Creating Websites The Easy Way

Creating Websites The Easy Way

If creating websites is part of your job, you want to do it the easiest way possible. I’ve recently become a fan of template-based website-creation tool Squarespace.

After using it, I was so impressed I transferred my writing classes website to the platform. My reasons included: ease of use, as well as easy commerce. By the way, I have no connection to Squarespace, I just like the product.

Easy one-page websites that look great on any device

Squarespace is great for one-page websites:

What’s a “one-page” website?

Just what it says. A single page. A website which consists of one page minimizes distractions. You have just the one page, with one (and only one) message. Clutter, such as navigation controls, has gone.

A decade ago, these kinds of pages were called “buy or leave” sales pages, and that sums it up. You give the visitors to your page just enough information for them to take action on what you offer.

Squarespace calls them Cover Pages; you can have a “website” set up in minutes. You can create as many one-pagers as you like. They’re great for sales pages, because there’s nothing to distract your customers.

Set up a store too, fast

Squarespace’s easy commerce is also useful if you just want to sell something, and do it fast. It’s great for digital downloads; just upload your file, and create a new product.

Apps: manage your website on the go

Squarespace has a good suite of tools to help you when you’re out and about. Blog, check your metrics, or just make a note.

I’m always looking for ways to be more productive. Squarespace helps. Check it out.

Achieve the professional writing career YOU want with Team Up

Team Up Writing Coaching

Never have there been so many writing opportunities. We writers are very spoiled. You can achieve almost any writing goal you care to set. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. You need to create a strategy to achieve your goal, and a plan. Team Up’s been helping writers to achieve their goals for several years.

Today, YOU can begin to build a great writing career too. Write with Angela — Team Up is fun. :-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Improve Your Writing: The Free Content Library

Writing Genii Free Ebooks
New Writing Genii is finally relaunched, and with it, our Free Content Library. If you want to improve your writing, check it out. Currently, we have three free ebooks for you to download, with many more coming.

In the press release, I said:

Over time, Writing Genii’s Free Content Library will develop into a powerful resource for both new writers, and established writers. New writers will discover how to develop a professional career. Established writers can build skills in an area which is new to them.

Please tell me what you need

Everyone’s a writer today, so please tell me what you need. Of course we’ll have ebooks for professional writers, but there will be ebooks on creativity, developing your writing skills, productivity, and much more.

I’d love to hear what YOU want to know more about. Over the years, I’ve learned many tricks to help me to write, and enjoy writing. Believe me, I didn’t start out as a confident writer. Although I loved to read (and still do, of course) I HATED writing with a passion. it took years to get over my fear.

My perfectionism got into the way, which meant that I was the queen of procrastination. When I did sit down to write at my IBM Selectric, I wept. Seriously. I’ve no idea why I kept going with writing. Sheer masochism. So, if I got over my abject terror about writing — and endless procrastination, YOU can too. :-)

Here’s how I got over my fear of writing, in a nutshell: I focused on the words. Only on the words. A seminar with Larry Block at the Vista Hotel in New York in 1985 helped too: Larry encouraged meditation. Larry’s book of the seminar is available; check it out.

Who’s Writing Genii for?

Anyone who wants to write. Anyone who has to write. Anyone who wants to use writing to improve their business. Or write a book.

Business is all about communication. Essentially, I hope that Writing Genii will grow into a resource which will help you to communicate, even if you think you can’t write. Even if you think that, remember that I started out with tears rolling down my face. You’re not that bad, are you? ;-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing Journal 56: Writers’ Procrastination

Writing Journal 56: Writers’ Procrastination

My writing journal for Tuesday, October 7, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Business as usual this morning. I started writing the mystery novel. I’m still not happy about the sleuth. However, I’ve come to a realization: I’m procrastinating yet again. Procrastination has many faces. It masks itself slyly.

Is there an all-in-one, one-size-fits-all solution to procrastination? No. Not that I’ve found. Our excuses always seem so reasonable. I’m writing a mystery for a client. He wants to do a series, so the sleuth I choose will affect other writers. Of course I want to do my best for them — leave them lots of opportunities for characters’ conflict — just as I want to do my best for my client.

It’s all so reasonable, and it’s all total BS. :-) More on procrastination and its evil ways later.

I managed 1,200 words. Everything takes longer at the beginning. I plotted out the crime, and created a timeline for it too. Timelines are essential in mysteries, otherwise you get totally confused.

Next, back to writing the two business books, one ebook, and the print book. I manage 2,100 words, which is great.

Honey’s sulking this morning; it’s raining. She hates the wet. I dish up her breakfast, which she ignores. She believes that I control the weather… I always get annoyed looks from her when it’s raining. :-)

Next, my own breakfast while dealing with a mile of email. I won’t be walking this morning, because of the rain, so I get stuck into dealing with it.

Phone calls, and a chat with the client who’s rebranding, and his new blog. I make some notes which Julia can send to him later.

Lunchtime, at the computer, while reading social media.

Coping with writers’ procrastination

Why do we procrastinate? The psychology of procrastination isn’t well understood. If you read towards the end of the linked article, it says:

“Recently the behavioral research into procrastination has ventured beyond cognition, emotion, and personality, into the realm of neuropsychology. The frontal systems of the brain are known to be involved in a number of processes that overlap with self-regulation. These behaviors — problem-solving, planning, self-control, and the like — fall under the domain of executive functioning.”

