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Blog Food-Guest Blogger Series # 8

You are really going to enjoy this part of Toolie’s series.

Reason 8: Branding, Creativity, and Freedom to Fly

I get asked a lot about how I can possibly make a living teaching
website and blog skills when there are so many free website templates
and site-builders out there already. My answer is simple: people come
to me when they’re tired of bumping into the limitations that both
website templates and site-builders have. They’re ready to make their
sites work for them, instead of the other way around.

I remember when I learned to ride a two-wheeled bicycle. My Dad bought
a bike with smaller wheels, and put training wheels on it. (This was
before we knew we should wear helmets, but thankfully all I ever got
were skinned knees.) I rode up and down the sidewalk, back and forth,
back and forth. After a while I thought I was ready to have the
training wheels taken off. Dad ran alongside me and steadied me while
I got that wobbly front wheel under control. After a few sideways
landings (thank goodness for lawns!) I took off and pedaled as fast as
I could until Dad called me back. It was incredible! I felt like I was
flying.

Pretty soon I was doing circles and figure-eights in the street, going
fast, going slow, even racing with the other kids in the neighborhood.
It’s a good thing I liked riding my bike because I rode it to piano
lessons, to my first job at the grocery store, and even to driver’s
education classes during the summer after my sophomore year in high
school. I rode it to go shopping as a teenager, and many years later,
I rode it for recreation and fitness. (McAlister and I even rode bikes
on our first few dates.)

The point is, once I got the hang of riding with training wheels, I
insisted on having them taken off so I could ride my bike without
them. I wanted to feel grown up and free. As silly as the comparison
may seem, being able to maneuver your own websites and blogs gives you
that same sense of freedom and control. And the people who come to me
are usually the ones who want a sense of empowerment, freedom, and
control. They understand the importance of standing out, of being
unique among the millions of websites already online.

There’s another really, really important aspect to consider about your
sites, and that is your brand. Usually by the time entrepreneurs,
virtual assistants, and small business owners come to work with me,
they’ve got a logo and color scheme that they want applied to their
sites. That’s the difference between having a site that looks like the
other 662 sites using your website template, and having a site that is
truly unique and reflects your brand choices. Plus with a site you’ve
built or had built, you have the flexibility to do creative things
with it, such as audio, video, and other interactive features.

A site with a good design gives you so many opportunities to attract
visitors by continually expanding and enhancing it with good content.
In my website/blog training program, we’ll talk about both design and
content to produce sites that really work for your business.
Tomorrow: Reason 7 – Behind-the-Scenes Knowledge to Really Enhance
Your Site

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