Fantasy World Writer Blog- Advice for creating a website or blog- Part 1

Fantasy World Writer Blog- Advice for creating a website or blog- Part 1

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Where to start with this new blog about the history and process I went through to create www.fantasyworldwriter.com?


Starting at the beginning makes sense, I suppose. I don't want to make this blog over a hundred pages long though so I will break it out into weekly blogs that will hopefully be interesting and help others that are trying to create their own blogs and websites and also help me better focus on what I want to accomplish with the site. The goal is to have fun, entertain, and inform.


Back on October 13, 2013 I created a WordPress blog that was my first blog announcing my purchase and start on fantasyworldwriter.com. I am providing the link to that blog here but you really don't need to read it since each one of us has their own reasons for wanting to start a website or blog. My reasons were that I wanted to be creative, learn new skills, and start a new hobby that seemed to have more meaning than playing video games. I have always enjoyed reading science fiction and fantasy so building a website around a hobby I enjoy made great sense.


I have learned a lot over the last almost three years and will now give my advice on creating and maintaining a website or blog.


Advice for creating a website or blog

1. Get started
I am a professional in a career that involves planning and budgeting but if you don't get started you are never going to achieve your goals.  Sure, you should plan and research blogging and website development but if you are like most people you won't get it right the first time and will just learn as you go. Take the first step by writing something!


2. Analyze your strengths and interests
I know that I am a detail-oriented and analytical person that likes working on challenging technical projects. I am not afraid of computers and will take hours trying new programs and tools. I also like reading science fiction and fantasy stories. I realized quickly that I wanted a fairly robust and feature-rich website and to do that I needed to learn a lot.


3. Develop the scope and goals for your website

• What type of content do I plan to focus on? 


If your focus is on a text-based blog and you don't want to get into programming or a complex site then a WordPress or other simple website designer would be a great place to start. Do you want additional features such as user submissions, social integration, mailing lists, comments or reviews? If so start creating a list of planned features while understanding that adding these features will either require learning skills or paying to have them built. I will write more about content planning in part two next week.


• Do you enjoy or want to learn how to develop and customize your own website?
I have learned a lot about website development over the last three years. If you don't want to learn programming that is OK as you can still build a very good website with modern tools with little to know programming skills due to some great website builder tools now available for little to know costs.  I won't go into much of the technical details of how to build a website in this blog but I will in my website creation blog.


• Do you plan to have a commercial site where you will sell a product or service?
I wanted to use my site to recommend books by writing book reviews and providing links to purchase those books directly from Amazon through my Amazon affiliate status.  I did not want to list and ship products directly from my site though as the goal was not to create my own online store or maintain products for resell.


• How much time can you dedicate to your website weekly and how often will you post new content?

I have a busy family life and am involved in many activities with my wife and children so I really only have a few hours a week to work on the website as a hobby. I don't plan to turn the website into a career and my goals need to be connected to the time commitment I can make.


• Will you want to increase the number of hits and users to you site?

We all want people to come to our site but many sites and tools just are not functional or fresh enough to continue to drive users consistently. Mobile sites have become higher prioritized on Google searches and building a mobile-friendly site is not always easy. 


• Are you willing to pay to promote your site on search engines?

There is a lot of competition for eyeballs from some really big websites.  You need to be willing to spend at least some money or time or both in order to promote your website. I have spent money on Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, and Bing and can speak to my results in a future article.  All have some value and what works for me might not work for you.


• What will your social media strategy be?

I like using Twitter as an inexpensive way of promoting my website and even went so far as to spend money to gain followers. You must have a social media presence for your website but keep separate accounts for your website and don't post a lot of personal information on these social media accounts.  Keep your posts related to your website content and target audience. You can see what I post on Twitter here which includes free book promotions and website content updates.


I hope you liked this first part of the Fantasy World Writer blog. Each week I will dive deeper into each of the questions above to help you better develop the best website possible. Come back next week for part two where I will help you further focus on determining the specific content and frequency for your website. 


Please comment below on this article and post it to social media if you liked it and found it useful. Let me know what you would like to see me blog about in future weeks. 

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