Custom Author Website for $300

We're considering adding custom author websites to our offerings.

These would be extremely affordable but worth about ten times what they'll cost. I have nearly 25 years of experience in web development so I work quickly and efficiently and I love doing this.

For $300 (three hundred dollars) one time cost you'll get a custom made WordPress site with a blog and as many pages as you need. It will include all the content you provide, text and images, and will be designed to match your book (or whatever color scheme you provide.) Once the site is created you'll get one round of edits, which includes virtually any changes you like to layout, colors, fonts, text.

There must be a catch, right?

Not really.

What's not included is the domain name and hosting, which you'll have to buy from our preferred hosting company Charlottezweb. Domains are $10 per year and hosting is $52 per year. We also provide managed hosting; we charge $25 per year for domains and $125 per year for hosting. Managed hosting means we keep your site backed up, updated, and generally trouble free. It does not include updates, which you can do yourself easily. If you already have a domain name we can use that.

To summarize: a unique, custom WordPress site and blog for $300 plus hosting costs.

I want to do this for one author to work out the kinks before I make this a general offering. Whoever says yes first gets it.

Some of My Work

I've done loads of websites over the past 20 years. I haven't been promoting my web business so my most recent work has primarily been for our own businesses, but there are a few for clients here as well.

This site, of course.

My author site.

My author coaching website Someday Box.

My music site, tunehenge.

A site for our client, author Errol Barr.

Custom Massage Work, my massage therapist.

Why You Should Avoid Digital Sharecropping

In the bad old days, some folks were trapped in a poverty-inducing cycle, farming land they could never own. Rich landowners allowed ("allowed" !) tenant farmers to work the land in exchange for a share of the crop. The rich landowner, simply because he owned the land, received a share of the crops as well.

The sharecropper could never make enough to buy the land. The system was designed to keep the rich rich and the poor poor.

Eleven times a week I hear questions about "the best blogging platform." And I read recommendations of, not only various free blogging tools, but even folks who consider their Facebook page or other social media presence to be their online marketing.

If you don't own the land, you're sharecropping, building someone else's empire.

… more … "Why You Should Avoid Digital Sharecropping"

Top 12 Tech Tools for Setting Up Your New Business

Top 12 Tech Tools for Setting Up Your New BusinessThere are many online tech tools available for setting up a new business. As a small business owner myself for the past 10 years, I’ve come to rely on several that I recommend. The top 12 I recommend are:
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8 Tips for Your Facebook Fan Page

8 Tips for Your Facebook Fan Page1. Interaction with fans will increase the likelihood of your posts showing up in that fan’s newsfeed.

2. Encourage people to:

  •  Like your posts
  •  Comment on your posts
  •  Share your posts

3. End your post asking your readers to comment and share with their network.

4. Ask fans to “Tell me how you feel…”

5. Share something about yourself and ask your fans to share something about themselves as well.

6. Encourage fans to ask questions and then be sure to answer them.

7. Ask your fans questions. Questions that ask ‘where,’ ‘when,’ and ‘should’ are more successful at engaging readers than asking ‘why.’

8. Use images to attract your reader’s eye and compel them to read your post.

Don't Ask Technicians to Build on a Non-Technical Foundation

It happens all the time in my web business; someone comes to me with 'everything ready'—they have a domain name, hosting, email, content; it's all ready to go. This will be the easiest website you've ever done, they say.

Wrong.

Invariably, they've registered the domain name with a service which is, well, limited. They've chosen user-friendly hosting, which means that it's not geek friendly. They have Yahoo email. They have all their content in a Word document, neatly formatted, with images precisely positioned.

The first step, in this case, is to start over.

The choice of hosting has to come after the choice of development technology. My platform of choice these days is WordPress, which means I need hosting on Linux or some other flavor of UNIX. Not Windows. I also need true FTP access for direct access to the files. Not an online file manager.

Email should be you@yourdomain.com, not yourdomain@yahoo.com. I can't 'move' that email, or work with it in any way, without costing you lots and lots of money.

Microsoft Word is not a web development tool. The beautiful formatting in your document will not transfer to the web automatically. It may transfer, partially, to WordPress, but the cleanup will take longer than starting over.

The images embedded in a Word document may very well be useless. Word is not an image management or editing tool. The images may be too small or at too low a resolution to be usable for your site. At the very least, extracting them from Word is going to cost, because it's a tedious process I don't enjoy.

This only covers web development, but the principle applies to choosing a cell phone, your next computer or printer, your internet service . . . any technology—and the people who'll be working with it on your behalf:

Step One is always, always to ask for professional advice from someone you trust.