Blog Food-Guest Blogger Series #1

This is the final installment of the Top Ten Reasons to Manage Your Own Website and Blog Sites!

Reason 1 – Saving Money on Your Monthly Online Budget

By Toolie

Now we’re down to the number 1 reason to manage your websites and
blogs: money. It’s simply less expensive to learn how to handle most
website and blog tasks than it is to pay someone to do them for you.

The most obvious cost to your business is any ongoing website or blog
maintenance you’re paying to a web designer. I’ve heard from clients
that they’ve spent anywhere from $75 to $600 a month on maintenance.
The difference in pricing is related to the amount of work done in
those contracts.

•  A $75 a month charge included 1 major update a month, in this case,
my speakers association chapter adding their monthly meeting to the
•  The $600/month charge was for website hosting, maintenance, and
keyword optimization; that’s what my dentist pays to maintain his page
1 Google status in his geographic area.
I hope your webmaster costs are either zero or somewhere between those
two numbers!

What other costs might there be? Well, you remember the true story of
my client whose website was shut down by a disgruntled team member,
yes? She directly lost revenue because her website wasn’t available.
It would have been difficult on short notice for her to replace the
site she had planned, but if she’d had control of her domain, she
could have pointed it to an alternate site until things were resolved.

What about creating opportunities BECAUSE you have HTML and CSS
skills? The Internet likes speed! Being able to come up with a custom
page on your website or blog that specifically addresses a new
opportunity provides a huge advantage over your competitors who can’t
or don’t provide such targeted information.

In fact, imagine being able to send to a prospect in email the URL of
a specially created web page on your website. Wouldn’t you sit up and
take notice if I said I have a message just for you at  such-and-such
a page? With a simple tool, I created custom pages with individual
names on them  for the folks on my mailing list, using a simple HTML
page and a tool that merges names into those web pages. Like so many
other highly-targeted messages, custom web pages have a big impact.
And this technique is easy and inexpensive to do.

So with basic HTML and CSS skills, you can not only save maintenance
costs, you can create opportunities for new business in targeted,
memorable ways. I hope by now that you’re all out of excuses now for
putting off  earning something that can make you money.

It’s time! The product is now available for purchase. There’s no time
like the beginning of a new year to make a difference in your business
by learning HTML and CSS. Head on over to and get all the details of this
program. I look forward to working with you in our coaching sessions,
and getting 2010 off to a great start.

You can choose to have $10 of the product price donated to the Red
Cross for Disaster Relief to Haiti. Just choose Yes on the Order Form
(near the bottom), and I’ll take care of the rest. — Toolie

The “I Can Fix My Website” program is up and running! Get your copy
right now at


Blog Food-Guest Blogger Series

Hi, I sure hope you are enjoying this series by guest blogger Toolie. I also hope you are getting the message about posting different types of blog food. The series is a feast that can last a long time. Rosie

Reason 4 of Top Ten Reasons to Manage Your Own Websites and Blogs

Reason 4 – Making Changes to Your Site on YOUR Schedule

I’ll tell you a secret about web designers: they like to design, not to maintain.

Design is fun. It’s creative. It’s self-expressive.

Maintenance is detail-oriented. It’s dull. It’s repetitive. But it’s also necessary.

If a web designer enjoys managing details, then carrying maintenance contracts is a good source of ongoing revenue and most web designers will offer to maintain your site for you. Regardless of what you spend on a webmaster though, the rub comes when you need something changed NOW. Right now. Not 2 days from now, not tomorrow, NOW. Scheduling, turnaround times, and your webmaster’s workload all come into play. Once the initial design is done, webma sters are usually not very interested in doing updates to their already-perfect creation.

You must think I hate web designers — I don’t, not at all! After all, technically, I AM a web designer. I do a limited number of site projects for clients who are in a hurry and who are happy to pay for me to do the work. But I don’t do maintenance for them. Any project I take on involves training package for them so that my clients do the maintenance.

It’s not that I don’t like maintenance; I too could make money as a webmaster. But I have a business of my own to run, just like you do. And I have found that my clients are happiest when they really own and run their own sites. (That’s also why my product includes 3 hours of one-on-one coaching time to get you up and running.)

In a previous installment of this series, we talked about making your website or blog a cash-producing machine. How are you going to do that if you can’t make updates quickly? With a site designed for easy maintenance, you can be in charge of those updates yourself and take care of them any time of the day or night. In the “I Can Fix My Website” course, I teach you what is “a site designed for easy maintenance,” so that you can create or refurbish yours with that goal in mind.

Maybe it’s just because I’m a night-person, but I get my greatest ideas in the evening. The phones settle down, we’ve had dinner, I kick off my shoes, and suddenly in the evening, my head is buzzing with ideas. I do most of my writing then, and I want to be able to set up new pages as soon as the writing is finished. If I had to wait until the next day for a web designer to install my updates, I’d go crazy. Being able to create and install new pages, new features, new opt-ins when I need them is the best of possible worlds for me, as business owner of cash-producing websi tes.

