For the past month I have been bombarded with the same question from several people and I haven’t gotten around to answering everyone so I decided to go for a public address to you all.
When I started out, I was so excited to let the world know what I had to say but I came in with the wrong attitude. I know most of us were raised with the expectation of presenting our best work, but that can only happen when you have had a lot of practice. The worst thing about a blog is, you practice in public, which kind of forces you to try harder with your writing and grammar.
I believe most of you who are asking me this question never got a chance to see my first website but if you had, you wouldn’t be asking me for advice. But anyway here it is, my first website design was so beat up I remember whipping it together because I wanted to save up some money but after hosting it I lived with a lot of regret.
First of all it was too wide on every screen, in IE (internet explorer) it showed all the amateur work I had put together it was so frustrating because I hadn’t told anyone I had gone live but it seemed like the universe was conspiring against me and some how people knew by the time I opened up my mail it was filled up with 15 complaints about the website.
The social buttons were not working, the comment button wasn’t working and no matter how much I tried to convince people to read the stories which by the way where very good none of them wanted to. It just felt so awful.
After two weeks of trying hard to correct the code and everything with lots of money lost in data,I finally gave up on correcting it myself. Called up a friend to help me out but he kept on stalling until I gave up on waiting and decided to pull down the site.
But before I could do it I switched on T.V and there I was, watching NBS television. At first I thought it was NTV but the colours were not matching so I realized it was NBS.
My mind drove me back to 2004 when I had first watched NBS television, it was in a sorry state but somehow they were now better than some Television stations which were the best in that year.
I understood deep down it was not the site that had the problem it was me, I needed to learn to accept my imperfections and then learn how to improve on them than eliminating them by for instance pulling them down and moving on with my life like it had never happened before.
So I hired someone to work on a site for me and I liked the second design, the night I first saw it I was so thankful I had pushed myself forward to improve it and when it was done I was so proud of myself. But somehow Joomla was teasing me; I couldn’t somehow work with it. I did my best to learn how to use it but every single day seemed like the first time.
I finally decided to take my friend Steven Kalwazi’s offer of teaching me how to use wordpress. With WordPress, within one day I was set and ready to work. My worry was it would take me a month to develop a new site but I was shocked it only took me 4 days with his expert advice.
Kalwazi asked me to come up with a concept that would have a Sarah feel. A design someone would look at and know this was done by Sarah. Clean lines, less clatter and flashy accessories.
I must say I nailed it but to get it I had to envision myself as a musician. I was like, I am this upcoming musician whose first song was not a hit and the second song was a bit there and I was so hungry to prove myself. What would I do to get on top of the music industry?
That was a question I answered, this musician would work hard on capturing the audience with her songs and music videos. The more people talk about your song you go forward if they fall in love with your music video that is an added advantage.
In that moment I realized I could make the website design my music video and I knew I had to bring it on with the design so that people would just come by my website to appreciate it and that alone could get me site visitors daily for no particular reason since I also checkout www.laurenconrad.com ‘s website daily for the love of the design. It is a very beautiful site by the way.
And that alone I have seen has brought me people who even go a head and just comment about the website design. Then I went for the most obvious the stories, I looked at them as my beautifully crafted songs and I always make sure I write them with heavy instrumentals of beautiful songs. I really love draining all that creativity and add it to my stories and I must say it has worked out pretty well for me.
With my stories I don’t have to look at how good I am working the SEO (site engine optimization), I practically don’t even know how to make it work for me it is you guys who get me listed on it so I am thankful for that and most especially to Kalwazi who showed me that design can be personally about yourself and the things you love.
He also taught me that there is never a great hosting company so never ever pay hosting for a whole year, pay per month until you figure out whether that is where you want to stay forever.
He always says finding a great host is like paying for your own land and building your house on it. Too bad he gave me this advice when it was too late for me because I had lost a lot of money in switching after paying a whole year to one company but you can use this advice.
I know I couldn’t single out any particular advice because I don’t know any tech advice but I do know my personal blog journey and the problems I have encountered and surpassed.
Hope I have been of help.