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Old 17th August 2011, 03:41 PM   #1
BeTheBest
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Default Building A Website - Improving An Existing Site - Follow Me Project

Hello Forum Members and Visitors,

I am pleased to announce that the Small Business Ideas Forum has allowed me to post this ‘Follow Me’ project which is actually a ‘diary or log’ of what I am doing to create a new website.

I am doing this in order to help others and be able to demonstrate the exact steps that I have taken to set up this new website. I have read and responded to countless posts and questions about 'what to do'. The worse part is that some are asking about things that are useless or will do so little to help their site, it's a waste of time.

This 'Follow Me' project isn’t intended to be instructions on HTML coding or using any particular Content Management System (CMS) like Wordpress. Although I will be offering specific HTML tips, I am assuming you can either a create website using an HTML Editor or you’re using one of the CMS’s available and that you have the basic skills needed (or you have a technical person who can).

Also know that this information will be helpful for those who already have a website and are trying to improve it. I will be covering issues like the steps I have taken for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-Mail Lists and Auto Responders, getting your visitors to sign up to your list, creating (or improving) your Credibility online, and much more. With over a decade of online marketing and web design experience, I have discovered that websites are a lot like good diamonds; They both require several different facets in order to shine!

The site is due to launch before the end of August, 2011. Although I will post each of the steps that I have taken, (trying to keep them in the order that were completed) I welcome your questions. If there are any specific areas that you want more information on, please do not hesitate to post them here or drop me a PM.

Stay tuned for more info and I wish each of you success online!

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Old 17th August 2011, 04:04 PM   #2
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Looks like fun. I look forward to following you.

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Old 18th August 2011, 12:27 PM   #3
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I'm looking forward to it!

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Old 19th August 2011, 12:46 AM   #4
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Definitely following! Keep us posted

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Old 24th August 2011, 11:27 PM   #5
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AUG 24, 2011

To start, I’ve decided to date my entries to make it easier for readers to follow my timeline. (I realize that this forum automatically does a date stamp, but I am not sure how many readers actually pay attention or check those dates)

As of today, I am at pre-launch of the site. If you’ve never done this before, (setting up a website) there is probably more ‘behind the scenes work’ at the start up then there is online work.

My business model is to create affordable eBooks that will provide sensible and targeted information on a variety of topics that are all related to setting up and building your website or improving an existing one.

My online experience goes back to the mid to late 1990’s; actually before Google was around. Yes, I can remember when Alta Vista was the ‘hot’ search engine and one of the most popular methods of getting online was through your AOL account! Wow… how the world has changed!

Most of my career I have been involved in sales and marketing in the automotive air conditioning market. I also became a certified instructor and wrote articles for industry magazines. Having spoken to 100’s of service techs and answered literally 1,000’s of forum posts online, I realized that there was a need for service information that made it easy to understand some of the specific service and diagnostic procedures.

Starting with 3 eBooks, I started a website in 2004 that catered to the professional and do-it-yourselfer (DIY) market. (From my research, I understood that both groups had many of the same needs) The overall theory was that a lot of guys knew about certain service and diagnostic procedures, but needed help with others. For that reason, I split the repair information in several short eBooks (about 20-25 pages) that all (continue to sell) for relatively low dollar values. My hope at the time was to prove the value of my information in every book. The beauty is that many clients purchased one eBook, only to return and purchase several other topics. The proof of the pudding is in the eating!

My information offering soon expanded to Training DVD’s and ultimately a ‘Master Training Course’. I am proud to claim clients from around the world including many technical colleges and universities as well as the US Military instructors and service personnel.

I expect to apply all the same strategies for SEO, website design and layout and marketing to my new site.

The information on this new site will start with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Getting Testimonials and E-Mail Marketing. Other topics like Writing Content, Generating Traffic etc. will follow. I do not have a specific timeline for the additional content.

Much of the more rudimentary topics will be made available through free downloads.

I am a great believer in eMail marketing. (I can already see the ‘rolling eyes’ out there), but I will tell you that from my experience, when used properly, it still remains one of the best methods of marketing to your prospects.

Typically, e-mail marketing starts with enticing a visitor to sign up to a list in exchange for something of value; typically free information. Since I decided to launch this new site, I have been extremely busy getting those information packages put together.

You should know that I am also a believer in one other simple, yet often overlooked business strategy that has served me well over the last decade. That is simply, ‘Over Deliver’. That strategy instantly created a huge workload compiling the free information that I will use to attract subscribers. Although it’s been a job creating the ‘free’ products, there is method to my ‘madness’.

Typically a new subscriber is active or pays attention to your information for the first 14-21 days. After that, unless you continue to deliver good information, e-mail messages get overlooked.

In order to keep subscribers interested and hold their interest, I have developed a series of Website Workbooks that will be sent over the first 90-120 days of the registration. Topics of the workbooks will range from ‘Where do I start’, to Setting up your Home Page, Writing content, Starting your SEO, Setting up your Auto Responder and E-Mail list, Getting e-mail addresses and lots, lots more. In total, I expect to have over 30 workbooks in the series; that means subscribers would get about 1 every 3-4 days. That concept of ‘Over Deliver’ can easily turn into a lot of work!

