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

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