“Executive functioning” sounds interesting. Basically, it boils down to this. When we procrastinate, we believe our own BS, and don’t call ourselves to account on our own excuses — we don’t manage ourselves.

Coping with writers’ procrastination starts with looking for ways in which you’re procrastinating. I’ve found my journals immensely helpful with this, especially my bullet journal. If I see myself migrating tasks over and over, I know I’m procrastinating.

Then the question becomes: why? It’s important to write down both the question, and the answers you come up with. Your solution will take care of itself, as long as you document the “case”.

For example, I need to set up a new website; one of my own, rather than a client’s site. I’ve been migrating this task for over a week now in my bullet journal. So, I asked myself why I’m procrastinating on this. I came up with these reasons:

  • Too busy;
  • Too tired, after I complete clients’ projects and everything else;
  • I haven’t decided on my primary targeting for the site. I need to think about that;
  • I don’t know what I want on the home page;
  • Will I create a blog on the site? I don’t know. I need to decide, yes or no. (YET ANOTHER blog… Give me strength, please God…);
  • I need to decide on a theme…

Just by looking at the list, I can see procrastination in all its glory. I’m taking on yet another website of my own, and I’m avoiding that — I don’t want more work; I dread it. And yet, I’ve decided to do it, so procrastination achieves nothing. I need to clear time, and schedule it, and then do the work.

When you write down your reasons for procrastinating, they always look flimsy, so write them down. You’ll soon see a solution.

Onward, with more blogging

A client called yesterday. He wants a quote on three months’ worth of blogging. I need to do a scope of the work, and see where I can fit it in. I want to do it, on the other hand, I’m really booked solid. I decide to create the scope of work anyway. He might be OK with just a couple of posts to start, and then a fuller program in a few weeks.

After that, I get on with more clients’ blogging, drafting several posts, and requesting more images from the clients.

Christmas is coming

I meant to have my Kindle ebook of Christmas short stories well under way by now, but I’ve done no work on them for a few days. I spend a couple of timer sessions just writing — I’m well ahead on my outlines, so the writing is easy.

I love writing fiction; compared to other writing, it’s much less stressful.

After I return some calls to catch people before the close of business, I do my daily review. I need to get to work on my new website later on this evening. No more procrastinating.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 43: Monetize Your Website With Donations

Writing Journal 43: Monetize Your Website With Donations

My writing journal for Wednesday, September 24, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

I’m in a rush this morning, so I completed the major scene for the novella, with 1,600 words.

Next, a quick glance at the email. Julia will handle most of it, I’ll deal with any outstanding feedback and memos to students tonight or tomorrow.

The client sent some material for the memoir proposal, so I read through that and make some quick notes. I’m loving the bullet journal, because I can make notes right in the journal. I tend to cluster, and draw little diagrams in my notes, and the Whitelines Leuchtturm hardcover handles it with panache.

Since the iOS 8 update, I’m finding that the Whitelines Link app isn’t working properly. Not to worry, Whitelines pages show up superbly when you take an image with Evernote’s camera.

I fix Honey’s breakfast and my own. Now I need to get to my meetings.

And I’m back. It’s mid-afternoon. The meetings went well; they were related to on-going projects, and forward planning for 2015. I’ve made some notes in my bullet journal, so I snap images of the pages into Evernote.

Now let’s look at something which keeps coming up. If you’ve got a content-heavy website which isn’t monetized, you may have considered asking for donations to keep you going.

An easy way to monetize a website: solicit donations

Several people have asked about monetizing websites with donations over the past weeks, so let’s look at that now. If I cover it here, it saves me typing out the info multiple times, because donations seem to be a hot thing at the moment. :-)

You’ve got a couple of options. All have benefits and drawbacks:

  • The crowdfunding option (Kickstarter or Patreon and similar sites)
  • A PayPal button on your website

Either way, you’ve got to be clear about what you want people to do, and why. By “be clear”, I mean TELL PEOPLE. I see many websites where there’s a donation button, which is fine. But when you check to see the how, and the why, the site owner doesn’t say a word. It’s as if the button’s there… but no one wants to talk about it.

That’s nonsense. If you’re accepting donations, publicize it. Say: “Listen, if you like what we do here, we could really use a bit of support. Website hosting costs money, and so does my time. I’d love it if you could show your support with a donation. A little or a lot, it doesn’t matter. It shows that you value what we do, and that’s a huge motivation for us to keep doing it.”

You don’t need to say more than that, but you do need to say it. Write a short blog post about it, and send a mailing to your list. Tweet about it. Mention it a couple of times a month, at least. Buttons on websites are all very well, but people need you to ask too.

You may be surprised at your results. One of my writer friends finally put up a donations button, and it’s covering her expenses. While some visitors pay small amounts, several have made hefty donations. It’s motivating for her, and she’s very grateful. It’s had another effect too: it’s given her confidence. It’s validation that people read what she writes, and that it helps them.

Blog proposal and scope

I did the draft proposal and scope for my client’s new blog yesterday. I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon on it, so that Julia can proof it and send it out.

Then, a couple of timer sessions on client blogs – finishing posts, and scheduling them — and I’m done for the day. Daily review and word counts done… :-)

Team up 2014: final enrollments

Just a mention, in case you miss it on the freelance blog… We’re running the final Team Up for the year now. Enrollments will close on September 30.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.