Even if you are not the one who creates your site, it still belongs to you. It’s your business at stake, so it pays to know how to operate it inside and out, even if you ultimately delegate some of the work to others. When it’s 7 pm on a Sunday night and you want to add something to your site before Monday morning, I can almost guarantee that neither your virtual assistant nor your web designer will be picking up the phone when you call them for help.

The Internet loves speed. Those are customers whizzing past your site. Get them to stop by and view your latest creations: products, writing, services, all described and made available on YOUR schedule, because you know how to wrangle your site yourself. My website training product plus coaching program will teach you how.
Tomorrow: Reason 3 – Controlling and Protecting Your Business Sites

Blog Food-Guest Blogger Series

Top Ten Reasons to Manage Your Own Websites and Blogs

Reason 5 – HTML/CSS Skills for More Than Just Web Pages and Blog Posts

By Toolie
When I showed the first draft of my website training product to my mentor 2 years ago, he sent it back saying, “where’s the Internet Marketing information?” He was absolutely right. There’s no point in putting a business website or blog on the Internet unless you plan to do the necessary homework and preparations to turn your website or blog into an Internet cash-producing machine. The days of “having a website to have a website” and “if you build it they will come” are long past. You must be attentive to and proactive with your sites to attract the customers you want. You want to make it easy for them to contact you, and if applicable, enable them to buy online.

In my “I Can Fix My Website” training program, we start with HTML and CSS skills to learn how to build a website (the skills also apply to blogs). Before we even begin, though, we start with keyword research. When someone types a search into Google, Yahoo, or MSN (the big 3), they’re typing the words and phrases that are meaningful to them.

You’d better know what those phrases are before you build your site. You don’t need to subscribe to a keyword research service like Wordtracker (though I’d recommend it for at least one month while you’re planning), but you must know what words your customers think of when they go looking for you. They don’t always use the right vocabulary for your product, service, or profession, so you must include the words and phrases THEY use, as well as the correct keywords and phrases.

But there’s more to Internet Marketing than just keywords. And there’s more to having a website or blog that markets for you than just the site itself. The initial “currency” of your site is your emai l list. How are you going to collect your emails and build your list without the opt-in box AND the sequence of pages that ensure that they complete the opt-in loop? What if you decide to give away a free report or downloadable product? Do you know how to create a squeeze page, and its accompanying thank-you page and autoresponder?

These are specialized pages that you could create using your existing web page template. However, one of the keys to a successful opt-in sequence is not allowing for other choices on the page (with certain exceptions). You will have a better opt-in rate if, when they arrive at the “squeeze” page, you limit or eliminate other things they could do on the page. If they see your website or blog navigation and can go elsewhere on your site, you miss out on capturing their email while their curiosity is highest. Do you know how to create a custom page for this purpose? You can learn how. It is NOT dif ficult: my course will teach you how.

HTML email templates are another item that many marketers use online. They’re an attractive way to deliver your message, but those templates are also fraught with layout problems. I learned recently in working with one of my clients that some of the online web-based email programs almost shred the layout of a typical HTML email if you don’t know how to set up the template to keep it together. Because of my skills, I was able to research the issues and set up an HTML Email template for my client (and one for myself) that still look good in programs like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Windows Live Mail. (Those of you who read my emails using those programs have probably already noticed how much better my HTML emails look now!)

The “I Can Fix My Website” training product comes with a free 3-month membership to my support forum. If you have quest ions or problems with your email templates, your site, your squeeze pages, your autoresponders, your graphics, or anything else related to building your site, you’re going to be able to post your issue online and get answers right away. You can also research solutions that I’ve provided to other members, not to mention having access to my virtual “Rolodex®” of website and blog tools, links to good scripts, and lists of recommended utility websites to support you as you build and customize your sites.

It just makes sense to learn HTML and CSS: they’re your ticket to building and maintaining the websites and blogs that work to bring you paying customers. My course will teach you those skills quickly and easily.
Tomorrow: Reason 4 – Making Changes to Your Site on YOUR Schedule

Blog Food-Guest Blogger Series # 6

10 Top Ten Reasons to Manage Your Own Websites and Blogs

Reason 6 – Jazz Up Your Website or Blog with Ideas from Other Sites

By Toolie

Have you ever seen a cool image, graphic, or feature on another site
and wondered how it’s done? With a little knowledge and some
curiosity, you can find out how it’s done, and maybe produce something
similar on your website.

On most websites, it is possible to view the source code of a site in
your browser, and even examine it in your favorite HTML editor. (I do
this all the time when I’m trying to diagnose a problem for a client.)
I also collect URLS to code for neat things like countdown timers,
background snow effects, and other features that I’ve spotted on other
websites. I don’t use the code, though, without first finding out what
the terms of use are, whether it’s free or licensed code.

Most of the time, the code that makes those nifty features appear is
code someone paid for, and with some investigation, I can go find the
site and buy it myself. I am in no way advocating theft of other
people’s intellectual property. (Did you hear what I said?) I’m
talking about doing research in the code so you can go do the right
thing (by buying the code), and enjoy the benefits.