To wrap this up, so far I have completed the following:

OVERALL STRATEGY: I am looking to attract visitors that need help with their websites. Target audience is visitors setting up their first site to those looking to improve an existing one.

MARKETING STRATEGY: Utilizing e-mail marketing and auto responders, I am looking to build a list of subscribers that I can continue to share information with. That will include the different SEO myths that keep popping up to issues about site layout, links, back links, writing tips and tricks and even help with establishing credibility. I also have a good understanding of how business can make more use of their website and how to attract new customers and maintain existing ones.

HOME PAGE SET UP and SUBSCRIPTION PAGE: The home page is critical because that’s the first page the search engines will review. I do not have many content pages ready as of yet.

KEYWORD RESEARCH: I will discuss more about keyword etc in other forum posts.

AUTO RESPONDER- E-MAIL LIST- REGISTRATION: I consider my Subscription page to be very important. Along with creating the content for subscribers, there have also been issues with graphics too. I am lucky in that I am self taught at Corel Draw and Corel Photo Paint (yes, oldies… but still great pieces of software) so graphics are not a problem for me. Most of the graphics are complete.

I am still planning to launch before the end of August 2011. If there are any particular questions, please do not be afraid to ask. I will do my best to respond.

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Last edited by BeTheBest; 24th August 2011 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 25th August 2011, 08:08 AM   #6
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Thank you Matthew. I'm glad its moving forward and you'll be keeping us posted with how you do things and the results. I realize its not part of something you are teaching with this but can you please give us some basics on how you are creating your website? Do you use a program, wordpress or something else? How much time did you put into it?

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Old 25th August 2011, 08:33 AM   #7
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Love the descriptive planning steps - well done!

I seem to remember that this exercise was to prove the point that a successful website can be built without the need for backlinks. (Or did I confuse this with some other conversation?)

I see no mention of using or seeking backlinks in your description. Does that signify that backlinking strategy is off the table and your website will not be trying to develop backlinks?

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Old 25th August 2011, 10:29 AM   #8
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Thanks for your reply Logan and Spider,

Logan, of course there are countless methods of actually setting up the site. Not sure, but do people still write HTML Code? (Just kidding). In some of the download information I cover these issues briefly. It would be impossible to cover all of them, but I do discuss writing HTML, Wordpress and other Content Management Systems.

So you know, we operate a website design and hosting service that utilizes a proprietary CMS and Shopping Cart. That's the CMS that I am using. Within this system, we have been able to create things that we know are important. As an example, you can create unique PAGE TITLES and META DESCRIPTIONS for each page. That's something that a lot of Content Systems don't allow. I know that a lot of shopping carts don't allow for that either. I myself do not use Wordpress for any site, but I have worked with it and I discuss that in the basic information provided from the site.

Spider,
Quote:
Love the descriptive planning steps - well done!
Thank you! I appreciate your kind words. From working with clients, I can honestly say that the 'planning steps' are almost always overlooked. I simply ask clients 'why they want/need a website?'. The silence is deafening!

With respect to backlinks, that was another project that 'Sanity Check' was going to do. I think he was going to cover that issue (backlinks) specifically.

Although I was prepared to contribute to that project, as far as I know, it hasn't launched to date.

This project was one I was preparing to launch anyway. I thought the 'follow me' was an interesting approach to let readers 'peek over my shoulder' and see what is being done. I contacted 'Sanity Check' to ask if he had a problem with me setting up this project, as I didn't want to 'steal his thunder'. With his blessing, I contacted Logan to be sure there wasn't any 'forum issues' that would create problems.

However, as a matter of coincidence, I am not a big believer in trying to get backlinks. I understand their value, but I found out a long time ago, those links have to happen naturally. By that, I mean you could spend the rest of your life trying to contact other sites for links... and (from past experience) find that it's near impossible to get those links.

However, one of my sites that provides a huge amount of information gets linked to all the time (because people are sharing what they found to help others).

So in short, this isn't the 'No Backlinks' project; However, I do not work specifically on getting backlinks. Just far too time consuming.

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Last edited by BeTheBest; 25th August 2011 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 25th August 2011, 08:49 PM   #9
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Thanks, BTB. I have been a disbeliever in backlinks for a long time, expecting them to have diminishing value as more people artificially try to get them and buy and sell them. I anticipate good things for your new website.

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Old 27th August 2011, 06:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Logan, of course there are countless methods of actually setting up the site. Not sure, but do people still write HTML Code? (Just kidding).
I do () a simple html editor is TopStyle if others are interested in getting into their sites and editing their title tags themselves. Its easy as can be.

Agreed Matthew, just was looking to understand the basics of what you do to create an initial website so it wasn't completely blind to us following along.

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