leaf pages works for me. I keep my daily to do list in the front. That way I finish my chores first before I start on the computer. I also keep any info relating to my website and any notes I may want to add, change on my site. It is so good to have it all in one place and not on scraps of paper lost here and there all over the house and car.

Lesson 2    Time to Commit
Spend 10 minutes today deciding how much time you can commit to your new hobby. Think about it while you are on the bus or train or having your morning cup of tea. This is just your initial committment - it is not a long term committment - once your site is up and running with lots of content you will not need to spend this much time. You can even take a week or two off and still be making money!

I started with one hour a day on 6 days of the week. You may only have half an hour to spare. That is fine but it is about the minimum. If you feel you don't even have  half an hour well maybe you could manage two fifteen minute time slots per day.

I found that because I really wanted to do this I got my house work done quicker. I got organised for the next day at night so I could hit the floor running. I thought about and did research for my site in my lunch hour at work.

Lesson 3    Content   or Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Well just 1 actually WHAT IS YOUR WEBSITE ABOUT? What is the topic? Do you want to share information? Make Money? Connect with other people? Help others to connect? Be famous? Have fun?

Do you already know what your site will be about? If so write it down now in your journal. Write as much info as you can about what you want it to be like - colours, size, type of font, headings. If you went to a site with the title of your new website what would be there? Would it be friendly and personal with personal stories OR would it be business like and anonymous? Would it be cool and groovy? Try and get all these ideas down.

Still stuck? Go to some of the websites you visit on the web and look at them differently. What is good about them ?  What do you not like?  How could you make them better?

Lesson 4    More on Content
Still not sure what your site will be about  - then use the search engines.

Go to dogpile  to see what the rest of the world is searching for - it might give you some ideas.

Try zeitgeist Google's weekly lists of the top ten search queries called Google Zeitgeist, which means "the spirit of an era" (basically what people are putting into the Google search bar)

Lesson 5 Keyword Search
Got a few ideas in mind and can't choose between two topics? Or wondering if the topic you've chosen is appealing to advertisers?

Be an advertiser for 5 minutes and see what you'd pay to link your ads to certain keywords. Visit different advertising services to figure out how valuable the keywords are to the advertisers using those services.

Check out Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google AdWords.

Lesson Six   Routines or To Do List

You will need to create daily or weekly routines to keep you on track. When I started I made sure all my chores were done - what ever is on your need to do list for the day do it first and then focus your spare time on your web site. As a stay at home mum my daily to - do list looked something like this 1. get up and shower and dress 2. make the bed  3. have something healthy for breakfast 4. put on a load of washing 5. get kids organised for school 6. get kids to school 7. cup of tea while looking at to-do lists for home and business/ calendar/- I find to-do lists are a must for keeping me in a routine. 8. tidy up designated room for the day 9. make sure there was something for dinner 10. hang out washing 11. ready to go to computer

Your to do-list may be very different from mine, especially if you go to work or school every day and only get to the computer on weekends, but you still need one to keep you organized and motivated. When ever I get off track I don't beat myself up, I just go back to my to-do list and start where I left off. So make that to do list now.

Lesson 7 More organization - in the car

I get a lot of ideas in the car - so I keep some post it notes and a pencil. When I get a brain wave I jot it down on the post it note, then when I get home I pull that note off and post it right in my folder.

Lesson 8 - Background info on search engines

It is important to understand some basics about search engines. Why do you use a search engine? For one reason only and that is to find what you are looking for. A good search engine is one that is accurate. Search engines have became more accurate because they look at one thing. That thing is content. Not colour, not grahics, not photos but text. Content.

If you want to rank high in the search engines you must make a page with lots of content. This content must be about the topic of your page. If you have one of the best pages about your topic then you will be ranking well in the search engines. Think about what people type into the search engine. Try and use this word or phrase in your URL and in your header and in your first paragraph. Go to my home page and you will see that I repeat the name of my site again in my first paragraph.

Lesson 9 more on Content of your site.

Adding good content to your site is what you work on - that is your work, your output and the money you make from reliable, trustworthy sponsors like google is your income. Your site needs to have lots of information. The more content pages on you site the more different pages people can find when they search for the information you offer. Your site needs to be easy for people to get around. 

The more relevant content you have on your site, the more relevant you will be to the search engines.  

Good rankings will come if you have a well-organized  site with a significant amount of optimized content and links. You can have lots of good content but without any incoming links you have little chance of ranking well.

The more links to your site, the more likely it is that your site will rank well in google and the other search engines. Search engines consider a link to be a "vote" for your site. The more your site has, the better it must be.


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