There are sites on the Internet where you can go shopping for features
by the type of code you want to use. Let’s say you want to add a
background “snow” effect for your website during the holidays. My
favorite source for such things is, a centralized
search engine for both free and paid scripts (Javascript, PHP, and
other languages). You don’t have to be a programmer to install the
scripts, you just need to know enough HTML to place the code in the
right spot (very much like you do to install a Facebook badge or
Twitter feed).

Some scripts on are just features you add to your
websites; some are entire programs you can buy. Most of the free
scripts simply require that you keep their website URL in the code to
give them credit, which is absolutly the right thing to do. Some
scripts will allow you to remove that credit if you pay a registration
fee, which is also fair. Here are an example: — will let you use the script for free if
you keep the author credit within the code. It costs $24 for a license
for one domain so you can remove the author credit, and $80 for up to
10 websites. (What a bargain!)

Some sites let you take their images as long as you make a copy,
rather than linking to their image. Here’s where I found a page of
animated snow GIF files:

The site owner allows you to make a copy for personal use, and
explains on this page why you cannot simply link to the images.

If I decided to use one of his images, I would create a shortcut to
his website in the folder where I store the images so I remember where
I found them.

Now, to do the research initially, you need to know a little HTML. But
once you do, it opens up a whole world of possibilities. This isn’t
just about having the neatest effect to impress your friends; this is
about finding and utilizing features that will benefit your customers.

For example, I found a fabulous live chat program on someone else’s
site, and decided to switch. That allowed me to stop paying a monthly
fee for a chat program that was overkill for my little business. I
found that new chat software developer by inspecting the code,
tracking down the company website, and buying a license for all my
websites. I even recommend and install that chat program now for my

So what are you waiting for? It won’t take long for you to learn HTML
and CSS and be able to track down the features you’ve liked on other
sites. You don’t have to imitate, you can customize. Most of all, you
can assist and please your customers with the website and blog
features that help them buy from you. My website training program will
get you started learning HTML and CSS right away.

Next:  Reason 5 – HTML/CSS Skills for More Than Just Web Pages and
Blog Posts


Blog Food-Guest Blogger Series

This entry is part [part not set] of 4 in the series Blog Food-Videos

Jocelyn ‘Toolie’ Garner, will be a guest blogger for a series of posts for the next couple of days. The name of the series is

 10 Top Ten Reasons to Manage Your Own Websites and Blogs. A series is great for blogging because it gives your reader a reason to come back to your blog each day. (Or any other time you specify.)  Hopefully your guest blogger will introduce their own style and engage your reader with stories, and great fresh exciting content.

A good time to have a guest blogger do a series is when n you are tied up with another project or just need to give your readers a new voice. Remember we are talking about” blog food” so consider your guest blogger as a guest chef serving great dishes of well balanced meals to your readers.

I must also note that if and only IF you have faith in the products or services your guest blogger provides you can endorse and encourage your readers to invest in them. I have and still learn a lot from Toolie so I will endorse her learning tools.

P.S As blog owners it is ok if you add your affiliate link , if your guest blogger has one, to your post. So, I encourage you to consider this recipe as part of your blog food menu.

Now, normally when you post a series you do one(1) post every 24 hours. However, I may break the rule. So, you see an additional segment of her excellent series less than 24 hours apart. But, I am very excited about these posts and just want you to have them quickly. So, I suggest you place your email in the subscription box on this site so you will know when I have posted

Top Ten Reasons to Manage Your Own Websites and Blogs:

Reason 10: It’s One Less Thing to Be Afraid Of…

In 1991, I was laid off from a job in a new career with only 18
months’ experience. I was devastated emotionally, psychologically, and
financially. My marriage had ended just 2 years before and I was
getting back on my feet from that when I lost my job. McAlister and I
had been together only a few months when this happened, and after
seeing me sob and moan day after day, he finally turned to me,
exasperated, and said, “You’re just out of a job, you’re not out of
talent.” He was right, of course. I was letting my fear paralyze my

When I came out the other side of that experience (still not
understanding why I was meant to endure it), I finally came to the
conclusion that having been through it, I was in a position to no
longer be afraid of difficult economic times in the future. I wasn’t
wishing difficulties on myself or anyone else, but I didn’t have to be
afraid of them because I now knew what to do.

There are a lot of frightened people in a similar situation right now,
especially entrepreneurs. We often live “promotion to promotion”
anyway (instead of paycheck to paycheck), and if we had staff, we
might have had to let them go. Now we have to do some of that work
ourselves, and much of it involves wrangling our websites and blogs to
best effect.

Our websites and blogs are our lifelines to future income. Without a
solid understanding and skills to operate them, we’re forever stymied
and frustrated because we let our fear of web technology govern our
actions. The good news is that having an effective website doesn’t
mean you have to learn everything there is to know about HTML and
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). There is a reasonable subset of
information that will get you about 80% of the way, and the rest you
can learn only IF and WHEN you need it. It’s your chance for a sense
of empowerment, of having one less thing to be afraid of…!

And I’ll be here to show you want you need to learn to make it work.

Jocelyn ‘Toolie’ Garner