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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Big Secret of Online Success

Upcoming Events: "Harnessing the power of the internet - online promotion for Artists" :: Public talk, Tuesday 20 October 2009, 11 am - 1 pm. Venue: Public Library, Petone. More information: Hutt Valley Community Arts website or email.

A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar on the topic of web promotion and “web persuasion”, which was provided by one of the bigger and better web design companies here in New Zealand (we call this “spying on the competition” – though, to be sure, those people aim at a far more corporate market than my small artsy home studio).

What have I learned on the occasion? Well, first of all, that these guys don’t know anything earthshaking that I haven’t figured out for myself by now - or if they do, that’s not the sort of info they divulge in a public seminar!

Secondly, they seem to have spotted the same issue that is my motivation for writing this blog: The need to educate people more about the whole area of web (as opposed to print) communication, and how to effectively transmit your message through your website and other online tools. The need to have a strategy, before you even begin the first site draft.

Owning and running a website is 100% a dynamic process. A site is a living document that should reflect your business or your artistic or professional activities at every stage – not something you can hand over to your web designer and then expect to never be bothered with any more.

“But how do I do this if I don’t know how to build websites?” you may well ask. Actually, these days, changing the content of your own website has become ridiculously easy. There are numerous editing tools out there – some of them freeware – which allow you to change text, links and even images like you would in a text document. When you get a website, make sure your web designer sets you up with one of those – and instructs you in how to use these tools!

Then of course there is also a massive, and steadily growing plethora of online tools that don’t even require that much effort and computer knowledge. Social and professional networking sites, blogs, image, music and video sharing sites, online forums on every topic in the world, auction sites and shop fronts - you name it.

Keeping up with all that sometimes seems like an overwhelming task that could easily suck the 24 hours out of your day! But, as the good folks at the web seminar pointed out – it is very hard to achieve a 100% change all at once, but it is quite easy to achieve a 1% change a hundred times. All it takes is a little discipline, and quite a lot of patience.

Patience and discipline – there’s one of the Big Secrets of being successful on the web! And one which the Snake Oil Merchants probably won’t tell you. ☺

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