Showing posts with label Resources. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Resources. Show all posts

Take the Controls, Own Your Website

 Who Owns Your Website? 

Wouldn’t you rather be the owner and manager of a website for your business?

After growth and stability were established on my artist’s blog, and my skills had developed for managing multiple blogs, I wanted a static website.  A website would present my Bio and Resume of accomplishments as well as display my art for sale.  As I considered the design, I visited many artists’ websites.  I considered ease of layout and available access to information a priority.  My intent was to showcase my art to encourage interest, but I wanted an uncluttered, straightforward appearance.

An artist’s blog is fun and lively with lots of inspiring areas of “discovery”.  But my website required sophistication and structure. 

My husband and several friends worked with website designers to set up their websites.  These designers became the managers of the website with certain controlling actions that only they could execute; thus, multiple headaches for the customer. The business owner couldn’t update or make changes for a majority of strategic items.

With my technical skills, I considered that I was able to design, manage and control my website directly.  I studied the opportunities available, bought books on website design and took an HTML & CSS code computer class.  I evaluated many template setups and talked to a couple of my tech savvy artist friends that had chosen a similar direction for recommendations.

With, my homework done it was time to dive into selecting my host network, ULR name and address, and the template to begin!  I chose a WordPress template and spent several intense days getting my website designed, loaded, and running.  The nerve-racking part was the site is live to the public as soon as you begin–scary thought–so you want the site to look as good as possible right away!  Some may choose to lock the website screen to read “Under Construction”, but I didn’t want to take the risk of locking up any part of my website.  I followed YouTube tutorials to guide me through the process and to cover all the hidden steps efficiently and effectively.
So, who owns my website?  I do!  And you can too!

Resource List:
Content Management Systems

• Top 10 Most Usable CMS by Glen Stansberry.  This post is from 2009 but still helpful.
• WordPress
• Drupal
• Joomla
• Expression Engine
• Tyler Moore

Deborah Lyn Stanley is a writer, editor and artist.  She is a retired project manager who now devotes her time to writing, art and caregiving mentally impaired seniors. 

She has independently published a collection of 24 artists’ interviews entitled the Artists Interview Series.  The series was also published as articles for an online news network and on her website: Deborah Lyn Stanley - Writers Blog.  Deborah is published in magazines.  She is a blogger who has managed several group sites including ones she founded.
“Write your best, in your voice, your way!”

The Best Thing To Do with a Book Is Ruin It!

By WritersOntheMove member Carolyn Howard-Johnson

I always suggest that people mark up their books. I suggest it in The Frugal Book Promoter ( I even market with a photo of the first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter that publisher Nancy Cleary sent me. The book is bristling with her Post-It notes and fat with turned-down pages. And pictures speak a thousand words.

When you make notes in the margins, your book becomes a much better resource than when you turn corners down. But either approach is better than a pristine copy stuck away on a bookshelf somewhere.

I once fully annotated to a paperback biography of Michelangelo when when I was staying in Florence for an extended period of time. I just wrote anything that popped into my head including that I had just walked down the street where M's museum marked his birthplace.

I eventually gave that book to my grandson who was big on literature! I think it was a much nicer gift than something new.

Usually teachers discourage marking books because it seems destructive. I think it's just the opposite. It makes a book your own. My new year's resolution is to mark up more of my books and it turns out that Antoine Wilson, author of Panorama City, plans on doing the same thing in 2013. He says, "For years I've been folding down page corners as a means of noting remarkable passages, but when I go back to these, they're baffling." He resolves to do more scribbling in books, too

And how do I know this? I read it in the LA Times. It's not too late to make a resolution of your own, is it? At least not too late for something this simple!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Utilize Your Resources

One day not long ago my sister called me in tears of sheer panic. It turned out she was taking a course with .which she was having problems. It was a subject that was difficult for me to help her with from long distance, so I asked her, "Have you utilized your resources?"

This is also true for writers. I think most writers have or will at some time have something or someone they know nothing about, and it can be very difficult to write about that thing or person with some basic knowledge. You run the risk of being unconvincing. For instance, your leading character is a lawyer. That fact may not really have any impact on your story, but lawyers do have a certain way of thinking, a certain way of talking. That needs to come through in order for your character to b convincing. But you are not a lawyer so it is necessary to research him or her.What do you do?

Look around you. Look to see what resources you have available to you. There could be a neighbor or someone in your church who is a lawyer. Or you could go sit in on a trial at your local courthouse. Observe their characteristics, how they talk, even (if possible) what their interests are. There may be certain phrases they use frequently, or a particular motion of their hand they do when they talk. Do they have the habit of looking past you or directly at you when speaking to you? Is their voice strong, firm, confident, or hesitant?

Look at the resources available to you and use them. Build your character from the real thing. If it is something like a special type of car, go to the library or even to the dealership and learn about the good and the bad points of that car. There may be a little quirk about that car that you can use to make the one in your story seem special or (no laughing here) have character/personality. It may have the habit of choking down at the oddest time, causing your character some aggravation or to add some humor at a point in your story that works for you.

You may be amazed at how many resources you have around you that are just waiting for you to take advantage of them.

Faye M. Tollison
Author of: To Tell the Truth
Upcoming books: The Bible Murders
                            Sarah's Secret
Member of: Sisters in Crime
                  Writers on the Move

Authors Need to be Realistic

By Terry Whalin  @terrywhalin Over the years, I’ve met many passionate writers. One brand new writer told me, “My book is going to be a best...