Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Prime Relaxation

I'm sitting here with my laptop watching Barber Shop (I have no idea which one) in my PJ's. I've got my cigarettes and I'm completely ALONE! Sean is home today and has the girls in the other room. Believe me when I say I am enjoying this :).
I used my free time to finally build a freewebs website for my 50 books project - you can find the link in my new right sidebar.
Speaking of my new right sidebar, it is there courtesy of Melissa who was so gracious and awesome as to help me with figuring out the template issue. Thanks soooo much Melissa :).

I've got something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I want my photography website back online. I've toyed with the idea of using my photo-blog as my website and adding in my costs and things like that. I've considered free-webs - they are pretty simple to create. But I just don't know. I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts on it...I'm kinda stuck in a rut and I really want to be able to promote myself this year.

I'm also considering gitting rid of my old e-mail addy with yahoo and starting over. So far yahoo has been the most reliable e-mail source...but my yahoo screen name is kinda embarassing..lol. Not something I'd want to give out to potential clients. I would REALLY like opinions.

9 comments:

Melissa said...

Don't know much about free-webs. I think the answer to this depends on how much you know about creating websites. If you know html, I'd say host your own site somewhere. If not, then I'd say go with someplace that offers you pre-made templates you can "plunk" stuff into.

If you want to sell your photos, maybe look into the Print On Demand places like Cafepress or Zazzle. Figure out which have the best prices for the kinds of products that would best show off your photos, then work to make a good looking template for there. Or if you want to handle shipping yourself, add them to your Etsy shop.

Whichever you do, blogs are a good way to drive business to your site, so you might want to incorporate a blog into the site/store, or have those sites link to here or a different "professionally focused" blog.

As for the yahoo address, pick a name you're comfortable with. You can have more than one email :)

One last thing: It's a good idea to purchase a domain name for yourself. You can set it to "point" anywhere. Even here. So that when people type "athousandwords.com" (or whatever) they get sent to here (or wherever). The benefit to having your own URL is that you can change where it points to as often as you want.

If you move to typepad someday, athousandwords.com could point there instead. It's kind of like taking your same phone number with you when you move ;)

This would be particularly good for whatever site you use to sell things. That way if you sell through your blog for now, then someday move stuff to etsy, then to zazzle, then to your own website built from the ground up... you wouldn't have to worry about losing customers. As long as your URL stayed the same and you kept updating where it goes when people type that in, they'd be able to find your new "location." For them it'd always be at "athousandwords.com"

Kendra said...

I do have my own URL...I used to have my own website for the photo-biz...but the hosting has lapsed and the lack of funds is keeping us from fixing that.
I went ahead and 'got smart' about yahoo. I've had the athsndwords yahoo screen name for a while, just didn't realize I could use it for my e-mail too...I'm kinda a dork..lol.
For the most part I know nothing about html.

I have a zazzle and cafepress store...just don't really use them that much. I'm buying time at the moment trying to decide which prints I want to put into etsy..lol. I have a hard time deciding which of my photos other people would want..lol.

Melissa said...

So I'd say, maybe point your URL to this blog (or a different blog if you want to have a separate "professional blog" in addition to your "whatever the heck you want to write gosh darn it!" blog ;) ) Either one is fine.

Then spruce up the zazzle, cafepress, and Etsy shop templates and make sure you're happy with them. Make all their templates match, or make them different, give all those shops the same name, or keep their names different... Then make prominent buttons for them in the sidebar of your blog.

So your URL would point to your blog, and your blog would be your "jumping off point" to your stores.

You could also point the URL to a webpage like free-webs, and do something similar there. Have buttons/links to your stores, AND have a link on there to your blog.

Does that make sense?

That's what I think anyway (and ya DID ask for opinions! ;) )

Kendra said...

Trust me...I'm LOVIN' the opinions :). (but even if I hated them, I did ask..lol)

I actually tried to point my URL to my photo-blog...but since it is still directed to the host companies' site it comes up with that stupid error screen. I don't know how to fix that...my husband did it.

Melissa said...

It can take about 3 days for the change to completely go through. If it's been more than 3 day since he did it, then he may not have done it correctly ;)

Kendra said...

Actually no...he hasn't done anything yet. We were signed up with hostgator (domain name is through godaddy). The hostgator went defunct. I still have the URL but it is still being pointed at the hostgator 'page'...I'm not sure how to phrase it. That 'page' says its expired (or something like that). I tried to switch the athsndwords.com over to my photo-blog but instead my photo-blog turned into the hostgator expired page. I'm guessing I need to do something on my end with the URL before I can use it for my photo-blog...just don't know how.

Melissa said...

• Log into Godaddy.
• Click on the domain's menu and select "manage my domains."
• Click on your domain name
• Click on the link under "Forwarding" (Which should say "domain is not forwarded".)

If you were going to set this to a new hosting company you'd do this part differently. But to have it "re-direct" to another http:// address (like a blogger page or some other place that is not your hosting spot), you'll use forwarding. It's a re-direct. You could redirect your URL to anywhere. You could have it land on "Google" if you wanted. (though I don't know why you'd want that!)

• Check "enabled", enter the url you want it to redirect to, don't select a redirect type.
• Click on the "masking" tab

If you mask the domain, then the "redirect" will be "invisible" and when people arrive at your site (blogger for instance) it'll still show your chosen URL in the address bar. This is good because it gets people used to using that URL. They'll bookmark *that* instead of bookmarking your blogger or CP address (or whereever they've been redirected to.) If you're sending them to a freeweb type of "jumping off" page you should probably do this.

The downside to this is that, within that website that they're re-directed to, EVERY page will have that URL. So you can't direct them to "www.myurl.com/myprofile" -any page they go to on that site will still say "www.myurl.com"

So... "masked" means that URL will show up on every page of that site. If you don't choose masked, it'll just forward people to the site you entered, but it won't hide that site's "real" url.

The rest of the fields: This is where you can fill in info that would normally go on a page if you were hosting the site on your own server space. The name you want to appear at the top of the window, tags you want search engines to pick up, associated with your URL etc.

When you're done, click "Ok."

I don't *think* you need to change anything else. Let me know in 3 days if that worked ;)

Eliza said...

As for email, I always have to jump in and sing the praises of Gmail. Love it. LOVE it. If you need an invite to it (I don't know if they're using invites anymore now) I can hook ya up.

But really. It's lovely. Catches 99.8% of spam, but doesn't wrongly spam-mark messages, either. I've only had to add one email address to the list.

This is Eliza from 50/08 btw. And wow, a hotel room all to yourself for a day. Hmmmmmm....

Indada said...

I second the vote for gmail..I love it. You can get multiple accounts there as well.. and set them up to all forward to your master account for easier tracking! Its the best!